George Washington Papers

General Orders, 15 August 1775

General Orders

Head Quarters, Cambridge, August 15th 1775

Parole Arlington.Countersign Bedford.

David Henly Esqr. is appointed Brigade Major to Genl Heath’s brigade.1

John Trumbull Esqr. is appointed Brigade Major to Genl Spencers brigade.

Richard Carey Esqr. is appointed Brigade Major, to the Brigade commanded by the eldest Colonel.2

Thomas Chase,3 Daniel Box,4 and Alexander Scammell Esqrs. are appointed to continue to do the duty of Brigade Majors, to the Brigades they respectively belong.

Edmund Randolph and George Baylor Esqrs. are appointed Aids-de-Camp, to the Commander in Chief: All and every of the above named Gentlemen, to be obeyed in their respective capacitys.

The Quarter Master General is without delay to examine the Encampments and Coverings of different Regiments and Corps, to see that those which are not designed to remain in Houses, are provided as soon as possible, with Tents or Boards, sufficient for their Accomodation, at the same time, he is to take care to prevent any unnecessary waste of the latter; and to put a stop to the Officers, building such large houses, as some of them are doing; unless they are intended for the Accomodation of a Number sufficient to fill them, Or are to be built at their own expence; But no large house to be placed near any of the Redoubts, or Lines.

In addition to the Order of the 4th Instant; The Colonel or Commanding Officer of each Regiment and Corps, is to cause an exact Account to be taken (by his Captains) of the Number of Cartridges which each Man is possessed of; & at evening at Roll Callg have them examined, as directed in the said Order; when, if any are wanting, and cannot be accounted for, the delinquent, over and above the punishment due to his Offence, is to be charged with the deficiency and so much of his pay stopt accordingly.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1David Henley (1748–1823) of Charlestown, Mass., was William Heath’s brigade major until March 1776 when he accompanied Heath to New York on special detached duty. See General Orders, 19 Mar. 1776. Henley was named adjutant general of Gen. Joseph Spencer’s division on 6 Sept. 1776, and two months later he became lieutenant colonel of the 5th Massachusetts Regiment. He raised one of the additional Continental regiments in 1777 and commanded it as colonel until he retired from the army in April 1779.

2Richard Cary of Charlestown, Md., who had recently arrived in Cambridge with three young gentlemen from Baltimore, served as a brigade major throughout the siege of Boston. He and David Henley distinguished themselves on 8 Jan. 1776 in a raid against Charlestown, Massachusetts. On 21 June 1776 Cary was named an aide-de-camp to GW, and in August 1778 he accompanied John Hancock as a volunteer aide on the abortive Rhode Island expedition. See John Adams to James Warren, 27 July 1775, and Adams to William Tudor, 28 July 1775, in Taylor, Papers of John Adams description begins Robert J. Taylor et al., eds. Papers of John Adams. 17 vols. to date. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1977—. description ends , 3:103–4; and Pennsylvania Gazette [Philadelphia], 30 Aug. 1775.

3Thomas Chase (d. 1787), a distiller from Boston who had been active in the Sons of Liberty, was appointed brigade major of Brig. Gen. John Thomas’s brigade by mistake. The position belonged to Samuel Brewer, whose appointment to it was announced in General Orders, 30 Aug. 1775. Chase later became deputy quartermaster general at Boston.

4Daniel Box (born c.1735) of Rhode Island was a former British soldier who in the early months of 1775 assisted greatly in forming and training the Rhode Island troops. His close friend Nathanael Greene, to whose brigade he was appointed, considered Box a capable disciplinarian despite his chronic drinking. During the campaign of 1776 Box helped Greene fortify Long Island and Fort Lee. His service in the Continental army was cut short by a fall from a horse in December 1776, which permanently deprived him of the use of his left arm.

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