George Washington Papers

General Orders, 24 December 1775

General Orders

Head Quarters, Cambridge, Decr 24th 1775

Parole Alfred.Countersign Hopkins

By order of his Excellency General Washington, a Board of General Officers sat yesterday in Cambridge, and unanimously recommended the following Rations to be delivered in the manner hereby directed.1 Viz:

Corn’d Beef and Pork, four days in a week.

Salt Fish one day, and fresh Beef two days.

As Milk cannot be procured during the Winter Season, the Men are to have one pound and a half of Beef, or eighteen Ounces of Pork Pr day.2

Half pint of Rice, or a pint of Indian Meal Pr Week.

One Quart of Spruce Beer Pr day, or nine Gallons of Molasses to one hundred Men per week. Six pounds of Candles to one hundred Men Pr week, for guards.3

Six Ounces of Butter, or nine Ounces of Hogs-Lard Pr week.4

Three pints of Pease, or Beans Pr Man Pr Week, or Vegetables equivalent, allowing Six Shillings Pr Bushel for Beans, or Pease—two and eight pence Pr Bushel for Onions—One and four pence Pr Bushel for Potatoes and Turnips.

One pound of Flour Pr Man each day—Hard Bread to be dealt out one day in a week, in lieu of Flour.

The above allowance is ordered to be issued by the Commissary General to all the Troops of the United Colonies, serving in this department; until the Honble the Continental Congress, or the Commander in Chief thinks proper to alter it.

Capt. Wentworth Stewart of Col. Phinney’s Regt tried at a General Court Martial whereof Col. Bricket was president, for “disobedience of Orders, and gross abuse to Lieut. Col. March, of the said Regiment”—The Court are unanimously of opinion that Capt. Stewart is guilty of repeated abuse to Lieut. Col. March, and therefore adjudge that he ask pardon of Col. March, before all the Officers of the regiment, and at the same time receive a severe reprimand from Col. Phinney.5

John Wales in Capt. Williams Company,6 Col. Greatons Regiment, tried at the above Court Martial for “robbing the Qr Master General’s Store”; The Court find the Prisoner guilty of a Breach of the 49th Article for regulating the Massachusetts Army, and therefore adjudge him to receive Ten Lashes upon the bare back, with a Cat O’nine-tails.

The General approves the above Sentences & Orders them to be executed the first fair day.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For the rations authorized by Congress, see General Orders, 8 Aug. 1775, and the minutes for 19 Oct. in the Proceedings of the Committee of Conference, 18–24 Oct. 1775, Document II, Minutes of the Conference. See also JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 3:322.

2The normal ration was one pound of beef or twelve ounces of pork.

3Congress allowed three pounds of candles to 100 men per week.

4Neither butter nor lard is included in the rations allowed by Congress, but Congress did authorize soap, which is not mentioned here.

5Wentworth Stewart (Stuart) served under Col. Edmund Phinney until sometime in 1776. Samuel March, an innkeeper and shoemaker from Scarborough, District of Maine, represented his town in the Massachusetts provincial congress before becoming lieutenant colonel of Phinney’s regiment in the spring of 1775. March left the army at the end of 1776.

6Artemas Ward’s orderly book gives the name of the accused man as “John Wallis” (MHi). Edward Payson Williams (d. 1777) served during 1776 as a captain in Col. John Greaton’s regiment of Continental infantry and on 1 Jan. 1777 became major of Greaton’s 3d Massachusetts Regiment. Williams died on 25 May 1777.

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