Head Quarters, New York, August 11th 1776.
Parole: Portsmouth.Countersign: Roxbury.
No Furlough, or Discharges, are after this day to be granted to officers or soldiers without the knowledge and consent of the Commander in Chief—When an Action is hourly expected, a case must be very extraordinary which can warrant an application of this kind; but if such should happen, the Colonels are to satisfy their Brigadiers in it first; The Brigadiers if they concur in it, are then to apply to Head Quarters, from whence only Furloughs are to be issued ’till further orders.
The Honorable The Continental Congress having been pleased to allow a Pay Master, to each of the established regiments, and directed the General to appoint them;1 he desires the Field Officers of each Regiment, to recommend to him suitable persons; they are to be persons of Integrity and Fidelity; good Accomptants and fair Writers. The pay is Twenty-six dollars and two thirds pr Kalander Month.
When a prisoner is put under guard, the officer sending him, is not only to put down the crime he stands charged with, but the regiment & company to which he belongs; and he should also note the Witnesses names to prove the charge.
The Court Martial to sit to morrow, as a Court of enquiry, upon Lieut: Mesier, of Col. Lashers Regiment, for misbehaviour to his superior officer.2
Joseph Martin of Capt: Hurds Company,3 Col. Silliman’s Regt, tried by a General Court Martial of which Col. Wyllys was president for “abusing and robbing a woman in the market”—acquitted for want of evidence.
Hugh Cahaggan (a transient person) and Richard Keif belonging to Col. Nicholson’s Regiment, convicted by the same Court Martial of “stealing a Coat and several Firelocks from Capt: Dickson’s Company[”]4 were sentenced to receive Thirty-nine Stripes each—The General approves the above sentences—orders Martin to be discharged, and the sentences upon Cahaggan and Keif to be executed to morrow morning at Guard mounting. A Drummer from each Regiment in General Wadworths Brigade, to attend the executing the sentence upon Cahaggan, and then he is to be turned out of the camp, and taken up if ever found in it, again.
The practice of Sentries setting down while on their post is so unsoldierly that the General is ashamed to see it prevail so much in the army—At Night especially, it is of the most dangerous consequence, as it occasions a Sentinel’s sleeping on his post, when otherwise he would be watchful—The General requests the officers, especially those of Guards & visiting rounds, to caution the soldiers against it, and have all conveniencies for that purpose removed. Officers & Soldiers will be very careful in case of damp weather, to have their Arms kept dry, and fit for action.
Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. See Congress’s resolution of 16 July in 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 , 5:564; see also Hancock to GW, 17 July.
2. Abraham Mesier was first lieutenant of Capt. Charles Dickenson’s company in Col. John Lasher’s regiment of New York militia levies (see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 1:918). Since 18 July Mesier had assisted in supervising the Hudson River ferry to Paulus Hook and Hoboken, an extra duty for which he received half a dollar a day in addition to his regimental pay (see Stirling’s order regarding ferries, 18 July 1776, DLC:GW). For dismissal of the charge of insubordination against Mesier, see General Orders, 13 August. John Lasher (1724–1806), a successful merchant who owned considerable property in New York City, was by 15 May 1775 captain of an independent militia company composed of enthusiastic young Patriot volunteers from the city, who wore blue uniforms with red facings and styled themselves as the “Grenadier Company” (see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 2:604–5, and O’Callaghan and Fernow, N.Y. Documents, 8:601–3). By the end of the summer of 1775, Lasher had become colonel of a regiment consisting of several such independent companies, which, together with another regiment of independents commanded by Col. William Malcom, filled the role of minutemen for the city and county of New York until June 1776 (see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 3:708, and Manders, Battle of Long Island description begins Eric I. Manders. The Battle of Long Island. Monmouth Beach, N.J., 1978. description ends , 5, 12). Although some of the officers in Lasher’s independent militia regiment declined to enter provincial service, many of his officers and enlisted men were willing to do so, and they formed the nucleus of the regiment of militia levies commanded by Lasher that reinforced the Continental army in June 1776 (see O’Callaghan and Fernow, N.Y. Documents description begins E. B. O’Callaghan and Berthold Fernow, eds. Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York. 15 vols. Albany, 1853–87. description ends , 15:50–52, and N.Y. Prov. Congress Journals description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety of the State of New-York, 1775–1776–1777. 2 vols. Albany, 1842. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 1:483, 487). Part of Gen. Nathaniel Heard’s brigade, Lasher and his men fought bravely at the Battle of Long Island on 27 Aug. and remained in Continental service until December. Lasher subsequently became commissary of military stores for the state of New York.
3. Nathan Hurd, one of the captains in Col. Gold Selleck Silliman’s regiment of Connecticut militia levies, was absent from his post in early October 1776 because of illness (see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 2:904). He apparently did not serve in any military capacity after 1776.
4. David Dickson, a captain in Col. John Lasher’s regiment of New York levies, previously had served in Lasher’s regiment of New York independents as second lieutenant of the “Heart’s Oak” company (see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 3:708). He may be the David Dickson who entered King’s College in 1768 but did not graduate.