George Washington Papers

General Orders, 7 July 1777

General Orders

Head-Quarters, Morristown, July 7th 1777.

Parole: Virginia.Countersigns: Ulster.

The General expects the strictest attention will be paid to the order of the 20th of last month for sizing the men, and placing the shortest in front: Unless this is done, the whole fire of the rear-rank will most assuredly be lost, especially if the files should happen (as is but too often the case) to be crouded together.

The Commander in Chief approves the following sentences of a General Court Martial, held the 6th instant of which Colonel Walter Stewart was president.

John Halfpenny of the 10th Virginia regt charged with “getting drunk, raising a riot, and abusing his officers”—No evidence appearing against the prisoner, the Court ordered him to be released from confinement.1

The Court discharged Barney Drum—No crime being exhibited against him.

Herman Wynch of the German Battalion, charged with “Mutiny, neglecting his duty, absenting himself from his company, and refusing to take his arms and accoutrements”—The Court after considering the charge, and evidence, are of opinion the prisoner is guilty of neglecting his duty, absenting himself from his company, and refusing to take his arms and accoutrements”—and not guilty of mutinying—Sentenced to receive 39 lashes on his bare back.

Patrick Farrall of the 12th Pennsyl: regt in Capt: Bradley’s Company,2 charged with “Drunkenness, and assaulting his officer”—found guilty, and sentenced to receive 100 lashes on his bare back.

Robert Grimes of Capt. William Gray’s Company, in the 4th Pennsylv: regt charged with “Deserting from the said company”—found not guilty, of the charge exhibited against him. The Court do adjudge the prisoner to belong to Capt: Daughty’s company, and that the bounty money the prisoner received from Capt: Gray’s lieutenant, shall be paid Capt: Gray by Capt: Daughty, and stopped out of the prisoner’s pay.3

Cornelius McConnoll of the 1st Pennsylvania regt charged with “deserting to the enemy”—it appearing by his own confession that he was guilty; but that he was deluded by some bad fellows to go to the enemy, that he inlisted with them; but being sensible of his error, and hearing of Genl Washington’s proclamation, offering pardon to offenders, he deserted from the enemy, and brought off eight with him: That he was pardoned by Genl McDougall, from whose Brigade Major he produced a pass: For these reasons the Court ordered him to be released from confinement.4

Dennis O’Bryan, a soldier belonging to a detachment of North-Carolina troops, under the command of Col. Sumner,5 charged with “Having deserted from that detachment”—The prisoner pleaded guilty; but it appearing to the Court that he is incapable of rendering any service to the country, as he appears to be debilitated in body, and a stupid, foolish person; they sentenced him to be drumed out of the service.

Peter Norris of the 5th New-Jersey regiment charged with “Desertion”—No evidence appearing against the prisoner, the Court ordered him to be released from confinement.

Lewis Reed, Israel Turner & Henry Blaracum, of the 5th New-Jersey regt charged severally with “Desertion”—No evidence appearing against the prisoners—the Court ordered them to be released from confinement.

It being injurious to the health of the soldiers on account of the foulness of the water, and utterly inconsistent with decency, for them to bathe in the Mill-pond, by Howel’s mill, near the highway leading from Head Quarters, to the Court House; that practice is absolutely forbidden; and the guard and sentries posted near thereto are to take up and confine all offenders.6

Col. Morgan’s Corps of rifle-men not being annexed to any brigade, and being often detached from the army, are to draw their rations from time to time of the nearest commissary.7

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1John Halfpenny, a private in the 10th Virginia Regiment, later served in the 7th and 11th Virginia Regiments.

2John Brady, Sr. (1733–1779), served as a captain in the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment from October 1776 to March 1778, when he resigned from the army. Brady apparently was attempting to raise a company of troops to serve in Col. Thomas Hartley’s Additional Continental Regiment when he was killed by Indians near Muncy, Pa., on 11 April 1779.

3William Gray (1750–1804), who was born in Ireland, had been appointed a first lieutenant in Col. Samuel Miles’s Pennsylvania rifle regiment in March 1776. Captured at the Battle of Long Island in August 1776 and exchanged the following December, Gray served as a captain in the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment from January 1777 to January 1781. John Daughtry (Daugherty; 1756–1833) apparently also served in a Pennsylvania Continental regiment.

4Cornelius McConnell served as a private in Capt. James Parr’s company of the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment. McDougall’s brigade major was Richard Platt of New York.

5Dennis O’Bryan was a private in Capt. James Cook’s company of Col. Jethro Sumner’s 3d North Carolina Regiment.

6Brig. Gen. Peter Muhlenberg’s copy of the general orders for this date contains the following text at this point: “Pay Rolls for the several Regts and Corps for the Month of June to be made out Immediately and lodg’d with the Pay Master Genl” (“Muhlenberg’s Orderly Book,” 34:168). The extra text appears also in “Pa. State Regiment Orderly Book,” 197.

7General Muhlenberg’s copy of the general orders contains a final paragraph: “A case of Pocket Sergical Instruments were lost the day the Army march’d from Middle Brook to Morris Town, the finder of them is desired to return them to the Surgeon of the 2nd Virga Regt and he shall be duly rewarded for his trouble. A servant boy abt 10 years old with a Leathern Cap, Swanskin vest, a drab Cloth coat turn’d up with blue, with Ozenbrigg trousers, has been missing some days his Name Jacob Cook he is supposed to be lurking about the Camp, it is requested when found that he may be sent to Mr McCoys at Morris Town” (“Muhlenberg’s Orderly Book,” 34:168). The copy of the general orders kept for the Pennsylvania State Regiment contains the extra text under the heading “Advertisement” (“Pa. State Regiment Orderly Book,” 198).

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