George Washington Papers

General Orders, 17 July 1777

General Orders

Head-Quarters, Clove [N.Y.] July 17th 1777.

Parole: Lee.Countersigns: Prescot.

Some disputes having arisen between the Colonels Humpton and Johnson respecting seniority, the General Officers are to meet at some place to be appointed by Major Genl Greene, at five o’clock this afternoon, and after hearing the pretensions of both those officers, and enquiring minutely into the matter, to report the case, with their opinion thereon to the Commander in Chief.

The frequent discharging of pieces, in order to clean and keep them in order, occasions so great a waste of ammunition, that the General orders, in very pointed and positive terms, that no musket shall be loaded with Cartridge until we are close to the enemy, and there is a moral certainty of engaging them—The Quarter Mr of each regiment is to draw a small quantity of powder, ball and wadding to furnish the guards from his regiment, who are to load with loose powder and running ball, when they mount guard: and this the officer commanding such guards are invariably to have drawn, and returned to their respective regimental Quarter Masters, before their dismission from the parade, after being relieved. A practice of this kind strictly adhered to (and it is positively enjoined) will not only be a great saving of ammunition, but the means of preserving the arms, as nothing is more hurtful to the barrel, than to lay long laded, especially with wet powder, or in damp weather.

One hundred and eighty tents are arrived in camp; such as are destitute may now be supplied therewith: But previous to the delivery of them, returns must be made to the Quarter Master General from each brigade of the number of men in each Corps belonging to the brigade, and of the tents now in their possession respectively.

The Adjutant General, in issuing orders for the delivery of cloaths, is to compare the returns made by the commanding officers of corps, of their wants, with the Cloathier’s accounts; so far as he can come at them, at this time and place; and see, that to the utmost of his power, equal justice be done in the distribution of them.1

After Orders.

The Quarter Master General is to have the road thro’ the Clove, to New-Windsor, well reconnoitred; and all proper places for halting and encamping at, with the distances from hence, noted; and to make report thereof, as soon as possible, to the Commander in Chief—He is to do the like on the road to King’s-ferry.2

Doctor Cochran is to inspect into the state and condition of the sick; and will give such orders respecting them, as shall appear proper.3

Each brigade is to furnish a good blacksmith, to parade to morrow at twelve o’clock, at noon, before Lord Stirling’s quarters, at Suffern’s tavern.

The Quarter Masters of those regiments for which cloathing returns have been made, are to apply to the Deputy Cloathier General to morrow, at Baldwin’s mills, about a mile from Head Quarters, on the way to Pompton.4

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Brig. Gen. Peter Muhlenberg’s copy of the general orders contains the following additional paragraph at this point in the text: “Advst. Found, a red Morocco Letter Case Containing Co Hartshorns Commission and Sundry other Papers, the owner may have it by applying to the Serjt of the Park of Artillery” (“Muhlenberg’s Orderly Book,” 34:181). The advertisement also appears in “Pa. State Regiment Orderly Book,” 209.

2This paragraph begins with the words “Tomorrow at Troop beating” in the copy of the general orders kept for the Pennsylvania State Regiment (“Pa. State Regiment Orderly Book,” 209).

At the end of this paragraph the following text is contained in the orderly book of Capt. Jacob Turner of the 3d North Carolina Regiment: “A Light Party consisting of a Field Officer, 2 Captains 4. subs and 100 Rank and file, to Parade at daylight tomorrow morning on the Grand Parade with 6. Days Provisions on a Light wagon. The Officer Commanding, will Receive his Orders from the Adjutant General.

“A Sub. and 12. Light Horse to parade at the same time, and apply to the Adgt. Gen.” (“Turner’s Orderly Book,” 471). Brig. Gen. Peter Muhlenberg’s copy of the general orders also contains this additional text, as does the copy of the general orders kept for the Pennsylvania State Regiment (see “Muhlenberg’s Orderly Book,”

34:181, and “Pa. State Regiment Orderly Book,” 209).

3Following this paragraph in Capt. Jacob Turner’s orderly book is a paragraph that reads: “Maj. [Francis] Mantizes [Mentges] will take the Command of this Detachment” (“Turner’s Orderly Book,” 471; see also “Muhlenberg’s Orderly Book,” 34:181).

4The copy of the general orders kept for the Pennsylvania State Regiment adds a final sentence: “The detachment to be commanded by Major Miches” (“Pa. State Regiment Orderly Book,” 210).

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