George Washington Papers

General Orders, 30 September 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, at Skippack [Pa.]1 Septemr 30th 1777.

Parole: Lynn.Countersigns: Malden. Medford.

One Surgeon’s mate from each division, who can best be spared, is to go to Bethlaem forthwith, to bring down the medicine chests of their respective divisions.

One hundred and fifty ax-men, from Genl Sullivan’s, Greene’s, Lord Stirling’s and Stephen’s divisions, and Genl Nash’s brigade, are to be selected this day, and a like proportion from the other brigades—These men are always to carry their axes with them—to march with the picquets when the army moves—to prepare timber for, and repair the roads; when arrived at the next encampment, they are to cut firewood for their respective brigades—The Brigade Qr Masters are constantly to go with these men, and direct them in the business above mentioned—For these services the ax-men are to be excused from all guards, and other ordinary duty; but when an action is expected, they are to deliver the axes to their brigade Qr Masters (who are to be accountable for the axes of their brigades) and join their several corps—When on duty as ax-men, they are always to carry their arms with them—A list of their names is without delay, to be given to the Brigade Quarter Masters, by the respective brigade majors.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Gen. Peter Muhlenberg’s orderly book includes an additional order that reads: “A Flag will go to the Enemy’s Lines tomorrow morning all persons who have anything to send in, are to have them ready at Head Quarters by 7 o’clock in the morning” (“Muhlenberg’s Orderly Book,” description begins “Orderly Book of Gen. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, March 26–December 20, 1777.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 33 (1909): 257–78, 454–74; 34 (1910): 21–40, 166–89, 336–60, 438–77; 35 (1911): 59–89, 156–87, 290–303. description ends 35:60).

1GW’s headquarters from 29 Sept. to 2 Oct. was near Skippack Creek apparently at the house of Jacob Smith, who on 2 Oct. received £11.19.6 “for Sundries” supplied to GW’s headquarters from 29 Sept. to 1 Oct., plus £2.5 more for “the trouble of the house &c.” (household account book, 11 April 1776–21 Nov. 1780, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 28; see also vouchers and receipted accounts, 1776–80, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 29).

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