George Washington Papers

General Orders, 6 August 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters White-Plains Thursday Augt 6th [1778]

Parole Delaware—C. Signs Eden. Franklin—

The Officers commanding the several Guards are to be pointedly exact in reporting in time the Occurrences of the day; at any rate they are not to delay doing this beyond 12 ôClock, that the whole may be drawn into one view and presented by the Majr Genl before 3 P.M.

That the whole Army may be served with the same Ration, the Commissary General is ’till further orders to issue as follows, one pound and a quarter of flour or soft bread or one pound of hard bread, eighteen ounces of beef, fresh or salt or a pound of Pork or a pound of fish and two ounces of butter, a Gill of Rum or Whiskey when to be had; The usual allowance of soap and Candles.1

The Major Generals with the Brigadiers and Officers commanding Brigades under them are to examine the ground well in front and round about their respective Encampments and assign each Brigade it’s Alarm-Post; In doing this, after the Ground hath been previously examined, they are to cause the Brigades to be drawn up on such as shall be respectively intended for them, that the space required for each may be ascertained.

A Discharge of three Pieces of Cannon as usual from the Park is to be the signal for an Alarm.

At a General Court-Martial July 27th 1778—Coll Stewart President Doctor Brown of the 14th Virginia Regiment tried 1st—For going home, not only without the leave but against the express Consent of the Commanding Officer, and that at a time too when the distressed situation of the Regiment required the Doctor’s particular Attention—2ndly—For neglecting to have a furlow, which he said he obtained from Doctor Cochran registered as is positively directed in general Orders of the 22nd of December last.2

The Court having considered the Charges and the Evidence are unanimously of opinion that Doctor Brown is guilty of the Charges exhibited against him, being breaches of 5th Article 18th section of the Articles of War and of a General order issued the 22nd of December A.D. 1777—but in Consideration of his very bad State of health at the time he left his Regiment and his conceiving that a furlow from Doctor Cochran was intirely sufficient, the Court only sentence him to be reprimanded in General orders.

Tho’ the fact stated in the first charge is proved, yet the Commander in Chief cannot think that it contains any Imputation of guilt, because by the Establishment of the Medical Department, the Surgeon General had a Right to give Doctor Brown a furlow in the manner he did, and it appears besides that the Doctors State of health did not permit his attendance on the Regiment, his Conduct was certainly blameable in not having the Furlow registered as directed by General Orders, an Ignorance of which is the worst of all possible Excuses.3

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1On 3 Aug. generals Horatio Gates, Stirling, Alexander McDougall, Samuel Holden Parsons, Anthony Wayne, Charles Scott, Arthur St. Clair, Enoch Poor, William Woodford, Jedediah Huntington, William Smallwood, James Clinton, Henry Knox, and John Nixon had reported to GW that this ration, with twenty rather than eighteen ounces of beef, was “a sufficient allowance for the Troops of the United States” and recommended “the inserting the same in General Orders when His Excellency Genl Washington Commander in Chief shall think proper” (DLC:GW). Knox wrote with his signature, “I think 18 ounces beef sufficient,” and McDougall and Nixon stated that the soap ration was insufficient.

2Daniel Brown (1753–1795), appointed surgeon of the 14th Virginia Regiment in early 1777, was reported absent without leave in May 1778 and resigned on 26 Sept. 1778.

3The following additional orders appear in Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln’s orderly book for this date: “A noncomissiond Officer and seven Dragoons, from each of the following regts, viz. Bland, Sheldons, and Moylands to be paraded on the grand parade tomorrow morning, furnished with two days provision.

“For three days detachment to be furnished with two days provision ready cooked and 40 rounds per man—Lt Colonels Reynier and Starr, Majors Ledyard and Winslow.

“For two days guard, to be furnished with two days provision and 40 Round pr man: Lt Colo. Smith & Majr Sumner” (MHi: Lincoln Papers).

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