George Washington Papers

General Orders, 14 August 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters W. Plains Friday Augt 14th 1778.

Parole Almanza—C. Signs Atlas. Albany.

A Detachment of Light Dragoons commanded by a Field Officer to join the Light Infantry this afternoon and to be relieved Weekly.

The General Court-Martial whereof Majr General Lord-Stirling is President is dissolved—Also that whereof Colonel Hall is President; and another order’d to sit at the usual place tomorrow morning nine ôClock to try all such Persons as shall be bro’t before them—Coll Hazen will preside. Members—Lieutt Colonel Russell,1 Major Haws and a Captain from each Brigade except Scott’s, Parsons’s & Poor’s.

The Regimental Pay-Masters are to prepare the Pay-Rolls for the Months of June & July and deliver the same to the Pay-Master General for examination; They are to be careful to make them up agreeable to the Resolves of Congress of May 27th—and June 2nd2—a Column is to be added for subsistence of the officers which is to be charged at the following Rates.

Coll pr month 50 Dol.
Lieut. Colonel 40.
Major 30.
Captain 20.
Regil Surgeon 30 Doll.
Lieutt & Ensign 10.
Surgeon’s Mate 10.

The Pay of the Infantry remains as before except as follows—

Lieutenant 26⅔ pr Mo.
Serjt Majr Qr Mastr
    Serjt & Serjeants 10—
Dr. & Fife Majors 9—
Surgeon pr Mo. 60.
Surgeon’s Mate 40.

The following Officers if taken from the line to be allowed in addition to their Pay in the line—

Aide-de Camp 24 Dol. pr Mo.
Brigade Major 24.
Quartr Master 13.
Adjutant 13.
Pay-Master 20.

The Officers of the Staff taken from the line are not to be made up in the Pay-Rolls of their respective Companies, but to receive their Pay in the manner heretofore practiced by the Staff.

The Pay-Masters of the Artillery and Cavalry may receive the Establishment of their respective Corps by applying to the Pay-Master General.

Next monday nine ôClock in the morning is appointed for the Execution of David Potter, Solomon Lynes, Alexander Graham, Nicholas Fitzgerald, Zechariah Ward, Richard Burk, Michael Carmen, William McLaughlin, John Jenkins, John Craige & Neil Megonigle now under sentence of Death, the ten first for desertion &c. and the last for wounding an Officer in the Execution of his office.3

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The orders apparently refer to Lt. Col. Giles Russell of the 4th Connecticut Regiment. Although Russell’s subsequent promotion to colonel of the 8th Connecticut Regiment was backdated to 5 March 1778, he did not assume command of the regiment until December 1778.

2For these resolutions, see 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 , 11:538–43, 560–61.

3The next Monday was 17 August. In his journal entry for that date, Col. Jeduthan Baldwin wrote: “11 Prisoners brought out for Execution, one Shot the others Reprieved untill Friday [21 Aug.], a Vast Concorse of People” (Baldwin, Revolutionary Journal description begins Thomas Williams Baldwin, ed. The Revolutionary Journal of Col. Jeduthan Baldwin, 1775–1778. 1906. Reprint. New York, 1971. description ends , 132). The man “shot Near Head Quarters” was Alexander Graham, who, Pvt. Elijah Fisher recorded, was executed “for Enlisting seven times and taken bountys” (Godfrey, Commander-in-Chief’s Guard description begins Carlos E. Godfrey. The Commander-in-Chief’s Guard: Revolutionary War. Washington, D.C., 1904. description ends , 281; see also “Beatty Journal,” description begins “The Journal of Captain William Beatty, of the Maryland Line, 1776 to 1780.” Historical Magazine, and Notes and Queries concerning the Antiquities, History, and Biography of America, 2d ser., 1 (1867): 79–85. description ends 83; Symmes, Gilbert Diary description begins Rebecca D. Symmes, ed. A Citizen-Soldier in the American Revolution: The Diary of Benjamin Gilbert in Massachusetts and New York. Cooperstown, N.Y., 1980. description ends , 35). David Potter of Holden, Mass., had been a private in Col. Thomas Nixon’s Regiment (later the 6th Massachusetts Regiment) since March 1777 but was reported as absent without leave or deserted from June 1777 to April 1778. Pardoned with the other prisoners on 21 Aug., he continued to serve in the regiment, rising briefly to corporal in June 1780, but in November 1780 he was again reported as a deserter.

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