Head-Quarters Middle-Brook [N.J.] Wednesday Decr 23rd 1778
Parole Quebec—C. Signs Random Sarum—
The Troop to beat at nine ôClock and the guards to be on the Grand-Parade (which is assigned in the Common opposite to the road leading to Genl Greene’s Quarters) precisely at eleven ’till further orders.
The Body of a Person supposed to have been a servant of Major Hamilton’s was found drowned in the Rariton—If any Person knows who has the Watch and Money found upon said Body, he is requested to give information thereof at the Orderly Office.
The present State of the Field Officers belonging to the Brigades now on the ground to be delivered in tomorrow at orderly time.
Varick transcript, DLC:GW. A note on the Varick transcript after the general orders reads: “The Commander in Chief being absent, the command of the Army at Middle-Brook devolves on Majr General Lord Stirling.”
GW, who had arrived in Philadelphia on 22 Dec., visited Congress today, apparently informally; the day’s events also included a duel between Lt. Col. John Laurens and Charles Lee, who, as Laurens told Alexander Hamilton, “had spoken of General Washington in the grossest and most opprobrious terms of personal abuse.” Lee was lightly wounded in the side during the first exchange, after which Hamilton, as Laurens’s second, intervened to prevent further bloodshed (Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 11:372; Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 1:602–4).