George Washington Papers

General Orders, 28 December 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters Middle-Brook [N.J., Monday]1 Decr 28th 1778

Parole Brutus—C. Signs Berwick Beverly—

Captain Kirkpatrick of the 4th Virginia Regiment is appointed Brigade Major in General Scott’s Brigade, from the 15th of October last and is to be respected accordingly.

Lieutt Abraham Hite and Lieutt John Bowen of the 8th Virginia Regiment are appointed the first Pay-Master & the second Adjutant of the same.2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

On this date in Philadelphia, “agreeable to the Constitution of the Most Ancient and Worshipful SOCIETY of FREE and ACCEPTED MASONS, was celebrated as the Anniversary of ST. JOHN the Evangelist. At nine o’clock in the morning near THREE HUNDRED of the Brethren assembled at the College, and at eleven o’clock went in regular Procession from thence to Christ Church to attend divine service.” Seventh in the procession, behind four deacons “bearing wands,” and ahead of two Grand Wardens “bearing the proper pillars,” came “His Excellency our illustrious Brother GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esquire, supported by the GRAND MASTER and his Deputy. . . . The Procession entered the Church in the order of their march, and the Brethren took their seats in the pews of the middle isle, which were kept empty for their reception. Prayers were read by the Reverend Mr. WHITE, and [an] Anthem was sung in its proper place by sundry of the Brethren, accompanied by the Organ and other instrumental music . . . After which a most excellent and well adapted Sermon was preached by our Reverend and Worthy Brother WILLIAM SMITH, D.D. the text was taken from the 1st Peter, 2d Chapter and 16th Verse. . . . After divine service the Procession returned in the same order to the College; the musical bells belonging to the Church and the band of music playing proper Masonic tunes. The Brethren being all new cloathed, and the Officers in the proper Jewels of their respective Lodges, and their other badges of dignity, made a genteel appearance. The Brethren afterwards departed to their respective Lodges, where they dined together with their usual harmony and sociability: the sum of Four Hundred Pounds having been collected in Church among the Brethren and others their charitable Fellow citizens who honored them with their company, for the relief of the Poor” (Pennsylvania Packet [Philadelphia], 2 Jan. 1779).

1The copyist inadvertently wrote “Sunday.”

2Abraham Kirkpatrick (1749–1817) was appointed a first lieutenant in the 8th Virginia Regiment in March 1776 and became regimental adjutant in April 1777. He was promoted to captain in August 1777, transferred to the 4th Virginia Regiment in September 1778, and to the 1st Virginia Regiment in February 1781, and served until the end of the war.

Abraham Hite, Jr. (1755–1832) was appointed a second lieutenant in the 12th Virginia Regiment in November 1776 and became a first lieutenant in January 1777. His regiment was redesignated the 8th Virginia Regiment in September 1778. Hite later became a captain-lieutenant with a commission dating from May 1778, and a captain with a commission dating from April 1779. Captured at the fall of Charleston, S.C., in May 1780, he remained a prisoner on parole until the end of the war.

John Bowen (1758–1790) was appointed a second lieutenant in the 12th Virginia Regiment in September 1777; his regiment became the 8th Virginia Regiment in September 1778, and he served as regimental quartermaster in 1778–79. He was taken prisoner at Charleston in May 1780, was promoted to first lieutenant in February 1781, and left the army in January 1783.

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