George Washington Papers

General Orders, 18 June 1782

C. Signs

Tuesday June 18th 1782.

The General informs the Army he had great Occasion to be satisfied at the review of the second Connecticut Brigade yesterday, especially with the soldier like veteran appearance of the men and the exactness with which the firings were performed—he felt a particular pleasure in observing the cleanliness and steadiness of the second regiment under Arms—The activity and emulation displayed by the Detachments of Artillery during the late reviews deserve encouragement and applause.

The review of this Army by Brigades being now completed the Commander in Chief is happy in having this Opportunity to present his thanks to Major General the Baron Steuben for the indefatigable assiduity and singular attention exhibited in the late Inspections and reviews, and for his eminent services in promoting the discipline of the Army on all Occasions—and at the same time to express his approbation of the present laudable disposition and pride of Corps which seem to be diffused throughout the Army—From this spirit of emulation and a consideration of the amazing contrast between the past and present appearance of the troops the General anticipates the happiest consequences: but being persuaded that appearance alone is not sufficient to establish the reputation and ensure the success of our Arms, and that frequent and repeated Exercise is absloutely necessary to constitute the perfection of Discipline, he requests in the most pointed terms that the Commanding Officers of Divisions and Brigades will punctually exercise the troops alternately every other day in brigade and by detail—In the course of the Exercises the Officers are permitted to vary the manoeuvres as time, circumstances and inclination may prompt: provided they do not deviate from the established principles—but in all cases the General intreats the Officers to pay the most minute attention to the soldiers method of priming and loading as well as of levelling and taking aim, this is an article of the greatest consequence, he hopes therefore that the utmost pains may be taken to instruct every individual in this essential part of his profession.

The honorable the Secretary at War has requested the Commander in Chief to communicate to the Army the very singular satisfacton he enjoyed in the Military appearance and regularity of disciplinee so observable in the troops he had the honor to review; and at the same time assure the Army he will not fail to represent thier distinguished merit to Congress.

By a General Court Martial held at West Point the 15th instant Captain Williams Brigade Major of the 2d Massachusetts Brigade, was tried for not furnishing a man for General Heaths Barge, when detailed on the 6th instant by Captain Haskell on General Heaths express orders for that purpose.

The Court are of opinion that Captain Williams is not guilty of the charge exhibited against him and that he be honorably acquited.

The Commander in Chief approves the sentence, Captain Williams is released from his Arrest.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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