George Washington Papers

General Orders, 13 December 1777

General Orders

Head-Quarters, at the Gulph [Pa.] Decr 13th 1777.1

Parole Carlisle.C. Signs Potsgrove. White Marsh.

The officers are without delay to examine the arms and accoutrements of their men, and see that they are put in good order.

Provisions are to be drawn, and cooked for to morrow & next day—A gill of Whiskey is to be issued immediately to each officer, Soldier, and waggoner.2

The weather being likely to be fair, the tents are not to be pitched: But the axes in the waggons are to be sent for, without delay, that the men may make fires & hut themselves for the ensuing night in the most comfortable manner.

The army is to be ready to march precisely at four o’clock to morrow morning.

An officer from each regiment is to be sent forthwith to the encampment on the other side Schuylkill, to search that and the houses for all stragglers, and bring them up to their corps—All the waggons not yet over are also to be sent for and got over as soon as possible.

Mr Archibald Reed is appointed paymaster to the 8th Pennsylvania regiment, and is to be respected as such.3

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Muhlenberg’s orderly book contains the following additional orders at the end of this day’s general orders: “The Guards to Parade at the Gulph Mill at 3 o’clock this afternoon. The Weekly Returns to be given in at 8 o’clock Tomorrow morning & a List of the Commissd Officers of each Regiment” (“Muhlenberg’s Orderly Book,” description begins “Orderly Book of Gen. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, March 26–December 20, 1777.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 33 (1909): 257–78, 454–74; 34 (1910): 21–40, 166–89, 336–60, 438–77; 35 (1911): 59–89, 156–87, 290–303. description ends 35:298; see also Weedon’s Orderly Book description begins Valley Forge Orderly Book of General George Weedon of the Continental Army under Command of Genl George Washington, in the Campaign of 1777–8: Describing the Events of the Battles of Brandywine, Warren Tavern, Germantown, and Whitemarsh, and of the Camps at Neshaminy, Wilmington, Pennypacker’s Mills, Skippack, Whitemarsh, & Valley Forge. New York, 1902. description ends , 156).

1GW headquartered at or near the Gulph, Pa., from 13 to 19 December.

2“Nothing more troublesome than the Smoke,” writes Massachusetts lieutenant Samuel Armstrong in his journal entry for 14 Dec., “& Nothing more Extraordinary than our receiving a Jill of Wiskey pr. man, Which we have been deprived of for a Week or more!!” (Boyle, “Armstrong’s Diary,” description begins Joseph Lee Boyle. “From Saratoga to Valley Forge: The Diary of Lt. Samuel Armstrong.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 121 (1997): 237–70. description ends 257).

3Archibald Read (d. 1823), of what is now Allegheny County, Pa., became an ensign in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment in June 1778 and a first lieutenant the following December.

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