George Washington Papers
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General Orders, 21 October 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters Frederick’sburgh Wednesday Octr 21st [1778]

Parole Dunbarton—C. Signs Dedham. Dunkirk.

Lieutt Samuel Richards is appointed Pay-Master to the 3rd Connecticutt Regiment—Lieutt William Adams to the 4th—Lieutt John Shearman to the 6th and Lieutt Richard Sill to the 8th from the 7th of September last.1

Purity of Morals being the only sure foundation of publick happiness in any Country and highly conducive to order, subordination and success in an Army, it will be well worthy the Emulation of Officers of every rank & Class to encourage it both by the Influence of Example and the penalties of Authority—It is painful to see many shameful Instances of Riot and Licentiousness among us; The wanton Practice of swearing has risen to a most disgusting height; A regard to decency should conspire, with a Sense of Morality to banish a vice productive of neither Advantage or Pleasure. The frequent Robberies which have lately prevailed in the Vicinity of Camp are truly alarming and demand the most vigilant Exertions to detect the Perpetrators and bring them to the severest punishment.2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1These four Connecticut regiments constituted Brig. Gen. Samuel Holden Parsons’s brigade. Samuel Richards (1753–1841), who had served as sergeant in the 2d Connecticut Regiment in 1775 and as an ensign in the 22d Continental Regiment during 1776, had become a first lieutenant in the 3d Connecticut Regiment in January 1777. He retired from the army in January 1781. John Sherman (1750–1802) of New Haven, Conn., had been appointed an ensign in the 6th Connecticut Regiment in October 1777 and apparently had been promoted to second lieutenant since that time. Promoted to first lieutenant in May 1780, Sherman transferred to the 4th Connecticut Regiment in January 1781 and to the 2d Connecticut Regiment in January 1783, serving until June 1783.

2GW apparently inserted this paragraph into the general orders of this date in compliance with Congress’s resolution of 12 Oct. for the promotion of morality in the army, which Henry Laurens had enclosed in his letter to GW of 13 Oct. and which GW had received on the evening of 18 Oct. (see GW to Laurens, 22–23 Oct.).

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