George Washington Papers
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General Orders, 4 May 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, New York, May 4th 1776

Parole Montreal.Countersign St Johns.

The weather proving wet and cold, the Regiments that did not encamp Yesterday, are to remain in the present quarters, until Monday Morning; when they are to march, and encamp upon the Ground assign’d them.1

The undernam’d Officers are appointed by the General, to oversee the works laid out by the Engineer: Capt. Chapman of Col. Prescot’s Regiment; Lieut. Cole of Col. Wyllys’s Regiment; Lieut. Fish of Col. Larnard’s Regt; and Lieut. Goodall of Col. Reed’s Regiment.2

The Colonels, or commanding Officers of regiments, are to be particular in obliging their Quarter Masters, constantly to attend to the cleaning the Streets of their encampment, and especially to the digging, and fixing the Necessaries, in the place appointed for that purpose; which are every morning to be lightly covered with fresh Earth, and at stated times filled up, and new ones dug; To the end that all obnoxious, and unwholesome Smells, be prevented from infecting the camp, the Quarter Masters are also carefully to see all Filth and Carrion, in, or near their encampments, immediately buried.

The Honorable the Continental Congress, have been pleased to appoint William Palfrey Esqr., to be Pay Master General of the Army of the United-Colonies; he is to be respected, and obeyed as such.3

Col. Parsons’s, and Col. Huntington’s Regiments, to be muster’d in the Front of their encampment, upon Tuesday morning next—They are to prepare their Rolls accordingly. The Muster Master General will attend at eight o’Clock.

William Winslow, Soldier in Capt. Johnson’s Company, in Col. McDougall’s regiment,4 tried at a late General Court Martial, whereof Col. Baldwin was President, for “Desertion,” is acquitted by the Court—The General orders the prisoner to be released from his confinement, and wishes he could add his approbation, of the proceedings of the court martial.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The following Monday was 6 May.

2No officer named Chapman served in Col. William Prescott’s 7th Continental Regiment at this time. James Chapman (1734–1776), who was killed in September on the retreat from New York, was a captain in Col. Samuel Holden Parsons’s 10th Continental Regiment. Marcus Cole (1733–1811), Thomas Fish, and Nathan Goodale (1744–1793) were first lieutenants in their respective regiments. Cole continued as a first lieutenant after 1 Jan. 1777 in the 1st Connecticut Regiment and resigned in February 1778. Fish was promoted to captain in the 4th Massachusetts Regiment on 1 Jan. 1777 and resigned in July 1779. Goodale, a native of Brookfield, Mass., became a captain in the 5th Massachusetts Regiment on 1 Jan. 1777. He was wounded and captured at King’s Bridge, N.Y., in August 1778 and was exchanged in October 1779. Goodale then served to the end of the war, being brevetted a major a few weeks before the army was disbanded.

3For Palfrey’s appointment, see Hancock to GW, 20 April (second letter), and 30 April 1776.

4John Johnson (1736–1821) was commissioned a captain in Col. Alexander McDougall’s New York regiment in June 1775. He subsequently served as a captain in the 5th New York Regiment from November 1776 until his retirement on 1 Jan. 1781.

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