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General Orders, 21 August 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, near Cross-Roads [Pa.] August 21st 1777.

Parole: Dublin.Countersigns: Dunkirk. Dorset.

The whole army is to march to morrow morning, The General is to beat at half after three; the Troop at half past four; and at five o’clock the troops are to begin their march.1 The Major Generals, Quarter-Master General and Commissary General will receive their orders at Head Quarters, at five o’clock this afternoon—An orderly man from each regiment of horse to attend at the same time for orders.2

After Orders. Col. Moylan’s regiment of horse is to go the same route that the division commanded by Genl Wayne does3—Col. Sheldon’s is to take the route by Trenton with Lord Stirling’s; and Bland’s and Baylor’s are to take the middle route over Coryell’s ferry—All the horse, except a few orderly, may move forward and encamp about three or four miles (or a less distance if more convenient) beyond the respective ferries they cross at, on the road they are to march—After that, they are to receive orders respectively from the officer commanding the column, or division, they are with.

The army is to remain in its present encampment till further orders.4

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For GW’s plan to march the army toward the Hudson River, see the proceedings of the council of war, this date, and GW’s first letter to Hancock, this date.

2Muhlenberg’s orderly book includes the following order at this place in the general orders: “Genl Lincoln’s Division to relieve the Cattle Guard, this afternoon as soon as Possible” (“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 34:438; 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 , 11).

3Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne was acting as commander of Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln’s division in the absence of Lincoln whom GW recently had sent to upstate New York to assist in efforts to defeat Burgoyne (see GW to Schuyler, 24 July 1777).

4For GW’s reason for suspending the army’s march, see his third letter to Hancock, this date, and his letter to John Page, this date. For GW’s renewed order for this march and his subsequent cancellation of it, see General Orders, 22 August.

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