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General Orders, 19 June 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters Doctor Shennons [Pa.]
Friday June 19th [17]78.

ParoleC. Signs

The Commanding Officers of Corps are to pay the greatest attention to keeping their men within their Encampment and prevent stragling, that they may be in constant readiness for moving at the shortest notice—They are likewise to forbid under the severest Penalties, marauding and the Destruction of the Inclosures, Fruit-Trees or other Property of the Inhabitants. The General will beat tomorrow morning at 3 ôClock, the troop in half an hour afterwards and the whole line is to march precisely at four.

If through mistake any part of the baggage should not have marched in the order of the Brigades, the Waggon-Master General is to have the matter rectified so that the whole may move tomorrow in proper order.

If any of the Troops have marched without the proper quantity of cooked Provisions they are to cook enough this afternoon to serve them tomorrow and the next day provided their rations are of salt meat. The old and new Guards will parade in the road opposite Mr Shennon’s precisely at half past three ôClock in the morning.

After Orders.

In future the Camp-Kettles are always to be carried by the Messes—each soldier of the Mess taking it in his turn, and no man is on any Account to presume to put the Camp Kettle belonging to the Mess in a Waggon—No soldier is to put his Musquet in a Waggon unless on Account of his Inability to carry it, in which Case he is to obtain leave from a Field-Officer of the day, Commanding Officer of the Regiment or from the Officer of the Baggage guard who shall make themselves judges of the circumstances.

The Officers of the day are authoriz’d to punish on the spot such as transgress the foregoing Orders.

The indulgence of suffering Women to ride in Waggons having degenerated into a great abuse, and complaint having been made by the Officers of the day that the Plea of leave from Officers is constantly urged when the Waggon Masters order such Women down.

It is expressly ordered that no Officer grant such leave for the future but the Commanding Officers of a Brigade or the Field Officers of the day who are to grant it only on account of Inability to march, and in writing.

The General is far from supposing that any Officer will act in opposition to a positive order, but he is determined in Case a Violation should happen that it shall not pass unnoticed.

The Officers of the day are to report the names of those who are guilty of a breach thereof.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

British captain John Peebles wrote in his diary on this date: “The army marched by day light & proceeded thro’ Haddonfield, forward to within 2 miles of Foster Town, the morng. showery & the day cool—we march’d I suppose about 10 miles,—The front near to foster Town the rear at Haddonfield The Troops occupying the best grounds along the upper road to Mount Holly” (Gruber, Peebles’ American War description begins Ira D. Gruber, ed. John Peebles’ American War: The Diary of a Scottish Grenadier, 1776–1782. Mechanicsburg, Pa., 1998. description ends , 190; see also Whinyates, Services of Francis Downman description begins F. A. Whinyates, ed. The Services of Lieut.-Colonel Francis Downman, R.A., in France, North America, and the West Indies, between the Years 1758 and 1784. Woolwich, England, 1898. description ends , 64–65).

GW’s army meanwhile continued its march toward Coryell’s Ferry. “At 5 o’clk the General was beat before the Brigade, & we struck our tents & loaded our baggage,” wrote Sgt. Ebenezer Wild of the 1st Massachusetts Regiment in his diary. “Between 9 & 10 o’clk we marched off, and making several short stops on the road to rest ourselves; we pitched our tents in a field. We had orders to cook all our provision, & be ready to march at 4 o’clk tomorrow morning. We have marched 9 miles this day. This place is called Noringtown” (“Wild Journal,” description begins “The Journal of Ebenezer Wild (1776–1781), who served as Corporal, Sergeant, Ensign, and Lieutenant in the American Army of the Revolution.” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 6 (1890–91): 78–160. description ends 108). GW’s aide James McHenry wrote, “The whole army in motion—March to Norring-town Town-Ship—Encamp on Stoney run—Head Quarters at a Dr Shannons—a good Farm House—good Cheer—& a pretty situation” (NN: Emmet Collection; see also McHenry, Journal, 1). Dr. Robert Shannon (d. 1795), a physician who lived near Norrington (now Norristown in Montgomery County, Pa.), had been arrested in December 1777 under suspicion of having provided aid to the enemy, but by this time he apparently had been cleared of wrongdoing.

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