George Washington Papers
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General Orders, 7 April 1779

General Orders

Head-Quarters Middle-Brook Wednesday April 7th 1779.

Parole Numantia—C. Signs Nio—Nile—

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Adj. Gen. Alexander Scammell’s orderly book entry for this date includes the following general orders: “The Court of Enquiery which was to have set Yesterday, will sit next Saturday for the purpose mention’d in Orders of the 2nd Inst.

“A Sub. 2 Serjts & 30 R[ank] & File from the 2nd Maryland Brigade for Fatigue Tomorrow.” (orderly book, 22 Dec. 1778–26 June 1779, DNA: RG 93, Orderly Books, 1775–1783, vol. 28). The court of inquiry apparently was the one regarding Corp. William Nelnet (see General Orders, 2 April). The following Saturday was 10 April.

GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison wrote Lt. Col. Samuel Hawes, Jr., from Middlebrook on 7 April: “It has been represented to His Excellency, the Commander in Chief, that Mr Smith the postmaster on the Evening of the 5th was guilty of great impropriety of conduct in the Brigade, at present, under your command. There seems to be some doubt, as to the manner in which Mr Smith should be proceeded against. This circumstance has induced the General to direct me to request you in his name to appoint Two or three discreet—intelligent Officers to inquire into the matter and to report to him the result. It will be necessary that Smith should be apprised of the measure and of the time and place of the inquiry—that he may attend it, as it may ultimately affect him” (DLC:GW). A five-member court of inquiry convened later in April and took testimony on Hugh Smith (Smyth) acting as a cockfight judge and his alleged use of a whip and sword against soldiers upset with his officiating. For the undated proceedings of this court, filed under 5 April 1779, see DLC:GW.

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