George Washington Papers
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General Orders, 9 October 1779

General Orders

Head-Quarters Moore’s House [West Point]
Saturday October 9th 1779

Parole Ommenburg— C. Signs Pemberton Quebec—

The General flatters himself that every officer from a consciousness of it’s being his duty and a laudable desire of becoming well acquainted with the new system of regulations, has paid all that care and attention to the study of them which the importance of the case requires, but lest there should be any who (by absence or other causes) have not had opportunity of perfecting themselves therein, he earnestly recommends to them the closest application.1 They will not only consider the aukwardness of a situation which betrays ignorance of essential duty, but the fatal consequences which may result from it in a critical moment.

The Inspector General and his Assistants will have it in charge shortly to go into a full examination and inquiry into these matters.

The board of Field Officers appointed by the orders of the 10th of September to ascertain the relative rank of Captains Cleft and Titus Watson of the Connecticutt line previous to the promotion of the former to a Majority and to inquire into the principles upon which the promotion was made, have made the following report.

[“]The Board having considered the respective claims of Major Cleft and Captain Watson, previous to his (Major Clefts promotion to a Majority) and having also considered their evidences & papers are unanimously of opinion that Major Cleft was intitled to take rank and command of Captn Watson previous to his (Major Cleft’s) promotion and that the only principle which induced his promotion was that of his being an elder Captain than Captain Watson.”2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

On this date GW’s aide-de-camp Richard Kidder Meade wrote from headquarters to Brig. Gen. Jedediah Huntington: “I received your favor on the subject of Cloathing yesterday, & communicated it this morning to His Excellency—I have now the pleasure to inform you that there is every reason to hope that the supply for this year is adequate to the demand—that it is ordered on immediately to Camp—intended to be delivered as nearly as possible at the same period, & that the distribution will be made consistent with the strictest impartiality and according to circumstances” (DLC:GW). For GW’s orders to have all available clothing sent to the army, see GW to the Board of War, 29 Sept.; see also GW to the Board of War, 2 Oct., and the Board of War to GW, 9 October.

1The general orders refer to Major General Steuben’s recently approved regulations for the army (see GW to Steuben, 26 Feb. and 11 March; Steuben to GW, 5 and 17 March; GW to John Jay, 11 March; and General Orders, 30 June).

2For the circumstances that necessitated GW’s calling of this board, see GW to William Heath, 6 September. The full proceedings of the board, dated 29 Sept. at West Point and signed by Col. John Bailey in the name of the board, are in DLC:GW (docketed 11 Sept. and filed with the documents of that date).

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