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General Orders, 29 May 1777

General Orders

Head-Quarters, Middle-Brook,1 May 29th 1777.

Parole: Andover.Countersigns: Boundbrook. Cumberland.

Major Ryan, who has done the duty of the Adjutant General, for some days past, is now excused from that service.2

The Commander in Chief directs, that all orders issued here, previous to his coming to camp, be observed in full force, ’till countermanded, or alter’d by him.3

As it is a matter of the greatest importance to have the Camp well secured; guards properly fixed; their respective duties precisely pointed out, and proper regulations established, to enable them to act in concert, and support each other—Major Genl Greene is requested to assemble, as soon as possible, all the other General officers, and take these matters into consideration, at large and report their opinion of what they shall think necessary to be adopted. A Major General of the day is to make part of the regulations.

The detached state of the Army, has heretofore render’d it extremely difficult to communicate the orders of the Commander in Chief, to all the different parts, and will render it necessary that many should be repeated—He flatters himself, that henceforth, the most punctual regard will be paid, to all orders, which, if the good of the service, and a principle of honor, do not produce; He is determined to enforce.

All firings, without permission from the Major Genl of the day, must cease; those who are guilty of a breach of this order, will be severely punished—The nearest guard to the place where the offence is committed, to send a file of men, to seize the offenders.

The commanding officers of regiments, are to have their pay-abstracts immediately made out, and lodged with the Pay-Master General, for all pay due to the 1st of May—After that time, they are to pursue the modes pointed out by Congress, to obtain payment, and each Brigadier will inform them what they are, and see them properly complied with.

The Brigade Majors are to attend the Adjutant General, precisely at the hour of 12, every day, to receive orders.

Two orderly serjeants to be furnished by each Brigade; one to attend the Commander in Chief; the other the Adjutant General.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The villages of Middlebrook and Bound Brook adjoined one another on the north bank of the Raritan River about fifteen miles southwest of Morristown and about seven miles northwest of New Brunswick. They are now part of the town of Bound Brook. GW established his headquarters at Middlebrook on the evening of 29 May and kept it there until 3 July except for 24–25 June when it was at Quibbletown (now New Market, New Jersey). Gen. George Weedon wrote a Virginia friend, John Page, on 31 May from Middlebrook: “The Army is now drawn together at this place, at least that part of it, which have been Cantoned all Winter in this state. The whole of them [are] now Encamped in Comfortable Tents on a Valley covered in front and rear by ridges which affords us security. His excellency our good Old General [GW], has also spread his Tent, and lives amongst us. Every Department of the Army is properly Arranged, and strictly Attended to—so different in our situation in every respect, to what it was last Campaign, that a friendly heart can not help being highly elated on reflection. Our men all happily over the small pox, and remarkable healthy, well Armed, well Cloathed, and from our Commander in Chief down, to the private Centinal, in the highest Spirits. Was our Difficiencies but completed and sent on, we would hang heavy on Sir Williams hands go where he would” (Ward, Duty, Honor, or Country description begins Harry M. Ward. Duty, Honor or Country: General George Weedon and the American Revolution. Philadelphia, 1979. description ends , 89).

2Gen. Nathanael Greene on 26 May had appointed Maj. Michael Ryan “to act as Deputy Adjutant Genl” for the developing new camp at Middlebrook “untill his Excellency [GW], the Adjt Genl or his Deputy arrives in camp & gives counter orders” (“Muhlenberg’s Orderly Book,” 33:258; see also “Heth’s Orderly Book,” 341).

3For the orders that Greene issued at Middlebrook on 24, 26, 27 and 28 May, see “Muhlenberg’s Orderly Book,” 33:258–60, and “Heth’s Orderly Book,” 340–43; see also the source notes for the General Orders of 26, 27, and 28 May.

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