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General Orders, 20 June 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters Buckingham [Pa.] Saturday June 20th 1778.

ParoleC. Signs

Each Regiment is to furnish a Subaltern, each Brigade a Captain, and the line a Field-Officer who are during the march to mount with the morning Guards and under the direction of the Brigadier of the day collect all Straglers and march them to the Army.

They are moreover to see that nothing which can or ought to be brought away is left on the ground, or properly secured there; That this business may be conducted with more ease, a Subaltern and twelve Dragoons are to assist. The Commanding Officer of the Cavalry will give orders for having them furnished in Rotation.

If the morning should not be very wet, the General Troop and March will be as this morning.

If the Commissaries are provided, the men are to have each a Gill of spirits served to them this afternoon.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

GW’s aide James McHenry wrote in his diary on this date: “March at 4 oClock in the Morning—Halt at Mordecai Moores abt 7 Miles from Shannons, & 22 Miles frm Philada a beautifull Country, & every where the marks of happy inhabitants. In going to Moors we cross skippack & North-Wales Road. The army encamps for the Night 8 Miles from Moors & 25 from Philada. Head Quarters at a Jonatn Feels. A Rainy Evening. Let me see, what company have we got within Doors—A pretty—fullfaced—youthfull—playfull Lass—& a Family of Quakers meek & unsuspicious—Hamilton thou shalt not tread on this ground—I mark it for my own. The pretty Girl gives me some excellent Milk, & sits by me, & chats with me ’till bed time. She was no subject for Gallantry, & too innocent to attempt sudden mischief—so I kissed her hand, telling her that we shou’d be all gone before she got up—but not to forget that one Man is often more dangerous to a Woman than a Whole army” (NN: Emmet Collection; see also McHenry, Journal, 1–2). Buckingham, a small crossroads town located in Bucks County, Pa., about twenty-five miles north of Philadelphia and ten miles west of Coryell’s Ferry, was also the site of John Bogart’s Tavern. Jonathan Fell (1741–1817) owned a farm nearby, and on 21 June, GW’s expenses included £6 “To cash paid Jno Fell for Breakfast dinner & sup. for the General & suite” (household account book, 11 April 1776–21 Nov. 1780, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 28). The leading elements of GW’s army under Maj. Gen. Charles Lee and Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne did not halt at Buckingham but crossed Coryell’s Ferry that afternoon and marched three miles northeast to Amwell, New Jersey.

The British army marched in two divisions. The first, under Gen. Henry Clinton, “march’d this morng. at 4 o’clock & proceeded thro Foster Town Ayres Town, cross’d several branches of Nancokus Creek (the Bridges having been broke up & repair’d) & came to Mount Holly between 10 & 11 & Encamp’d mostly on that ground betwixt the Mount & to the No: of the Village, the morng. cool the afternoon rainy” (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). The second, under General Knyphausen, “also marched this morning from their right in half divisions wherever the road would admit of it, the country which the army marched through becoming more open…. This division arrived at their new ground near Moore’s Town [Moorestown in Burlington County, N.J., about eight miles southwest of Mount Holly] (where Lieutenant-General Knyphausen and the General officers under his command fixed their quarters) about 9 o’clock in the morning, and very soon after their arrival a very heavy rain fell which continued almost incessantly for 14 or 15 hours, and not only rendered the situation of the troops, who lay in temporary huts, very disagreeable, but also injured the roads, which had hitherto been sandy, but now became clayish” (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 , 65–66).

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