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General Orders, 31 August 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, Wilmington [Del.] August 31st 1777.

Parole: Rockingham.Countersigns: Arlington Abington.

Every officer commanding a troop or company is immediately to make out his muster-rolls to the first of september, that the whole army may be mustered with the utmost expedition—Officers commanding corps not annexed to any particular division, or brigade, will apply to the muster Master of the nearest division who will muster all such corps.

A General Court Martial is to sit to morrow at 9 o’clock in the morning at Mr Lawson’s at the Cross Keys near the Academy, for the trial of Lieut: Troup a prisoner in the provost.1 Brigadier General Knox is appointed president of this court.

Genl Potter will order two battalions of Militia, (each to be 250 strong, rather more than fewer) to march, one to Richling’s ford, and the other to Gibson’s ford, to take post on the east side of the Brandiwine, and fix upon the best ground for defending those passes.2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Cross Keys Tavern stood in Wilmington on the site of the present-day Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery at the corner of Delaware and Adams streets. The Wilmington Academy, a public grammer school chartered in 1773, was located nearby on the east side of Market Street between 8th and 9th streets.

2Jacob Broom’s manuscript map of the Brandywine region, dated 27 Aug. 1777, shows four fording places on Brandywine Creek between Wilmington and Chadds Ford, Pa., some nine miles to the north. The lower two fords, both located in New Castle County, Del., were the ones to which Gen. James Potter’s Pennsylvania militia were ordered. “Richland fording place” at “McKims Mill” was about three miles north of Wilmington, and “Gibsons Ford” next to “Gibsons Mill” was at present-day Smith’s Bridge about five miles north of Wilmington. The other two fords were located north of the Delaware state line in Chester County, Pennsylvania. About two miles downstream from Chadds Ford was “Chandler Ford,” about which GW wrote on the map: “very good but very broken ground & narrow defiles on the E[as]t Side,” and about a mile farther north at present-day Wilson Run was the “Fording place by Theo. Gibsons,” which later was called Pyle’s Ford (PHi).

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