George Washington Papers

General Orders, 29 July 1775

General Orders

Head Quarters, Cambridge, July 29th 1775.

Parole, Dartmouth.Countersign, Corke.

A Serjeant and six Men to parade at the Head quarters at eleven OClock, to escort certain prisoners and Deserters to Worcester, this party to be victualled for this day and to morrow: The Serjeant will receive his orders from the Adjutant Genl.1

Mr Benjamin Whiting tried by a Court of enquiry ordered in the General Orders of the 27th Instant, whereof Lieut. Col. James Brickatt was president;2 The Court having maturely considered the Evidence, for and against the Prisoner, as well as what the Prisoner had to offer in his defence, are of opinion that the prisoner is Not guilty of the Crime laid to his charge, and do therefore acquit the prisoner: The General therefore orders the prisoner to be released.

James M’Daniel, tried by a General Court martial, whereof Col. Glover was President for “forgeing an Order of General Putnams to obtain a quart of Rum, and for abusive Language to Col. Gridley” [is found guilty]3 and ordered to receive twenty Lashes. The General confirms the sentence, and orders it to be executed after prayer time to morrow.

James Foster of Capt. Butlers Company in Col. Nixon’s regiment,4 tried by the same General Court Martial for “robbing Dr Foster, Surgeon of the General Hospital” found Guilty of the Charge, is sentenced to receive thirty-nine Lashes, and suffer one Month’s fatigue. The General approves the sentence, and orders it to be put in execution, at the Head of the Regiment, after prayer time to morrow morning.

William Winslow of Capt. Perkins’s Company of Artillery5 tried by the same Court Martial for “stealing a Cannon Cartridge of powder,” is acquitted.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Horatio Gates wrote to James Warren on 21 July 1775: “His Excellency General Washington has directed me to acquaint you, that there are several Prisoners now in Cambridge, whom it would be proper to confine in som Gaol, in one, or other of The Countys remote from Boston. and it is very probable, Prisoners taken from the Enemy, and those who may be proved Criminal of our own People, may shortly make it further necessary for The General to be acquainted where you think it most proper, & convenient to have them confin’d, so as to remove them out of the way of the Army, & at a distance from the Sea Coast; upon receiving The directions of The Assembly. I beg sir you will acquaint me, where they direct the prisoners now here, & those who may hereafter come hither, should be sent” (M-Ar: Revolution Letters). Gates’s letter was referred to the Massachusetts council, and on 28 July 1775 Perez Morton, secretary pro tem of the council, informed Gates “that Gaols of Worcester, Springfield & Northampton, are the most suitable places for securing the Prisoners” (DLC:GW).

2James Brickett (1737–1818), a physician from Haverhill, Mass., became lieutenant colonel of Col. James Frye’s regiment on 20 May 1775 and was wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill. He later served as a brigadier general of the Massachusetts militia.

3The words within square brackets are taken from Artemas Ward’s orderly book (MHi: Ward Papers).

4Joseph Butler of Massachusetts served as a captain under Col. John Nixon until the end of 1776.

5William Perkins (1742–1802) of Boston was a lieutenant in Capt. John Callender’s artillery company at the Battle of Bunker Hill and became captain of that company after Callender was cashiered on 7 July 1775. Perkins served in the Continental artillery throughout the war, rising to the rank of major.

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