George Washington Papers

General Orders, 5 August 1775

General Orders

Head Quarters, Cambridge, Augt 5th 1775

Parole, Westminster.Countersign Richmond

For the establishment of order, and to prevent disputes between Officers, as well for fixing a regular and proper distribution of the Commissions of the Continental Army, part of which are already arrived from the Congress and the rest hourly expected:1 It is ordered, that a meeting of the Field Officers of each Brigade, be held to morrow Morning at Eight OClock,2 as near as may be to the Center of the Encampment of each Brigade; who are to choose by Ballot, one out of their Body, to represent them in forming a Court, for the Adjustment and final settlement of First. The Rank of the Regiments of the Continental Army, and numbering of each Regiment accordingly; as all differences and distinctions are now to be laid aside; The Regiments of the several provinces that form the Continental Army, are to be considered no longer in a separate and distinct point of view, but as parts of the whole Army of the United provinces. Secondly. The Rank of all the Field Officers, of all the regiments forming the Continental Army. Thirdly. The Rank of all the Captains, Subalterns and Staff Officers; and as doubts may arise, which cannot be determin’d by the Six Field Officers so chosen by ballot; they are hereby directed, to choose by ballot, one Brigadier General, who will preside as Moderator of the Court, for finally settling the Rank of all the Corps, and all the Commission’d Officers, that compose the Army of the United Colonies. This Court being duly constituted and appointed, are to sit on Monday Morning next, at Deacon Jones’s, in Cambridge.3

The Church to be cleared to morrow, and the Rev’d Mr Doyles will perform Divine Service therein at ten OClock.4

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1John Hancock sent GW an undetermined number of blank commissions with his letter of 28 June 1775, 284 with his letter of 24 July 1775, and 550 with his letter of 26 Sept. 1775.

2Artemas Ward’s orderly book reads “10 oClock” (MHi: Ward Papers).

3Artemas Ward’s orderly book reads “Deacon Jones’s Tavern.” The deacon may be Daniel Jones, who on 10 Aug. 1775 presented the Massachusetts house of representatives with an “Account for entertaining Captain How’s Troop of Horse for the Reception of Generals Washington and Lee” (Mass. House of Rep. Journal, July–Nov. 1775 sess description begins A Journal of the Honorable House of Representatives of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England. Watertown, Mass., 1775. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends ., 62). For the court’s report, see General Orders, 20 Aug. 1775.

4The church was apparently Cambridge’s Christ Church which was used as a barracks by Connecticut troops during the siege of Boston.

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