Head Quarters, Cambridge, August 7th 1775.
Parole, Newcastle.Countersign, Maldin.
Captain Kilton of Col. Patterson’s Regiment, tried by a General Court martial for “Neglect of duty” is found guilty of a Breach of the 49th Article of the Rules and Regulations for the Massachusetts Army; They therefore sentence him to receive a severe reprimand from the Commanding Officer at the head of the regiment.1
Application having been made for Sutlers to supply the different Regiments with Necessaries: The Commander in Chief has no Objection to each Colonel appointing one for his particular regiment, provided the public is not to be tax’d with any Expence by the Appointment, and provided also; that each Colonel doth become answerable for the Conduct of the Sutler so appointed, and taking care, that he conform strictly to all Orders given for the regulation of the Army, and that he does not in any Instance attempt to impose upon the Soldiers in the price of their goods. No Officer directly, or indirectly, is to become a Sutler.2 It is in an especial manner recommended to the Commanding Officer of each regiment, to see that a store of shoes and shirts, are laid in for the Men, as those are at all times necessary. The General also recommends it to the Colonels, to provide Indian Boots, or Leggings, for their men, instead of stockings; as they are not only warmer, and wear longer, but (by getting them of a colour) contribute to uniformity in dress; especially, as the General has hopes of prevailing with the Continental Congress, to give each Man a hunting shirt.3
For the future, no Return is to be delivered to the Adjutant General, that is not signed by the Commanding Officer of the Regiment, or Corps, specified by the return; and it is expected, that the Commanding Officers of Regiments, do not receive any Return from their Adjutants, unless he at the same time, presents the said Commanding Officer, with a particular Return, signed by the respective Captains of Companys, in the regiment he commands.
Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. The reprimanded officer was apparently Samuel Kelson of Massachusetts. The 49th article of the Massachusetts regulations is a catchall: “All crimes not capital, and all disorders and neglects, which officers and soldiers may be guilty of, to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, though not mentioned in the articles of war, are to be taken cognizance of by a general or regimental court martial, according to the nature and degree of the offence, and be punished at their discretion” (Mass. Prov. Congress Journals description begins William Lincoln, ed. The Journals of Each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775, and of the Committee of Safety. Boston, 1838. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 128). Article 50 of the Continental articles of war is identical (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 2:119).
2. Article 32 of the Continental articles of war stipulates that “all suttlers and retailers to a camp, and all persons whatsoever, serving with the continental army in the field, though not inlisted soldiers, are to be subject to the articles, rules, and regulations of the continental army.” Article 65 requires the commanders of camps, forts, barracks, and garrisons “to see that the persons permitted to suttle shall supply the soldiers with good and wholesome provisions at a reasonable price,” and article 66 forbids those commanders to “exact exorbitant prices for houses or stalls let out to suttlers” or to “be interested in the sale of such victuals, liquors, or other necessaries of life, which are brought into the camp, garrison, fort or barracks, for the use of the soldiers” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 2:116–17, 122).
3. For GW’s efforts to obtain hunting shirts for the army, see GW to Hancock, 10–11 July 1775, Document II. Letter Sent, n.13, and Hancock to GW, 24 July 1775, n.3.