George Washington Papers

General Orders, 5 September 1775

General Orders

Head Quarters, Cambridge, Sept. 5th 1775

Parole, Waltham.Countersign, York.

The General Court Martial whereof Col. Experience Stors1 was president is dissolved: Capt. Moses Hart of the 28th Regiment of foot, tried by the above mentioned Genl Court martial, is found guilty of “drawing for more provisions than he was entitled to, & for unjustly confining, and abusing his men”; he is unanimously sentenced to be cashiered—The General approves the sentence, and orders it to take place immediately.2

A Detachment consisting of two Lieut. Colonels, two Majors, ten Captains, thirty Subalterns, thirty Serjeants, thirty Corporals, four Drummers, two Fifers, and six hundred and seventy six privates; to parade to morrow morning at eleven O’Clock, upon the Common, in Cambridge, to go upon Command with Col: Arnold of Connecticut; one Company of Virginia Riflemen and two Companies from Col. Thompson’s Pennsylvania Regiment of Rifle-men, to parade at the same time and place, to join the above Detachment:3 Tents and Necessaries proper and convenient for the whole, will be supplied by the Quarter Master Genl immediately upon the Detachment being collected—As it is imagined the Officers and Men sent from the Regiments both here, and at Roxbury, will be such Volunteers, as are active Woodsmen, and well acquainted with batteaus; so it is recommended, that none but such will offer themselves for this service—Col. Arnold and the Adjutant General will attend upon the Common, in Cambridge, to morrow in the forenoon, to receive and parade the detachment—The Quarter Master General will be also there to supply tents &c.

The Colonels and commanding Officers of the Massachusetts regiments, who have deliver’d in their pay abstracts at Head Quarters, are immediately to apply to the General for his Warrant upon the Pay Master General, James Warren Esqr. for the pay for the month of August; agreeable to the General Order of the 31st of last month.

As great Complaints have heretofore been made, by the men in regard to their pay; The General expects the utmost exactness, and dispatch be made in this payment.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Experience Storrs (1734–1801) of Mansfield, lieutenant colonel of the 3d Connecticut Regiment, served as regimental commander because the regiment’s colonel, Israel Putnam, was a Continental major general. Storrs left the Continental army at the end of 1775 but commanded a Connecticut militia regiment in the New York campaign of 1776.

2A captain in Col. Paul Dudley Sargent’s Massachusetts regiment, Moses Hart of Lynn had not received a Continental commission prior to this time (GW to the Massachusetts Council, 4 Sept. 1775; Massachusetts Council to GW, 3 Oct. 1775).

3Benedict Arnold’s force left Cambridge between 11 and 13 September. For Arnold’s expedition to Quebec, see GW to Schuyler, 20 Aug. 1775, n.6. The company of Virginia riflemen that marched with Arnold was commanded by Capt. Daniel Morgan. Captains William Hendricks and Matthew Smith commanded the two Pennsylvania rifle companies. Col. William Thompson (1736–1781) of Carlisle served as a captain under John Armstrong on the Kittanning expedition in 1756, and on 25 June 1775 he was commissioned colonel of the rifle companies raised in Pennsylvania. By virtue of the early date of his commission in the French and Indian War, Thompson became senior colonel in the Continental army, and on 1 Mar. 1776 Congress promoted him to brigadier general. Thompson commanded the American troops at the defeat at Trois Rivières on 8 June 1776. Captured on the field by the British, he was soon paroled but was not exchanged until October 1780.

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