George Washington Papers

General Orders, 11 September 1775

General Orders

Head Quarters, Cambridge, Sept. 11th 1775

Parole Lancaster.Countersign Middleton.

Col. Ebenezer Bridge of the 27th Regt of foot, in the service of the United Colonies; tried at a General Court martial, whereof Brigd. Genl Green was president, for “misbehaviour and neglect of duty, in the Action at Bunkers-hill, on the [1]7th of June last”; The Court are of opinion that Indisposition of body, render’d the prisoner incapable of action, and do therefore acquit him.1

Ensign Moses Howe of Col. David Brewers Regt tried by a General Court Martial, whereof Col. Alden was presdt—for “contempt of the service[”]; The Court after due examination of the Evidence, acquit the prisoner.2

Ensign Levi Bowen—of the same Regiment, and tried by the same General Court Martial for “absenting from his regiment without leave”—The Court find the prisoner guilty of the Crime laid to his Charge, and do therefore sentence him to be cashiered.3

General Heath’s Brigade to be mustered upon Thursday morning next, at eleven ’OClock, and Col. Fryes Brigade, upon Saturday morning at the same time.4

Col. Thompson’s Battalion of Rifle-men posted upon Prospect-hill, to take their share of all duty of Guard and Fatigue, with the Brigade they encamp with.

A General Court Martial to sit as soon as possible to try the men of that Regiment, who are now prisoners in the main Guard, and at Prospect-hill, and accused of “mutiny.”

The Riflemen posted at Roxbury, and towards Letchmore’s point, are to do duty with the brigade they are posted with.

The General Court Martial to meet to morrow morning at seven ’OClock; to consist of three Field Officers and ten Captains.5

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For a discussion of the charge against Bridge, see General Orders, 20 Aug. 1775, n.2.

2Moses Howe of Belchertown, Mass., was a second lieutenant in the militia company that marched to Cambridge from Belchertown in April 1775. He served ten months in the army. David Brewer (1732–1799) became colonel of a Massachusetts regiment on 16 June 1775. A court-martial ordered him to be cashiered in October of this year for committing several frauds (General Orders, 15, 23 Oct. 1775).

3For Bowen’s admission of guilt and his efforts to avoid being court-martialed on this charge, see Bowen to GW, 7 Sept. 1775.

4William Heath’s brigade was to be mustered on 14 Sept. and James Frye’s on 16 September. Artemas Ward’s orderly book reads “7 oClock” (MHi: Ward Papers).

5For a discussion of this mutiny, see Nathanael Greene to GW, 10 Sept. 1775, n.1. For the result of the court-martial, see General Orders, 13 Sept. 1775. The riflemen previously “were excused from all working parties, camp guards, camp duty,” Jesse Lukens wrote on 13 September. “This indulgence, together with the remissness of discipline and care in our young officers, has rendered the men rather insolent for good soldiers. . . . in order that idleness shall not be a further bane to us, the General’s orders on Monday [11 Sept.], were ‘that Col. Thompson’s regiment shall be upon all parties of fatigue, (working parties,) and do all other camp duty with any other regiment’” (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 2d ser., 10:8–10).

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