George Washington Papers

General Orders, 22 September 1775

General Orders

Head Quarters, Cambridge, Sept. 22nd 1775

Parole Lynn.Countersign Marblehead

The undernamed Prisoners, try’d by a General Court Martial for “Mutiny, Riot and Disobedience of orders,” are severally guilty of the Crimes, wherewith they are accused, and the Court upon due Consideration of the Evidence, do adjudge that the prisoner Joseph Seales receive thirty-nine Lashes upon his bare back and be drum’d out of the Army, and that the prisoners, John Gillard, Jacob Smallwood, John Peltro, Samuel Grant, Hugh Renny, James Jeffery[,] Charles Alcrain, Samuel Hannis, Charles Pearce, James Williams, John Kelly, John Bryan and Philip Florence, do each of them receive Twenty Lashes upon his bare back and be drum’d out of the army—The Prisoners Lawrence Blake, Samuel Bodin, John Besom, Benj: Bartholomew, Francis Ellis, Joseph Lawrence, John Sharp, John Poor[,] Joseph Tessenden, John Foster, John Lee, Lawrence Bartlet, Philip Greatey, Peter Neivelle, Samuel Parsons, Jeremiah Dailey, Francis Greater, Richd Pendrick, Robert Hooper, Anthony Lewis, Nicholas Ogleby, and Thomas Metyard; be fin’d Twenty Shillings lawful money each. Joseph Foster, Joseph Laurence & Joseph Tessenden, being recommended by the Court Martial, as proper objects of mercy; The Commander in Chief is pleased to remit their fine, and to order the sentence upon all the others, to be put in Execution at Guard mounting, to morrow morning—Those upon Prospect-hill to receive their punishment there; the rest at the main Guard.1

John Gizzage Fraizer Esqr. being appointed Assistant to the Quarter Master General, for the District of Prospect and Winter hill, he is to be obeyed as such.

Col. Starke of New Hampshire, having complain’d that through mistake, or inadvertency in the Court, which was appointed to settle the Rank of the regiments, and Officers of this army, he had not Justice done him, even upon the principle which they themselves had laid down, for their Government in that matter; The General orders that the Brigadier and the six Field Officers, who composed that Court, do sit to morrow morning at Nine ’OClock, to enquire into the Cause of this Complaint, at the same time of Col. Doolittle, who has also expressed some dissatisfaction on Account of his Rank, can urge any thing new to the Court, he may be heard; The Court are desired, likewise, to settle the rank of the Officers of the Rifle Companies, posted at Roxbury.2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For a discussion of the mutiny of the Hannah’s crew see GW to John Langdon, 21 Sept. 1775, n.1. GW may also have remitted many of the other punishments. Phineas Ingalls, a Massachusetts soldier, wrote in his journal for 23 Sept.: “About 9 twelve Marblehead men are to be whipped—20 lashes each. One only was whipped” (“Ingalls Journal,” description begins M.V.B Perley, ed. “Revolutionary War Journal, Kept by Phineas Ingalls of Andover, Mass., April 19, 1775–December 8, 1776.” Essex Institute Historical Collections 53 (1917): 81–92. description ends 87). Significant variations of some of the crewmen’s names appear in Artemas Ward’s orderly book (MHi): Searle for Seales, Pattraw for Peltro, Gufford for Jeffery, Hallrain for Alcrain, Stennis for Hannis, Kilby for Kelly, Shorke for Sharpe, Fessenden for Tessenden, Leo for Lee, Newell for Neivelle, Dana for Dailey, Pembrick for Pendrick, and Melzard for Metyard.

2For the appointment and report of the court on the settlement of rank, see General Orders, 5 and 20 Aug. 1775. John Stark (1728–1822), a veteran of Robert Rogers’s Rangers, became colonel of the 1st New Hampshire Regiment in the spring of 1775. He resigned his commission in March 1777 but returned to duty a few months later to lead an independent New Hampshire force at the Battle of Bennington. Congress appointed Stark a brigadier general in October 1777, and he served to the end of the war. Stark’s complaint to the court on the settlement of rank involved a dispute over precedence with Col. Jonathan Brewer. See General Orders, 25 Sept. 1775. Ephraim Doolittle apparently remained dissatisfied with his ranking as twenty-fourth among the colonels. He resigned in October.

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