George Washington Papers

General Orders, 6 February 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, Cambridge, Feby 6th 1776

Parole Greenwich.Countersign Kent.

The Court of enquiry whereof Genl Green was president, appointed to enquire into the Complaint of Col. Hubbart Pay Master General of the New Hampshire Forces against Col. Stark—The Court have reported the State of the Evidences given in before them, by which it appears that Col. Hubbarts Complaints were well founded—All further proceedings are suspended, Col. Stark having made such Acknowledgments to the injured parties as will in all probability be accepted as satisfactory.1

The Colonel, or Officer commanding each Regiment, is to examine minutely into the quantity, and condition of their ammunition, and make report of the Average Number of Rounds, they are possessed of, to their respective Brigadiers, without delay, and immediately thereupon the Brigadiers are to lay this their report before the General.

The Armourers are required to be very exact & diligent, at their business; if they are known to do work for any others, than those of the army, they will be brought to the severest punishment, or if they presume to charge a Soldier for any repair done to his Arms, they will also be called to as strict an account.

An exact report to be made of all the Cartridges in the different Magazines—Those now employed in making Cartridges are to be constant and diligent at their work.2

The Arms which have been delivered out of the public Stores, are not to be put in the hands of the Commissioned Officers: The Colonels of the several Regiments are to be answerable that this Order is duly attended to.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For background on the dispute between Samuel Hobart and John Stark, see the New Hampshire Provincial Congress to GW, 4 Jan., and General Orders, 23 Jan. 1776. On 7 Feb. Stephen Moylan wrote to Matthew Thornton: “a Court of enquiry has been held, in the process of which Colonel Stark has Seen that he was very blameable, & sent an acknowledgment of his fault in writeing, which I have the honor to inclose you—His Excellency wishes that this may prove Satisfactory to the members of your Honble Congress, as the Colonel is a good Officer who understands and does his duty—but if you & the Gentlemen who have been illtreated upon this Occasion insist that he should be brought to a trial by Court Martial his Excellency will on receipt of your answer to this—order one to try this affair tho’ as I before mentioned it woud give his Excellency great Satisfaction that it was made up in an Amicable manner” (DLC:GW).

For the text of Stark’s undated apology to the members of the New Hampshire provincial court, see Bouton, N.H. State Papers description begins Nathaniel Bouton, ed. State Papers. Documents and Records Relating to the State of New-Hampshire during the Period of the American Revolution, from 1776 to 1783 . . .. In New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, vol. 8. 1874. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 8:70–71. His signed apology to Hobart in DLC:GW, which is docketed January 1776, reads: “Whereas Some Persons belonging to my Regimt on the 30th Day of December Last, came to me and Complain’d that Saml Hubbard [Hobart] Esqr. paymaster from the Province of New Hampshire, had Refused to Accept the Muster Rolls of my Regimt by means whereof they were Likely to be deprived of their pay, or at Least be Delayed for some time after the Term of their Enlistment was Expired, and Requested Liberty from me to go Down & bring said Hubbart up to my Encampment, & I not Knowing or even Supposing that they would Treat him in a Rough or Ungentlemanlike manner, gave them my Consent, Whereupon a Large number of my Regimt proceeded with Drum & Fife & Bayonets Fix’d to Said Hobarts Lodging Took him out of his Lodging & brought him up to my Encampment as a Prisoner, And I then being much Perplexd with Business & not Attending to the Consequences of Such an Insult, Neglect’d to Resent their Proceeding by Ordering them Instantly to be Confin’d but Permitt’d them to depar⟨t⟩ unmolested, and being Perplex’d with other affairs ⟨mutilated⟩ before Mention⟨ed⟩ gave Said Hobard Some Harsh and Unbecoming Language, for which as well as for my neglect in not Punishing the Persons Guilty of this Insult, I am Sincerely Sorry, and ask Said Hobart’s forgiveness.” Stark was not court-martialed for this incident.

2Ezekiel Cheever’s return of 8 Feb. reports 76,128 musket cartridges in the magazine on Winter Hill, 48,800 in the one on Prospect Hill, 3,108 “At Captain Crafts,” and 8,484 in store, making a total 136,520 musket cartridges “exclusive of what may be at Roxbury” (DLC:GW).

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