George Washington Papers

General Orders, 25 April 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, New-York, April 25th 1776.

Parole Johnstone.Countersign Lutterell.

Complaints having been made to the General, of Injuries done to the Farmers, in their Crops, and Fields, by the Soldiers passing over, and trampling upon the young Growth, in a wanton and disorderly manner—he expressly orders the Officers commanding, either upon duty, or in quarters in the Country, to take especial Care to put a Stop to such practices, and endeavour to convince their Men, that we come to protect; not to injure the property of any man.

The Quarter Master General, assisted by Col. Putnam, Chief Engineer; the Quarter Master, Quarter Mastr Serjeant, and two Men from each Regiment, of the 1st 2nd 4th & 5th Brigades, to assemble at Sun-rise, to morrow morning, at the Redoubt upon Bayard’s-hill, to mark out the Encampment for the four Brigades abovementioned—The Qr Mr General will report to the Commander in Chief when he has fulfilled this order. The Encampment of the 3rd Brigade, to be marked out in like manner, upon Long-Island, on Saturday morning—The Chief Engineer, with the Quarter Masters &c., from each Regiment, to assist the Qr Mr General in that service.1

As soon as the General has approved of the Encampments mark’d out, the Troops will be ordered to encamp, until then, they are all to remain in their present quarters.2

James Gray of Capt. Mighell’s Company, in Colo. Baldwins Regiment, tried at a late General Court Martial, whereof Col. Baldwin was Presdt, for “Desertion”—The Court finding the Prisoner guilty of the charge, do sentence him to be whipped Thirty-nine Lashes, upon his bare back.

Joseph Leverett of Capt. Wheelers Company in Colo. Nixons Regt3 tried at the above Genl Court Martial, for “absenting himself from his Guard without permission, and being intoxicated with liquor”; is found guilty by the Court and sentenced to receive Twenty-five Lashes on his bare back.

Joseph Smith of Capt. Winships Company, in Col. Nixons Regiment,4 tried at the above General Court Martial, for “quitting his post when on Sentry,[”] is acquitted by the court.

The General approves of the foregoing Sentences, and orders them to be put in execution to morrow morning at Guard mounting.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The Bayard’s Hill redoubt, also known as Fort Bunker Hill, was located just outside the city’s northern limits about halfway between the Hudson and East rivers. Gen. Charles Lee ordered the building of this fortification in February, and it was completed on 16 April (see also General Orders, 22 May 1776, n.2). Rufus Putnam arrived at New York on 20 April to assume his duties as chief engineer for the Continental army. The following Saturday was 27 April.

2Col. William Henshaw’s orderly book includes here the following orders: “One Serjeant One Corporal & Twenty Men to Parade to Morrow at ten oClock at the Colledge as a Hospital Guard, they are to receive & Obey the Orders of the Director General of the Hospital for the time being & are to be releiv’d every Morning at 10 oClock” (“Henshaw’s Orderly Book,” 112; see also “Orderly Book, Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion,” description begins “Orderly Book, Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion, Col. Anthony Wayne, 1776.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 29 (1905): 470–78; 30 (1906): 91–103, 206–19. description ends 102–3, and Dodge, “Orderly Book,” 41). King’s College, which later became Columbia University, was near the Hudson River between Murray and Barclay streets. On 4 April the New York committee of safety ordered the college to be vacated within six days for the reception of troops, and apparently it was now being used as a military hospital.

3Adam Wheeler (1732–1802) served as a captain in Col. Ephraim Doolittle’s Massachusetts regiment during 1775, Col. John Nixon’s 4th Continental Infantry during 1776, and Nixon’s 6th Massachusetts Regiment 1777–78. Wheeler resigned from the army in October 1778.

4Ebenezer Winship (1735–1799) of Salem was commissioned a captain in Nixon’s Massachusetts regiment in May 1775 and continued serving under him in the 4th Continental Infantry. By January 1777 Winship had moved to the 5th Massachusetts Regiment commanded by Col. Rufus Putnam, and in August 1777 he became deputy commissary of issues for the northern department, a position that he held until the fall of 1778.

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