George Washington Papers

General Orders, 10 May 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, New York, May 10th 1776.

Parole Nassau.Countersign Williams

The Colonel of Artillery, constantly to employ the whole of the officers, and men off guard, in placing the Guns upon their proper platforms, providing a sufficient quantity of filled Cartridges, and fix’d Ammunition for each Gun; seeing the Shot, Rammers, Spunges and Ladles with all the necessary Atraile, brought to the Batteries where they are to be used, and continually keeping as many men, as can work, filling cannon, and musket cartridges, and doing all the various duty required in the Laboratory. The heaviest Mortars to be placed in the Batteries to the sea-line, and a proper quantity of Fuses to be drove, and Shells fill’d, for each mortar1—The light Mortars to be placed in the Forts, near the encampments.

Joseph Child of the New-York Train of Artillery tried at a late General Court Martial whereof Col. Huntington was President for “defrauding Christopher Stetson of a dollar, also for drinking Damnation to all Whigs, and Sons of Liberty, and for profane cursing and swearing”—The Court finding the prisoner guilty of profane cursing and swearing and speaking contemptuously of the american Army, do sentence him to be drum’d out of the army.

Zodiac Piper of Capt. Ledyard’s Company and Thos Watkins of Capt. Lyon’s Company, both in Col: McDougal’s regiment,2 tried by the same General Court Martial, for “being concern’d in a riot on Saturday night”—The Court find the Prisoner, Piper, guilty of being from his quarters at an unseasonable hour, and being concern’d, in raising a disturbance in the streets, and do sentence him to be confined six days, upon bread and water, for said offence: The Court are of opinion, that the Prisoner, Watkins, is guilty of being out of his quarters at unseasonable hours, and of profane cursing and swearing, and do sentence him to be confin’d six days, upon bread and water—and be fined one sixth of a dollar for profane swearing, as by the 3rd Article is prescribed.

The General approves of the foregoing Sentences, and orders them to take place to morrow morning at Guard mounting.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Tapered wooden fuses pierced and filled with a quick-burning compound were driven through holes in the shells before firing.

2Benjamin Ledyard (1753–1803) and David Lyon (1745–1802) both became captains of Col. Alexander McDougall’s 1st New York Regiment in June 1775. Ledyard was made major of the 4th New York Regiment in November 1776 and was transferred to the 1st New York on 29 April 1778. He resigned his commission in March 1779. Lyon became a captain in Col. Oliver Spencer’s Additional Continental Regiment in January 1777 and resigned in April 1778.

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