George Washington Papers

General Orders, 21 June 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, New York, June 21st 1776.

Parole Albany.Countersign Bedford.

All officers, or soldiers, belonging to either of the Regiments, serving in Canada, are to apply immediately to Major General Gates, who will give them orders for repairing to their respective detachments.

The General has been pleased to appoint Richard Cary and Samuel Webb Esquires, his Aid-du-Camps—and Alexander Counter Harrison Esqr: assistant Secretary, who are to be obeyed and regarded as such.1

The Honorable Continental Congress have been pleased to give the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, to the Aids-du-Camp of the Commander in Chief, and to his principal Secretary—Also the rank of Major to the Aids-du-Camp of the Majors General.2

The Honorable Continental Congress have resolvd that no officer shall suttle, or sell, to the Soldiers, on penalty of being fined one Months pay and dismissed the service with infamy.

The same Honorable Body have also resolved, that all sales of arms, ammunition, cloathing and accoutrements, made by any Soldier of the Continental Army, shall be void—Also, That the Baggage of officers and soldiers, shall be regulated conformably to the Rules and Customs of the British Army.

The General requires and expects, a most exact and punctual obedience, to each of the above resolves.3

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Cary and Webb replaced GW’s former aides-de-camp William Palfrey and Stephen Moylan, who had received more important appointments: Palfrey as paymaster general and Moylan as quartermaster general. GW’s new assistant secretary, Alexander Contee Hanson (1749–1806), a young lawyer from Annapolis, served at headquarters only a few months before ill health apparently forced him to return home. Hanson was clerk of the Maryland senate in 1777, and in March 1778 he became an associate judge of the state’s general court, an office that he held until 1781.

2Congress approved these ranks on 5 June (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 5:418).

3These resolutions were passed on 17 June (ibid., 449).

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