George Washington Papers

General Orders, 1 July 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, New York, July 1st 1776

Parole Jersey.Countersign Militia.

The General Court Martial whereof Col. Parsons is President is dissolved—A General Court Martial of the lines consisting of one Colonel, one Lieut: Colonel, one Major and ten Captains to sit to morrow morning at Ten O’Clock to try all such prisoners as shall be brought before them—All Witnesses and other persons concerned to attend the Court—Field Officers for the above General Court Martial Col. Read President, Lieut: Col. Clark and Major Sprout.1

John Lynch of Capt: Benezets Company and Col. Magaw’s Regiment2 convicted by a General Court Martial of “striking and wounding an officer of Col. Shee’s Battalion”; and Richd Neal and James Higgins of Capt: Stevenson’s Independent Company of Rifle Men being convicted by the same Court Martial whereof Col. Parsons was President, of “striking and abusing several officers of the 20th Regt”—were sentenced by the Court to receive Thirty-nine Lashes each—The General approves the sentences, and orders them to be put in execution, at such time and place, as the commanding officer of their respective Corps shall direct.

A working party of nine hundred men from General Heath’s, Spencer’s and Lord Stirling’s Brigades and the same proportion from General Scott’s to turn out at five oClock A:M:—Huntington’s, Ward’s, Nixon’s and Webb’s Regiments to work at the Redoubts on Jews-hill plain, and Bayards-hill, to be allowed one hour for breakfast—three for dinner and to work ’till sunset—Parson’s Regiment to work on the Well3 under Capt: Chapman’s directions—Learneds, Wyllys’s and Bailey’s Regiments go to Governors Island: Learneds to take axes from the Laboratory: Prescott’s Regiment to work as Huntingtons, and turn out the whole off duty, the picquet not excepted, Prescott’s Regiment is required to be more attentive to duty, not having furnished their compliment at the works for two Weeks ’till yesterday—Baldwins Regiment to work at Red hook, and take tools from the Laboratory—Genl Scotts Brigade, McDougall’s, Ritzema’s and Reeds Regiments, to receive Orders at the Laboratory in the morning—All working parties to work ’till sunset, and those regiments not otherwise directed, to parade by Six OClock A:M:

The Troops in rotation to be allowed to fire two Cartridges per Man, in such a manner, and at such time, as the respective Brigadiers may direct: The Brigadiers to give notice to the General of their several determinations on this head.4

William Hurly of Capt: Parks Company, and of the Regiment late Learned’s tried by the above Court Martial for firing on and wounding without cause one Peter Child a Citizen was acquitted—The General approves thereof and orders him to be discharged.

After Orders. The whole Army to be under Arms to morrow morning at day light, on their regimental parades, with their full Ammunition ready for action: The Militia of the City will parade at their usual places, and take their orders from the Brigadier General commanding in that quarter. The Artificers and such Militia or other Troops as are arrived in town, and have no other destination are to parade on the Common in the front of the Park of Artillery, and take their orders from Brigadier General Lord Stirling—Colonel Nixon which his regiment, is to proceed, as soon as possible, in the morning, to Governors Island, and take the command there.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Joel Clark (1728–1776) was commissioned major of Col. Jedediah Huntington’s 8th Connecticut Regiment in July 1775 and became lieutenant colonel of Huntington’s 17th Continental Regiment on 1 Jan. 1776. Clark was wounded and captured at the Battle of Long Island on 27 Aug. 1776 and died in captivity the following December. Ebenezer Sproat (Sprout; 1752–1805) of Middleboro, Mass., was major of Col. Theophilus Cotton’s Massachusetts Regiment from June to December 1775 and continued serving during 1776 as major of Col. William Shepard’s 3d Continental Regiment. On 1 Jan. 1777 Sproat was promoted to lieutenant colonel of Shepard’s 4th Massachusetts Regiment. GW appointed him a brigade inspector on 29 Mar. 1778 and a subinspector for the army on 11 Aug. 1779 (see general orders for 29 Mar. 1778 and 11 Aug. 1779). Sproat also served as lieutenant colonel commandant of the 13th Massachusetts Regiment during the summer and fall of 1779, and in December 1779 he took command of the 12th Massachusetts. He transferred to the 2d Massachusetts on 1 Jan. 1781 and served until the end of the war, being brevetted colonel in September 1783. In 1786 Sproat was named a surveyor of western lands, and two years later he helped to found Marietta, Ohio.

2Samuel Benezet (d. 1805) of Bucks County, Pa., became a captain in Col. Robert Magaw’s 5th Pennsylvania Regiment on 5 Jan. 1776. His absence from duty on account of illness during the fall of 1776 spared him from being captured with the regiment at Fort Washington in November. On 14 Feb. 1777 Benezet was appointed major of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment, and he served at least until the following October (Muhlenberg, “Orderly Book,” description begins “Orderly Book of Gen. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, March 26–December 20, 1777.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 33 (1909): 257–78, 454–74; 34 (1910): 21–40, 166–89, 336–60, 438–77; 35 (1911): 59–89, 156–87, 290–303. description ends 35:62).

3Both “Henshaw’s Orderly Book,” description begins “The Orderly Books of Colonel William Henshaw, October 1, 1775, through October 3, 1776.” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, n.s., 57 (1948): 17–234. description ends 167, and Dodge, “Orderly Book,” description begins “Orderly Book Kept by Capt. Abraham Dodge of Ipswich, January 1, 1776 to August 1, 1776.” Essex Institute Historical Collections 80 (1944): 37–53, 111–30, 208–28, 368–84; 81 (1945): 87–94, 152–175. description ends 80:384, read “on the Hill.”

4“Henshaw’s Orderly Book,” description begins “The Orderly Books of Colonel William Henshaw, October 1, 1775, through October 3, 1776.” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, n.s., 57 (1948): 17–234. description ends 168, includes here the following orders: “50 Men with the Officers from the Fatigue are to attend the Deputy Q M General when he calls for them in order to clean & fill the Water Casks 100 Men from the Fatique are daily till further Order to attend Captain Brewer at the Ship Yards.” See also Dodge, “Orderly Book,” description begins “Orderly Book Kept by Capt. Abraham Dodge of Ipswich, January 1, 1776 to August 1, 1776.” Essex Institute Historical Collections 80 (1944): 37–53, 111–30, 208–28, 368–84; 81 (1945): 87–94, 152–175. description ends 80:384.

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