George Washington Papers

General Orders, 14 July 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, New York, July 14th 1776.

Parole Andover.Countersign Bristol.

A Court of enquiry to sit to morrow morning to examine into the conduct of Col. Ritzema, who stands charged with practices contrary to the rules and discipline of the Army. Brigadier General Heath President. Col. Wyllys. Col. Malcom. Lt Col. Johnston. Lt Col. Brearly. The Judge Advocate General and Witnesses, to attend the Court, at Mr Motagnies Tavern, in the fields, ten OClock.1

The Regiment of Artificers under command of Col. Parke, to join Lord Stirling’s brigade; they will receive orders from the Brigadier with respect to their Alarm posts, Arrangement and duty in case of action.

The Regimental Surgeons to meet on Tuesday next at nine o’clock A:M: at the Coffee House, on business of importance: The Adjutants of the several regiments to give them special notice.2

The Majors of brigade, and Adjutants of Generals Scotts, Heards and Wadsworths Brigades are to send into the Adjutant General’s office, a daily report of every Regiment, or Company, belonging to their several Brigades as they join the Army in order that proper Arrangement may be made while time will admit: The Majors of brigade are to be answerable for obedience3 to this order; and if the Adjutants refuse or neglect their duty they are to be put in Arrest immediately.

All the Brigade Majors, and Adjutants are again reminded, that the Weekly Returns (as well Brigade as Regimental ones) are to be brought in every Saturday, at Orderly time, to the Adjutant Generals office; and as Inaccuracy and Neglect in their Returns will create difficulties in the payment of their men: The Colonels, or Officers commanding, should carefully examine the Returns, compare them with those of the preceeding week, and have all the alterations accounted for. The General strongly recommends it to the Soldiers, to be careful of their arms and ammunition, at all times, but more especially in rainy weather; An enterprising enemy depending upon neglect in this article, often makes an attack, and too frequently with success—Officers will also be very attentive to this order and see it complied with.

John Andrews, Jeremiah Williams, William Cary late belonging to Genl Lee’s Guard, to join Capt: Fords Company of Artificers.4

The Chief Engineer was mistaken in his report yesterday, as to Col. Baldwin, Col. Huntington and Ward’s Regt neglect of fatigue, and takes the first opportunity to rectify it.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For Ritzema’s threat to resign his commission over this affair, see his letter to GW of this date and GW’s reply to him also of this date. For the court’s verdict on Ritzema, see General Orders, 17 July.

William Malcom (Malcolm; 1745–1791), a New York City merchant and a former member of the provincial congress, commanded a regiment of New York militia levies during the summer and fall of 1776. In April 1777 Malcom became colonel of one of the sixteen additional Continental regiments, and from June to October 1778 he served as deputy adjutant general of the northern department while retaining his regiment and his rank in the Continental line. Although Malcom declined to command the regiment that was created in the spring of 1779 by combining his and Col. Oliver Spencer’s regiments, he did not formally resign his Continental commission (see Malcom to GW, 24 April 1779, DLC:GW; Malcom to Samuel Huntington, 18 Feb. 1781, DNA:PCC, item 78; 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 , 19:36–38). Acting as a supernumerary officer, Malcom assisted in defending West Point against an enemy incursion in June 1779 by taking command of the militia west of the Hudson, and from July 1780 to February 1781 he commanded a regiment of militia levies that served first in the Hudson highlands and later on the New York frontier.

Philip Johnson (1741–1776) was lieutenant colonel of a New Jersey militia regiment raised in Hunterdon and Somerset counties to reinforce the Continental army at New York. Johnson was promoted to colonel of that regiment on 1 Aug. 1776 and was killed at the Battle of Long Island on 27 August.

David Brearley (1745–1790), who practiced law in Allentown, N.J., before the war, was lieutenant colonel of a Monmouth County militia regiment. Brearley subsequently became colonel of the 2d Monmouth County Regiment, and in November 1776 he received a Continental commission as lieutenant colonel of the 4th New Jersey Regiment. Appointed chief justice of New Jersey in June 1779, Brearley reluctantly gave up his Continental commission upon being sworn into office on 4 Aug. 1779 (see 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 , 14:861, and Brearley to GW, 11 July 1780, DNA: RG 93, Manuscript File, no. 3992). Brearley served as chief justice until 1789 when GW appointed him federal judge for the district of New Jersey.

Montagnie’s tavern was on Broadway between Murray and Warren streets and opposite the Fields, an open area on the north side of the commons.

2The following Tuesday was 16 July. Director general John Morgan apparently called this conference to discuss his regulations for the supply and operation of regimental hospitals (see General Orders, 3 July, and Morgan to Samuel Adams, July 1776, DNA:PCC, item 63).

3“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 180, reads “for Disobedience.” 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 81:157.

4Phineas Ford commanded a company of carpenters. On 1 Jan. 1777 the New York committee of safety ordered Ford to be arrested on the charge of plundering “the Goods & Chattles” of several inhabitants of Westchester County (extracts from the minutes of the committee of safety, DNA:PCC, item 67).

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