George Washington Papers

General Orders, 25 July 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, New York, July 25th 1776.

Parole Abington.Countersign Bedford.

Care to be taken in future, that the Provost Marshal’s Guard be properly officered, there having been a Complaint made on that head.1

Henry Davis tried for “Desertion” is sentenced to receive Twenty Lashes: Patrick Lyons for “Drunkenness and sleeping on his post,” Thirty Lashes.2

It is with inexpressible concern, the General sees Soldiers fighting in the Cause of Liberty, and their Country, committing Crimes most destructive to the army, and which in all other Armies are punished with Death—what a shame and reproach will it be if Soldiers fighting to enslave us, for two pence, or three pence a day, should be more regular, watchful and sober, than Men who are contending for every thing that is dear and valuable in life.3

The Honorable Continental Congress, in consideration of the Serjeant Majors, Quarter Master Serjeant’s, Drum and Fife Majors, not having pay adequate to their Service, and hoping it will excite them to Vigilance and Industry, have been pleased to increase the pay of them, officers having no other appointment One Dollar per Month, to commence the 16th Inst.4

Those Soldiers who have entered on board the Row Galley, commanded by [ ] Cook, are to repair immediately on board, and the officers of the Regiment to which they respectively belong, are to forward them as much as possible, as the service is of the most important kind.5

Peter Gusdon Esqr: is appointed Major of Brigade to Brigadier General Heard, and is to be obeyed and respected as such.6

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Abraham Dodge includes the following order at the beginning of the general orders for this date: “Alexander Stedman David Wood George Badswell Gidion Dimonds of Col [John] Chesters Regiment Thomas Andrews of Col Wyllys Regt. Giles Thrall and Ebenezer Strool of Col. Wards & Seth Bassett of Col. Parsons Regiment to work at the Wheel Rights Shop undr Capt [Phineas] Ford till further Orders” (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 81:168–69).

1“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 192, reads: “The Countersign to be deliver’d by the proper Officers to the Prevost Guard as well as to the other Guards & Care to be taken.”

2Fuller accounts of these court-martials appear in “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 192: “Henry Davis of Captain [John] Johnstons Company in Colonel McDougalls Regiment Try’d by a General C Martial whereof Colonel Webb was President & found Guilty of Desertion is sentenc’d to receive 20 Lashes. Patrick Lyons of Captain [Samuel] Curtis Company in late Colonel Learneds Regiment Try’d by the same C Martial & found Guilty of being in Liquor & Sleeping on his Post was sentenced to receive 20 Lashes. The General approves each of the above Sentences & Orders them to be executed at the Usual Time & Place” (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 81:169).

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 192, includes here the following order: “William Baker of Captain Johnstons Company in Col McDougalls Regiment having been sentenc’d to be Whipp’d 20 Lashes for absenting himself several Days from Camp is Pardoned by the General on some favourable Circumstances appearing—But is to be publickly Reprimanded at the head of the Regiment.” 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 81:169.

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 192, reads “to increase the Pay of those Officers.” 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 81:169. For Congress’s action of 16 July on this head, 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 , 5:563–64.

5“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 193, includes this order in the general orders for 26 July. 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 81:169, includes it under “After Orders from Head Quarters July 25.” Capt. Robert Cook of Boston took command of the row galley Lady Washington on 13 July (see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 1:1263–64; and Cook to George Clinton, 13 Aug. 1777, in Hastings, Clinton Papers description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 2:222–24).

6The brigade major of Gen. Nathaniel Heard’s brigade was Peter Gordon (1746–1835), an officer in the New Jersey militia. Gordon subsequently became an assistant quartermaster at Trenton and served in the quartermaster department until 1780. He was New Jersey state treasurer from 1803 to 1821.

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