George Washington Papers

General Orders, 21 August 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, New York, August 21st 1776.

Parole: Kingsbridge.Countersign: Jersey.

Adjutant Taylor to do the duty of Brigade Major to General McDougall’s Brigade during Major Platts illness; he is to be obeyed and respected accordingly.1

Lieut: Hobby of Capt: Hyatts Company, Regiment late General McDougalls, tried by a General Court Martial whereof Col. Wyllys was president for misbehaviour in leaving one of the Hulks in the North River; was acquitted and the complaint reported groundless—Ordered that he be discharged from his arrest.

A Court of inquiry to sit on Friday at Mrs Montagnies, upon Capt: McCleave, Stanton and Tinker, charged with backwardness in duty, up the North River last week, and misbehaviour on Sunday last when the Men of war came down the river2—Court to consist of the following persons, & meet at ten O’Clock—General McDougall President. Col. Malcom. Lt Col. Shepard. Lt Col. Wesson[.] Major Brooks. Capt. Peters[.]3 Capt: Van Dyck.4 Members. The Judge Advocate to attend and all witnesses.

Fifty men properly officered to parade every morning at six O’Clock at General Putnam’s; there to take Orders from him; Not to bring arms—These to be continued every day till further orders.

Fifty men also for fatigue to parade to morrow morning properly officered on the Grand parade without Arms—take orders from Capt: Post.

Ten Men with one Subaltern, who have been used to the Sea, to parade at General Putnams this afternoon, two OClock, to proceed to Kingsbridge, up the North River—take three days provision.

The like number for the same service, to parade to morrow morning, Six o’Clock, at General Putnam’s quarters—take three days provision; both parties parade without arms.

Twenty men, with a Subaltern, to parade for fatigue, to morrow morning without Arms, on the Grand parade to proceed to Bayard hill, and work upon the well—take orders from the person who has the direction of digging the well.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Andrew Taylor was appointed adjutant of McDougall’s 1st New York Regiment on 18 Mar. 1776, and on 18 June the provincial congress commissioned him a second lieutenant (N.Y. Prov. Congress Journals description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety of the State of New-York, 1775–1776–1777. 2 vols. Albany, 1842. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 1:498). Taylor remained in the 1st New York Regiment until November when he became an assistant quartermaster general with the rank of major. On 4 Dec. 1776 Taylor was recommended to the New York committee of safety as a person well qualified to obstruct the Hudson River near Newburgh (ibid., 735). Stationed at Newburgh, Taylor became by September 1777 a deputy quartermaster general with the rank of colonel. He apparently retired from that office in 1779.

2The previous Sunday was 18 Aug., and the following Friday was 23 August. Joseph Reed discusses this inquiry in a letter to William Heath of this date: “The Captains of the Row Gallies having much resented the Suspicions formed of them for their Behaviour up the River as well as when the Men of War passed this Place—intimated to the General [GW] that they supposed the Situation of the Times could not admit of a Trial or they should call for one. The General has thought proper to take them at their Offer & ordered a Court of Inquiry to set next Friday—As you seemed to be of Opinion there was a Failure of Duty when they went up last Week—the General desires you would collect such Evidence of their Behaviour as you think will put the Matter in its proper Light & send the Witnesses down here by that Day at 10 oClock. As Genl Mifflin seems to have been particularly attentive to their Behaviour the General thinks his Testimony may be of Service & would have him attend if he can be spared” (MHi: Heath Papers; see also Heath to Mifflin, 22 Aug., MHi: Heath Papers).

3This member of the court may be Andrew Peters, a captain in the 13th Continental Regiment, or Nathan Peters, a captain in the 3d Continental Regiment. Both officers were stationed at New York at this time.

4Abraham C. Van Dyke (Van Dyck; b. 1718), a New York City resident who had been a marine lieutenant during the French and Indian War, commanded the Grenadier Company in Col. John Lasher’s regiment of militia independents from September 1775 to July 1776, when his company became part of Lasher’s regiment of New York levies. Earlier this year Van Dyke’s men had built the circular Grenadier battery on the Hudson River near the city (see General Orders, 29 April 1776), and during the American retreat from New York in September, Van Dyke was taken prisoner there. He was exchanged in April 1778, and on GW’s recommendation, Congress on 24 July 1780 appointed Van Dyke lieutenant of marines aboard the sloop Saratoga (see Elias Boudinot to GW, 22 April 1778, DNA:PCC, item 152; GW to the Board of Admiralty, 29 May 1780, DNA:PCC, item 37; and 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 , 17:612, 650–51, 661). Van Dyke resigned his commission in November 1780.

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