George Washington Papers

General Orders, 1 September 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, New York, septembr 1st 1776.

Parole: Hartford.Countersign: Boston.

It being necessary there should be an Arrangement of the troops, in order that they may act with union and firmness—The Army, as brigaded yesterday, is now arranged in three Grand Divisions, under the following officers (Viz.) Major Genl Putnam to command the following brigades. Parson’s[,] Clinton’s[,] Scott’s[,] Fellow’s[,] Silliman’s.

The centre Divisions, under Genl Spencer and Genl Green the former to command the whole untill Genl Green’s recovery. (viz.) Nixon’s[,] McDougall’s[,] Heard’s[,] Wadsworth’s[,] Douglass’s[,] and Chester’s.1

Genl Heath’s to consist of Genl Mifflin’s Brigades and Genl George Clinton’s.

The centre Division to hold themselves in readiness to march immediately to Harlem, to prevent the enemy’s landing on this Island.

Samuel Augustus Barker, to act as Major to the Brigade under Col. Douglass; Benjamin Talmadge Brigade Major to Colo. Chester.2

Col. Haslett’s Regiment to march to join Genl Mifflin, to whose Brigade he is to belong.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Df, DNA: RG 93, Orderly Books, vol. 15.

1Col. Paul Dudley Sargent’s name appears at the end of this list in Kinnan, Order Book description begins Peter Kinnan. Order Book Kept by Peter Kinnan, July 7–September 4, 1776. Princeton, N.J., 1931. description ends , 93, and “Williams’ Diary,” description begins “Elisha Williams’ Diary of 1776.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 48 (1924): 334–53; 49 (1925): 44–60. description ends 48:335.

2Samuel Still Augustus Barker (1756–1819) of Branford, Conn., served as adjutant of Col. William Douglas’s regiment of Connecticut militia levies from June to December 1776, when he became adjutant and a first lieutenant in Douglas’s 6th Connecticut Regiment. Barker was promoted to captain in May 1780, and during 1781 he was named brigade major and subinspector of the 1st Connecticut Brigade. He resigned from the army on 13 April 1782 and later settled in Dutchess County, New York.

Benjamin Tallmadge (1754–1835), who managed GW’s secret service between 1778 and 1783, was born at Brookhaven, Long Island, and after graduating from Yale in 1773, he became superintendent of the high school at Wethersfield, Connecticut. Abandoning plans to study law, Tallmadge joined Col. John Chester’s regiment of Connecticut militia levies in June 1776 as a lieutenant and adjutant. He was named brigade major of Gen. James Wadsworth’s brigade on 11 Oct. 1776 (see General Orders, that date), and on 14 Dec. 1776 he was commissioned a captain in the 2d Continental Light Dragoon Regiment. Promoted to major in April 1777, Tallmadge remained with that regiment until the end of the war, participating in numerous skirmishes and raids and becoming deeply involved in intelligence work. In 1778 Tallmadge began conducting a highly useful correspondence with American agents in New York City, and in September 1780 he played an important role in uncovering Arnold’s treason (see Tallmadge, Memoirs description begins Memoir of Col. Benjamin Tallmadge, Prepared by Himself, at the Request of his Children. 1858. Reprint. New York, 1968. description ends , 29, 35–39). In November 1780 Tallmadge led a raid on Fort St. George, Long Island, for which he was commended by Congress (see ibid., 39–42, 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 , 18:1121–22). After the war Tallmadge became a businessman in Litchfield, Conn., and from 1801 to 1817 he was a member of the U.S. Congress.

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