George Washington Papers

General Orders, 12 September 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, New York, sept: 12th 1776.

Parole: FranklinCountersign: Congress.

The difficulty of procuring Milk, and other proper Food for the sick, has induced the General to establish an Hospital, where those Necessaries can be procured in plenty—The regimental Sick are therefore to be immediately mustered for this purpose—One of the Hospital Surgeons will attend with the regimental Surgeon—such as are able to remove themselves will be allowed so to do, under the care of a proper officer—A suitable officer, not under the rank of a Captain, is to be appointed by the Brigadier, out of each Brigade, to attend such sick of each Brigade, as cannot remove themselves; they are, under the Advice of the Surgeon, who also attends, to see that all proper care is taken for their comfort, while removing, and afterwards.

The same Court Martial which tried Major Popst to try Major Hetfield, charged with “Making a false Report of the Guards.”1

As the care of the sick is an object of great Importance, The General directs, that a person, not under the rank of a Captain, be also appointed in like manner, in each Brigade, who shall be empowered to procure Necessaries for them, and Monies furnished for that purpose; he taking care that the utmost regularity and Care be used.

John Porter Esqr: is appointed Paymaster to Col. Ward’s Regiment, in the Continental service.2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW; Df, in Joseph Reed’s writing, DNA: RG 93, Orderly Books, vol. 15. The two passwords in the draft are not in Reed’s writing.

1Moses Hatfield (Hetfield) of Orange County, N.Y., who had commanded a company of minutemen during 1775 and had become major of one of the county’s militia regiments in February 1776, was appointed major of Col. Samuel Drake’s regiment of New York militia levies on 10 June 1776. Hatfield was released from arrest on 14 Sept., and ten days later he was captured at Montresor’s Island. After his exchange in April 1778, he was appointed commissary of hides for the army at New York. GW accused Hatfield of being a double spy in January 1780, and that month a court of inquiry investigated him for graft (see GW to William Irvine, 1 Jan. 1780, 9 Jan. 1780 [second letter], PHi: Irvine Papers; GW to Heath, 12 Jan. 1780, MHi: Heath Papers; and GW to Moses Hazen, 24 Jan. 1780, DLC:GW). The Board of War removed Hatfield from office the following June (see Timothy Pickering to George Clinton, 30 June 1780, 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 , 5:898–99). He subsequently served in the Orange County militia, becoming a lieutenant colonel in March 1783.

2John Porter of Massachusetts served as paymaster of Col. Jonathan Ward’s 21st Continental Regiment until the end of the year when he secured commission as a captain in the 13th Massachusetts Regiment. Porter was promoted to major in May 1777, and he transferred to the 6th Massachusetts on 1 Jan. 1781. In October 1782 a court-martial convicted Porter of overstaying his leave of absence, and GW denied his petition to be reinstated in the service (see General Orders, 12 Oct. 1782, and Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., to Calvin Smith, 25 Oct. 1782, DLC:GW; see also Porter to GW, 9 April 1788, and GW to Porter, 30 April 1788, DLC:GW, 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 , 32:170).

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