George Washington Papers

General Orders, 15 October 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, Harlem Heights, Octobr 15th 1776

Parole: .Countersign: 1

Col. Joseph Reed’s Regiment is to join Genl McDougall’s Brigade and Col. Hutchinson’s (when the Work he is ordered to execute is finished[)], is to join Genl Clinton’s Brigade, at present under the Command of Col. Glover.

Sergeant’s, Ward’s and Chester’s, regiments, and the regiment commanded by Lieut: Col. Storrs, are to form a Brigade & be under the Command of Col. Sergeant.

Col. Storr’s and the Regiment under Major Greaves, are to march immediately into Westchester—The first to join the Brigade he is appointed to; the other to join the Regiments commanded by Cols: Douglass and Ely, and with them be under the Command of Genl Salstonstall; as Cols: Horseford’s and Major Rogers’s Regiments are (but to remain where they at present are, ’till further orders) These five Regiments to compose Genl Salstonstall’s brigade.

The other two Connecticut Regiments, encamped upon Harlem River, opposite Head Quarters, are for the present, from their situation, to be annexed to Genl Parsons’s Brigade, and be under his command.2

The Brigades are now to be formed into Divisions (those on York Island as mentioned in Yesterday’s Orders) Nixon’s, McDougall’s, and that commanded by Col. Glover, to compose one, under the Command of Major Genl Lee—Parsons’s, Scott’s, and Clinton’s another, under the Command of Major Genl Heath—Salstonstall’s, Sergeant’s and Hand’s, another, under the Command of Major General Sullivan; and the Massachusetts Militia another, under the Command of Major Genl Lincoln.

The General in most pressing terms exhorts all Officers commanding divisions, brigades and regiments &c. to have their Officers, and the Men, under their respective Commands, properly informed of what is expected from them; that no Confusion may arise in case we should be suddenly called to Action, which there is no kind of doubt, is near at hand, and he hopes, and flatters himself, that the only contention will be, who shall render the most acceptable service to his Country, and his Posterity. The General also desires, that the Officers will be particularly attentive to the men’s Arms & Ammunition, that there may be no deficiency, or application for Cartridges, when we are called into the field.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1“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 49:53, gives the parole for this date as “Newmarkett” and the countersign as “Bolton.”

2These orders concern the brigading of eight of the nine regiments of Connecticut militia that were under orders to reinforce the Continental army at New York. Lt. Col. Experience Storrs commanded the 5th Regiment; Maj. Sylvanus Graves commanded the 7th Regiment; Col. John Douglas commanded the 21st Regiment; and Lt. Col. John Ely commanded the 3d Regiment. Obadiah Hosford (Horsford; 1724–1783) was lieutenant colonel commandant of the 12th Regiment, and Zabdiel Rogers (1737–1808) of Norwich was major commandant of the 20th Regiment. Rogers, who had been appointed a major in 1775, was promoted to colonel of militia in 1780. The two regiments assigned to Gen. Samuel Holden Parsons’s brigade apparently were Lt. Col. Oliver Smith’s 8th Regiment and Lt. Col. Dyar Throop’s 25th Regiment, both of which are listed as part of Parsons’s brigade in the general return of 3 Nov. 1776. Lt. Col. Jonathan Baldwin’s 10th Regiment of Connecticut militia is listed in Saltonstall’s brigade in that return (see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 3:499–502).

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