George Washington Papers

General Orders, 17 October 1776

General Orders

Head Quarters, Harlem Heights, Octobr 17th 1776

Parole: .Countersign:

There are a number of priming-Wires and Brushes in the Commissary’s Store, near Genl Spencer’s Quarters, and at Kingsbridge; in the latter a number of Pouches, which are to be distributed among the Brigades. The Brigadiers are desired to send to those places, where they may receive priming-Wires and Brushes; the Pouches are to be divided, and each Brigadier is to send for his proportion, as soon as possible and have them filled with spare Cartridges.

As the Movements of the Enemy make an Alteration of our position necessary, and some regiments are to move towards them, the commanding and the other Officers of regiments, are to see the following Orders punctually executed.

The Tents are to be struck, and carefully rolled, the men to take the Tent poles in their hands—two Men out of a Company with a careful Subaltern, to go with the Baggage, and not leave it on any pretence—No Packs (unless of Sick Men) Chairs, Tables, Benches or heavy lumber, to be put on the Waggons—No person, unless unable to walk, is to presume to get upon them—The Waggons to move forward before the regiments, the Quarter Master having first informed himself from the Brigadier, or Brigade Major, where they are to pitch—Every Regiment under marching orders, to see they have their Flints & Ammunition in good order and complete.

Lieut. Nevins of Col. Tylers regiment is to do the duty of Captain, in the room of Major Chipman lately promoted.1

Daniel Lyman Esqr: is appointed Major of Brigade, to Genl Fellows, and is to be respected accordingly.2

A General Court Martial whereof Col. Ewing was President, having convicted Lieut: Pope of the Rangers, of the scandalous Crime of “Conniving at plundering—contrary to frequent and express orders,” and sentenced him to be cashiered; The General approves the sentence, and he is accordingly cashiered. The same Court having convicted Corporal Geo. Wilson of “plundering Mr Bushey’s House at Harlem”—and sentenced him to receive 39 Lashes—The General approves the sentence, and orders it to be executed to morrow on the parade, before the Guards march off—The Provost Marshal to see it done.3

Col. Weedon’s and Col. Reed’s Regiments to join Lord Stirling’s Brigade immediately.

Major Parker of Genl Heard’s Brigade to attend the Works, and be execused other duty.4

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1David Nevins (1747–1838) of Norwich, Conn., who had served as an ensign in the 6th Connecticut Regiment during 1775, was appointed a first lieutenant in the 10th Continental Regiment on 1 Jan. 1776.

2Daniel Lyman (1756–1830) of Durham, Conn., who had left Yale College during the Lexington alarm in April 1775 to join Benedict Arnold’s New Haven Volunteers, returned to Yale earlier this year and finished his degree before this day’s appointment as brigade major. In the spring of 1777 Lyman was commissioned a captain in Col. William Lee’s Additional Continental Regiment, and in May 1778 he became an aide-de-camp to General Heath, in which capacity he served until the end of the war. In 1790 GW appointed Lyman surveyor and inspector for the port of Newport, and from 1812 to 1816 he was chief justice of the Rhode Island supreme court.

3The copyist inadvertently wrote “Pove” on the manuscript. Jacob Pope of Massachusetts, a second lieutenant in the 21st Continental Regiment who had been detached to the corps of rangers commanded by Maj. Andrew Colburn, was tried on 15 October. At the trial John Bushing testified: “My House is down by the 8 Mile Stone [on the post road]. The Day after the Army retreated from [New] York, I left the House & left most of our articles in the House. I heard that the Rangers had a Number of Things & apply’d to Lieut. Pope to get them. Lieut. Pope appeared quite willing to have the men searched. I found an old Chest, 20 lb. yarn, a Pot, an Ax & two or three other Trifles in the Quarters of the Men. I took them away without opposition. Lieut. Pope told me he had taken a Gun out of the House, but told me I should not have it unless I gave him five Dollars or got an Order for it from the General. I accordingly got an Order & then Lieut. Pope told me he had sent the Gun beyond Kingsbridge & gave me an Order to get it. Lieut. Pope appear’d quite willing to have me take away every Thing I found, except, the Gun, which he made no Difficulty about, after I had the General’s Order.”

Capt. Lemuel Holmes of the rangers testified that Pope had removed the articles from the house to “save them for the Owners or the Continent,” and they subsquently had been inventoried and sent to headquarters. Holmes added, however, that “Lieut. Pope shewed me a Gun & said he thought that was his Property.” Both a sergeant and Adj. Thomas U. Fosdick then testified that Pope paid $5 to Corp. George Wilson for a coat and jacket that had been taken from Bushing’s house. Pope admitted buying a coat from Wilson, but he denied knowing it was plunder. After the court found Pope “guilty of Conniving at plundering,” it proceeded that same day to try Wilson who pleaded guilty to the charge against him. The court not only sentenced him “to be whipped thirty nine Lashes” but also “in future that he do Duty as a Private Centinel” (see the court-martial proceedings, 16 Oct., DLC:GW).

4Samuel Franklin Parker (1745–1779) was appointed a captain in Col. David Forman’s regiment of New Jersey militia levies on 14 June 1776, and he became major of the regiment on 10 July.

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