George Washington Papers

General Orders, 7 November 1776

General Orders

Head-Quarters, White-Plains, Nov: 7th 1776.

Parole: Dedham.Countersign: Newbury

The Colonels, or commanding officers of regiments are immediately to parade their men, examine the state of their regts and make out their Pay-Abstracts in a careful, correct manner for the month of September.

Genl Wadsworth’s Brigade to be in readiness to remove in a short notice, to the ground on which Lord Stirling is posted.1

Col. Silliman to take charge of the Brigade during Genl Wadsworth’s illness.

The General Officers, Colonels, and commanding Officers of regiments, are again called upon to examine the Baggage of the troops, under marching orders; to take care that the Tents & spare Arms of the regiment are first put into the Waggons, and then the proper Baggage of the regiment—No chairs, tables, heavy chests or lumber of any kind, to be put in, as it will certainly be thrown off, and left.2

No officer of any Rank is to meddle with a Waggon, or Cart, appropriated for any other regiment, or public use; as they wish to avoid confusion, and injuring the service.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Chaplain Benjamin Trumbull of Col. William Douglas’s regiment says in his journal entry for 8 Nov.: “The Brigade under General Wadsworth had orders to March at Break of Day and to Take the Ground where Lord Stirling had been encamped, about two miles West of where we lay before. Had our Tents loaded and marched before Sun rise” (“Trumbull Journal,” 208). Stirling’s brigade, which had been posted in the woods between White Plains and Tarrytown since the night of 28 Oct. to protect the army’s right flank, marched to North Castle on the afternoon of 7 Nov., and it proceeded the next day to Peekskill (see “McMichael’s Diary,” description begins William P. McMichael. “Diary of Lieutenant James McMichael, of the Pennsylvania Line, 1776–1778.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 16 (1892): 129–59. description ends 138). Although GW was not convinced until 8 Nov. that it was safe to begin reinforcing New Jersey, he apparently relieved Stirling’s brigade of its flanking duty on this date to free it for such an assignment. Composed of regiments from Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, Stirling’s brigade satisfied the recent council of war’s desire that New Jersey be reinforced by troops raised in states west of the Hudson River (see the proceedings of the council of war, 6 November). For Stirling’s subsequent crossing to New Jersey, see GW to Greene, 8 Nov., and note 3, GW to Putnam, 9 Nov., Stirling to GW, 10 Nov., and GW to Hancock, 11 November).

2General Howe issued similar orders to his army on 6 Nov. (see Kemble Papers description begins [Stephen Kemble]. The Kemble Papers. 2 vols. New York, 1884-85. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 16–17. description ends , 1:403).

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