George Washington Papers

Orders to Captain John Thornton, 9 January 1777

Orders to Captain John Thornton

[Morristown, 9 January 1777]

You are to appoint proper Officers to command such of your Regiment as are here and in the vicinity of this place—who are to collect them together—and also to take charge of the sick & see they are properly taken care of & provided for. You are also to appoint & send an Officer to collect such of the Men belonging to the Regiment as were left on the East side of Hudsons River, who is to return with them to Head Qrs or Philadelphia & there wait for further orders giving me notice of his arrival. When you have done these things you are to repair with such other Officers as may not be wanting to command the Men left here, to Colo. George Weedon & receive such orders & instructions as he may think necessary to give, which you are to Obey. Given at Morristown this 9th day of January Anno Domini 1777.

Go: Washington

DS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, NKiSH. The document’s verso contains an account of a later date listing the names of several Virginia soldiers.

John Thornton (1749–1822) of Thornton Hill in Culpeper (later Rappahannock) County, Va., a distant cousin of GW, was married to Jane Washington, the daughter of GW’s half brother Augustine. Thornton commanded a rifle company in the Culpeper minutemen before being commissioned a captain in the 3d Virginia Regiment on 12 Feb. 1776. On 20 Mar. 1777 Thornton was appointed major of Col. Charles Mynn Thruston’s Additional Continental Regiment (see GW to Thornton, 20 Mar., and GW to George Weedon, 27 Mar. 1777), and from November 1778 to April 1779, when he left the Continental line, he served as the lieutenant colonel of Col. William Grayson’s Additional Continental Regiment.

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