George Washington Papers

General Orders, 11 May 1777

General Orders

Head-Quarters, Morristown May 11th 1777.

Parole: Essex.Countersign: Falmouth.

The 3rd 7th 11th & 15th Virginia Regts are to compose a Brigade, under the command of Brigadier Genl Woodford: And the 4th 8th 12th & 16th Virginia Regts, are to compose another, under the command of Brigadier Genl Scott.1

Benjamin Day Esqr: is appointed Brigade Major, to Genl Woodford, and Samuel Shaw Esqr: is appointed Brigade Major, to Brigadier Genl Knox; both to be respected and obeyed as such.2

A General Court Martial to sit, to morrow, at 9 o’clock, to try such prisoners, as shall be brought before them—All Evidences to attend.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

2Benjamin Day (1752–1821), a merchant from Fredericksburg, Va., served as Woodford’s brigade major until May 1778 when he resigned from the Continental army in order to become a deputy quartermaster general at Williamsburg, a position that he held until the end of the war (see Day to GW, 11 May 1778, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 31182, and GW to Day, 23 May 1778, DLC:GW). Samuel Shaw (1754–1794), son of a Boston merchant, joined the Continental army at Cambridge, Mass., on 1 Jan. 1776 as a second lieutenant in Knox’s artillery regiment. Shaw was named regimental adjutant in May 1776, and on 1 Jan. 1777 he became a first lieutenant in the 3d Continental Artillery. His appointment as Knox’s brigade major apparently was accompanied by a promotion to captain-lieutenant. Shaw became Knox’s aide-de-camp in May 1779, and he served in that capacity until the end of the war, being promoted to captain in April 1780 (see GW’s certificate of service for Shaw, 3 Nov. 1783, DLC:GW). Congress in 1786 appointed Shaw the first American consul in China, and GW as president renewed his appointment in 1790.

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