George Washington Papers

General Orders, 3 June 1777

General Orders

Head-Quarters, Middle-Brook, June 3rd 1777.

Parole: Norfolk.Countersigns: New-London. Nantz.

As in the detached state of the Artillery, the men often suffer for want of Surgeons, it being impossible for their own regimental Surgeons to take due care of them, dispersed as they are, over the whole line—Each Brigadier is to see that the regimental surgeons of his brigade pay every necessary attention to the detachment of artillery annexed thereto.

Regimental Surgeons are not to send any of their sick to Hospital without first obtaining a certificate from the Surgeon General, or one of his deputies for the purpose.

The Brigadiers to have the springs, adjacent to their several encampments, well cleared and enlarged; placing Sentries over them, to see that the water is not injured by dirty utensils. A board1 sunk in them, will be the best mean to keep them from being muddy, and an arbour over them will serve to preserve them cool. They are also to have all dead cattle, horses, or other carrion removed to a distance from the camp, and buried deep under ground. They will see that the orders to promote cleanliness are punctually observed, and indeed all others; for whether particularly called upon, or not, The Comander in Chief looks to them, with an attentive eye, for the execution of all his orders, which they must be sensible their duty, and honor demand.

No prisoners, whose crimes may properly come before a regimental Court Martial to be sent to, or received at, the Provost guard; but to be committed to regimental Quarter guards, and regimentally tried.

It having been represented to the General, that commanding officers of corps, undertake to seize and confine Commissaries, at their pleasure in common Guard-houses—He thinks it necessary to declare, that a practice so irregular and injurious cannot be tolerated: At the same time, he means not to countenance any neglect of duty in the Commissaries; but will be ready to attend, to whatever complaints may be justly made against them; to rectify the abuses they commit, and punish their delinquency.2

No horses to be let loose into the wheat, or other fields about camp; unless first pointed out, and devoted to the purpose, by the Quarter Master General.

Brigadiers to see the order, for the arrangement of officer’s ranks, immediately complied with, by appointing a day, for the field officers of each regiment to take it up.3 The General is surprised, and sorry to find, that a matter about which so much anxiety and embarrassment have been expressed, when put upon a proper footing to be adjusted, meets with so much neglect and delay.

The Generals, Field Officers, and Brigade Majors of the day, will be expected to favor His Excellency with their company at dinner, as a standing rule, without particular invitation.

The following sentences of a Court Martial, held the 2nd Inst: are approved by the Commander in Chief; and their immediate execution directed.

Abraham Wood of the 9th Pennsyl: regiment, tried for “Desertion,” and sentenced to receive 25 lashes.

Jacob Rose—12th Pennsylv: regt tried for “Desertion,” and sentenced to receive 25 lashes.

John Welsh—7th Maryland regt charged with “Desertion”—The Court are of opinion, he is intitled to the benefit of General Washington’s proclamation, offering pardon to deserters;4 and that he should be delivered to Major Bush to do duty in his regiment, until he can be sent to the regiment he belongs to.

Henry Ryan of the 8th Pennsylv: regt charged with “Encouraging Desertion”—and sentenced to receive 50 lashes.

Patrick Henry of the 11th Pennsylv: regt charged with “Having inlisted into two regiments, without being discharged”—sentenced to be reprimanded by the commanding officer of the regiment he belongs to, and the money he received as bounty from Capt. Taylor of the 5th Pennsylva: regiment to be stop’d out of his pay.5

Lieut: Thomas Cook of the 8th Pennsylv: regt charged with “Having made known the Parole & Countersign, to a person not entitled to receive them”—found guilty of the charge exhibited against him, but in consideration of his good character, sentenced only to be reprimanded by the Colonel, in the presence of the officers of the regiment he belongs to.6

Lieut: Jolly of the 11th Pennsylv: regt charged with “Cowardice and neglect of duty”—not guilty, and ordered to be released from his arrest forthwith.7

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Muhlenberg’s orderly book includes the following order at the end of the general orders for this date: “The Prisoners mention’d in this day’s orders to be punish’d at the head of their respective Regts for which purpose the commanding Officers will send for them to the main Guard” (“Muhlenberg’s Orderly Book,” 33:275). Lincoln’s orderly book includes the following “After orders” at the end of the general orders for this date: “All the troops of the line to be under arms tomorrow morning at 3 oClock and continue out till Sunrise” (MHi: Lincoln Papers).

1The copy of the general orders of this date in Lincoln’s orderly book reads: “a barrel” (MHi: Lincoln Papers).

2Tench Tilghman on this date wrote Commissary Gen. Joseph Trumbull: “His Excellency [GW] commands me to acknowledge yours of this date with an extract of Colonel Brodheads Order. He desires me to inform you, that altho’ he does not countenance neglect of duty in any officer, yet he is determined to see that proper steps are taken to procure redress. You or your Deputies may have been to blame, but if you or they are so, a regular complaint should have been lodged and not an order for Arrest. If therefore you think you are aggreived, you have a right to call a Court of enquiry upon Colo. Brodheads Conduct” (DLC:GW). Trumbull’s letter to GW of this date has not been found.

5James Taylor (c.1750–c.1815) of Lancaster County, Pa., who had been appointed a captain in the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1776 and judge advocate general of the northern department in December 1776, became a captain in the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1777. Taylor was promoted to major of that regiment on 23 Sept. 1777. He resigned his commission in April 1778.

6Thomas Cook (1749–1831), whose name is sometimes given as Thomas T. or Thomas B. Cook, became a first lieutenant in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment in August 1776. He was promoted to captain in that regiment in July 1777, and he resigned his commission in January 1779.

7Maybury Jolly joined the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment as a second lieutenant in September 1776, and he was promoted in that regiment to first lieutenant on 9 April 1777 and to captain on 31 Mar. 1778. Jolly retired from the army on 1 July 1778. In 1781 he was “Clerk of the Files & for Copying Accounts” under the superintendent of finance (civil list, 1781, DNA:PCC, item 34).

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