George Washington Papers

General Orders, 25 June 1777

General Orders

Head-Quarters, Quibble town, June 25th 1777.1

Parole: Isleington.Countersigns: Italy.

The picquets to be relieved this day at 10 o’clock A.M. Tomorrow at 8 o’clock, the usual hour.

Whenever any firing, or any thing else unusual in the Camp is permitted by the Major General of the day; he is immediately to report it to the Commander in Chief; to prevent any unnecessary enquiries into the causes of it.

The officers are always to take the most particular care that no damage be done to the property of the Inhabitants where the troops are encamped—The inevitable distresses of war, are so great and numerous, that any addition to them must be deemed to proceed from barbarity and wantoness alone; more especially in us by whom that property was designed, and ought to be protected.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The diary of noted portrait painter Charles Willson Peale contains an account of his arrival at GW’s headquarters from Philadelphia on this date: “[June] 25 Rd. to the Army found all quiet and I took a Ride to quibble Town and See Genl. Washington, who promised to sit for his Miniature but at this Time he had not Leisure” (Peale Papers description begins Lillian B. Miller, ed. The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family. 5 vols. New Haven, 1983–2000. description ends , 1:235). On 26 June Peale observed from a nearby mountaintop Lord Stirling’s troops skirmishing with the British army, which he also recorded in his diary: “26 The Troops ordered to st[r]ike their Tents, and we expected to moove down towards Amboy, but early in the morning we understood that the Enemy were mooving toward us . . . I thought it prudent to moove off toward the Mountain as I could not get the Horse along but with difficulty. I moved on with the Waggons, and when I had Reached the Top of the Mountain, I went to [a] Rock which afforded one of most sublime prospects I have ever seen—overlooking the country as far as my Eyes could see—Brunswick Amboy and Statten Island—and even beyond the Bay at Amboy. The Enemy burnt 3 Houses in their progress and I could also distinguish their Course by the Dust. and we soon see that there was some Engagement at about 6 miles distance. This I have since understood was Genl. Stirlings Brigade which had like to have been Surrounded, he lost 3 pieces of Cannon, by Reason of the Artilery men being without Small arms, they were taken by the Enemys Light Horse. Coll.1 [ ] and his men behaved with uncommon bravery, he drew up his Men at the Top of the Hill near the Enemy who apprehended that we had a Larger Body behind and made a halt and formed for Battle—the Coll.1 then began to play some field pieces on them. And amediately pushed on them with his Musquetry which put them in some disorder, their numbers being so much supperior they recovered and the Coll.1 was oblige to give way to a force so much ⟨supperior⟩ an overmatch

“I had been but a short time here before Genl. Washington came to this spot and where I spent the whole day. I made a Slite sketch with my pensil of this View on the Back leaf of this Book.—Genl. Washington gave me an Invitation [to] Dine with him the Next Day—I went to a farmers House between the Mountains and got my Horse to the Continental pasture and took my Lodgings” (ibid., 235–36). The rough sketch [see figure 2] in Peale’s diary shows two figures, one undoubtedly meant to represent GW, seated on a rock on the edge of a cliff looking out across the Raritan River into the valley where the skirmishing had taken place. Peale did not dine with GW on the following day, however, but returned home without taking GW’s likeness: “27/I am obliged to get some linnen washed to appear desent at Genl. Washingtons, which made it near 12 O clock, and sending for my Horse, the Messenger Returned and brought me word that he was not to be found, I then went myself and had a long and very hott walk to no purpose, I offered a Soldier a Dollar to find him, this fellow was more fortunate and brought my Horse but too late to attend the General . . . And my impatience to see my family became so great that I could [not] with any Pleasure Stay to take the likeness of Genl. Washington and others who had made application to me” (ibid., 236–37).

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