George Washington Papers

General Orders, 11 July 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, Pompton-plains [N.J.] July 11th 17[77]1

Parole: Alexandria.Countersigns: Arnold.

The army to pitch their tents to night and to morrow morning at gun-firing if the weather is good to strike them, and prepare every thing, with the greatest dispatch, for a march2—In case of rain in the morning, the tents are to remain standing, unless particular orders are given to the contrary. No kind of baggage, besides the tents, to be taken out of the waggons—Immediately after the morning gun, the General to be beaten thro’ the line instead of the Revellie3—Two field pieces fired from the park of artillery to be the signal for marching—The same order of march to be in force to morrow—Each division will station the necessary guards about its own encampment.

The separate Column of baggage to march under the direction, and agreeable to the orders, of the Quarter Master General.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The copyist inadvertently wrote “1780” in the dateline.

1According to local tradition, while at Pompton Plains GW headquartered at a small frame house on the banks of the Wanaque River owned by Capt. Arent Schuyler.

2On this date GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman also sent the following orders to Col. Daniel Morgan: “Upon a presumption that the Enemy intend to move either up the North or East River our Army marched this Morning from Morris Town and will proceed leisurely towards the Clove, unless we have some certain intelligence that they intend southward. Colo. Dayton who is at Elizabeth Town watching the Motions of the Fleet will give you immediate information which way they go. If up the East or North River, you will follow directly, keeping upon the right Flank of the main Army. The Road is rather better than the one we march. You need not harrass your Men, but come on leisurely, if there is any occasion to hurry we will send an express to you” (NN: Myers Collection, Daniel Morgan Papers).

3Baron von Steuben’s 1779 drill manual says that “The General is to be beat only when the whole are to march, and is the signal to strike the tents, and prepare for the march. . . . The Reveille is beat at day-break, and is the signal for the soldiers to rise, and the centries to leave off challenging” (Steuben, Regulations description begins [Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben]. Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States. Philadelphia, 1779. description ends , 91).

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