George Washington Papers

General Orders, 16 August 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, near the Cross roads, August 16th 1777.

Parole: Bristol.Countersigns: Coventry.

Standing Regulations.

1st When the army is to march, the General (and not the Revellie) is to beat in the morning.

2nd At the beating of the General, the officers and soldiers are to dress & prepare themselves for the march, packing up and loading their baggage.

3rd At the beating of the troop, they are to strike all their tents and put them in the waggons; all the waggons to be sent (with the guard directed in the after orders of July 4th) to the place where the whole is appointed to assemble.

4th In due time, at least a quarter of an hour before the time appointed for marching, the drummers are to beat a march, upon which the troops are to march out and form at the head of their emcampment; the files to be completed, and the battalions properly told off—precisely at the hour appointed for marching, the drummers beat the march a second time, at that part of the line from which the march is to be made (whether the right, left or center) upon which the troops face or wheel, (according to the order of march which shall be prescribed,) towards that place where the march was beat, and instantly begin the march.

5th At the beating of the General, the regimental Quarter Masters, and Camp-colour-men, are to assemble, and forthwith parade on the right, left or center of the line, according as the army shall march, from one or the other—The Brigade and Division Quarter Masters—so many of the artificers as the Qr Mr General, or his Deputy shall direct—and all the pioneers, are to assemble at the same time and place—The Quarter Master General, or one of his deputies, will then march them to the place where the army is to encamp—The pioneers and Artificers are to go in the front to repair the roads, and remove any obstructions that may incommode the line of march—The Quarter Masters and Camp colour men follow, in the order the corps, to which they belong, stand in the line.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Beneath the Varick transcript the copyist wrote this note: “The remainder of this day’s Orders, lost.” Brig. Gen. Peter Muhlenberg’s copy of the general orders contains the text, however:

“The whole are to march with Perfect regularity either by files or small Plattoons as shall be found most Convenient as the Q.M. and his Deputy shall direct, and in the March not a man to quit his place without leave first Obtain’d. The Camp Colour Men from the Regiml Q.M. and such Qr Master from his superior and this leave is to be granted only for the Necessary Occasions when they arrive at the Ground of Encampment, the Q.M.G. will assign the Ground for his Division. The Division Q.M. for each Brigade and Brigade Q.M. for each Regt.

“The Ground being mark’d out they will by the help of the Artificers Pioneers and C.C. Men repair and remove everything Necessary to make the Camp Commodious, as time and Circumstance will permit, and if the Army will probably continue in the place more than one Night. The Q.M. will see to have Necessaries prepar’d agreable to G.O. of the 12th Instant and when necessaries are thus provided no other places are to be used and Sentries are to take Prisoner every man who shall ease himself in any other place. When the Army Encamps in two Lines the Necessary Houses of the Front line are to be at a Convenient distance not less than one hundred & 50 yards, advanc’d before this Line, them for the rear Line are to be in the rear.

“Previous to a March Drum & Fife Majors are to determine upon the time which shall be play’d and then all the Musicians of the Brige are to play that Tune and no other. The Musick is often play’d so fast as to render the stepping in time exceeding troublesome. The Drum and Fife Majors are to Regulate that matter also.

“In whatever place the Army halts the Officers Genl Staff and the post Master are to take their Quarters as near to head Quarters as possible, and to send immediate notice to the Adjt Genl of the places where they have Quartered. That Genl orders may be universally known, the Officer at the head of each separate department is to send daily to head Quarters a suitable person to take the orders of the day. Notwithstanding the order of the 9th Instant for Issuing Soap for the Troops, complaints is made that they are not duly supplied.

“The Commr in Chief possitively orders that the Commissaries immediately provide and at all times keep ready to be Issued a full supply of that very necessary article.

“The Commr in Chief is pleas’d to approve the following Sentences of a Genl Court Martial held the 12th and 13th Instant, whereof Colo Spencer was President and orders them to be put in execution immediately. Vizt Lt Bentley of the 5th Virga Regt charg’d with appearing on the Parade not conformable to orders found Guilty and sentenced to be reprimanded by the Colo in the Presence of the Officers of the Regt he belongs to.

“Ensign [William] Pride of the 5th Virga Regt charg’d with appearing on the parade not conformable to orders acquitted of the charge.

“James Kelly of the 6th Virga Regt charg’d with deserting to the enemy, Acquitted of the Charge.

“Geo: Mills of the 10th Virga Regt charged with desertion found Guilty and sentence to receive 100 Lashes.

“Ensign James Dunhall of Colo Stewart Regt charg’d with inviting Serjt Miners into his Tent and dining with him acquitted.

“A Genl Court Martial is to set tomorrow at 9 o’clock at the usual place near head Quarters for the Tryal of all the Prisoners which shall be brought before them. Colo McClanahan is appointed president of this Court all witnesses to attend.

“Muhlenburgh to give 1 Capt 2 Sub 1 Sub. 8 Privates To parade at 6 o’clock in the Front of Genl Woodfords Encampment. Genl Weedon and Genl Woodfords Brige are to furnish one proper man each for to attend 2 French Gentlemen the Colo and Lt Colo of Engineers, the two men are to be sent to head Quarters as soon as possible.

Advertisement. Lost yesterday a black leather Pocket Book containing a Number of Papers valuable to the owner only and a small sum of money the Person who has found it by returning it to the Adjt Genl shall receive a Satisfactory reward” (“Muhlenberg’s Orderly Book,” description begins “Orderly Book of Gen. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, March 26–December 20, 1777.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 33 (1909): 257–78, 454–74; 34 (1910): 21–40, 166–89, 336–60, 438–77; 35 (1911): 59–89, 156–87, 290–303. description ends 34:353–55).

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