George Washington Papers

General Orders, 18 September 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, at Reading Furnace [Pa.]1 Septr 18th 1777.

Parole: Perseverance.Countersigns: Prudence. Safety.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Gen. Peter Muhlenberg’s orderly book contains the following general orders for this date signed by Adj. Gen. Timothy Pickering: “The Rolls are to be called this evening & Officers and Men strictly charg’d not to stir from their Quarters, where their Corps are encamp’d, that they may be ready to march at a moments warning, Severe Punishment will be the Demerit of Offenders against this Order” (“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 34:470).

1Lt. James McMichael of Greene’s division says in his diary entry for this date: “We marched from the Yellow Springs at 4 A.M.; passed Warwick Furnace and encamped at Reading Furnace” ((“McMichael’s Diary,” description begins William P. McMichael. “Diary of Lieutenant James McMichael, of the Pennsylvania Line, 1776–1778.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 16 (1892): 129–59. description ends 151). Timothy Pickering says in his journal that on 17 Sept., “Part of the army marched to Reading Furnace, where they were joined by the rest the next day” (Pickering and Upham, Life of Pickering description begins Octavius Pickering and Charles W. Upham. The Life of Timothy Pickering. 4 vols. Boston, 1867–73. description ends , 1:161). Reading Furnace was on French Creek a few miles west of Warwick Furnace.

GW’s expenses for this date included £7.10 “Cash paid at Reading Furnace to Mr Olds” (household account book, 11 April 1776–21 Nov. 1780, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 28). A loose account in the Society Collection at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania lists expenses “To James Old Iron Master for Sundries Taken ⟨mutilated⟩ at Reading Furnace on the 18 & 19th days of Sep⟨tember⟩,” including animal fodder and pasturage, horses, cattle, and sheep, and “three Hand Screws & Six Buckets.”

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