George Washington Papers

General Orders, 21 September 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters [ ] Septemr 21st 1777.

Parole: Georgia.Countersigns: Grafton. Goshen.

The Honorable Congress have been pleased to appoint The Count Pulaski, to chief command of the American light dragoons, with the rank of Brigadier General.

Some diligent officers of each brigade are to be sent immediately to all the houses within four or five miles of the camp, to find and bring all stragglers to their respective corps—the Brigadiers will see this done.

The Major Generals and Brigadiers will see that their commissaries make competent provision for supplying the troops—One person in the issuing Commissary General’s department is without fail to call daily at Head Quarters to report the state of provisions, and receive orders.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Lt. James McMichael writes in his diary entry for this date: “At 3 P.M. we marched to the Ridge Road, where we halted ’till 9, crossed the Perkiomen and Skippack [creeks], passed the Trappe and encamped near Pottsgrove [Pottstown]” ((“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 152). Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, who lived near Trappe, says in his journal entry for this date that “at twelve o’clock at night the vanguard of the American army passed by with its field pieces. Some of the troops pounded on our door as if they wished to break it. Our house guests jumped up and asked what they wanted. Answer: Fire. A German captain happened to be among them and drove them away” (Tappert and Doberstein, Muhlenberg Journals description begins Theodore G. Tappert and John W. Doberstein, trans. and eds. The Journals of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1942–58. description ends , 3:78–79). General Howe says that on this date his army “moved by Valley Forge and encamped upon the banks of Schuylkill extending from Fat Land Ford to French Creek. The enemy upon this movement quitted their position and marched towards Potsgrove in the evening of this day” (Howe to Germain, 10 Oct. 1777, in Davies, Documents of the American Revolution description begins K. G. Davies, ed. Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783; (Colonial Office Series). 21 vols. Shannon and Dublin, 1972–81. description ends , 14:202–9; see also Muenchhausen, At General Howe’s Side description begins Friedrich von Muenchhausen. At General Howe’s Side, 1776–1778: The Diary of General William Howe’s Aide de Camp, Captain Friedrich von Muenchhausen. Translated by Ernst Kipping. Annotated by Samuel Smith. Monmouth Beach, N.J., 1974. description ends , 35; Scull, Montresor Journals description begins G. D. Scull, ed. The Montresor Journals. New York, 1882. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vol. 14. description ends , 456; Lydenberg, Robertson Diaries description begins Harry Miller Lydenberg, ed. Archibald Robertson, Lieutenant-General Royal Engineers: His Diaries and Sketches in America, 1762–1780. New York, 1930. description ends , 149; André, Journal description begins John André. Major André’s Journal: Operations of the British Army under Lieutenant Generals Sir William Howe and Sir Henry Clinton, June 1777 to November 1778. 1930. Reprint. New York, 1968. description ends , 51; Baurmeister, Revolution in America description begins Carl Leopold Baurmeister. Revolution in America: Confidential Letters and Journals, 1776–1784, of Adjutant General Major Baurmeister of the Hessian Forces. Translated and annotated by Bernhard A. Uhlendorf. New Brunswick, N.J., 1957. description ends , 115–16; and Ewald, Diary description begins Johann Ewald. Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal. Translated and edited by Joseph P. Tustin. New Haven and London, 1979. description ends , 90). GW’s headquarters was near Fatland Ford earlier this day (see Tench Tilghman to Alexander McDougall, 21 Sept., in GW to McDougall, 22 Sept., n.2, and Tilghman to Israel Putnam, 21 Sept., in GW to Putnam, 23 Sept., source note).

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