George Washington Papers

General Orders, 8 October 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, Perkiomy [Pa.] October 8th 1777.

Parole: Countersign:

The Brigade Majors are to make returns to morrow, of the number of arms and accoutrements, wanting in the several regiments of their brigades, in order to their being completed without delay—They are also at the same time to make returns of the number of tin cannisters now in their brigades.

The battalion of militia from Virginia, commanded by Major Pickett, are to be attached to, and do duty with, General Woodford’s brigade.1

The men’s pouches are to be well greased at least once a week, especially that part of the flap which preserve them from injury in case of rain—The commanding officers of corps will pay attention to this.

The commanding officers of corps are immediately to select the most suitable of their men, and set them to making Mockasins for their corps—The Commissaries are to order the skins of the heads and legs of bullocks to be taken off, and applied to that use so far as they will go—The Commissaries also are to issue the raw hides for the purpose, upon the returns of the officers commanding corps.

John Farndon of Col. Hartley’s regiment, sentenced to suffer death, for the crime of “desertion to enemy,” and who was to have been executed yesterday, is to be executed to morrow at 12 o’clock—A detachment of Sixty men from each brigade is to parade at the park of Artillery at that time, to attend the execution.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Muhlenberg’s orderly book includes the following orders at the beginning of the general orders for this date: “The Troops to March at 8 o’clock this morning by the left in this Order. 1st Genl Smallwoods Militia 2d Genl Green’s 3d Stephens, 4th McDougal 5th Nash, 6th Park of Artillery, 7th Wayne 8th Sullivan 9th Ld Sterling, 10th Armstrongs Militia 11th Tent Waggons in the order of the Troops to which they belong then the Commissaries Waggons in the same Order, then the spare Ammunition Waggons, then the Q.M.G.

“A Sub and 12 Men of each Brigade to stay on the Ground till the Troops have march’d off to collect and bring on all Stragglers” (“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 35:68).

Lt. James McMichael says in his diary entry for this date: “At 8 a.m. we marched from our camp, passed Pennybecker’s Mill and along the Skippack road, then turning N.N.E., we crossed the North Wales road and proceeded to the road leading to Bethlehem, on which we encamped, in the township of Towamensing, 26 miles from Philadelphia, where we remained some days” (“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 154; see also GW’s first letter to James Mitchell Varnum of this date, and General Orders, 9 Oct., n.1).

1William Pickett (1742–1814) of Fauquier County, Va., had served as captain of a company of Fauquier County minutemen from October 1775 to April 1776 and had participated in the Battle of Great Bridge in December 1775. His rank of major at this time apparently was a temporary appointment for this expedition only. In February 1778 the Virginia council appointed Pickett major of a regiment of volunteers. His nomination in March 1778 as lieutenant colonel of the 2d Regiment of the Fauquier County militia was rejected by Gov. Patrick Henry.

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