George Washington Papers

General Orders, 17 October 1777

General Orders

Head-Quarters, at Peter Wentz’s—Worcester-Township, [Pa.]
October 17th 1777.

Parole: Bennington.Countersigns: Albany stanwix.

The troops are to be under arms at eleven o’clock this forenoon, except those men who are employed in making cartridges; and the General expects that the commanding officer of each regiment daily keeps a number of the best hands diligently working at that business, ’till further orders. The troops are to parade with one days provisions ready cooked.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Lt. James McMichael wrote in his diary entry for this date: “At 4 A.M. the 13th Pennsylvania, with the 2d and 5th Virginia regiments marched to White Marsh Church, where we built large fires and returned to our camp” ((“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). This action apparently prompted Howe to send a large reconnaissance force to Whitemarsh the following day (see General Orders, 18 Oct., n.1). “We learnt,” British major John André says in his journal entry for 18 Oct., “that the night before General Wayden [George Weedon] with 400 or 500 men had arrived there [Whitemarsh] at 4 o’clock, that he had made large fires along a considerable extent of ground, and at 10 o’clock had retired again. He termed this a manoeuvre” (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 , 59).

Index Entries