George Washington Papers

General Orders, 31 October 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, Whitpain Township [Pa.] October 31st 1777.

Parole Brookfield.C. Signs Blandford. Blenheim.

Richard Platt and Ranald Stephen McDougall Esqrs. are appointed Aids-de-Camp to Major General McDougall, and are to be respected as such.

The Deputy Quarter Masters General are to make a return to the Qr Mr General’s office, of all equipage, and stores, waggons &c.—in their respective divisions—the returns to be made to morrow morning at 9 o’clock.

The Commander in Chief approves the following sentences of a General Court Martial, of the Brigade of horse, held the 24th instant, of which Col. Bland was president—vizt.

Col. Moylan charged with “Disobedience of the orders of Genl Pulaski—a cowardly and ungentlemanlike action in striking Mr Zielinski, a Gentleman, and officer in the polish service when disarmed; and putting him under guard; and giving irritating language to Genl Pulaski ”—The Court were of opinion that Col. Moylan was not guilty, and therefore acquitted him of the charges exhibited against him.1

Col. Moylan is discharged from arrest.2

Some doubts having arisen with regard to the order of promotions, The Commander in Chief thinks it expedient again to declare, that promotions shall be regimental, as high as the rank of Captains inclusively—All from that rank in the line of the state: But subject nevertheless to such exceptions, as merit or unworthiness shall render just and proper, agreeably to the General Orders, formerly issued at Middlebrook, on this head.3

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1John (Ignatz, Ignacy) de Zielinski (d. 1779), a relative of Casimir Pulaski, whose mother was born a Zielinski, served as a volunteer without rank until 18 April 1778, when he was commissioned captain of the first troop of dragoons in Pulaski’s Legion. Zielinski, whose dispute with Col. Stephen Moylan did not end with Moylan’s acquittal of this date (see Pulaski to GW, 4 Dec. 1777, and GW to Pulaski, 4 Feb. 1778), was mortally wounded during a skirmish in the southern department in the spring of 1779 and died several months later at a hospital in Charleston.

2Muhlenberg’s orderly book contains the following text at this point: “Archer Hinly [Henly] a private of Colonel Bland’s Regt charg’d with plundering Wm Lawrence, was found guilty and sentenc’d to run the Gauntlet thro’ a Detachment of 50 of the Brigade of Horse. Judah Ludley [Gridley] a private in Capt [Benjamin] Tallmage’s Troop of Col. [Elisha] Sheldon’s Regt, charg’d with extorting Money from John Thomson, and also for refusing to give himself up and attempting to escape from Capt. Richard [Taylor] and Francis Taylor, and attempting to draw his sword to keep them off, was found guilty and sentenc’d to run the Gauntlet thro’ a Detachment of the Brg of Horse consisting of 200 Men. William Patterson a private in Col. Sheldon’s Regt charg’d with plundering Wm. Lawrence was found guilty and sentenc’d to run the Gauntlet thro’ a Detachmt of 50 Men of the Brigade of Horse” (“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 35:165). Weedon’s orderly book also contains the additional text but gives the name of Judah Gridley as “Judah Gudley” (Weedon’s Orderly Book description begins Valley Forge Orderly Book of General George Weedon of the Continental Army under Command of Genl George Washington, in the Campaign of 1777–8: Describing the Events of the Battles of Brandywine, Warren Tavern, Germantown, and Whitemarsh, and of the Camps at Neshaminy, Wilmington, Pennypacker’s Mills, Skippack, Whitemarsh, & Valley Forge. New York, 1902. description ends , 111).

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