George Washington Papers

General Orders, 2 November 1777

General Orders

Head-Quarters, White-Marsh [Pa.] Novemr 2nd 1777.1

Parole Morristown.C. Signs Brunswick. Amboy.

Each division is to open a road into the best and nearest main road, leading into the country, by which the waggons and troops may move with the greatest ease and dispatch—The Commander in Chief relies upon the officers commanding divisions to see this necessary work performed as soon as possible—The waggons are to be regularly drawn up, in the best order, for moving, and every night the horses are to be had to the waggons, and gear’d every morning at day light.

The Division and Brigade Quarter Masters are to provide straw for the troops, taking none that is not threshed, But the men will collect what they can find for the same use.

The General Court Martial of which General Sullivan is president, is to sit to morrow morning, at nine o’clock, at the presidents quarters, for the trial of Major General Stephen, upon the charges exhibited against him, the delay that may arise from the appointment of new members, and the impracticability of changing the General Officers, without introducing those who have already been on the court of enquiry, relative to the same charges, renders it necessary that this trial should be before the same court.2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

In Muhlenberg’s orderly book the general orders begin with this sentence: “Detail the same as yesterday, only the North Carolina Brigade gives no Men” (“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 35:169).

1GW headquartered at Whitemarsh, Pa., between 2 Nov. and 11 Dec. 1777, in what is now Upper Dublin Township, Montgomery County, about twelve miles northwest of Philadelphia. While at Whitemarsh GW stayed at Emlen House, a family summerhouse built by George Emlen, a Philadelphia Quaker, around 1745 and owned at this time by Emlen Devereux. Lt. James McMichael of the Pennsylvania line says that upon their arrival at Whitemarsh the troops “erected abatis in front of our encampment” (“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 155).

2For the background to Maj. Gen. Adam Stephen’s court-martial, see General Orders, 25 October. For his dismissal from the Continental service for his behavior during the retreat from Germantown and his chronic drunkenness, see General Orders, 20 November.

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