George Washington Papers

General Orders, 7 November 1777

General Orders

Head-Quarters, White Marsh [Pa.] Novr 7th 1777.

Parole Exeter.C. Signs Kingston. Dover.

The independent Company commanded by Captn Weaver is to be annexed to, and do duty with the 10th Pennsylvania regiment ’till further orders.1

Some disputes having arisen relative to certain men, inlisted by Mr Nelson, now doing duty in the 7th Pennsylvania regiment—A Court of inquiry is to examine into the matter, and report their opinion, whether those men should remain as they are, or be transferred to the 9th Pennsylv. regt for which regiment it is said they were inlisted. A field officer and captain from Maxwell’s brigade, and one field officer from Col. Humpton’s brigade are to compose this court, which is to sit to morrow morning at nine o’clock at Col. Brearley’s quarters, who is to be one of the members.2

It is expected by the Commander in Chief, that all intelligence from the enemy’s lines, which may come to the knowledge of any officer, and bears the marks of authenticity, will be immediately communicated to him, or the Major General of the day, who will, if the cause requires it, give immediate information thereof to him.

Officers commanding at out-posts, are to receive and detain, all passes which are given merely for the purpose of passing them, lest they should afterwards be put to an improper use.

Since the General left Germantown in the middle of September last he has been without his baggage, and on that account is unable to receive company in the manner he could wish3—he never-theless desires, the Generals, Field Officers, and Brigade Major of the day, to dine with him in future, at three o’clock in the afternoon.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

The general orders printed in Muhlenberg’s orderly book, misdated “Novr 5th 1777,” omit the words “in the afternoon” at the end but contain the following additional order: “A Detachment of 370 Men properly Officer’d is to parade tomorrow morning at sun rise on the grand parade. The detail is the same as for the daily Guards. Detail the same as Yesterday. Col. Russell, Lt. Col. Mead and Major Sill are to Command the detachment” (“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 35:172; see also 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 , 120–21).

1Jacob Weaver (1732–1812), who had been appointed an ensign in the 3d Pennsylvania Battalion on 22 April 1776, was captured at Fort Washington, N.Y., on 16 Nov. 1776, and he was not exchanged until 12 Dec. 1780. Even so, Weaver was named captain of the independent company mustered for the defense of Lancaster, Pa., on 13 Jan. 1777, and although he never joined his company, he remained on the company rolls until 17 Jan. 1781.

2When the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment was formed in 1776, Capt. John Nelson of Philadelphia and his independent company were incorporated into that unit. Nelson did not bring all of his soldiers to the 9th with him, however. According to a return made on 17 July 1777, Nelson “sold thirty-one men to Col. Grier, of Seventh Penn’a . . . and the men not yet returned” (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 5th ser., 3:381). Although Nelson was cashiered for this action in May 1777, it is not known whether the men ever returned to the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment.

3For GW’s instructions concerning the collection and removal to a safe location of all unnecessary baggage now that a period of active campaigning seemed to be at hand, see his general orders of 27 Aug., 5, 7, and 10 September. See also GW to Thomas Polk, 23 Sept., and source note.

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