George Washington Papers

General Orders, 18 November 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, White Marsh [Pa.] Novr 18th 1777.

Parole Westminster.C. Signs Winchester. Woodbridge.

The Government of the State of Pennsylvania, having appointed Commissioners in each county thereof, to collect blankets and cloathing for the army—All officers sent round in the state for that purpose are, by their commanding officers, to be called in as soon as possible, with what cloathing they have.1

Richard Claiborne Esqr: is appointed Brigade Major to General Weedon’s brigade, and is to be obeyed as such.2

After Orders. The whole army is immediately to draw provisions, for to morrow and next day, and cook the provisions of one of those days, and get ready to march at the shortest notice.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Muhlenberg’s orderly book omits the last phrase of the first paragraph and adds the following orders at that point: “a Detachment equal to the Daily Guards are to parade Tomorrow Morning at Half after three o’clock on the Grand Parade with one Days Provisions Cooked. The Brigade Majors will have their Men drawn out at Retreat Beating & see that they are properly fixed for the Duty. Colo Hall, Lt. Colo Burr & Major Adams will Command the Detachment. The Remains of the late Capn Foster of the 15th Virginia Regt will be Interred this afternoon at 4 o’clock with the Honors of War” (“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 35:181; 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 , 133).

1The Pennsylvania council of safety appointed county commissioners on 21 Oct. and 8 Nov. to confiscate blankets, clothing, arms, and other items from those who had given assistance to the British (Pa. Col. Records description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends , 11:328–31, 339–40; see also GW’s Authority to Collect Clothing, c.1 Nov.).

2Richard Claiborne (1755–1818), who had been commissioned a lieutenant in the 1st Continental Artillery Regiment in January 1776, was appointed a special deputy quartermaster general without a specific jurisdiction in September 1778. In that capacity Claiborne assisted Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene throughout the latter’s tenure as quartermaster general, taking a prominent role in supplying the troops during Maj. Gen. John Sullivan’s disastrous western expedition in 1779. Claiborne left the service when Greene resigned as quartermaster general in the summer of 1780. He was appointed deputy quartermaster for the state of Virginia in late 1780. Claiborne settled in Louisiana in the 1790s.

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