George Washington Papers

General Orders, 29 November 1777

General Orders

Head-Quarters, White Marsh [Pa.] Novr 29th 1777.

Parole Kensington.C. Signs Newtown. Princeton.

The officers commanding regiments are to see that their men’s arms are put in the best order possible; and of the loaded ones, such as can be drawn, are to be drawn, and the others discharged the first fair day, at eleven o’clock in the forenoon; but to prevent the waste of lead, the men of each regiment, or brigade are to discharge their pieces, into a bank of earth, from whence the lead may be taken again.

A court of enquiry is to sit to morrow morning at nine o’clock at Col. Gist’s quarters, to enquire into the conduct of Capt: Edward Scull of the 4th Pennsylvania regiment in “Ordering the pay Master of that regiment to pay Capt. Weitz a sum of money, for a purpose suggested to be unwarrantable”—Col. Gist is appointed president of this court—Lieut. Col. Barber and Major Ross are to be members.1

Col. Spencer is appointed president, and Major Bayard and a Captain of Col. Lee’s regiment members, of a Court of enquiry to sit to morrow morning at ten o’clock, at the president’s quarters, to inquire into the conduct of Lieut. Reynold’s of Col. Malcom’s regt for “Abusing Daniel Messerly Esqr. and other persons on the 2nd of last August,” as exhibited in their depositions.2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Edward Scull, who served as an adjutant in Col. Henry Haller’s regiment of Pennsylvania flying camp in 1776, was commissioned a captain in the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1777. The outcome of the court of inquiry has not been discovered. Scull corresponded with GW, however, in the winter of 1778 about Continental recruiting efforts (see Edward Scull, Alexander Patterson, and William Wilson to GW, 18 Feb., and GW’s reply to the officers, 23 Feb. 1778). Scull apparently left the Continental army in 1779, and the next year he served as major of the 6th Regiment of Berks County militia. “Capt. Weitz” may be Casper Weitzel, who was a major in the Northumberland County Associators before serving as a captain in the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment from March 1776 to January 1777, or William Wirtz, a captain in the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment from December 1776 to at least March 1778 and in the 8th Regiment of Lancaster County militia after 1780.

2Daniel Messerly was from York County, Pa., where he served on the committee of safety in 1774 and 1775.

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