George Washington Papers

General Orders, 27 December 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, Valley-Forge, Decr 27th 1777.

Parole: Castleton.Countersigns: Pittsburg. Stanwix.

Mr Berryman Greene at present Quarter Master is appointed Pay-Master, to the first regiment of Light Dragoons, and to be respected as such.1

Mr John Hughes, Quarter Master Serjeant to the 6th troop, is appointed Quarter Master to the same regiment in the room of Quarter Master Greene, and to be respected as such.2

All the troops are to draw and cook provisions for to morrow.

Notwithstanding the orders repeatedly given, for calling the absent officers to camp,3 the Commander in Chief is informed, that many are still scattered about the Country, mispending their time, to the prejudice of the service, and injury of those officers who remain and attend their duty in Camp—He therefore directs, that the Brigadiers and officers commanding brigades forthwith make a strict enquiry, concerning all the officers absent from their brigades; and such as are absent without leave from proper authority, or having had such leave remain unnecessarily absent, are to be immediately notified to return to camp without delay on pain of being suspended or cashiered.

Each brigade Quarter Master is to make a return, this afternoon, to the D. Q. M. General,4 of the number of officer’s huts necessary for their brigades, according to the regulation in General orders.5

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, who lived about ten miles northwest of the Valley Forge encampment at Trappe, Pa., wrote in his journal on this date that “In the evening it began to snow hard and continued throughout the night”; on the following day he wrote that “It continued snowing all day” (Tappert and Doberstein, Muhlenberg Journals description begins Theodore G. Tappert and John W. Doberstein, trans. and eds. The Journals of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1942–58. description ends , 3:116–17).

1Berryman Green (1754–1825) of Westmoreland County, Va., served as paymaster of the 1st Continental Dragoons with the rank of captain until April 1779, and in 1781 he acted as assistant deputy quartermaster general in Virginia.

2John Hughes (1758–1826) of Brunswick County, Va., had been quartermaster sergeant of the 1st Continental Regiment since February 1777. He was promoted to captain in March 1781 and transferred to Col. George Baylor’s regiment of dragoons in November 1782, serving to the close of the war.

3See, for instance, General Orders, 20 Dec. 1777.

4Deputy Quartermaster General Henry Emanuel Lutterloh had been de facto head of the quartermaster department since November 1777.

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