George Washington Papers

General Orders, 31 December 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, Valley Forge, Decr 31st 1777.

Parole: Lebannon.Countersigns: Woodstock. Pomfret.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Brig. Gen. George Weedon’s orderly book includes the following general orders for this date: “DETAILS the Same as yesterday only Poors furnishes a Captain instead of Glovers. In order to procure a certain supply of shoes for the Troops The respective Brigadiers and Officers Commanding Brigades are as soon as possible to see Mr. Ewing Commissary Genl. of hides and agree with him on some mode of furnishing hides to be exchanged by them or the persons by them appointed for shoes, for their Brigades. Frequent Complaints having been made by the Inhabitants of their Forrage being taken without leaving them a reasonable share for the subsistence of their families, and that they are often insulted and abused, in future no person is to take forrage except the Forrage Master who are to give Receipts for the same and where a protection is given by the Commissary Genl. of forage they are to take no more from the Person who has it, Except by Special order from Him for the purpose, any Insults or abuse to the Inhabitants, will be punished with the utmost severity” (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 , 173–74). This order apparently did not put an end to the complaints, however; on 26 Jan., John Chaloner wrote a letter from Valley Forge to an unnamed recipient reporting that “A few days past a Letter was brot here from Colo. Laurens A.D.C. inclosing a Letter to his Excellency from J. Rodman complaining of the Conduct Geo. Kitts & Jno. Ladd Howell who had taken from him a large Qty of Meat; refused to Weigh the same, and left rects for only about one half the Qty. His Excellency desires that the Complaint may be enquired into” (Ephraim Blaine Papers, DLC: Peter Force Collection). Rodman’s letter to GW has not been found.

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