George Washington Papers

General Orders, 15 January 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters V. Forge Thirsday Jany 15th 1778.

Parole: Countersign:

Colls Humpton and Gibson, Lt Coll Vose & Majors Furnald1 and Ball are appointed to repair to the several Hospitals in the middle department; They will receive their orders at the Adjutant Genl’s office tomorrow morning—1st Pennsylvania, Poors, Larned’s, Maxwell’s Huntington’s and McIntosh’s brigades each give a Captain, Woodford’s, Scott’s Weedon’s & Varnum’s each a Subaltern for said purpose—They must attend likewise at the aforesaid time and place.2

Nicholas Gilman Adjutant of 3rd N. Hampshire Battalion is appointed Assistant to the Adjt General and to be respected as such.3

The works marked out by the Engineers for the defence of the camp are to be executed with all possible dispatch, and the commander in chief requests the favor of General Greene, Lord Stirling and the Marquis de la Fayette (General Sullivan being upon other duty) to consult with Genl Portail on the proper means and number of men necessary to execute the works in the different Wings & second line and give orders accordingly—and that each of them appoint proper officers to superintend and push forward the defences.

The Quarter Master General is positively order’d to provide straw for the use of the Troops & the surgeons to see that the sick when they are remov’d to hutts assign’d for hospitals are plentifully supplied with this Article.

All the Armourers except those already imployed in their respective brigades are to parade tomorrow on the grand parade at Guard Mounting—A Camp Colorman from each brigade to parade at the same time & place.

Provisions to be issued to the Troops up to next sunday inclusively.

At a General Court-Martial held 28th of November last in the North-Carolina Brigade of which Lt Coll Davidson was President, Lieutt Richard Whedby, charged with acting in an ungentlemanlike manner & encouraging Theft in the Army was tried and found guilty and sentenced therefor to be discharg’d from the service—The Commander in Chief approves the sentence and orders it to be executed forthwith.4

The Quarter-Master General is immediately to fix upon a proper Place between or near the Lines where hutts may be erected for Prisoners under the Provost Guard; He will also appoint a suitable Carpe[n]ter5 to assist and direct the men who shall be employ’d in the work—Two Axmen with their Axes from each of those Brigades which furnish Guards tomorrow are to be brought by their Brigade Majors to the Grand-parade tomorrow morning at 9 ôClock to be thus employ’d, and in like manner from day to day ’till the hutts are completed.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Brig. Gen. Edward Hand’s orderly book includes instructions for the following fatigue parties: fifty-four men “to parade at sunrise to-morrow morning, in front of the 2d Pensyla brigade, & thence march to Fatland ford. . . . A subaltern serjt and Twenty Private[s] from Genl Glovers Briga. are to parade Tomorrow Morning at the Adjutt Generals Office for Fatigue” and “A Serjt Corpl & nine privates from Genl McIntosh’s Brigade to parade at the Adjt Genls Office At half past eight in the morning, furnished with two Days provision; where they will receive their Orders.” Another order directs that “Lists of the Sadlers with the Regts to which they belong, to be made and sent in Tomorrow at Orderly Time” (DNA: RG 93, Orderly Books, 1775–1783, vol. 20).

1Tobias Fernald (1744–1784) of Kittery in the District of Maine served as a captain in Col. James Scammon’s Massachusetts Regiment in 1775 and as a captain in the 18th Continental Infantry Regiment from January 1776. He was promoted to the rank of major in the 12th Massachusetts regiment in November 1776 and later became a lieutenant colonel of the 8th Massachusetts Regiment with a commission dated from March 1779. Fernald transferred to the 10th Massachusetts Regiment in January 1781 and retired at the beginning of 1783.

2A copy of GW’s orders to the officers visiting hospitals, dated “January 1778” at Valley Forge, is in DLC:GW. The document reads: “The Commander in Chief, being informed that many disorders and irregularities have taken place at the Hospitals, & that in some the Sick are not tended with due Care, thinks it necessary that each Hospital should be visited by a prudent and Carefull Field Officer, who should govern himself by the following Rules.

“1st. Upon his arrival at the Hospital or Hospitals assigned him he is to take accurate Lists of all the Sick, their names, and the Regiments to which they belong, and transmit the same to the Adjt General.

“2d. If there be any Arms, accoutraments or Ammunition at the Hospitals, he is immediately to take Charge of them, making an inventory of them, and of the Soldiers Names & regiments, to whom they belong. So many of these Arms as will be necessary, are to be put into the Hands of such Soldiers belonging to the Hospitals as the Chief surgeon there shall judge fit to perform the duty of guards to the Hospital. These guards are as fast as possible, to prevent and Quell all disorders & Riots at the Hospitals, by Confining the Offenders; To Suffer no patient to go beyond the Limits of the Hospital without a written licence from the Chief Surgeon attending; and to inforce obedience to such regulations as the derectors or Chief surgeons of the Hospital shall judge necessary for the Health & best good of the patients and the service.

“3d. He is to make or Cause to be made exact lists of all the Articles of Cloathing and Necessarys belonging to the patients and when any new patients arrive, he is to demand the lists of their names & Regiments, and of their Cloathing and Necessarys; and if lists of either be wanting, or if their arms, accoutraments or ammunition are sent with them, the names of the Officers so sending them are to be reported to the Adjt General, that they may be punished therefor agreeable to the General Orders, issued 12th November last—These lists of the Cloathing & necessarys of new patients, are upon their arrival to be Compared with the Cloathing and necessarys the Soldiers actually have with them, that if any artical be wanting due inquiry may be made for it; and if not found, the person thro whose fault the deficiency happens is at a proper time to be punished, or Charged with the article missing, or both as the Circumstances shall Justly warrant.

“4th. When any non Commission’d officer or soldier shall die an exact account is to be taken of whatever Effects he dies possessed of above his regimental Cloathing Arms & accoutraments, and transmitted to the Board of War. But his regimental Cloathing is to be Carefully preserved, and Ishued to such recovered man as must need the same, who are to be Charged therewith and an account thereof transmitted to their Commanding Officer when they are sent to Camp.

“5th. As fast as the patients recover and are Judged by the Derector or surgeon of the Hospital to be fit for Duty, the Field Officer is to send them to Camp, under the care of some Commissiond officer, (or if the number be small of a trusty non-commissiond officer[]); or if such are wanting, then to give notice to Adjt Genl of the Number ready to march to Camp, that he may find the necessarly Officers to Conduct them.

“6th. He is to reside @ the most convenient distance from the Hospital or Hospitals under his inspection & visit them Daily, if in the same town, and if not, then very frequently at least twice a week. He is to Examine critically whether the Sick are well taken Care of; and if in his Opinion there be any fault or Neglect in their Management, to repo[r]t the same to the Derector General of the Hospitals or One of his deputies, and if a remedy be not Applyd in a reasonable time, then to report the same to the Commander in Chief But he is to avoid desputes with the surgeons of the Hos[p]itals & not interfere with them in the management diet or Medicines of the sick.

“7th. For any disorders committed at the Hospitals by the non Commissiond Officers or soldiers, he is to cause the Offenders to be tried and punished by Courts martial, if three or five officers can be assembld for that purpose; otherwise he must retain the disorderly by his own authority.

“8th. He is to collect all stragglers from the Army who may be in the vicinity of the Hospitals, and send them under proper officers to Camp.

“9th. All Non commissiond officers and soldiers thus sent to Camp, are to be accompanied with lists of their names Regements, cloathing and necessarys, and, [(]if they have any) of their Arms Accoutrements and Ammunition and adressed to the Adjt Genl. But besides general lists of the whole (which are to be left with the Adjt Genl) Seperate lists of the men of each Brigade are also to be Sent with them, which are to be deliverd to the Brigadiers with the men, On their Arrival in Camp.

“Lastly He is to suffer no officer to remain @ or near the Hospitals after they are declared by the derecting surgeon to be fit for duty. If any are Tardy or Shew an unwillingness to Join the Army, he is to report their Names immediately to the Adjt Genl.”

An undated letter from Adjutant General Alexander Scammell, directed to “Colo. Hamilton or Harrison” probably sometime later in January, reads: “Enclosed is the remaining Part of the Instructions first given to the Officers superintending Hospitals when the[y] were sent off—which I forgot to give you last Evening, when I gave you the first part—The additional Instructions which I gave last evening are all copied off, ready to be sent to the Office⟨rs⟩ at the several Hospitals—Please to inform me, whether they are agreable to the Genl or whether he has any thing further to insert” (DLC:GW).

3Nicholas Gilman (1755–1814) of Exeter County, N.H., had served as adjutant of the 3d New Hampshire Regiment, of which Alexander Scammell was colonel, since November 1776. After becoming assistant adjutant general under Scammell, Gilman received promotion to the rank of captain in June 1778 and transferred to the 1st New Hampshire Regiment in January 1781. From 1787 until 1789 Gilman served as a delegate to the Continental Congress; he was elected to the first U.S. Congress in 1789 and held his seat until 1797. In 1805 Gilman was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served until his death.

4Richard Whedbee, who had been commissioned a second lieutenant in the 7th North Carolina Regiment in November 1776 and a first lieutenant in November 1777, was acquitted on appeal at a court-martial published in the General Orders of 12 Feb. 1778.

5The manuscript reads “Carperter.”

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