George Washington Papers

General Orders, 30 January 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters V. Forge Friday Jany 30th 1778.

Parole: PortugalCountersigns: Prussia Poland.

At a General Court Martial whereof Col. Clark was President January 23rd—William McMarth of Captain Lee’s Company of Artillery tried for desertion and stealing an horse from General McIntosh acquitted of the charge of desertion but found guilty of the Theft, being a breach of Article 5th Section 18th of the Articles of War and sentenced to receive one hundred lashes on his bare back and have one half of his pay stoped monthly from him ’till General McIntosh is fully satisfied. The Court on account of the Prisoner’s having sustained heretofore the character of a good soldier, recommend him to His Excellency’s clemency with respect to the corporal punishment.

The General remits the stripes, approves the rest of the sentence and orders it to take place.

At a General Court-Martial whereof Major Church was President January 26th—Ensign Cook of 12th Pennsylvania Battalion tryed for leaving his guard before he was properly relieved (it being an Out-Guard) found guilty of a breach of 4th Article of 13th Section of the Articles of War & unanimously sentenced to be cashiered with Infamy.1

The Commander in Chief approves the sentence and orders it to take place immediately.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1John Cook (c.1742–1823) of Berks County, Pa., had been promoted from private to ensign of the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment in May 1777. Section 13, article 4 of the articles of war states that “No officer, non-commissioned officer, or soldier, shall fail of repairing, at the time fixed, to the place of parade of exercise, or other rendezvous appointed by his commanding officer, if not prevented by sickness, or some other evident necessity; or shall go from the said place of rendezvous, or from his guard, without leave from his commanding officer, before he shall be regularly dismissed or relieved, on the penalty of being punished according to the nature of his offence, by the sentence of a court-martial” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 5:797).

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