George Washington Papers

General Orders, 18 February 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters V. Forge Wednesday Feby 18th 1778.

Parole: Kent.Countersigns: Knox. Kemper.

At a brigade Court Martial whereof Lt Coll Beauford was president (Feby 16th) Lieutt John Rust of 10th Virginia Regiment, tried at the request of Lieutt Broadwater for abusively aggravating said Broadwater to strike him, for getting drunk, playing Cards and beating Captn Lard on the sabbath day whilst he the said Captn Lard was under arrest and found guilty of a breach of 21 st Article 14th section of the Articles of war, also of a breach of General Orders—and sentenced to be discharged from the service—But as Lieutt Rust has formerly borne the character of a good officer, the court are pleased to recommend him to the consideration of His Excellency General Washington to have him reinstated in his rank.1

The Commander in Chief approves the sentence, but is concern’d he cannot reinstate Lt Rust in compliance with the recommendation of the Court founded upon his former good Character as an Officer. His behavior in the several instances alledged was so flagrant & scandalous that the General thinks his continuance in the service would be a disgrace to it and as one part of the charge against him was gaming, that alone would exclude him from all Indulgence—a Vice of so pernicious a nature that it never will escape the severest punishment with His approbation.

The orders of yesterday with respect to the late Lieutt Austin Alden’s Commission being taken from him is meant to be applied in all cases where officers are cashiered or discharged from the service by sentence of a Court Martial.

The General officers are desired to meet at General Sullivan’s quarters tomorrow morning ten ôClock for the same purpose as requested in orders 15th instant: The Captains in the Pennsylvania line who presented the Memorial therein mentioned, likewise the Majors who have been promoted in that line since the Commencement of the year 1777, are desired to give their attendance at the time and place mentioned.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Abraham Buford (1749–1833) of Culpeper County, Va., was captain in late 1775 of a company of minutemen in the Culpeper District Regiment. In November 1776 he was appointed major of the 14th Virginia Regiment, and he became lieutenant colonel of the 5th Virginia Regiment in April 1777. Buford later was promoted to colonel of the latter regiment, with a commission dated in May 1778, and he transferred to the 11th Virginia Regiment in September of that year. From December 1778 to March 1779 he acted as superintendent of hospitals in New Jersey (see General Orders, 30 Dec. 1778 and 10 Mar. 1779). Buford was on detached command when Charleston, S.C., fell with most of the Virginia Continental regiments in May 1780 and so avoided capture, but on 29 May his detachment was routed at Waxhaw Creek, S.C., by a mixed force of Loyalists and British troops under Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton. Buford transferred to the 3d Virginia Regiment in February 1781 and served until his retirement in early 1783. John Rust had been appointed an ensign in the 10th Virginia Regiment in December 1776 and a second lieutenant in July 1777. Charles Lewis Broadwater (1752–1841) of Fairfax County, Va., served in the Virginia navy before being appointed a first lieutenant in the 10th Virginia Regiment in November 1776, and in April 1778 he was dismissed from the army for obtaining clothing without permission (see General Orders, 21 April 1778). He should not be confused with Charles Broadwater (c.1722–1806) who was elected in 1775 with GW to represent Fairfax County in the Virginia House of Burgesses.

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