Head-Quarters V. Forge Tuesday March 10th 1778.
Parole: KnoltonCountersigns: Kittery Kendal.
The month’s extra pay and for the month of December may be received tomorrow at the Pay-Master General’s, who has been prevented from paying it this day, agreeable to yesterday’s after orders.1
At a General Court-Martial whereof Coll Tupper was President (March 8th 1778) Lieutt Tipton of 12th Virginia Regiment tried for embezzling the Country Clothing drawn for the soldiery in the Company to which he belongs; Secondly, for taking a Blanket from William Smith a Fifer in the said Company,2 by which means he suffered much with cold. The Court are of Opinion that Lieutt Tipton is not guilty of the Charges exhibited against him and do acquit him.
The Commander in Chief confirms the Opinion and orders Lieutt Tipton to be discharged from his arrest.
At a Brigade Court Martial whereof Majr Buckhart was President, March 6th 1778—Mr Robinson Adjutant of 13th Virginia Regiment tried (with his consent) for encouraging a soldiers wife to sell liquors in General Muhlenbergh’s Brigade without leave, also for taking the liquors after they were seized by order of the Commanding Officer of the Brigade and saying it should not be taken away and for repeatedly geting drunk & behaving in an ungentlemanlike manner.3
The Court are of opinion that Mr Robinson is guilty of detaining and using liquors seiz’d by Order of the Commander of the Brigade and saying it should not be taken away & sentenced to be reprimanded in Brigade Orders for so doing, but acquit him of the other charges. The Commander in Chief approves the sentence and orders it to take place as soon as may be.
At a General Court-Martial whereof Coll Bradley was President (March 3rd 1778) Lieutt French tried for refusing in positive terms to do duty when properly warned; The Court are of opinion that Lieutt French is not guilty of the charge exhibited against him and do acquit him. The Commander in Chief confirms the opinion and orders his discharge from arrest.4
At a Brigade Court Martial in the Artillery whereof Lieutt Coll Strohbogh was President March 8th 1778, Thomas Coshall and Samuel Burris of Coll Lamb’s Regiment of Artillery tried for desertion—The Prisoners plead guilty, confessing their intention to desert to the enemy & were sentenced to receive 500 lashes each on their bare backs well laid on. The Commander in Chief disapproves the sentence as being illegal and orders them to be tried anew by a General Court-Martial.5
Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
After writing these orders in a journal, Steuben’s aide Pierre-Etienne Du Ponceau added that on the same day deserters brought intelligence that the British were evacuating invalids from Philadelphia. Du Ponceau also described army dispositions and maneuvers communicated to GW by Steuben on this date (MWA).
1. A letter of this date from GW’s aide Tench Tilghman to the paymaster general, Lt. Col. William Palfrey, informed him of this general order. Tilghman also acknowledged Palfrey’s letters to GW of 8 and 10 Mar., enclosed a copy of the instructions to auditors about “the application of Moneys belonging to dead, prisoners, deserters &ca.” (see 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 , 10:135–36), with the suggestion that Palfrey should consult the auditors “upon the construction of the law,” and told Palfrey that his affidavits would be forwarded to Congress (MH).
2. William Smith, who enlisted in February 1777, was at this time a fifer and drummer in Capt. Benjamin Casey’s company of the 12th Virginia Regiment. He continued on the rolls of that regiment, redesignated the 8th Virginia Regiment in September 1778, until at least May 1779.
3. Daniel Burchardt (c.1740–c.1790), who had been appointed a captain in the German Battalion in July 1776 and promoted to major in April 1777, resigned in July 1779. James Robertson, adjutant of the 13th Virginia Regiment since 15 Oct. 1777, resigned on 30 Sept. 1778. He subsequently served as a lieutenant in Clark’s Illinois Regiment, 1779–81.
4. “Lieutt French” was probably Lt. Mason French (c.1759/60–1819) of Grayson’s Additional Continental Regiment, but possibly Lt. Abner French of the 2d New York Regiment. Mason was commissioned an ensign in Grayson’s regiment on 15 Feb. 1777 and promoted to lieutenant in December 1777. He resigned 12 May 1778. Abner, who served as a lieutenant in Col. Cornelius D. Wynkoop’s regiment of New York militia from June 1776, was commissioned a lieutenant in the 2d New York Regiment, 21 Nov. 1776. He was promoted to captain in June 1778 and retired 1 Jan. 1781, later serving as a captain of New York militia under Col. Marinus Willett.
5. Samuel Burroughs (Burrows) and Thomas Coshall were matrosses in the 2d Continental Artillery Regiment. Article 3, section 18 of the articles of war provided in part, “nor shall more than one hundred lashes be inflicted on any offender, at the discretion 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 , 5:806). For the result of the men’s retrial, see General Orders, 25 March.