George Washington Papers

General Orders, 17 March 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters V. Forge March 17th 1778. Tuesday

Parole: Robinson—Countersigns: Radnor. Ringwood.

One hundred chosen men are to be annexed to the Guard of the Commander in Chief for the purpose of forming a Corps to be instructed in the Manœuvres necessary to be introduced in the Army and serve as a Model for the execution of them—As the General’s guard is composed intirely of Virginians the one hundred draughts are to be taken from the troops of the other States.1

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

On this date in “Pursuance of a special Order from the Commander in chief,” which has not been identified, a board of general officers (Stirling, Poor, Varnum, Woodford, and Huntington) met to settle the ranks of the officers of the Connecticut line. Copies of the board’s report are to be found in the undated proceedings of another board that ruled on challenges to its ranking (DNA: RG 93, War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, entry 15, Records Relating to Military Service, 1775–1783, jacket 264–2, item 51).

1The orderly book of the 1st Virginia State Regiment added the following specifications: “Size of the men from 5 feet Eight to five feet 10 Inches from 28 years to thirty—a Robust Constitution & Limbs well formd for strength & Activity & of an Established Character Sobriety & fidelity” (ViHi). Pvt. Elijah Fisher of the 4th Massachusetts Regiment recorded one response in his diary: “March 19th. There was orders that there should be three Men sent from each Reg’t to jine His Excelences Gen. Washington’s Life gard and Seth Lovil was sent out of our Company but after being there a fue Days and Did not like to be there he said, but I sepose that he was afeard that the Regt would go to Rhode Island which they did afterward and he Could not go with them and he Come back to the Compeny and I was sent in the room of him” (Godfrey, Commander-in-Chief’s Guard description begins Carlos E. Godfrey. The Commander-in-Chief’s Guard: Revolutionary War. Washington, D.C., 1904. description ends , 275).

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