George Washington Papers

General Orders, 20 March 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters V. Forge Friday March 20th 1778.

Parole: Wolfe—Countersigns: Wales. Warrington.

At a Division Court-Martial whereof Majr Johnson was President March 15th 1778. Lieutenant Davis of Coll Angell’s Regiment (he consenting thereto) tried for swearing on the evening of 2nd instant after being warned for duty that if he could not get rid of that tour he would feign himself sick for he was determined not to do it & would suffer himself to be cashiered with Infamy before he would go and for refusing the tour accordingly.1

The Court after the most mature deliberation, unanimously adjudge Lieutt Davis guilty of a breach of 21st Article of 14th Section of the Articles of War and sentence him to be discharged the service as ordered in said Article.2

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

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Jonathan Johnson (1737–1815), who had served as a captain in Col. Philip Burr Bradley’s Connecticut state regiment from June through December 1776, became major of Bradley’s 5th Connecticut Regiment on 1 Jan. 1777. Johnson was promoted to lieutenant colonel with a commission dated 15 April 1778 and retained that rank in the regiment after its consolidation and redesignation as the 2d Connecticut Regiment in January 1781, serving until June 1783. William Davis was appointed a second lieutenant of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment on 11 Feb. 1777; no record of his transferring to Col. Israel Angell’s 2d Rhode Island Regiment has been identified.

2Article 21 of section 14 prescribed a discharge for officers convicted “of behaving in a scandalous, infamous manner” (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 , 5:804).

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