George Washington Papers

General Orders, 17 April 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters V. Forge Friday April 17th 1778

Parole: GeorgiaCountersigns: Goshen Gosport.

The Regimental Quarter Masters are directed to go into the Country and make Contracts with proper Persons for bringing in Milk and other Necessaries for the sick—Such Contracts it is expected they will compleat by the 21st instant, after which day no Passes are to be granted to any Persons whatever to go out of Camp for the Purpose of purchasing Provision of any kind.

Henceforward no officer, soldier or other Person belonging to the Army shall go or send out to purchase any of those Articles which are usually brought to Market or bargain for them any where else, than at the places appointed for Markets—Nor shall any of the Inhabitants expose their marketing for sale in any other Places—The Purchasers on Pain of being tried for Disobedience of orders and the Venders of forfeiting their whole stock brought in, and for the more effectual discovery of any breach of this order whoever gives Information of such breach will be intitled to the Articles thus illicitly sold or offer’d for sale, or their Value to be recovered from the purchasers—All Permits to go out of Camp are for the future to be granted only by Brigadiers or Officers commanding Brigades.

The Officer of the Guard at Sullivans Bridge is carefully to inspect the Passes offered there and make himself a Judge of their Authenticity.1

Returns are immediately to be made to Lieutt Colo. Meade at Head-Quarters of all the parties that have joined their Regiments since the first of the present Month by the officers who march’d them to camp distinguishing the draughts from the reinlisted, and similar returns are to be made to him of such Parties as shall arrive hereafter immediately upon their coming to camp.

The Commanding officers of Regiments are reminded of the order of the 18th of last March relative to Innoculation for the small Pox and their strictest attention to it is called for to prevent taking it in the natural way.2

At a division Court-Martial whereof Coll Swift was President (April 12th 1778)—Captn Darrow of Coll Prentice’s Regiment try’d for abusing the Serjt of General Varnum’s Brigade & honorably acquitted.3

At the same Court by Adjournment April 13th—Lieutt Hill4—tried for the same Crime and likewise acquitted—Also Adjutant Rogers of Coll Bradley’s Regiment tried for the same Crime—the Court having fully considered the Evidence on both sides unanimously acquit Mr Rogers of the Charge and in justice to Mr Rogers think themselves under obligation to declare it as their opinion, that in the whole of the dispute he acted no more than the part of a good officer and Gentleman.

The Commander in Chief approves the foregoing sentences and orders the aforemention’d officers to be immediately discharged from their Arrests.

The sentence against John Conner in yesterdays orders is approved and ordered to be put in execution tomorrow morning at the head of the Regiment to which he belongs.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For the context of this order, see GW to Stirling, 13 April.

2In Brig. Gen. Edward Hand’s orderly book, the following order is added at this point: “one Sub: six sergeants, six Corporals & Eighty privates will parade Tomorrow at Guard mounting with three days provision good trusty hardy marksmen must compose the detachment” (DNA: RG 93, Orderly Books, 1775–1783, vol. 22; see also 1st Virginia State Regiment orderly book, ViHi).

3The sergeant was probably Peleg Helme (c.1757–1829), who served as a sergeant and private in the 1st and 2d Rhode Island Regiments. Helme was reduced to the ranks for his role in the dispute (see General Orders, 18 April).

4Henry Hill of Saybrook, Conn., who served as a sergeant in the 6th Connecticut Regiment in 1775, became an ensign when the regiment was reorganized as the 10th Continental Infantry on 1 Jan. 1776 and was promoted to lieutenant in the 1st Connecticut Regiment on 1 Jan. 1777. He resigned his commission on 30 June 1779.

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