George Washington Papers

General Orders, 18 April 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters V. Forge Saturday April 18th 1778

Parole: Hillsborough—Countersigns: Holland. Hancock.

In the return called for yesterday from the officers marching Parties into Camp, the General expects lists of the mens names in which distinction is to be made of the draughts, reinlisted & others—The officers are to ascertain the number that were committed to their care in the several States they marched from, and account for the difference if any there be, between that and the number they bring to Camp—They are also to note against each man’s name the Regiment to which he belongs & goes to—This order to be very strictly complied with.

Shoes and Stockings may be had at the Cloathiers store for the soldiers.

At a division Court Martial whereof Coll Swift was President (April 11th 1778) Serjeant Helmes of Genl Varnum’s [ ] Guard tried for insulting a number of Officers and attempting (with an iron Ramrod) to strike Lieutt Hill, also for endeavoring to cause & excite a Mutiny, found guilty of the charges exhibited against him being breaches of the 3rd and 5th Articles of the 2nd section of the Articles of War and sentenced to be reduc’d to the Ranks and to receive fifty lashes on his bare back.1

The Commander in Chief approves the sentence and orders it to take place tomorrow at the head of the Regiment to which he belongs.

At a General Court Martial whereof Coll Craige was President (April 15th 1778) Samuel Harvy an Inhabitant of this State tried for endeavoring to supply the Enemy with Provision, acquitted and ordered to be immediately discharged from Confinement.2

At the same Court by Adjournment (April 16th 1778) Thomas Fitzgerald and David Rush, Inhabitants of the State of Pennsylvania tried for attempting to relieve the Enemy with provision, found guilty of a breach of a resolution of Congress, dated October 8th 1777—and extended &c.—and sentenced each to receive one hundred lashes, on his bare back.3

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

On this date GW’s aide Richard Kidder Meade wrote Lt. Col. William Davies at GW’s command to ask that Davies obtain from “Mr Pugh . . . a full information respecting the 34 Men, that he ought to have brought out, It is a matter the Genl has long feared might be mismanaged or neglected by some of the Officers—therefore begs that you will make the strictest inquiry into Mr Pughs conduct, which must be cleared up before he can with propriety leave Camp.” After satisfying Davies, Meade wrote, Pugh “must go to the auditors who will examine his accots, and give a warrant to be sign’d by the Genl” (DLC:GW). On 22 April, Meade wrote army auditor Maj. John Clark, Jr.: “The bearer (nominally) Lieut. Pugh, it appears, though, contrary to a Resolve of the State of Virginia was appointed an officer in the 14th Regt, and ordered from the County of Bedford to march to Camp with a party of recruits &ca. He has a certificate of his appointment with him, by which he claims pay & subsistence money till this date, His Excy is of opinion that his claim is just, as he came by the authority of the County Lieut., and there is a deficiency of officers in the Company to which he was appointed, so that the Public will not in discharging his demand, have paid money to a superfluous officer” (DLC:GW).

1Article 3 of section 2 prescribed punishment for exciting a mutiny while article 5 prescribed punishment for offering violence against a superior officer (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 , 5:789–90).

2This defendant was probably Samuel Harvey, “yeoman” of Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County, who appeared on a 20 Mar. 1781 list of individuals attained by the Pennsylvania council for having “adhered to, and knowingly and willingly assisted the enemies of this State, and of the United States of America, by having joined their armies within this State, or elsewhere” (Pennsylvania Gazette [Philadelphia], 28 Mar. 1781).

3The authority to try certain citizens by court-martial granted in the resolution of 8 Oct. 1777 had been extended by a resolution of 30 Dec. (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 , 9:784–85, 1068). These sentences were commuted in the general orders for 28 April.

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