George Washington Papers

General Orders, 3 June 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters V. Forge June 3rd 1778.

Parole Morristown—

Thomas Shanks on full Conviction of his being a Spy in the service of the Enemy before a board of Genl Officers held yesterday by order of the Commander in Chief, is adjudged worthy of Death—He is therefore to be hanged tomorrow morning at Guard mounting at some convenient Place near the Grand Parade.1

At a General Court-Martial June 1st 1778, Coll Chambers President Lieutt Tomy of Coll Gist’s Regiment detach’d to the 3rd Maryland Regiment tried for disobedience of orders, found guilty and sentenced to be reprimanded by the Commanding Officer of the Brigade in Presence of the Officers of the Brigade to which he belongs.2

The Commander in Chief approves the sentence and orders it to take place tomorrow morning at Roll-Call.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Capt. Paul Brigham of the 8th Connecticut Regiment in Lee’s Division wrote in his diary on this date: “our Devision Paraded Expecting to march But had Counter orders” (“Brigham Diary,” description begins Edward A. Hoyt, ed. “A Revolutionary Diary of Captain Paul Brigham, November 19, 1777–September 4, 1778.” Vermont History 34 (1966): 3–30. description ends 23).

1Sgt. Ebenezer Wild of the 1st Massachusetts Regiment wrote in his diary on 4 June that “This morning at guard mounting Thoms Shank was hanged on the grand parade for being a spy for the enemy from Philadelphia” (“Wild Journal,” description begins “The Journal of Ebenezer Wild (1776–1781), who served as Corporal, Sergeant, Ensign, and Lieutenant in the American Army of the Revolution.” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 6 (1890–91): 78–160. description ends 108; see also 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 , 8). For Shanks’s trial, see GW to a Board of General Officers and the board’s reply, both 2 June.

2John Toomy served as an ensign and second lieutenant in the 2d Maryland Regiment before being commissioned a first lieutenant in April 1777 and transferring to Col. Nathaniel Gist’s Additional Continental Regiment. Toomy was a member of Capt. John Gist’s company, which was attached to the 3d Maryland Regiment early in 1778.

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