George Washington Papers

General Orders, 18 June 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters V. Forge Thursday June 18th 1778.

Parole Esopus—C. Signs Egypt Elk—

Poor’s, Varnum’s & Huntington’s Brigades are to march immediately under the Command of Majr General Lee. The two Pennsylvania & Late Conway’s Brigades to march at three ôClock this afternoon and the whole Army to march at five ôClock tomorrow morning. All former orders respecting the sick &c. are to be strictly obeyed.

At a Brigade Court-Martial June 16th 1778—Major Hait President1—Ensign Daniel Lawrence of Coll Angell’s Regiment2 try’d upon a charge of having in several Instances disobeyed Coll Greene’s orders in refusing to come forward to join his Regiment and for returning back after he had set out and behaving in a manner unbecoming the Character of an Officer and a Gentleman from the time he was ordered forward ’till he actually set out with a design to join his Regiment, found guilty of a breach of the 5th Article 18th section of the Articles of War and sentenced to be discharged the service.

The Commander in Chief approves the sentence & orders it to take Place.

At a General Court-Martial June 15th 1778—Coll Livingston President—Captain Bowen of 9th Pennsylvania Regt Lieutenants Darrah and Pursill of the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment,3 tried 1st—for entering the Encampment of the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment in a riotous and mutinous manner. 2ndly—for attempting to enter Coll Craige’s house between the hours of twelve and one in the morning of the 4th of June instant with drawn swords.

The Court are unanimously of Opinion that they are not guilty of the Charges exhibited against them and do acquit them with honor.

The Commander in Chief confirms the opinion of the Court.

Agreeable to the Report of a Court of Enquiry ordered the 13th instant—John Randolph, a soldier now in Colonel Harrison’s Regiment of Artillery is to join the 14th Virginia Regiment immediately: The determination concerning the other man claimed by the last mentioned Regiment is postponed for want of Evidence.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

British captain John Peebles wrote in his diary on this date that “at Break of day the Troops got under arms at the lines, and march’d by the Skirts of the Town down to Glocester point. (having evacuated the Redoubts & call’d in the Troops that were in Town) where they embark’d in flat boats & cross’d over to Glocester, by several trips the whole over in the forenoon, & two days provision being drawn there the Troops march’d to within 2 miles of Haddonfield where they Encamped in the usual manner, viz. Wigwams” (Gruber, Peebles’ American War description begins Ira D. Gruber, ed. John Peebles’ American War: The Diary of a Scottish Grenadier, 1776–1782. Mechanicsburg, Pa., 1998. description ends , 189; for a lengthier account, see Whinyates, Services of Francis Downman description begins F. A. Whinyates, ed. The Services of Lieut.-Colonel Francis Downman, R.A., in France, North America, and the West Indies, between the Years 1758 and 1784. Woolwich, England, 1898. description ends , 64).

GW was informed of the evacuation just before noon by one George Roberts (see GW to George Bryan, this date). Capt. Allen McLane entered Philadelphia with his partisan company about that time and took some British stragglers prisoner. GW then ordered Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold into the city with Col. Henry Jackson’s Additional Continental Regiment and put the rest of his army into motion toward Coryell’s Ferry. Maj. Gen. Charles Lee’s division left Valley Forge first. Lt. Samuel Armstrong of the 8th Massachusetts Regiment wrote in his diary on this date that “This forenoon Poors’, Vern[ums], and Huntingtons’ Brigades Marched from Valley Forge, under the Command of Majr. Genl. Lee—[The] Pennsylvania Brigades & Late Conway’s, marched this Afternoon” (Boyle, “Armstrong’s Diary,” description begins Joseph Lee Boyle. “From Saratoga to Valley Forge: The Diary of Lt. Samuel Armstrong.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 121 (1997): 237–70. description ends 269–70; see also “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, and McHenry, Journal, 1). For GW’s instructions to Lee, see his letter to Lee of 30 May–18 June.

Before leaving Valley Forge, GW’s aide Caleb Gibbs paid £100 to Deborah Hewes, “being in full of all demands agt his Excellency Genl Washington for the Use of the House, Furniture &ca” (vouchers and receipted accounts, 1776–80, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 29). Hewes evidently rented the Isaac Potts house, where GW had made his headquarters since December 1777.

1Maj. Joseph Hait of the 8th Connecticut Regiment was later promoted to lieutenant colonel with a commission backdated to September 1777.

2Daniel Lawrence (b. 1757) became a sergeant in the 2d Rhode Island Regiment in March 1777 and rose to the rank of sergeant major before being appointed ensign in June 1777.

3Thomas Bartholomew Bowen (1742–1805) became a first lieutenant and adjutant in Col. Samuel Miles’s Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment in April 1776, and in November of that year he was appointed a captain in the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment. In October 1778 he was named regimental paymaster. He transferred to the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1781 and to the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1783. Charles Darragh (1755–1801) was appointed an ensign in the 2d Pennsylvania Regiment in February 1777 and commissioned a second lieutenant in April of that year. He left the army in July 1778, but that did not prevent him from being expelled from the Quakers in 1781 for participating in the war. Henry D. Purcell (or De Purcell) became an ensign in the 2d Pennsylvania Regiment in April 1777 and was promoted to second lieutenant in October of that year. He became a first lieutenant in the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment in September 1779.

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