George Washington Papers

General Orders, 23 June 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters Hunt’s-House [Hopewell, N.J.]1
Tuesday June 23rd 1778.

Parole Philadelphia—C. Signs Brunswick Boston—

The Troops will cook their Provisions and in every respect be in the greatest readiness possible for a march or Action very early in the morning.

When the General beats the Army is to be put in immediate readiness to march; on beating the troop the march begins. The Wings and the second line are each to furnish 2 Captains, 3 Subalterns, 3 Serjeants, 3 Corporals & 117 Privates for guards daily ’till further Orders.

The Guards parade tomorrow before Doctr De Camps quarters on the Road to Head-Quarters when the General beats. The Commissary of Military Stores will deliver out Arms tomorrow to the returns signed by Commanding Officers of Regiments or Corps, who will send very early to the Artillery Park for such numbers as are wanting to complete their men now on the ground fit for duty.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Sgt. Ebenezer Wild of the 1st Massachusetts Regiment wrote in his diary on this date: “This morning at 5 o’clk the General was beat, & we turned out & got ready to march. About 7 o’clk we marched off, but left all our tents standing & our heavy baggage behind us. We marched about 10 miles [to Hopewell], & halted on the road about 4 hours, & turned into a field to cook provision, & had orders to march at 11 o’clk at night. Our tents did not come up this night, but what little time we had to sleep we slept in the open field, which was only from 11 o’clk at night till 4 in the morning. The reason we did not march at 11 o’clk was because we could not get provision till late” (“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 109; see also McHenry, Journal, 3).

British troop movements on this date were described in the diary of Capt. John Peebles: “The army march’d at 4 o’clock in three Divisions, the left under Genl. Leslie, Kniphausen’s Division on the Right, we the middle division came by the Sign of the Rising Sun to Crosswicks about 6 miles. The advanced Corps had a little skirmish at the Creek where a party of the Rebels had partly broke up the Bridge and made a little stand with some Cannon, but were soon drove off & pursued with a little loss—the Queens Rangers had a Captn. woundd The Van of the army, except the 1st Light Infantry recross’d the Creek & together with the rest of the middle Column Encamp’d in the Environs of the Village of Crosswick,—Genl. Kniphausens division on our Right about 3 miles—Genl. Leslies moved down towards BurdenTown where they had some cannonading in the Evening” (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 , 191). For further details of the British march and the day’s skirmishing, 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 , 66–67, and Philemon Dickinson’s second, third, and fourth letters to GW of this date.

1For the location of GW’s headquarters, see Charles Lee to GW, 22 June, n.1.

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