George Washington Papers

General Orders, 26 June 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters Crambury [N.J.] Friday June 26th 1778.

Parole Lookout—C. Signs Sharp. Keen.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Sgt. Ebenezer Wild of the 1st Massachusetts Regiment, who marched with the main army under GW as it left its camp near Kingston, N.J., wrote in his diary on this date: “At 5 o’clk we fell in to our arms & were counted off in order to march. About half after [ ] o’clk we began our march & marched about 5 miles, and halted in the road & drew two days allowance of pork & flour. We cooked our provision. Between 4 & 5 o’clk we began our march again, but we had not got but a very short way before it began to rain, which caused us to stop. It held raining above an hour successively, and was attended with very heavy thunder and sharp lightning. It being late when it stopped raining, we took our lodgings in the road without anything to cover us, or anything to lodge on but the wet ground, & we in a very wet condition” (“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 109–10). GW’s headquarters at Cranbury were in a house owned by Dr. Hezekiah Stites (see Lafayette to GW, 25 June, n.1).

Lt. Col. Henry Dearborn of the 3d New Hampshire Regiment, whose unit composed part of Brig. Gen. Charles Scott’s detachment, wrote in his diary on this date: “we march’d Early this Morning after the Enimy. the weather is Extreemly Hot, we are Obliged to march very Modirate. the Enemy Desert very fast. we are Join’d to Day by the Marquis De lefiette with a Detatchment of 1000 men. we advanced within three miles of the Enimy, & Incamp’d. the Enimy are about Monmouth Court House, on good Ground” (Dearborn, Journals description begins Lloyd A. Brown and Howard H. Peckham, eds. Revolutionary War Journals of Henry Dearborn, 1775–1783. 1939. Reprint. New York, 1971. description ends , 125; see also Alexander Hamilton to GW, this date, and Lafayette’s first, second, third, and fourth letters to GW of this date).

A British brigade order book records that on this date “The army was again put in motion, Lieutenant-General Knyphausen’s division still continuing in front, moved at 4 o’clock in the morning, and the rear division under Clinton and Lord Cornwallis at 6 o’clock. The first division reached Freehold between 9 and 10 o’clock, and encamped with their right extending about a mile and a half beyond Monmouth Court House on the road to Shrewsbury and Middleton, and covered by the skirt of a small wood. The division under General Clinton took up their ground about two miles on the other side of the Court House, with their right towards the Court House and their left to a thick wood and a morass running towards their rear, the front of the whole covered by a wood and towards the left by a morass. The first part of this day’s march was through a close and unsettled country, the latter through one more settled and open, the village of Freehold standing on an extensive plain” (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 , 67).

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