George Washington Papers

General Orders, 1 July 1778

General Orders

Head Quarters Spotswood [N.J.] Wednesday July 1st 1778.

ParoleC. Signs

The General will beat at twelve ôClock, troop at half past twelve and the march begins at one; The Troops are in the mean time to take as much Sleep and Refreshment as possible that they may be the better prepared.

A General Court-Martial whereof Lord Stirling is appointed President will sit in Brunswick tomorrow (the hour and place to be appointed by the President) for the Trial of Major General Lee—Brigadier Generals Smallwood, Poor, Woodford & Huntington and Colonels Grayson, Johnson, Wigglesworth, Febiger, Swift, Angell, Clark and Williams are to attend as Members—All Evidences and Persons concerned are to attend.1

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The court-martial of Maj. Gen. Charles Lee arose out of his behavior at the Battle of Monmouth and his correspondence with GW in the aftermath of that battle. He was formally charged with “disobedience of orders, in not attacking the enemy on the 28th of June, agreeable to repeated instructions”; “misbehaviour before the enemy on the same day, by making an unnecessary, disorderly, and shameful retreat”; and “disrespect to the Commander-in-Chief, in two letters dated the 1st of July and the 28th of June” ( Lee Papers description begins [Charles Lee]. The Lee Papers. 4 vols. New York, 1872-75. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 4–7. description ends , 3:2). For the proceedings of the court-martial, which concluded on 12 Aug. by finding Lee guilty on all three counts, see ibid., 3:1–208. Evidence gathered against Lee at this time includes a statement of 1 July by David Forman, which asserts that Lee “appeared irresolute and confused” while he missed several early opportunities to attack the British, that during the retreat Lee’s “frequent and contradictory orders” led to “the greatest confusion amongst the Troops,” and that “Genl Lee from the whole of his conduct appeared determined to avoid fighting” (DLC:GW). A letter of 2 July from an unknown correspondent to GW’s aide-de-camp Richard Kidder Meade identifies witnesses to “prove that Genl Lee ordered the second line to retreat early in the day,” to “testify to some disrespectful expressions both relative to the orders for attack and the consequences of it,” and to “prove his countermanding his Excellencys orders for bringing up the second line … and snearing at the notion of the enemys retreat as mentioned in his Excellencys message” (DLC:GW).

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