George Washington Papers

General Orders, 30 July 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters W. Plains Thursday July 30th 1778.

Parole Palmyra—C. Signs Pitt Plymouth.

The Guard at Terrytown is to be reinforced with a Captain 2 Subalterns, 3 Serjeants 3 Corporals a Drummer and Fifer and fifty five Privates and to be commanded by a Field officer.

The Guard at Burtisses1 is to be reinforced by a Serjeant, Corporal Drum and Fife and thirteen Privates and to be commanded by a Captain; and the Guard at Saw-Mill River Bridge is to be reinforced by a Captain 2 Subalterns—3 Serjeants 3 Corporals and 40 Privates and be commanded by a Field Officer; From this Guard a Subaltern Serjeant and twenty Rank & File is to be detached to Pugsley’s2—A detachment of Artillery to be sent to Terry-town.

The Field Officers in performing their rounds are to examine whether the Guards upon the Communication between Dobbs’s-Ferry and Maroneck can afford a Chain of Centinels; if not they are to direct the Patroles to pass at such times and in such a manner as to secure the communication perfectly.

One Light Dragoon is to be at each of the following Guards ’till Coll Moylan arrives, after which two are to be placed to each; namely Terrytown, Dobbs’s-Ferry, Saw-Mill River Bridge, Pugsley’s, Appleby’s,3 Burtiss’s, Tomkins’s 2 Miles, Cornell’s and Maroneck; The horse guard at Pugsley’s may be withdrawn and aid in this service.

The Dragoons attending these Piquets are to keep their horses constantly saddled by night and ready to mount at a moments warning; In the day they may graze.

After Orders July 30th—

Captain Smith late Inspector in Genl Varnum’s Brigade is appointed to do that duty in General Parson’s Brigade and is to be respected accordingly.4

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The orders are probably referring to the estate of William Burtis, Sr. (died c.1778), a Loyalist who lived near the junction of the Tuckahoe Road and the road from White Plains to Dobbs Ferry. After his death, his family fled to the British lines in 1778, and his son William Burtis, Jr. (1760–1835), became active as a British spy.

2The orders are probably referring to the house of David Pugsley (1737–1805), who lived west of Sprain Brook on the road between White Plains and Dobbs Ferry, about two and a half miles east of the ferry.

3This probably refers to the house of Joseph Appleby (1732–1791), about three and a half miles from Dobbs Ferry on the road from the ferry to White Plains. GW used the house as a headquarters in July 1781.

4In Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln’s orderly book, an additional order appears at this point: “Major General Gates will take command of a detachment which is to be paraded at 5 o’clock tomorrow P.M., furnished with three days provisions, & 40 rounds pr man. Brigr Genls for the detachment—Clinton & Wayne—Field Officers Col. Meiggs, Col. Patton, Col. Gibson, Lieut. Col. Symes, Lieut. Col. Reid, Lieut. Col. Hay, Lieut. Col. Mead, Majors Oliver, Talbot, Johnson, & Merryweather” (MHi: Lincoln Papers; see also orderly book of Jedediah Huntington’s brigade, NHi, and Artillery Brigade orderly book, NHi).

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