George Washington Papers

General Orders, 31 July 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters White-Plains Friday July 31st 1778.

Parole Ringwood—C.Signs Rye Raymond—

At a General Court Martial of the 2nd Line July 22nd 1778—Coll George Gibson President, John Jenkins Zechariah Ward, Richard Burk, Michael Carmer William McConklin of the 6th Maryland Regiment and Nicholas Fitzgerald of the 7th Maryland Regiment were tried for desertion and attempting to get to the Enemy, all found guilty and unanimously sentenced to suffer Death.1

Also John Daily of the 7th Maryland Regiment tried for desertion, found guilty and sentenced to receive one hundred lashes on his bare back well laid on.2

At the same Court July 23rd Solomon Lyons of the 2nd Virginia Regiment was tried for desertion, found guilty and unanimously sentenced to suffer Death—Likewise David McClemens of the Delaware Regiment was tried for the same Crime and acquitted.3

His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the aforegoing sentences; The Sentence against John Dailey to be put in Execution tomorrow morning 6 ôClock at the head of the Regiment to which he belongs—David McClemens to be immediately released from confinement.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote Col. Peter Gansevoort on this date: “By order of His Excellency I am to desire you will furnish the Wife and four Children of Nicholas Jordan employed as an interpreter to the Indians with one Ration each for two Months from the time this reaches you. It will be afterwards continued if Jordan is detained from his family. The enclosed Bill of thirty dollars is sent by him to his Wife, to whom be pleased to have it delivered” (ADf, DLC:GW).

1John Jenkins was a private in Lt. Nathan Williams’s company of the 6th Maryland Regiment. Zachariah Ward, who enlisted in the 6th Maryland Regiment in May 1778, was discharged in January 1779 with a notation that he had deserted, and Richard Birk, who likewise enlisted in May 1778, was discharged in December 1779, deserted. “Carmer,” who appears as “Carmen” or “Corman” in subsequent orders of 14 and 21 Aug. and on this date in other orderly books (Christopher Meng orderly book, NN; N.C. State Records description begins Walter Clark, ed. The State Records of North Carolina. 16 vols., numbered 11-26. Winston and Goldsboro, N.C., 1895–1907. description ends , 12:518; Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 2d ser., 11:293), may have been Michael Kernan, a private who enlisted in May 1778 and was discharged in August 1780 with the notation “missing.” “McConklin” was probably William McLaughlin (McGloughlan), a private who enlisted in May 1778 and was discharged in June 1779 with a note that he had deserted. The orders of 14 and 21 Aug. refer to William McLaughlin, and some orderly books use that name on this date. Nicholas Fitzgerald (c.1757–1821) enlisted in the 7th Maryland Regiment in May 1778 and served until May 1781, when his term expired. In 1820 he resided in Washington County, Maryland.

2The muster rolls of the 7th Maryland Regiment list two privates named John Dailey, both whom were recorded as deserters. One enlisted in September 1777 and was discharged in July 1780; the other enlisted in May 1778 and was discharged in May 1780.

3David McClemmons, a private in Capt. John Patten’s company of the Delaware Regiment, was recorded as having deserted in the first half of 1777. Solomon Lynes, who enlisted as a private in the 2d Virginia Regiment in September 1777, deserted on 31 Nov. 1777 and was retaken on 30 June 1778. He was pardoned and served with the regiment until at least March 1779.

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