George Washington Papers

General Orders, 1 August 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters White Plains saturday Augt 1st 1778.

Parole Tuscany—C. Signs Truro—Tartary.

At a Division General Court-Martial held at Peek’s-Kill July 16th 1778—Lieutenant Coll Hay President Lieutenant James Armstrong of the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment was tried for behaving in a scandalous manner, beating a number of Persons, breaking Windows, and being guilty of other abusive treatment—After due consideration the Court are of opinion that Lieutenant Armstrong was guilty of beating Quarter Master Bradford but think the Provocation was in some degree equal to the Offence; that he was guilty of breaking Cellar Windows and of other abusive treatment—but upon the whole cannot pronounce his behaviour scandalous, tho’ unjustifiable and notwithstanding his good Character as an Officer and soldier do sentence him to be reprimanded in General Orders.1

At the same Court Captns Thomas Moore and James Christe of said Regiment were tried for the same Crime.2

The Court are of Opinion that they are not guilty of behaving in a scandalous manner, beating a number of Persons or of breaking Windows, but find them guilty of abusive treatment and sentence them to be reprimanded by the Commanding Officer of the Brigade.

The Commander in Chief is sorry that he has Occasion to declare that Captains Christe and Moore and Lieutenant Armstrong were, thro’ the whole of this affair in Circumstances that did them very little Honor—He laments they should suffer themselves so far to deviate from that line of delicacy and decorum which they owe to their own Characters as to engage in a Riot and Tumult of so singular a Complexion, especially as it rather appears by their own defence that they left their Regiment without leave—Captns Moore & Christe and Lieutenant Armstrong are released from their Arrests.

The Brigade Major and Adjutants of the day are to be very alert in telling off the guards so soon as they are assembled on Parade, that the men may not be fatigued by long standing—They are also to see that the men stand firm with their heads erect and observe the strictest Silence while this is doing.

A Chain of Centries is to be posted along the Front of the Parade at forty yards distance within which none but the General, Field and other Officers of the day are to be admitted.

As there is something extremely awkward and unmilitary in Officers saluting at different times and in different manners the following general Direction is to be observed; The saluting Officer is to look full in the Face of the Officer saluted, his body upright and his step firm and to begin at such a distance as to finish the salute when opposite the Person for whom it is intended—The Motions of the Sword or Fusil & the Feet ought to be exactly in Concert; in order to which and for the graceful Performance of salutes it is expected Officers will spare no Trouble or Pains to perfect themselves and arrive at Dexterity and Uniformity as it is a matter which forms no unessential Part of their duty and will be highly ornamental to their military Appearance and Character.

When the guards are ordered to march off the Brigade Major is to see that they all step off at the same instant with their left feet and the Officers of Platoons will be particularly attentive that the step is afterwards preserved: As the Platoons pass in Review before the Major General or Officer Commanding the Parade the men are to hold up their heads and look full in their Face.

No Officer who has Regimentals is to mount guard in any other dress, and when men are warned for guard they are to be directed to come on with clean hands and faces hairs combed and powdered, and are to appear in all respects as decent and solderlike as circumstances will permit.

Brigade Majors and Adjutants will recollect that it is an indispensible part of their duty to attend to this and see that the mens Arms Ammunition and Accoutrements are continually in the best order.

The Major General of the day thro’ the Field Officers will have a careful Inspection made into these several matters and where there appears to be any deficiency will call the Brigade-Majors and Adjutants to account on the spot, and either reprimand arrest or acquit as circumstances shall warrant; These are to be considered as standing orders which it is expected all officers and soldiers will be made acquainted with & punctually observe.

The whole Army to be under Arms tomorrow morning at five ôClock precisely with their Tents struck and rolled up and their Packs slung; further orders will then be given by the Adjutant General.3

The Troops of the whole line will exercise and manœuvre on the Principles heretofore established for the Main Army twice a day from five to seven in the morning and from five to seven in the Evening—The Brigade Inspectors will perform the duties of their Office as heretofore directed by the order of the 15th of June last.

Coll Davies will superintend the Right Wing and three Brigades on the Right of the second line. Lieutenant Colonel Brooks will superintend the Left Wing and two Brigades on the left of the second Line—conformable to the spirit of the same order.

The Brigadiers and Commanding Officers of those Brigades who have no Brigade Inspectors appointed, will recommend to Head-Quarters proper Officers for that Purpose.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1James Armstrong (d. 1800), who was appointed regimental quartermaster for the 2d Pennsylvania Regiment in February 1776, became an ensign of that regiment in May 1776 and a second lieutenant in November 1776. Commissioned a first lieutenant of the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment in April 1777, he subsequently joined Lee’s Legion, where he was promoted to captain by early 1780. He was captured at Dorchester, S.C., on 13 Dec. 1781 and remained a prisoner until December 1782. After the war, Armstrong moved to Georgia, where he represented Camden County in the legislature and on the executive council. When the army was briefly augmented during the Quasi-War, Armstrong served as a major of the 5th U.S. Infantry Regiment from July 1799 to July 1800. Robert Bradford (1750–1823), who was commissioned an ensign of the 23d Continental Regiment in January 1776, was promoted to lieutenant and regimental quartermaster of the 2d Massachusetts Regiment in January 1777 and became brigade quartermaster in January 1778. He was promoted to captain of the 2d Massachusetts Regiment in June 1779 and served to the end of the war.

2Thomas Lloyd Moore (1756–1813) was a son of Philadelphia merchant William Moore (c.1735–1793), who was on the Pennsylvania board of war and later became president of the Pennsylvania supreme executive council. The younger Moore was commissioned a lieutenant in the 2d Pennsylvania Regiment on 5 Jan. 1776 and promoted to captain on 21 May 1776, joining the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment in early 1777. Moore, who was promoted to major of the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment in May 1779, transferred to the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1781 and served until January 1783. During the Quasi-War, Moore was commissioned in January 1799 as lieutenant colonel commandant of the 10th U.S. Infantry Regiment and served until June 1800.

3Private Zebulon Vaughan of the 5th Massachusetts Regiment recorded in his diary for 2 Aug.: “we all Struck tents the holl armey under ae noshon of a march But it turned out to Bee a Sarch thro the holl armey.” Capt. Paul Brigham’s entry in his diary for the date suggests a cause: “had a Sarch [Search] Throughout the Army for to find Some Stolen Goods” (“Vaughan Journal,” description begins Virginia Steele Wood, ed. “The Journal of Private Zebulon Vaughan, Revolutionary Soldier, 1777–1780.” Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine 113 (1979): 101–14, 256–57, 320–31, 478–85, 487. description ends 109; “Brigham Diary,” description begins Edward A. Hoyt, ed. “A Revolutionary Diary of Captain Paul Brigham, November 19, 1777–September 4, 1778.” Vermont History 34 (1966): 3–30. description ends 29; see also Symmes, Gilbert Diary description begins Rebecca D. Symmes, ed. A Citizen-Soldier in the American Revolution: The Diary of Benjamin Gilbert in Massachusetts and New York. Cooperstown, N.Y., 1980. description ends , 34).

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