George Washington Papers

General Orders, 3 August 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters White-Plains Monday Augt 3rd 1778.

Parole Alexandria—C. Signs Boxford. Cambridge.

The Connecticutt Militia Light-Horse commanded by Captain Skinner are discharged and have his Excellency’s thanks for their good Services.

At a General Court Martial whereof Coll Stewart was President July 29th 1778—Lieutenant Coll Regnier tried 1st—For leaving his Regiment when alarmed by the firing of the Patroles upon the lines on the morning of the 29th of June last and not joining it again ’till the Alarm was over—2ndly For purchasing a horse from a soldier which properly belonged to the Continent—3rd for treating Adjt Sackett in an unofficer and ungentlemanlike manner.1 The Court having considered the Charges and the Evidence are unanimously of opinion that Lieutt Coll Regnier is not guilty of either of the Charges exhibited against him, and are farther of opinion, that they are groundless, vexatious and dictated by private Pique & Malice; They do acquit him with honor.

At the same Court Martial July 31st Captn Silleron acting as a Volunteer in the 4th New-York Regiment was tried 1st—For calling Adjutant Sackett a Liar and drawing his sword on him when unarmed—2ndly for insinuating that he was a Coward and challenging him to fight a Duel—The Court having considered the first Charge and Evidence are of Opinion that Captn Silleron is guilty thereof, but as the Abuse was reciprocal and as Captain Silleron could not mean by drawing his sword to take Advantage of Mr Sackett’s being unarmed—The Court think the Punishment of lying in Arrest (a punishment pointed out in the Articles of War of which his Crime is a breach and which Captn Silleron has already suffered) is adequate to the fault he has committed; They are likewise of opinion that Captain Silleron is guilty of the second Charge exhibited against him, but as the Challenge was given by him immediately, as it proceeded from the instantaneous Resentment of an incensed Gentleman and was not sent on cool reflection; the Court are of opinion that Captain Silleron has not been guilty of a breach of the Article of War which prohibits sending challenges and do determine that he does not merit Censure.2

Likewise Lieutenant Norton of the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment tried for entering the Encampment of the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment in Company with several others in a riotous and mutinous manner and for attempting to enter Coll Craige’s house between the hours of twelve and one in the morning of the 4th of June with a drawn sword & unanimously acquitted of the Charge exhibited against him.3

His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentences. Coll David Hall is appointed President of the Court-Martial now sitting, vice, Coll Stewart.

Major Oliver is appointed Inspector in General Nixon’s Brigade & is to be respected accordingly.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Peter Sackett (b. 1757) of Long Island was appointed adjutant of the 4th New York Regiment in November 1776 and resigned in late August or early September 1778.

2Article 2, section 7 of the articles of war prohibited officers or soldiers from sending challenges ( JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 5:793).

3Thomas Norton, who had served as a sergeant in the 2d Pennsylvania Regiment, was promoted to ensign in March 1777 and commissioned a second lieutenant in April of that year. Norton was appointed regimental quartermaster on 5 Sept. 1778 and continued in that post until August 1779, meanwhile being promoted to first lieutenant in March 1779. He resigned on 3 Sept. 1779.

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