George Washington Papers

General Orders, 20 August 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters W. Plains August 20th 1778.

Parole DunstableC. Signs Dublin. Deal.

The Tents of the whole Army are to be struck three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays from ten in the morning ’till two in the afternoon when the weather will permit; The Officers will be careful to have the ground between and where the tents stood well cleansed.

No Persons whatever whether belonging to the Army or not are to pass beyond the advanced Corps without Permits from Head-Quarters—The Commanding Officer of that Corps is directed not only to stop all Persons who shall hereafter attempt to pass without such Permits but to report their names and take away any other Passes they may have and send them to the Adjutant General—The General also reminds the Officers of a former order, forbiding any under the degree of commanding Officer of a Brigade from giving Passes to soldiers and expects a strict observance.1

Lieutenant George Purvis is appointed Adjutant of the Delaware Regiment.2

Returns of Medicines, Instruments, Bandages &c. now in the several Regiments to be made out by the Regimental Surgeons and delivered to the Physician and Surgeon General next Monday.3

Returns of all the Negroes in the several Regi. to be made out immediately Regimentally, digested into Brigade Returns and brought into the Orderly-Office next saturday4 specifying those present and the particular Places where the absent or on command are.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW was referring to his general orders of 17 April 1778.

2George Purvis (1750–1801) served as a quartermaster for the Delaware Battalion at the Flying Camp in 1776, then became a second lieutenant of the Delaware Regiment in December of that year. He was promoted to first lieutenant in October 1777. Purvis was captured at the Battle of Camden, 16 Aug. 1780, and he remained a prisoner in November 1782, but he had evidently been exchanged by March 1783, when he was continued in service as adjutant of the Delaware Regiment. GW then referred to him as a captain, but the date of that promotion, if indeed it occurred, has not been determined.

3The following Monday was 24 August.

4The next Saturday following these orders was 22 August. Adj. Gen. Alexander Scammell compiled the results on 24 Aug. into a “Return of the Negroes in the Army” that showed 586 “Present,” 98 “Sick absent,” and 71 “On Command” (DLC:GW).

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