George Washington Papers

General Orders, 29 August 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters W. Plains saturday August 29th 1778.

Parole Marlborough—C. Signs Montcalm. Montgomery—

The board of Field-Officers appointed in orders of the 27th instant in the Virginia Line are to take into Consideration and settle Lieutt Colls Brent & Ellison’s claims of rank.1

Colonels Wyllys, Bradley, Swift and Meigs are appointed to settle the relative rank of the Lieutt Colonels, Majors and Captains in the Connecticutt line—They are desired to meet at Colonel Wyllys’s Marquee three ôClock this afternoon and make report of their proceedings to the Committee of Arrangement at Head-Quarters.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW. On this date GW’s secretary James McHenry wrote Assistant Quartermaster General Charles Pettit: “The General considering the present appearances of things, and the circumstances of the enemy wishes to have an established provision of boats on the connecticut, & other rivers between this and Boston for the crossing his army in case the war should take an Eastern direction. You will be looking forward for this purpose.

“His Excellency does not conceive the boats and small craft at Norwalk altogether safe; he would therefore wish to see them, as well as all others, whether public or private property, laying along the sound, at least for some distance, collected and carryed back into creeks or rivers: You will choose Such situations as seem to give the greatest security to the boats, It may be very proper to consult with General Parsons on this head” (DLC:GW).

1John Allison (1745–1803), who was appointed a captain of marines by the Virginia council in March 1776, became major of the 1st Virginia State Regiment in 1777. On 1 June 1778 he was appointed lieutenant colonel with a commission dated from 1 Feb. 1778, but from 7 Sept. 1778 to May 1779 he was considered supernumerary and apparently served as a major. In August 1779 he was restored to the rank of lieutenant colonel (dating from January 1779), a board of officers having ruled in May that he was entitled to that rank. Allison served at least until February 1781.

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