George Washington Papers

General Orders, 10 October 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters Frederick’sburgh Saturday Octr 10th [1778]

Parole Southborough—C. Signs Selim Salem—

A General Court-Martial of the Line whereof Coll Patten is appointed President to assemble at the Presidents Quarters next Monday morning nine ôClock and sit at such Place as he shall appoint for the trial of all Persons who shall be brought before them—Lieutt Coll Loring, Major Hait[,] a Captain from the North-Carolina Brigade, one from each of the Pennsylvania Brigades, two from each of the Connecticutt and three from General Nixon’s will attend as Members.1

Captn Moore of the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment is appointed Major of Brigade to the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade and is to be obeyed and respected as such.

Lieutenant Thomas Drew is appointed Pay-Master to Coll Grayson’s Regiment and Lieut. John Jeremiah Jacob Pay-Master to the 6th Maryland Regiment.2

At a General Court-Martial held at Bedford the 8th of October 1778—by order of General Scott, whereof Lieutt Coll Blackden was President, Elisha Smith a Private of Captn Stoddard’s Company in the 2nd Regiment of Light Dragoons was tried for deserting to the Enemy last August, for piloting [the Enemy]3 in an Incursion into and against the Troops of these States, defrauding the Public by selling his horse, Arms, Accoutrements, Furniture & Cloathing in a treasonable manner to the Enemy and for Mutiny in insulting and menacing his Officers, while a Prisoner with them, found guilty of breaches of the 1st Article, 6th Section and of the 3rd Article of 12th Section of the Articles of War and sentenced to suffer Death.

His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and orders said Elisha Smith to be executed next Monday the 12th inst. 11 ôClock in the forenoon at or near Bedford as General Scott shall direct.4

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Maj. Joseph Hait of the 8th Connecticut Regiment was later promoted to lieutenant colonel with a commission backdated to September 1777. The following Monday was 12 October.

2Thomas Haynes Drew (1760–1854) of Virginia, who had been appointed a second lieutenant in Col. William Grayson’s Additional Continental Regiment in February 1777 and had been promoted to first lieutenant in February 1778, transferred to Col. Nathaniel Gist’s Additional Continental Regiment in April 1779 and resigned his Continental commission in July 1779. Drew served as a captain in the Virginia State Garrison Regiment 1781–82. John Jeremiah Jacob (Jacobs; 1757–1839), who had been commissioned a second lieutenant in the 6th Maryland Regiment in December 1776, was promoted to first lieutenant in October 1777 and captain lieutenant in August 1780. He transferred to the 1st Maryland Regiment in January 1781. Settling in Hampshire County, Va. (now W.Va.), after the war, Jacob married Capt. Michael Cresap’s widow, Mary Whitehead Rogers Cresap, and became involved in the dispute between Cresap’s heirs and GW over the title to the Round Bottom tract on the Ohio River (see John Harvie to GW, 5 Aug. 1785; GW to the Sheriff of Hampshire County, 15 Aug. 1785; GW to Edmund Randolph, 12 July 1786; and GW to John Marshall, 15 Aug. 1788, 17 Mar. 1789).

3At this place on the manuscript, the words “the Enemy” were inserted above the line and then were struck out. The general orders of this date in the orderly book of Brig. Gen. Henry Knox’s artillery brigade for 23 July–31 Dec. 1778 read: “for pilotg them” (NHi; see also Ranald S. McDougall’s orderly book, 15 Aug.–7 Nov. 1778, NHi).

4Charles Scott had asked GW to approve the court-martial’s verdict on Elisha Smith in his letter to GW of 9 October. For the unintended delay in Smith’s execution date, apparently to 17 Oct., see GW’s letter to Scott of this date, Scott’s first letter to GW of 13 Oct. and second letter to GW of 15 Oct., and Josiah Stoddard to GW, 15 October. For Stoddard’s unsuccessful effort to obtain a reprieve for Smith, see his letter to GW of 15 Oct., and GW’s reply to Stoddard of 17 October.

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