George Washington Papers

General Orders, 3 March 1779

General Orders

Head-Quarters Middle-Brook Wednesday March 3rd 1779.

Parole Languedoc—C. Signs Lora—Lidd—

The General Court Martial whereof Colonel Hall is President is dissolved;1 at which court February 23rd—Lieutt Person of the 6th Virginia regiment was tried for “unofficerlike conduct in being absent from his patrole and thereby suffering the enemy to surprize and take his men at Woodbridge on the morning of the ninth of February last.”2

After mature deliberation the Court are of opinion he is guilty of the charge exhibited against him being a breach of the 5th Article, 18th Section of the Articles of War & sentence him to be reprimanded in general orders.3

The General is sorry to be obliged to declare that he thinks the sentence inadequate to the offence.

The strictest punctuality in patrole duty is of such essential importance, and a surprize from any neglect or irregularity in an officer is always so disgraceful, often so pernicious, that it should never fail to incur the severest penalty.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote Daniel Kemper, assistant clothier general, on this date from Middlebrook in a letter that reads: “I spoke to His Excellency respecting the great quantity of Cloathing upon your hands, He thinks all the Uniforms except about 1500 suits of Blue and Red and about half that quantity of Brown & Red had better be sent to Philada directed to the Board of War as I believe Mr Mease has given up the Cloathing department.... If you have any fine thin linen in the Store be pleased to send about two Yards. His Excellency wants it to paste some Maps upon it” (DLC:GW).

1For the appointment of this court-martial, see General Orders, 2 February.

2For an account of this Loyalist raid, see GW to John Conway, 10 Feb., n.1.

3See 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 , 5:807. For another case involving this section of the articles of war, see General Orders, 11 February.

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