George Washington Papers

General Orders, 6 April 1779

General Orders

Head-Quarters Middle-Brook Tuesday April 6th 1779.

Parole Mittenbergh—C. Signs Modon—Mexico.

At a General Court Martial of the line April 3rd 1779, Lieutt Colonel Harmar President—Captain Handy of the fifth Maryland regiment was tried for, “Refusing his tour of duty in not taking command of the Bound-Brook Picket.”

The Court having considered the evidence and the reasons offered by Captain Handy for his refusal to do the tour of duty he is charged with, are of opinion that his reasons are not sufficient to justify his refusal to do the duty he was ordered and that he is guilty of a breach of that part of the 5th Article, Section 2nd—of the Articles of War which respect a disobedience of orders;1 But as it appears to have proceeded from a dispute of rank existing in the regiment he belongs to, they consider his being arrested and tried by a General Court Martial to be a sufficient punishment for the charge exhibited against him.

The Commander in Chief approves the sentence—Captain Handy is released from his Arrest.2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Adj. Gen. Alexander Scammell’s orderly book entry for this date includes the following additional general orders: “For a Month’s Command Lt Colo. Ford.

“A Serjt & 12 R[ank] & F[ile] from Genl Scott’s Brigade for Fatigue Tomorrow.

“A Sub., two Serjts and 30 R. & F. from the 1st Maryland.

“The Months Command to be furnish’d with three Days provision & forty Rounds per Man.” (orderly book, 22 Dec. 1778–26 June 1779, DNA: RG 93, Orderly Books, 1775–1783, vol. 28).

1This article provided that any officer or soldier who offered “any violence” against his superior officer, “being in the execution of his office,” or who disobeyed “any lawful command of his superior officer, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall, according to the nature of his offence, be inflicted upon him by the sentence of a court-martial” (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 , 5:790).

2Levin Handy (1754–1799) of Worcester County, Md., had been appointed a second lieutenant in the Maryland Battalion of the Flying Camp in June 1776 and promoted to first lieutenant two months later. He became a captain in the 5th Maryland Regiment in December 1776. On 14 June 1780 Congress accepted Handy’s resignation from the army effective 1 May 1780 (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 , 17:509–10).

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