George Washington Papers

General Orders, 9 June 1779

General Orders

Head-Quarters Smith’s Tavern1 [N.Y.] Wednesday June 9th 1779

Parole Bilboa—C. Signs Baltimore Bender—

A detachment of five hundred men from the Virginia and Maryland divisions, with three days provision & their blankets unincumbered with any other baggage, to march tomorrow morning at four ô clock to relieve the detachment under Colonel Stewart—Colonel Williams to take the command and call this afternoon at Head-Quarters for instructions.2

Major Webb3 to be joined to this detachment.

The Virginia division will furnish a Picket of fifty men on the clove road four miles advanced on the right of their encampment and the Maryland division will do the same on the road or path leading from June’s tavern towards Haverstraw4—Patroles to be constantly going from these Pickets as far down as may be safe.

Lord Stirling will please to order a party of thirty men to open the road from June’s and General St Clair a like party to open that from the Widow Van Ambras’s to the Furnace5 so as if possible to admit a march in sections.6

The Chief Engineer will furnish the General with a draft of West-Point and its environs, including the communications with this Camp7—The roads leading from June’s and the Widow Van Ambra’ to the Furnace of Deane are in the first instance to be ascertained—The Geographers8 will assist in this business.

Captain Lt. Pryor of Colonel Harrison’s regiment of Artillery is appointed Aide-De-Camp to Major General Lord-Stirling and is to be accordingly respected.9

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene described the camp at Smith’s tavern in a letter of this date to his wife, Catharine: “This is a most disagreeable place infested with Snakes and all manner of disagreeable things. I am now writing in a Markee, not ten Yards from which a large Rattle Snake was kild but a few minutes since” (Greene Papers, description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends 4:130–31).

2For GW’s instructions concerning the relief of the detachment under the command of Col. Walter Stewart, see his letter of this date to Otho Holland Williams (see also Williams to GW, 11 June, and GW to Williams, same date [second letter]).

3John Webb (1747/8–1826) became captain of the 7th Virginia Regiment in March 1776 and rose to major in January 1778. He transferred to the 5th Virginia Regiment in September 1778 and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in July 1779. Webb retired from the army in February 1781.

4The Clove Road was the principal route through Smiths Clove in Orange County, New York. It ran from Suffern in the south to New Windsor and Newburgh in the north. For the encampments of the Virginia and Maryland divisions, see General Orders, 7 June, and notes 1 and 2 to that document.

5This is a reference to an iron furnace, often called the Furnace of Dean (Deane), at the Forest of Dean. An iron industry had been active in Orange County and the surrounding region for some decades.

6For these roads, see General Orders, 7 June, and notes 1 and 3 to that document.

7This map has not been identified. Brigadier General Duportail commanded the engineers.

8The copyist mistakenly wrote “Geophaphers” for this word.

9John Pryor had served as captain lieutenant in the 1st Continental Artillery Regiment under Col. Charles Harrison since February 1777. Pryor became a major upon his appointment as aide-de-camp to Major General Stirling. He continued in this capacity until his retirement from the army in January 1783.

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