George Washington Papers

General Orders, 14 June 1779

General Orders

Head-Quarters Smith’s Tavern [N.Y.] Monday June 14th 1779.

Parole North Carolina—C. Signs Norwales. Naples.

As the Commander in Chief sets out this day for West Point and may be absent for two or three days, Major General Putnam will take the command of the troops in this camp ’till his return.1

Major General Putnam will assemble the General Officers and have the suspected persons lately taken up in the vicinity of this camp, brought before them and will examine into the circumstances of their case,2 and report to the Commander in Chief a state of facts with their opinion of measures proper to be pursued: The Adjutant General will take care to have the necessary Witnesses produced.3

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW also advised Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam of his command responsibilities in a letter of this date.

2This general order probably is referring to individuals described in a report printed in the New-Jersey Gazette (Burlington) for 23 June. The report, datelined Chatham, N.J., 15 June, reads: “Last week six daring villains in Smith’s Clove, had the audacity to fire on two of our light horse, as they were passing in the rear of the army, one of which they wounded in the body, and broke the thigh bone of the other: They were immediately pursued by a party from the army, taken, and one hung; the other five were conducted to head-quarters, and a court-martial being held on them, they were found guilty, and received sentence of death; pursuant to which four were hanged, and it being insinuated to the fifth that if he would discover his accomplices, he would be pardoned, which offer of clemency he eagerly embraced, and conducted a party of our people to a cave in the mountain, the depository of all their plunder, where lay concealed five more, whom they secured. Various articles of plunder were found in their den.”

3For further instructions concerning this investigation, see GW to Putnam, 21 June.

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