George Washington Papers

General Orders, 10 July 1779

General Orders

Head-Quarters New-Windsor Saturday July 10th 1779.

Parole Petersburgh—C. Signs Persia Paris—

A General Court Martial to sit next Monday ten ô clock in the forenoon at West-Point for the trial of Lieutenant Colonel Loring1 & such others as may come before them.

Colonel Michael Jackson will preside.2

At a brigade General Court-Martial held by order of General Woodford July 2nd—Major Clarke President,3 John Develin of the 8th Virginia regiment4 was tried for, “Desertion and attempting to go to the enemy,” found guilty & sentenced to suffer death—two thirds of the Court concuring therein.

The Commander in Chief confirms the sentence but as it was previous to the Pardon of the 4th instant,5 the Prisoner is comprehended in the benefit of it.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1A letter of 9 July from Maj. Gen. William Heath to GW prompted this order for the court-martial of Lt. Col. Jotham Loring. For the charges against Loring, his conviction for improperly detaining a surgeon’s mate and defrauding soldiers of their rations, and his dismissal from the service, see General Orders, 12 August. GW subsequently declined to grant Loring a new trial (see Samuel Huntington to GW, 15 Dec. 1780; GW to Loring, 6 April and 24 Aug. 1781; Loring to GW, May and 15 Aug. 1781, all DLC:GW; see also 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 18:1004, 1152).

2At this place in a transcript of another orderly book from GW’s headquarters, it reads: “A Lieut. Colonel, Major, and Six Captains from Gen. Heath’s division, and four Captains from Genl McDougall’s, to attend as members” (NN: Bancroft Collection).

3Jonathan Clark, who was major of the 8th Virginia Regiment until commissioned lieutenant colonel with a date of 10 May 1779, served as president of this court-martial.

4Service records list Robert Develin (Devillin, Devlin) as a private in the 8th Virginia Regiment, but no soldier is found with the first name “John” and that surname or a variant.

5For GW’s decision “to grant a general pardon to all Prisoners in this Army under sentence of death” to mark the anniversary of American independence, see General Orders, 4 July.

Index Entries