George Washington Papers

General Orders, 15 August 1779

General Orders

Head-Quarters Moores-House [West Point]
Sunday August 15th 1779.

Parole Stony-Point— C. Signs Saratoga Stono.

A Subaltern officer and ten men from each of the brigades on this ground including the Garrison are to parade as soon as possible at Major General Greene’s quarters with their arms blankets and two days provision to go into the country to impress Waggons for the public service.1

The Quarter Master General or his Deputy will appoint one flat-bottom’d boat for the use of each brigade which is to be kept in constant readiness for their use by Mr Buchanan;2 and in future the commanding officers of brigades will give their orders for the use of the boat assigned them, and Mr Buchanan is to deliver a boat to no other persons order in the brigade; and that the whole business of the brigade may be done at the same time they are to be previously notified when and where the boat will go. Such boats as may be wanted for other purposes besides those for brigade and garrison duty (the latter of which Mr Whiting will direct the number & uses they are wanted for)3 orders are to be obtained from the Quarter Master General’s office as directed in former orders.4

Whoever gives an order for a boat will be held responsible for her return; for this purpose Mr Buchanan is to file all his orders and give receipts for those that are returned; Such as are not, must be accounted for by the person who gave the order.

At the General Court-Martial whereof Coll Jackson was President the 4th instant, Ensign Joshua Brimhall of Colonel Bradford’s regiment was tried for “Continuing at home four months after his furlough expired” found guilty and sentenced to be reprimanded in general orders.5

Ensign Brimhall’s excuse is not admissible; Nothing but absolute necessity could justify an officer for exceeding his furlough for such a length of time, and that necessity cannot be supposed to have existed; In matters of this kind an officer ought to shew exemplary punctuality to the soldiery.

Ensign Brimhall is released from his Arrest.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1On this date GW issued a warrant to Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene for the impressment of wagon teams. The warrant, written from headquarters at West Point and addressed “To the Quarter Master General,” reads: “Whereas the exigency of the public service is such as to make it necessary to call upon the country for fourty teams—and as the usual way of procuring these would be too slow in its operation to answer the present purpose, you are hereby authorised to impress fourty teams, with a sufficient number of cattle for the same, for which this shall be your warrant” (DS, in James McHenry’s writing, NjP:deCoppet Collection; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW).

2John Buchanan was superintendent of boats at West Point.

3Timothy Whiting, Jr. (1758–1826), of Bellerica, Mass., was the assistant deputy quartermaster at West Point. Whiting served as a private in the Lexington Alarm in April 1775 and then served in Col. Ebenezer Bridge’s Massachusetts Battalion from May to July 1775. He may have been a second lieutenant in the 16th Continental Infantry Regiment in 1776 prior to his appointment in January 1777 as an assistant deputy quartermaster. In January 1780 Whiting became assistant deputy quartermaster of the 12th Massachusetts Regiment, where he served until he left the army in June 1780.

5Joshua Brimhall (Bramhall), of Barnstable, Mass., joined Capt. John Russell’s company of Maj. Barachiah Basset’s regiment of Massachusetts militia as a drummer in July 1776 and served until November 1776. Appointed an ensign in the 14th Massachusetts Regiment in January 1777, Brimhall became a lieutenant in December 1779. He transferred to the 7th Massachusetts Regiment in January 1781 and to the 3d Massachusetts Regiment in June 1782, where he served until the end of the war.

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