George Washington Papers

General Orders, 30 August 1779

General Orders

Head-Quarters Moores-House [West Point]
Monday August 30th 1779

Parole Susquehannah— C. Signs Stonington Saybrook.

Lieutenant Colonel Adams is appointed to superintend the hospitals in Pennsylvania and Jersey.

The new method of keeping accounts &c. agreeable to the forms already delivered to the Sub-Inspectors is to commence the 1st of September next—The Inspectors will be very particular in giving the necessary directions to the officers, who are by no means to deviate from the Mode prescribed.1

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

GW’s assistant secretary James McHenry wrote to Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne from headquarters at West Point, N.Y., on this date: “The following comes before you in consequence of the commands of his Excellency. An old woman of about 80 years of age—Judah Fitzgerald, a former resident of New-York, and whose children are still in the City, has obtained a permission from Governor Clinton, to return. The General requests you to send in a sergeant with a flag to the enemy’s lines to know if she will be received. He particularises a sergeant, because objections have been made to a commissioned officer going upon common or trifling occasions.

“You will be pleased to send a line to the commanding officer with a state of her case—and let us know if a poor old divil under her description will be received.

“His Excellency wishes you if possible to add to your vigilance, in discovering the daily alterations in the number of shipping in the river—the additions which may be made to them—and every other movement or change, which takes place within our observation—Certain and daily reports on which we can depend, may lead us to some knowlege of the enemy’s intentions. The General observes, that it might be well enough to employ some of the inhabitants, in the vicinity of the Hudson, in this business—who should be constant in their communications.

“I congratulate you on the manifesto of the King of Spain to the Court of London. We received it yesterday in a Boston paper.

“A vessel has arrived at Baltimore in 60 days from France by which I am informed of the junction of the French and spanish fleets—and that ten ships of the line had sailed from Toulon, with troops, for the reduction of Port-mahon. This I make no doubt will be effected as there is no british marine in the Mediterranean.” After closing the letter McHenry added a postscript: “We could not get an express to carry this—which has obliged us to send it by water—we take the same opportunity to conveey the old dame to your good offices.” The letter was mistakenly docketed “from Colo. Harrison.” A note on the cover of the letter reads: “General Wayne being gone to Head Quarters Mr. Archer returns the letter by the Messenger who brought it” (PHi: Wayne Papers). For Judah Fitzgerald’s determined efforts to press her case with GW and his aides and their insistance that she must first obtain permission from the governor of New York before they could grant her a pass, see Alexander Hamilton to George Clinton, 24 Aug., in Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 2:138–39. For the Spanish manifesto, see GW to John Jay, 29 Aug., n.1.

1The general orders of 1 Sept. postponed the use of the new “company books.”

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