George Washington Papers

General Orders, 28 August 1780

General Orders

Head Quarters Tean Neck [N.J.] Monday August 28th 1780

Parole Luxemburgh Countersigns C: R.
Watchword Glory—

[Officers] For the Day Tomorrow[:] Brigadier General Nixon[,] Lieutenant Colonels Furnald [and] Conway[,] Brigade Major Oliver For Guard[:] Major Talbot

Great irregularity having prevailed in the issues of rum to the several brigades; for the future it is to be issued in the following proportion when there is any in the Magazine.

To a Colonel or Lieutenant Colonel Commandant half a Gallon ⅌ week.

To a Lieutenant Colonel or Major three pints per week.

To a Captain two pints and a Subaltern a pint and a half per week. Rum is to be issued to the soldiery in rainy weather and on fatigue, but on no other occasions except by special order from Head Quarters at a gill ⅌ man; in the first case it shall be issued on returns signed by the commanding officers of brigades; in the last on returns signed by the Quartermaster General, Adjutant General or officer commanding the Corps of Engineers—This order is not to be deviated from on any pretence whatever.1

Some irregularities having also happened in the Issues of provision by which officers of different corps are inequally serv’d the General absolutely forbids any change to be made in any part of the Army of the rations from time to time established in general orders.2

The General has been informed of several late instances of parties being sent from the Army by officers commanding Brigades; regiments and even companies without permission from Head Quarters to impress different articles from the inhabitants and that great abuses have resulted there from; as nothing can be more contrary to good order or of more dangerous tendency than this practice it is at all events to be discontinued—When particular circumstances make it necessary to have recourse to this expedient a representation must be made to Headquarters for the purpose, that measures adequate to the end and least injurious to the rights of individuals may be pursued.

The General Court martial whereof Colonel Wyllys is president is to sit tomorrow morning nine ô Clock at the place mention’d in orders yesterday.3

The General Court martial whereof Colonel Greaton is President to assemble at the President’s Markee the same hour4—The Members of these Courts are desired to be punctual in their attendance.

Two Bakers from each Brigade to be sent this afternoon four ô clock to Orangetown to assist the superintendent of the Bakers at that place—Each wing gives a serjeant to conduct them.

Orderlies for the first mention’d court-martial from the left wing; For the last from the right wing.

The second Pennsylvania and second Massachusetts brigades each give one for the orderly office.

At the General Court Martial whereof Colonel Greaton is President—Lieutenant Colonel Conway was tried for

“Disobedience of Orders and ungentlemanlike behavior in beating Colonel Ogden’s waiter for being in the exact line of his duty after he was directly informed thereof.”

The Court are of opinion that Lieutenant Colonel Conway is not Guilty of the Charge exhibited against him and do Acquit him with Honor.

The Commander in Chief confirms the opinion of the Court—Lieutenant Colonel Conway is released from his Arrest.5

At the same Court Captain John Dennett of the third New Hampshire regiment was tried for

“Disobedience of orders and neglect of duty in not going to Amherst in New Hampshire and doing the duty he was there ordered to do.[”]

The Court do acquit Captain Dennett of the Charge exhibited against him.

The General approves the acquittal—Captain Dennett is released from Arrest.6

Likewise Lieutenant Welsh of the 9 Massachusetts regiment was tried for “Absenting himself from his regiment three days and leaving his Company without an officer to take care of it.”

The Court are of opinion that Lieutenant Welsh is Guilty of the Charge against him being a breach of Article 2d Section 13th of the Articles of war and do sentence him to be dismissed the service.

The Commander in Chief approves the sentence and orders it to take place immediately.7

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Between 28 Aug. and 30 Oct., GW’s aides-de-camp Alexander Hamilton, David Humphreys, Richard Kidder Meade, and Tench Tilghman assisted with correspondence. Help also came from GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison, who left for Virginia in later October after receiving news of his father’s death and never resumed secretarial duties (see Hamilton to Elizabeth Schuyler, 5 Oct., and Harrison to Hamilton, 26 March 1781, in Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 2:455–56, 584–86). Maj. Caleb Gibbs commanded GW’s guards, managed the money for GW’s expenses, and occasionally helped with correspondence. After a long tenure as GW’s secretary, James McHenry had become a volunteer aide-de-camp for Major General Lafayette (see McHenry to GW, 18 July 1780). The aides-de-camp and secretaries sometimes were called “family,” a term for a general’s personal staff (see, for example, Anthony Wayne to GW, 3 Sept.; William Phillips to GW, 11 Sept., and GW to John Cadwalader, 5 Oct.). GW apparently wanted to add Lt. Col. William Hull to his military family, but Hull declined the offer and recommended Humphreys (see Campbell, William Hull description begins Maria Campbell. Revolutionary Services and Civil Life of General William Hull; Prepared from His Manuscripts. … New York, 1848. description ends , 174–77).

1For other rum directives, see the general orders for 14 July and 30 August.

2For the current daily ration, see General Orders, 18 January.

3The general orders for 27 Aug. placed this court-martial “at the house on the right of General Stark’s brigade.”

4For the organization of this court-martial, see the general orders for 10 and 11 August.

5Lt. Col. John Conway previously clashed with Col. Matthias Ogden (see General Orders, 12 Dec. 1778).

6John Dennett (d. 1786) served as a lieutenant in the 3d New Hampshire Regiment from November 1776 to June 1780, when he rose to captain. He transferred to the 2d New Hampshire Regiment in January 1781 and continued until March 1783.

7Richard Welsh (Welch) became an ensign in the 16th Continental Regiment in January 1776 and a lieutenant in the 9th Massachusetts Regiment in January 1777.

The second article of the thirteenth section of the articles of war reads: “No officer or soldier shall lie out of his quarters, garrison, or camp, without leave from his superior officer, upon penalty of being punished according to the nature of his offence, by the sentence of a court-martial” (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 , 5:797).

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