George Washington Papers

General Orders, 27 September 1780

General Orders

Head Quarters Orangetown Wednesday September 27th 1780

Parole West point Countersigns Fortune favours.
Watchword America

[Officers] For the day Tomorrow[:] Brigadier General Paterson[,] Colonel Marshall[,] Lieutenant Colonel Vose[,] Major Cogswell[,] Brigade Major Woodbridge

For detachment[:] Major Maxwell

At a division General Court martial Septr 17th Colonel Swift president—Peter Rooney James Moore, John Miller and James Welch Soldiers in Colonel Stewards regiment of Light infantry were tried for “Robbery” severally found Guilty of the charge and sentenced to suffer death (more than two thirds of the Court agreeing thereto).1

Major General Greene Approves the sentence.

At the General court martial whereof Colonel H. Jackson is President the 23d instant2—Thomas Thomson Forage master to General Hand’s brigade was tried for “Exchanging public Oats for bridles.”

The Court are of opinion that Mr Thompson is guilty of the charge against him being in breach of Article 1st Section 12 of the Articles of War and do sentence that he shall at his own charge make good the Loss or damage shall moreover forfeit all his Pay and be dismiss’d from the service.3

Major General Greene confirms the sentence of the Court and orders it to be carried into Execution.

At the same Court Abraham Cooper a waggoner was tried for “Embezzling public stores when employed in Carting the same to the Army” and acquitted—He is to be released from Confinement.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene issued the general orders for this date (see The Hartford Conference, 20–22 Sept., editorial note).

Q.M. Gen. Timothy Pickering wrote his wife, Rebecca, from Tappan on 27 Sept.: “The General is not yet arrived. Arnold’s villany has occasioned his stay at West Point” (Pickering and Upham, Life of Pickering description begins Octavius Pickering and Charles W. Upham. The Life of Timothy Pickering. 4 vols. Boston, 1867–73. description ends , 1:258; see also The Discovery of Major General Benedict Arnold’s Treachery, 25 Sept.–24 Nov., editorial note).

1Peter Rooney (Roony), James Moore (Moor), and John Miller apparently joined the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment as privates in 1777. Their service records indicate that they survived the war (see DNA: RG 93, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War).

2For the establishment of this court-martial, see General Orders, 12 Sept., and n.3 to that document.

3The first article of the twelfth section of the articles of war reads: “Whatsoever commissioned officer, store-keeper, or commissary, shall be convicted at a general court-martial of having sold (without a proper order for that purpose) embezzled, misapplied, or wilfully, or through neglect, suffered any of the provisions, forage, arms, clothing, ammunition, or other military stores belonging to the United States, to be spoiled or damaged, the said officer, store-keeper, or commissary so offending, shall, at his own charge, make good the loss or damage, shall moreover forfeit all his pay, and be dismissed from the service” (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 , 5:796).

Thomas Thompson (Thomson) has not been identified beyond this court-martial.

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