George Washington Papers

General Orders, 11 October 1780

General Orders

Head Quarters Totowa Wednesday October 11th 1780.

Parole Cape Ann. Countersigns L, E.
Watchword, Order.

[Officers] For the day Tomorrow[:] Brigadier General Wayne[,] Colonel Greaton[,] Lieutenant Colonel Littlefield[,] Major Winslow[,] Brigade Major Oliver

Twenty two waggoners to be draughted from the line to be sent to the grand parade tomorrow at guard mounting.

As the soldiers have begun to build chimneys to their tents the General desires that the commanding officers of regiments and companies will be particularly attentive in seeing that the funnels are raised so much above the ridge pole of the Tents to prevent damage from the fire or smoke which heretofore has been very injurious to the Tents of the Army.

Major Parr’s corps of riflemen are permitted to try their rifles between the hours of three and five P.M.1

At the General Court Martial whereof Colonel Henry Jackson is president2 the 25th ulto Captain Andrew Porter of the Artillery was Tried for “Falsely and Maliciously misrepresenting the conduct of Colonel Thomas Procter as an officer in saying he discharged soldiers of his regiment for his private gain thereby defrauding the United States and from the same false and malicious views did say that he had not more than thirty or forty men in his said regiment on the Western expedition under General Sullivan3 and for conduct unbecoming an officer and a Gentleman towards Colonel Procter in the abovementioned instances.”

The Court are of opinion that Captain Porter is Not Guilty of either of the charges against him and do acquit him.

At the same Court was tried Captain Daniel Pendleton of the regiment of Artificers for “Defrauding the United States in the following instances: First for dating men back from the time of their inlistments.”

Second, for discharging two men, one of which was a deserter from his company and the other had never joined; and taking money for said discharges and returning others in their room that were inlisted by his serjeant who were strangers to the matter—Also for keeping such bounties encouragement and wages from september 1777 to February 1778 for his own use.

Thirdly, for leaving at Croton as a pledge for his reckoning some Spades, ordered by Major Forsyth to be carried from Kingsferry to White plains.

The Court are of opinion that the facts contained in the first Charge, and first part of the second charge against Captain Pendleton are supported; but from the Evidence in the case it appears that Captain Pendleton’s conduct in some instances arose from a mistaken Zeal to serve the public, and in others from an erroneous judgement, they therefore acquit Captain Pendleton of defrauding the United States in either Case tho’ they think his conduct highly reprehensible; it appears to the court on the latter part of the second charge that Captain Pendleton has not kept the bounties[—]that he has kept part of the wages drawn in the names of Barnes and Hooker for his own use, but by their consent, but he is Not Guilty of defrauding the United States in this instance.4

The Court find the third Charge not supported and entirely groundless.

Mr John Christie Foragemaster to General Clinton’s brigade was likewise tried at the same court for “Giving Certificates for a number of Horses more than he had, to the inhabitants of Schralenberg.[”]

The Court are of opinion that Mr Christie is Not Guilty of the Charge.5

The Commander in Chief confirms the aforegoing opinions of the Court—Captains Porter and Pendleton and Forage Master Christie are released from Arrest.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

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

3For this expedition, see John Sullivan to GW, 28 Sept. 1779.

4John Barnes joined Col. Jeduthan Baldwin’s artificers regiment in December 1777 and became a carpenter in Capt. Daniel Pendleton’s company. He left the army in December 1781.

Ira Hooker (1760–1838) joined Baldwin’s regiment in October 1777 and became a carpenter in Pendleton’s company. He was discharged in October 1780.

5John Christie (Christy; d. 1785) became sergeant in the 5th New York Regiment in June 1777, later served as forage master, and was discharged in February 1780.

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