George Washington Papers

General Orders, 16 October 1780

General Orders

Head Quarters Totowa Monday October 16th 1780

Parole Neckar Countersigns North: No.
Watchword Navy

[Officers] For the Day Tomorrow[:] Brigadier General Wayne[,] Colonel Marshal[,] Lieutenant Colonel Badlam[,] Major T. Moore[,] Brigade Major Van Laër

At a General court martial at springfield (Massachusetts) April 1780 Lieutenant Colonel commandant Reid president Mr Isaac Tichenea Assistant Commissary for the Northern department was tried on the following charges:

“1st For not complying with the orders received from proper authority—for forming a magazine of provisions on the upper part of Connecticut river in the latter part of the year 1778 and in the beginning of 1779.

2d Making frequent and repeated misrepresentations of the ability of that part of the country which was assigned him as his purchasing district as an excuse for such neglect and disobedience of orders

3dly The delivering or causing to be delivered over to the issuing Commissary at Charlestown and Coos a quantity of salted Beef in a state improper to be received by him and in a condition in which it could not be saved and afterwards neglecting to provide (tho’ frequently requested) the necessary articles and means to save that species of provisions, by which the public have sustained a Loss

4thly A misapplication of public money in not procuring a proportion of the several and different species of provisions necessary to form a Magazine of provisions and in particular neglecting to secure the article of flour, the most essential.

5thly The want of a proper exertion in procuring the allowance of Provisions and Rum for the Troops who were serving under Colonel Hazen’s command, as that detachment were the whole course of the summer on short allowance, and frequently without bread or flour.

6thly Not supplying his Assistant Major Child with money to comply with the orders he had received and adequate to the Wants to fulfill the bargains and Contracts made for the public by Major Child, by which the good people of that district have been greatly deceived and injured to the prejudice of the public service.

7thly Preventing Mr Child his Assistant from purchasing Rum for the Troops at and about Coos which was offered him at a reasonable rate and at or about the same time selling a quantity of Rum (which had been bought up for public use) at an advanced price, the Profits of which it is presumed were then intended for his own private emolument

8thly For changing the district of Mr Jonathan Child his Assistant to the prejudice of the public service and neglecting the public Provisions bought up this season and now at Charlestown in danger of being lost, all which tend to discover a want of inclination to serve the public: Judgement or Capacity to fill the office of a purchasing commissary.[”]

The Court are of opinion that the first second third fourth sixth and eight[h] are not supported from which Mr Tichenea is of consequence acquitted; in respect to the fifth charge the Court are of opinion that no exertion on the part of Mr Tichinea was wanting in procuring provision but think he wanted a proper exertion in procuring the Article of Rum.

In respect to the seventh charge the court are of opinion that Mr Tichinea did prevent Mr Child from purchasing Rum for the Troops in and about Coos but are clearly of opinion that his selling the public rum was not only justifiable but necessary; and that the Profits arising therefrom were not converted to his own emolument, but to the use and much to the advantage of the Public. but for want of a proper exertion in procuring the Article of Rum the Court are of opinion that he receive a reprimand from the Commander in Chief in general orders.

The Commander in Chief is sorry that he cannot agree with the court in the propriety of reprimanding Mr Tichinea for not making proper exertions to procure the necessary quantity of Rum as it does not appear that he was furnished with the means of purchasing on the contrary the Court in their opinion upon the seventh charge find that Mr Tichinea was justifiable in disposing of part of the Rum on hand to defray some of the expences of the Department and which was on or about the time that the Quantity alluded to was offer’d to his assistant Mr Child for sale. Mr Tichinea is released from his Arrest.1

The regimental Surgeons are requested to send such sick as are proper subjects for Hospital to the flying hospital at Doremis’s—Lord Stirling’s former quarters on the Pompton road.2

A Return of shirts actually wanting (estimating one ⅌ man) by the corps of artillery, infantry and cavalry to be made tomorrow morning at orderly time—none to be included but the soldiers inlisted for the war or a Term beyond the expiration of the present year—The Light infantry to be included in the returns of the regiments to which they respectively belong.

The state cloathiers are strictly enjoined to make returns at the same time of any cloathing they may have upon hand.

The Levies are not to be included.3

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For circumstances leading to the trial of Isaac Tichenor, assistant commissary of purchases for New Hampshire and Vermont, see General Orders, 15 Oct., and n.3 to that document.

2Major General Stirling had quartered at the George Doremus home.

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