George Washington Papers

General Orders, 15 November 1780

General Orders

Head Quarters Totowa Wednesday Novemr 15th 1780

Parole Presburg Countersigns Paris Perth
Watchword Hark

[Officers] For the Day Tomorrow[:] Brigadier General Glover[,] Colonel Bradford[,] Lieutenant Colonel Robinson[,] Major Hamilton[,] Brigade Major Van Laër

As nothing adds more to the beauty and appearance of a Corps than exact uniformity of dress; The General recommends it thus early to the Field officers newly arranged1 to fix upon a fashion for the regimental clothing of the officers of their respective corps (if it is not already done) confining themselves to the ground facings lining, and buttons already assigned to the states to which they belong:2 The General sees with concern the difficulties which the officers labor under in procuring clothes; it is not therefore his wish that those who are already furnished should run themselves to the expence of new uniforms if their old are not exactly conformable but that they should in future comply strictly with the regimental fashion, and if possible get their old clothes altered to it—It has a very odd appearance especially to Foreigners to see the same corps of officers each differing from the other in fashion of the facings sleeves and pockets of their coats—An attention to these minutiæ has been thought proper in all services it becomes peculiarly so in ours at this time as we shall more than probable take the field next Campaign in conjunction with our Allies composed of the first Troops in Europe, who will receive impressions and form opinions from the first view.

This again induces the General to exhort all officers who continue in service to make themselves perfectly masters of everything contained in the rules and regulations of the Army that there may be a strict uniformity in our manœuvres and discipline especially in honors paid to officers according to their several ranks a thing scrupulously attended to and expected in foreign service.3

Strict attention is to be paid to the order of the 18th of June last distinguishing the rank of Officers by their Badges.4

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Maj. Caleb Gibbs wrote a receipt at Preakness on this date: “Received of Colo. Timothy Pickering Q.M.G. one thousand dollars for the use of the Commander in Chief which I am to account for” (Revolutionary War Receipt Book, 1776–1780, DLC:GW, ser. 5).

1A reorganization of the Continental army caused new arrangements for officers (see General Orders, 1 Nov.).

2For efforts to standardize uniforms, see Board of War to GW, 10 May 1779, and n.2.

3See Steuben, Regulations description begins [Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben]. Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States. Philadelphia, 1779. description ends , especially “Honours due from Guards to General Officers and others,” 115–17.

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