George Washington Papers

General Orders, 16 November 1780

General Orders

Head Quarters Totowa Thursday Novemr 16th 1780

Parole Hamburgh Countersigns X, U.
Watchword Silence.

[Officers] For the Day Tomorrow[:] Brigader General Patterson [,] Colonel Vose[,] Lieutnant Colonel Badlam[,] Major T. L. Moore[,] Brigade Major Smith.

Regimental returns of the Arms drawn for the respective regiments this Campaign; the number now on hand and which have been turned in to the Conductors to be made to the Subinspectors who will digest them into division returns and transmit them to the Orderly Office by Saturday next—These returns to be signed by the Colonels or Commanding Officers of Regiments.

The Commander in Chief takes occasion to remind the Officers of the astonishing number of arms which have been heretofore carried off by the discharged men and enjoins the strictest attention to that matter at the approaching dismission of the Levies1—The commanding officers of regiments will be answerable for all deficiencies which cannot be accounted for.

The Commander in Chief is pleased to Accept and Approve the following report of a court of Enquiry held at West point the 2d instt to examine into the Conduct of Lieutenant Colonel Varick in his connexion with the late Major General Arnold during his command at West point and relative to his desertion to the Enemy—Colonel Van Schaick president Lieutenant Colonels Cobb and Dearborne Major Reid and Captain Cox2 Members.

The Court unanimously report their opinion “That Lieutenant Colonel Varick’s Conduct with respect to the base Peculations and Treasonable Practices of the late General Arnold is not only unimpeachable but think him entitled (throughout every part of his conduct) to a degree of Merit that does him great honor as an Officer and particularly distinguishes him as a sincere Friend to his Country.[”]3

The court martial whereof Colonel Bailey is president is dissolv’d.4

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The enlistments for six-month levies in Continental service were to expire before 1 Jan. 1781 (see State of Matters Laid Before the Committee at Headquarters, 25–31 May 1780, and Circular to the States, 2 June 1780).

2Richard Cox (1755–1816) served as lieutenant in the 27th Continental Infantry in 1776 and began as captain in the 3d New Jersey Regiment in January 1777. He transferred to the 2d New Jersey Regiment in January 1781. Promoted to major in January 1783, Cox served until the end of the war.

4GW had authorized this court-martial on 14 Oct. (see General Orders, that date; see also General Orders, 27 Oct.).

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