George Washington Papers

General Orders, 24 January 1781

General Orders

Head Quarters New Windsor Wednesday January 24th 1781.

Parole. Countersigns. [  ]

At a General court martial held at West Point by order of Major General Heath the 12th instant, whereof Colonel Greaton was President: Captain Parker of the 7th Massachusetts’ regiment was tried for “Repeatedly overstaying the limits of Furloughs and for unofficer and ungentlemanlike conduct in exceeding the limits of leave of absence which he obtained last May, by pledging his honor for a punctual return on the day the limits expired.”

The Court on consideration are of opinion that Captain Parker is Guilty of the Charges against him in breach of the 21st Article 14th Section of the Rules and Articles of War and sentence that he be discharged the Service.1

The Commander in Chief approves the Sentence and orders it to take place.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

On this date, Lt. William Colfax, commandant of GW’s guard, wrote Q.M. Gen. Timothy Pickering from New Windsor: “His Excellency has desired me to see that measures are taken for a more ample supply of wood: At present, there is not what is necessary for the consumption of one day: & I may as well call on the Elements for a supply, as Mr Kipp: he knows & does very little of the buisiness of his office. Agreeable to my request, Esqr. Nichols has impresse’d a number of teams to draw wood, part of which have been oblige’d to return home, twelve and fourteen miles, without performing any duty: there being no wood cut, that could possibly be come at or loaded. I have therefore to request, that you would order fifteen or twenty fatigue men to cut wood, at such places as esquire Nichols will direct: He has impresse’d more teams, & without fatigue men are furnished, they will be obliged to return as the others have done.

“If the fatigue men are sent here, I will undertake [to] oversee the buisiness of cutting would: at least for a supply for Hd Qu[arte]rs for I cannot depend on Kipp” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 24889; Pickering docketed this letter: “No wood at Head Quarters!”). Forage shortages also impacted GW (see his first letter to Pickering, 25 Jan.).

1For this article of war, see General Orders, 2 Jan., n.2.

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