George Washington Papers

General Orders, 11 February 1781

General Orders

Head Quarters New Windsor Sunday February 11th 178[1]

Parole Countersigns——

The Commissary of forage having represented that frequent irregularities are committed by stopping forage in the road which prevents an equal distribution and gives a full supply to the horses of some while those of others are starving—The General in the most positive manner forbids the like liberties in future as totally unmilitary and disorderly.1

If any conceive their horses neglected and do not obtain a remedy by applying to the Commissary of forage they may then represent the matter to Head Quarters and everything will be done which the scantiness of our magazines will permit.

At a General court Martial of the line held at West point by order of Major General Heath January 30th 1781—Colonel M. Jackson President.

Mr Joseph Bass clothier for the state of New Hampshire was tried on the following charges vizt:

First, Refusing to deliver a quantity of blankets at the request of the officer commanding and the Paymasters of the New Hampshire line at their encampment (which was sent there by the state for that purpose) and obliging the teams to carry them five miles in front of the brigade, before he would receive them, for the convenience of delivering them at his quarters which obliged the men to transport the blankets back to their Encampment on their backs at a time when their duty was very hard and destitute of flour to the prejudice of the service and principles of humanity.

Secondly, Insulting and abusing (without provocation) his superior officer contrary to the rules and regulations of the army of the United States.

Thirdly With a partial and unequal distribution of cloathing sent from the state of New Hampshire to the Officers of that Line.

The court having considered Mr Bass’s case, are of opinion that there was nothing improper in his conduct to the first charge.

They do acquit him of the second: They are of opinion with respect to the third charge that although Mr Bass delivered cloathing to an Officer which in a subsequent distribution of the clothing sent from the State appears to have been more than some others could receive yet it appears it was done with a view to oblige him as he was about leaving camp and not intentionally that he should have a larger proportion than others; They do not conceive any other part of Mr Bass’s conduct, respecting this charge can be considered partial or improper.

The Commander in Chief confirms the opinion of the Court. Mr Bass is released from Arrest.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The transcriber mistakenly wrote the year as 1782.

On this date, GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton wrote Q.M. Gen. Timothy Pickering from headquarters: “There are probably a good many dispatches for Head Quarters in the Post office at Fish Kill, some of which it may be of great importance should not be delayed. The General therefore desires (as he takes it for granted the ferry at Newburgh is not practicable) that you will send a trusty person to pass the river at the nearest place above and go to Fish Kill for the letters and returns as soon as possible by the same route if a more direct does not offer. You will also be pleased to instruct the Qr Mr at Fish Kill whenever the post arrives to apply to Mr Loudon for the letters for Head Quarters, and forward them by the nearest practicable route. This is only meant during the continuance of the uncertain state of the River.

“I send you a line for Mr Loudon to be forwarded by your messenger. … We shall issue the order concerning the irregular stopping of forage.

“You will please to send for five sticks of Mohair of the colour of the inclosed & six dozen small button molds. The General wants these tomorrow morning” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 23628; the docket reads in part: “acted upon”).

1For the letter, see Pickering to GW, 9 Feb., n.1.

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