George Washington Papers

General Orders, 31 October 1780

Head Quarters Totowa Tuesday October 31st 1780

Parole Pittsburgh
Countersigns Platt: Quin.
Watchword Prepare

For the day Tomorrow

Brigadier General Wayne

Colonel Bradford

Lieutenant Colonel Newall

Major Ballard

Brigade Major Van Laër

Twelve waggoners to be draughted from the line and sent to the Orderly office tomorrow 12 ô clock. Two masons from the Pennsylvania Line to be sent at the same time.

The officers composing the general court martial whereof Colonel H. Jackson is President, are to return to their duty in the line.

While we continue in the present position the Post rider will leave camp at noon every Thursday instead of Friday morning Letters therefore must be handed to the post office (at the Park) in time for the mail to be made up in that hour.

At a general court martial of the line Fishkill October 25th 1780 Colonel Hazen President—Colonel Elisha Sheldon of the 2d regiment of Light dragoons was tried on the following charges.

lst. Injuring the public service by discharging without proper authority from said regiment, a number of men inlisted upon continental bounty and encouragement to serve during the war.

2dly. Defrauding the public by selling and exchanging away regimental horses and converting the avails to his own use.

3dly. Defrauding the officers and soldiers of his regiment of plunder taken in action and converting the avails to his own private use.

4thy. With unofficier and ungentlemanlike behavior.

The court are of opinion that he is not guilty of either of the charges exhibited as aforesaid, and do acquit him with Honor and a full Approbation: and the court on this occasion think it a duty further to add that the charges did not originate from a Zeal or desire to serve the United States; but rather thro’ private animosity pique or prejudice that the prosecution is vexatious and Malicious; and that doctor Darius Stoddard the Complainant is justly chargeable with all the expence attending the court martial on the Trial of Colonel Elisha Sheldon.

His Excellency the commander in Chief confirms the opinion of the Court and orders Colonel Sheldon to be released from Arrest.

At the General court martial of the line whereof Colonel Bailey is president, the 20th instant, George Berrien and James Berrien Boatmen, were tried for "Breaking open a box of cloathing, or suffering it to be done whilst under their care, and taking Six pair of leather breeches--five pair of boots and one pair of Shoes belonging to the officers of Colonel Nixon’s regiment."

The court on mature consideration are of opinion that the charge against the Prisoners is not supported.

The Commander in Chief approves the opinion of the Court, and orders George Berrien and James Berrien released from Confinement.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

Index Entries