George Washington Papers

General Orders, 27 June 1781

Wednesday June 27th 1781

Parole New York
Countersigns Bedford

For the day tomorrow

Major General Lord Stirling

Colonel Swift

Lieutenant Colonel Sprout

Inspector—1st Connecticut brigade

The Commander in Chief has the pleasure of announcing to the Army the approach of the troops of his most Christian Majesty under the Command of his Excellency Lieutenant General Count de Rochambeau.

The General assures himself that it would be needless to recommend to the officers and Soldiers of the American Army a cultivation of acquaintance and Friendship with our generous Allies—policy Strongly dictates the measure but he hopes they will be influenced by a nobler motive—Gratitude.

To the Officers of all ranks the General recommends the strictest attention to their several duties—to those of the day and on guards he particularly enjoins the most pointed observance of the rules and regulations for the establishment of discipline—Independent of the necessity of the utmost care and circumspection at all times, We shall be more than commonly bound to practise them henceforward—We shall be daily under the Eyes of officers of the first distinction improved by long service, and there is nothing which contributes more to establish the military character of a people than a performance of their duties with Alertness precision and uniformity.

A General officer and two field officers of the day are to be appointed to regulate and Visit the Guard, and to superintend the police of the army; They will as soon as may be reconnoitre the environs of the Camp and after examining the approaches to the Army they will determine the positions proper for the Guards and report the same to the Commander in Chief.

Chains of Sentinels are to be regularly established from the several campguards—No Soldiers are to be suffered to go beyond the limits of their Encampments without passes from the commanding officer of the regiment in writing—every Soldier found straggling without such a written permission is to be apprehended and confined and every officer is most earnestly requested to consider it as a part of his duty to see this order invariably carried into execution.

The General expects the strictest attention will be paid to the preservation of the inclosures and to prevent the destruction of every species of private property.

All Deserters and persons from the enemy’s lines are to be sent immediately under a small guard to Head Quarters.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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