Monday February 10th 1783
For the day Lt Colonel Comdt Barber.
For duty the 2d Massachusetts regiment
Every time the Commander in chief passes through the Line he finds himself very agreably affected with a view of the present comfortable and beautifull situation of the troops: and while he considers it as a just testimony of applause to assert that the hutts in point of convenience, regularity and eligance have equaled, if not surpassed his most sanguine expectations, he wishes the soldiery to be assured that it will be his most earnest studdy and endeavour that health and happiness should bless the Inhabitants of them—for which purpose he thinks proper to give some general directions, which are to be often read and inculcated, and will be considered as standing regulations so long as the troops shall continue in their winter cantonment.
Not only the Parade in front of the Cantonment is to be kept constantly clean and free from Nusances, but also the rear and intermediate space between the hutts to be put and kept in the same condition: to effect this the small brush and rubbish must be immediately removed to a suitable distance, and either burned, or piled in heaps and reserved for firing, as may be deemed most expedient.
The hutts to be thoroughly swept and cleansed every day under the order and inspection of the officers of Police small poles to be fixed on stakes for airing the blanketts &ca in the manner now practiced by the 2d Massachusetts regiment.
The greatest regularity and good order to be observed by the men, as to the mode of cooking their victuals and the time of eating; as well as in the manner of messing and living together.
Strict attention is also to be paid by them to the neatness of their persons, the cleanliness, and preservation of their Cloathing.
Necessaries to be built at proper places, to be sheltered from view and the vaults daily covered with earth as soon as the warm season advances.
Fresh Straw to be furnished by the Quarter master General, once in two months, if it can be possibly procured—and it is hoped a further supply of Blanketts will soon be received as there has lately been an arrival of that article from Europe—scarcely any thing will then be wanting to render the circumstances as elegeble as those of a Military life can be, except a little Money, and that, it is expected will arrive in a short time.
The General cannot conclude this order without reminding the troops of a circumstance which will be remembered to their immortal reputation, that during the whole time the army was encamped the last Campaign on Verplanks point, there never was any filth or trash to be seen on the parade nor any thing offensive to the sight or smell, in the invirons of the encampment but on the contrary there appeared to be an admirable police maintained without the repetition of a single Order on the subject—Nothing more is now wished or requested than that the same line of Conduct may be rigidly observed in quarters, which was found by experience to be so honorable and salutary in the field.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.