George Washington Papers

General Orders, 2 January 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters Valley-Forge Jany 2nd 1778.

Parole: Southampton—Countersigns: Bristol. Burlington—

The Commander in Chief, to prevent unnecessary Applications for Furloughs informs the Officers that none will be granted by him unless the Officers who apply for the same produce Certificates from the Major Generals of the Divisions to which they belong, that the state of their Regiments will admit of their absence from Camp.

And it is expected that the Major-Generals previous to their giving such Certificates will duly inform themselves of the State of the Regiment and whether the Furloughs requested may be granted without Injury to the service. And in determining this they will consider how very expedient it is that Officers remain in Camp (where strong necessity does not demand their Absence) to improve themselves and their Corps in such a regular System of discipline as may be prescribed and which the quiet and leisure of a fixed Camp will afford them Opportunities to practice.

All the Cartridges in the mens hands are to be collected forthwith & delivered to the Regimental Quartr Masters except those which are regularly placed in their Cartridge boxes, which are to be completely filled.

The Regimental Quartr Masters are to deliver all these spare Cartridges to the Persons appointed by the Major Generals of the respective divisions to receive them, and the Major Generals are desired without delay to appoint proper Persons for that purpose, who are to apply to the Commissary of military stores for paper & cause all the good Cartridges to be carefully packed in Bundles and the damaged ones to be returnd to the Commissary—The Brigadiers and Officers commanding independent Brigades are to make the like Appointments for their Brigades.

Every monday morning the surgeons of Regiments are to make returns to the surgeon General or in his absence to one of the senior-surgeons present in Camp of all the sick in Camp or otherwise under the immediate Care of the Regimental Surgeons, specifying the men’s names, companies Regiments and Diseases.

Adjutant Marvin is appointed Brigade Major pro-tempore to General Varnum’s Brigade and is to be respected as such.1

Coll Swift is appointed President of the General Court-Martial to sit tomorrow morning at the Bake-House in the room of Coll Cook who is absent.2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Brig. Gen. Edward Hand’s orderly book contains these additional after orders: “A subaltern, serjeant Corporal & 20 men from each of the following brigades, viz. the first, & second Pensylvania brigades, & from Poors brigade, are to parade punctually at nine o’clock to-morrow morning, close by the artillery park, where orders will be delivered to the officers. The men are if possible to take two days provisions with them.

“A fatigue party of 92 rank & file besides serjeants are to parade to morrow morning at 8 o’clock at Fatland ford, where Genl Sullivan will give them orders. Genl Poor’s brigade to furnish a serjt & 14. Glover’s a serjt & 15. Learned’s a serjt & 11. Patterson’s a serjt & 14. Varnum’s a Serjeant & 15. Huntington’s a Serjeant & 17. A corporal also from each” (DNA: RG 93, Orderly Books, 1775–1783, vol. 20). For the bridge being constructed over the Schuylkill River at Fatland Ford, see General Orders, 22 Dec., n. 1., and John Sullivan to GW, 27 Dec. 1777.

GW’s expenses for this date included 15s. “paid a man who brought a present of rock fish” (household account book, 11 April 1776–21 Nov. 1780, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 28; for the source of the fish, see Continental Navy Board to GW, 30 Dec. 1777).

1Elihu Marvin (1752–1798) of Norwich, Conn., was adjutant of the 4th Connecticut Regiment.

2Stirling’s aide-de-camp James Monroe issued orders on 6 Jan. that “Colonel William Cook, of the Twelfth Pennsylvania Regiment, who lately left this Camp without leave, is ordered immediately to return and answer the several charges alledged against him” (NN).

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