Monday, August 19, 2013

Head Quarters, near the Cross Roads, August 19, 1777.

Parole Plymouth. Countersigns Princeton, Pluckimin.

The following are the sentences of a General Court Martial, held the 7th, 12th and 16th inst: of which Col Sheldon was president.

Edward Willcox, Quarter Master to Capt. Dorse's troop charged with "Desertion, taking a horse belonging to Col. Moylan's regiment, and a trooper with his accoutrements," found guilty and sentenced to be led round the regiment he belongs to, on horseback, with his face towards the horses tail, and his coat turned wrong side outwards, and that he be then discharged from the army. The Commander in Chief approves the sentence and orders it be put in execution immediately.

George Kilpatrick, and Charles Martin, Serjeants, Lawrence Brown, and Enoch Wells Corporals, Daniel McCarty, Patrick Leland, Philip Franklin, Jacob Baker, Thomas Orbs, Adam Rex, Frederick Grimer, Daniel Cainking, Christian Longspit, Henry Whiner and Nicholas Walma, privates, in Col. Moylan's regiment of light dragoons, severally charged with "mutiny and desertion," found guilty of desertion and adjudged worthy of death. The Court esteemed the prisoners (excepting Serjeant Kilpatrick) objects of compassion, and as such recommended them to the Commander in Chief. The General is pleased to grant them his pardon, and the like reason which led the court to recommend them to mercy, joined with others, induces the General to grant his pardon to Serjt. Kilpatrick also; at the same time, the prisoners are to consider that their crimes are of a very atrocious nature, and have by the Articles of War, subjected them to the punishment of death, that the remission of their punishment is a signal act of mercy in the Commander in Chief, and demands every grateful return of fidelity, submission, obedience and active duty, in any future military service which he shall assign them. The prisoners are to quit the horse, and enter into the foot service, in the corps to which they shall be assigned.
Francis Fawkes and George House of Col. Moylan's regiment, tried by the same Court Martial, being charged with "Mutiny and desertion," are found guilty; but some favorable circumstances appearing in their behalf, they were sentenced to receive twenty-five lashes on their naked backs, and be dismissed from the horse service. The Commander in Chief approves the sentence; but for the reasons above referred to, and with the like expectations of amendment, remits the punishment of whipping. They will be disposed of in the foot service.

Thomas Rannals of Col. Moylan's regiment tried by the same Court Martial, charged with "Desertion," is found guilty, and sentenced to suffer death. The Commander in Chief approves the sentence; but the execution of the prisoner is respited till further orders.

Col. Lawson having already had the command of the 4th. Virginia regiment, is to continue in the same.

Col. Elliot is appointed to the command of the 6th Virginia regiment.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Head Quarters, White Marsh, November 30, 1777.

Parole Northampton. Countersigns Greenland, Portsmouth.

On the 25th of November instant, the Honorable Continental Congress passed the following resolve, vizt:

Resolved. That General Washington be directed to publish in General orders, that Congress will speedily take into consideration the merits of such officers as have distinguished themselves by their intrepidity and their attention to the health and discipline of their men; and adopt such regulations as shall tend to introduce order and good discipline into the army, and to render the situation of the officers and soldiery, with respect to cloathing and other necessaries, more eligible than it has hitherto been.

Forasmuch as it is the indispensible duty of all men, to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligations to him for benefits received, and to implore such further blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence, but also, to smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defence of our unalienable rights and liberties.

It is therefore recommended by Congress, that Thursday the 18th. day of December next be set apart for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise; that at one time, and with one voice, the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that, together with their sincere acknowledgements and offerings they may join the penitent confession of their sins; and supplications for such further blessings as they stand in need of. The Chaplains will properly notice this recommendation, that the day of thanksgiving may be duly observed in the army, agreeably to the intentions of Congress.


The whole army are to be under arms to morrow morning, at five o'clock, if it should not rain or snow. Lord Stirling's division are to lay upon their arms and be ready to turn out at a minute's warning.

Taken from The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. John C. Fitzpatrick, Editor.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Head Quarters, White Marsh, November 29, 1777.

Parole Kensington. Countersigns Newtown, Princeton.

The officers commanding regiments are to see, that their men's arms are put in the best order possible; and of the loaded ones, such as can be drawn, are to be drawn, and the others discharged the first fair day, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon; but to prevent the waste of lead, the men of each regiment, or brigade, are to discharge their pieces, into a bank of earth, from whence the lead may be taken again.

A court of enquiry is to sit to morrow morning at nine o'clock, at Col. Gist's quarters, to enquire into the conduct of Capt. Edward Scull of the 4th. Pennsylvania regiment in "Ordering the Pay Master of that regiment to pay Capt. Weitz a sum of money, for a purpose suggested to be unwarrantable." Col. Gist is appointed president of this court. Lieut. Col. Barber and Major Ross are to be members.

Col. Spencer is appointed president, and Major Bayard and a Captain of Col. Lee's regiment members, of a Court of enquiry to sit to morrow morning at ten o'clock, at the president's quarters to inquire into the conduct of Lieut. Reynolds of Col. Malcom's regt: for "Abusing Daniel Messerly Esqr. and other persons on the 2nd. of last August," as exhibited in their depositions.

Taken from The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. John C. Fitzpatrick, Editor.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Head-Quarters, White Marsh, November 28, 1777.

Parole Annapolis. Countersigns Boston, Charlestown.

At a General Court Martial held the 24th. instant, of which Col. Grayson was president, Major Ross, charged with "Leaving his arms in the field, in the action of the 4th. of October near Germantown," was tried, and acquitted with the highest honor. The Commander in Chief approves the court's judgment. Major Ross is released from his arrest.

The General Court Martial of which Col. Grayson is president, is to sit to morrow morning, at the tavern next to Col. Biddle's quarters.


Such of the troops as are not already furnished with cooked provisions for to morrow, are to draw and cook them to night. At day break a cannon will be fired as a signal for the whole army to parade, ready to march. When the whole are completely formed, they may ground their arms,68 but be ready to take them up again at a minute's warning. If it should rain or snow the men are not to parade.

Lord Sterling's division is to parade at one o'clock in the morning.

Taken from The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. John C. Fitzpatrick, Editor.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Head Quarters, White Marsh, November 27, 1777.

Parole Glocester. Countersigns Bedford, Berwick.

A detachment of 300 men are to parade to morrow morning on the Grade-parade, precisely at half past three o'clock in the morning. Col. David Hall, Lt. Col. Craig and Major Tyler are appointed Field Officers for the detachment.

Twelve light dragoons are to go on the same command, and to repair this evening to Col. Biddle's quarters.


A detachment of 100 men to be under the command of Capt. McLane, are to parade tomorrow morning at sun-rise, on the grand parade, with one or two days provisions and boxes full of ammunition. They will be absent from camp one week, near the enemy's lines, and are to go prepared accordingly.

Taken from The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. John C. Fitzpatrick, Editor.