General George Washington's General Orders of August 17, 1777

Reed 05-02 [1].jpg
Reed 05-02 [2].jpg
Reed 05-02 [3].jpg
Reed 05-02 [4].jpg


General George Washington's General Orders of August 17, 1777


This General Order originally issued from Headquarters, Cross Roads, August 17, 1777, addresses the format and attendance requirements of General Court Martials by all General Officers. The general order issues instructions for officers to appoint a substitute for meetings. It encourages officers' attendance to not delay proceedings.
This General Order also addresses the issue of furloughs among officers.


General George Washington


17 August 1777


John F. Reed Collection Valley Forge NHP


Box 1, Folder 27, 05-02


Head Quarters August 17th 77—
Parole Signs

Officers of the day Tomorrow Majr. Genl. Ld. Sterling
Brigadier Weedon
Colo. Marshall
Lt. Colo. Craig
B.M. Peers

The Commander in Chief is anscious to have the Rank of the Pennsylvania Field Officers adjusted – the Board of Geeneral Officers wh was appointed to sit fort that purpose the 15th Instant will sit Tomorrow at Genl. Greens quarters at the Hour to which they adjourn’d – the Commander in Chief wishes the Board to be as full as possible & desires the General Officers of the day to attend the Board in preference to any other duty –
General Ct. Martials are frequently prevented doing Business by means of the non attendance of some of the Members, which occasions such delays as are greatly injurious to the Service In time to come of any Officer is appointed p[illeg] of a General Ct. Martial & thro’ Sickness or other unavoidable accident cannot attend the Brigade Majr. Of the Brigade to which he belongs is to give notice thereof immediately to the Adjut. General. –
And if any Member is by the like means rendered unable to attend, such Member is to give immediate Notice thereof to the Adjut of the Regt. he belongs to, that a nother may be returned in his Stead. And upon the 1st appointment of a General Ct. Martial each Brigade Major is to return the Names of Members furnish’d from his Brigade to the A. General on or before the Hour appointed for the seting of sd Court – by the Returns given in by the Brigadiers pursuant to the orders of the 13th Instant it appears that many Officers are absent without leave – that some have furlows for Sixty Days and others without limitation at all, with respect to those who are absent without leave the General desires the Brigadiers to whose Brigade they belong will order them to join it immediately and have a strict enquiry (which to be reported) into their conduct for so doing and with respect to unlimited Furlows or Furlows for 60 days he desires that no more such be given without the consent of the Commander in Chief –
As these are very few cases that can justify such indulgences in the active part of a Campaign those who have exceeded the Time limited in their Furloughs are also order’d to join and to account satisfactorily for their Conduct—

P[illeg]. Providence Newport Kingston

The Provost Guard to be relieved this evening by Gl. Stephens division 6 oClock.

To parade at 6 this Evening
Subr. Serj. Corp Priv
3d Regts -- -- -- --
7th -- -- -- --
11th – Do -- --
15th – Do -- -- - - [illeg]

A Gill of Rum or other spirit, is to be issued to Day to each non-commissioned Officer, Soldier & Waggoner

[on margin]
The Weather being very wet

The Ground being very wet, the Quarter Master General is to procure as much Straw (from which the grain has been thrashed) as possible, & distribute the same in the most equal manner among the Troops