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General Orders of General Washington, Head Quarters, New-York, August 16 to August 24


Head Quarters, New York, August 23, 1776.

(Parole, Charlestown.) (Countersign, Lee.)

The Commissary-General is directed to have five days' bread baked and ready to be delivered. If the Commissary should apply to the commanding officers of regiments for any bakers, they are to furnish them without waiting for a special order.

The General was sorry yesterday to find that when some troops were ordered to march, they had no provisions, notwithstanding the orders that have been issued. The men must march if the service requires it, and will suffer very much if not provided. The General therefore directs all the troops to have two days' hard bread and pork ready by them, and desires the officers will go through the encampment and quarters to see that it be got and kept.

The General would be obliged to any officer to recommend to him a careful, sober person, who understands taking care of horses and wailing occasionally. Such person being a soldier, will have his pay continued, and receive additional wages of twenty shillings per month. He must be neat in his person, and to be depended on for his honesty and sobriety.

The officers of the Militia are informed that twenty-four rounds are allowed to a man, and two flints; that the Captains of each company should see that the cartridges fit the bore of the gun. They then are to be put up in small bundles all the cartridges except six, writing each man' s name on his bundle, and keep them safely till the alarm is given, then deliver to each man his bundle — the other six to be kept for common use. In drawing for ammunition,


the commanding officers should, upon the regimental parade, examine the state of their regiments, and then draw for cartridges and flints, agreeable to the above regulation. Captain Tilton will assist them in their business, and, unless in case of alarm, they are desired not to draw for every small number of men who may be coming in.

The enemy have now landed on Long Island, and the hour is fast approaching on which the honour and success of this Army and the safety of our bleeding country depend. Remember, officers and soldiers, that you are freemen, fighting for the blessings of liberty; that slavery will be your portion and that of your posterity if you do not acquit yourselves like men. Remember how your courage and spirit have been despised and traduced by your cruel invaders, though they have found by dear experience at Boston, Charlestown, and other places, what a few brave men, contending in their own land and in the best of causes, can do against base hirelings and mercenaries. Be cool, but determined. Do not fire at a distance, but wait for orders from your officers. It is the General' s express orders, that if any man attempt to skulk, lay down, or retreat, without orders, he be instantly shot down as an example. He hopes no such scoundrel will be found in this Army; but, on the contrary, every one for himself resolving to conquer or die, and, trusting to the smiles of Heaven upon so just a cause, will behave with bravery and resolution. Those who are distinguished for their gallantry and good conduct may depend upon being honourably noticed and suitably rewarded. And if this Army will but emulate and imitate their brave countrymen in other parts of America, he has no doubt they will, by a glorious victory, save their country, and acquire to themselves immortal honour.

The Brigade-Majors are immediately to relieve the Guards out of the Regiments ordered to Long Island from other Regiments of the Brigade, and forward such Guards to the Regiments.

Major Newbury' s, Colonel Hinman' s, Major Smith' s, Colonel Cook' s, Colonel Talcot' s, Colonel Baldwin' s, and Major Strong' s Regiments of Connecticut Militia to parade this evening, precisely at five o' clock, on the grand parade. Major Henly will attend, and show them their alarm posts, and direct them in manning the lines.

When any of the Field-Officers for picket or main guard are sick, or otherwise incapable of the duty, they are immediately to signify it to their Brigade-Major. But the General hopes that trifling excuses will not be made, as there is too much reason to believe has been the case.