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General Orders


Head Quarters, Cambridge, February 24, 1776.

(Parole, Hopkins.) (Countersign, Alfred.)

The General having the credit of this Army much at heart, and anxious that it should not only behave well, but look well, recommends it to, and does expect that every officer, from the highest to the lowest, doth exert himself to accomplish those ends, to attain which the Brigadiers are desired to be attentive to every matter and thing relative to their Brigades, and where orders are not, or cannot be complied with immediately, to report the reason thereof.

From henceforward it is expected that the weekly returns of every Regiment will, before they are brought in to the Commander-in-chief, be examined and certified by the Brigadier to whose Brigade they respectively belong; who is, also, to direct his Major of Brigade to keep a book, and have them regularly entered, always comparing the return to be made with the one preceding, and inquiring minutely into the cause of every change or alteration from the last. The Colonel, or commanding officer of every Regiment, is to observe the same conduct with respect to the returns of his Companies, and keep a book for the regular entry thereof. These precautions are taken to prevent the many blunders and mistakes which have heretofore happened in making


out the pay-abstracts, all of which, for the future, are to be inspected by the Brigadiers, compared with their books, and certified by them, before a warrant will be granted. A very stiict attention will be expected to this order; for if these books are called for, and do not correspond with this order, the officer neglecting will meet with no favour.

The commanding officer of each Regiment may apply for a warrant for five hundred dollars, to put into the hands of such officers as they send into the country on the recruiting service, to buy arms; these officers are, in an especial manner, charged to purchase no arms but such as are good and fit for immediate use; King' s muskets, or guns as near that quality as can be had, should be got, and with bayonets, if possible. As there is a Committee in each of the Counties of the Massachusetts-Bay, appointed by the General Court to purchase arms for this Army, the officers are to take care not to raise the price, by bidding against each other.

Mark Noble, of Captain Noble' s Company, in Colonel Patterson' s Regiment, tried by a late General Court Martial, whereof Colonel Phinney was President, for "desertion," is found guilty, and sentenced to receive fifteen lashes upon his bare back, and mulcted one month' s pay to defray the expense of apprehending and bringing the prisoner to camp. The General approves the sentence, and commands the execution of it, at such time and place as the Colonel of the Regiment shall direct.