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Orders by General Washington



Head-Quarters, Cambridge, November 12, 1775.

(Parole, America.) (Countersign, Freedom.)

Each Colonel upon the new establishment to come to Head-Quarters to-morrow morning, ten o' clock, in order to receive from the Adjutant-General as many printed enlistments as there are commissioned officers in his Regiment. They will therefore without delay distribute one to each officer, who is forthwith to proceed to enlist men for their respective Regiments, in the Continental Army; the soldiers, as the printed enlistments express, to be engaged to serve until the last day of December, 1776.

In the general orders of the 31st of October it is declared, that every non-commissioned officer and soldier shall be paid by the calendar month, as follows: to a Sergeant, forty-eight Shillings; to the Corporals, forty-four; and forty to each Private; which pay, it is expected, will be regularly distributed every month. Each non-commissioned officer and soldier (drums and fifes excepted) is to furnish his own arms; if arms are found him, he is to allow six shillings, at the end of the campaign, for the use thereof. New clothing will forthwith be provided for every non-commissioned officer and soldier, for which an easy stoppage, of only ten shillings a month, will be made out of his pay, until the whole is paid. Two dollars will be allowed to each non-commissioned officer and soldier who provides himself with a good blanket, and liberty to take it away at the end of the campaign. The present ample allowance of provisions will be continued, and those who enlist will be indulged in a reasonable time to visit their families, in the course of the winter. This to be regulated in such a manner as not to weaken the Army or injure the service. To prevent such contentions as have arisen from the same


person being enlisted by different officers, and for different Regiments, it is positively ordered, upon pain of being cashiered, that no officer, knowingly, presume to enlist any soldier who has been previously enlisted by another officer; where such a mistake happens, undesignedly, the first enlistment is to take place.

The officers are to be careful not to enlist any person suspected of being unfriendly to the liberties of America, or any abandoned vagabond, to whom all causes and countries are equal, and alike indifferent. The rights of mankind and the freedom of America will have numbers sufficient to support them, without resorting to such wretched assistance. Let those who wish to put shackles upon freemen fill their ranks and place their confidence in such miscreants. Neither negroes, boys unable to bear arms, nor old men unfit to endure the fatigues of the campaign, are to be enlisted, the preferences being given to the present Army.

The officers are vigilantly to try what number of men can be enlisted in the course of this week, and make report thereof to their Colonels, who will report it to the General. This to be done every week, until the whole are completed. The Regiments are to consist of eight Companies; each Company of a Captain, two Lieutenants and an Ensign, four Sergeants, four Corporals, two Drums and Fifes, and seventy-six Privates. As the Regiments are completed, they will be mustered, and then reviewed by the Commander-in-Chief, when a roll of each Company, signed by the Captain, according to a form previously delivered by the Adjutant-General, is to be delivered to his Excellency. The Colonel of each Regiment will receive a list of the officers upon the new establishment from his Brigadier-General. The commissioned, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers of the present Army are notwithstanding their new engagement, to continue in the Regiment and Company they now belong to, until further orders. Upon any soldier being enlisted, from the present, into the new establishment, the Regiment he now belongs to, with his name, Town, and County, are to be entered in a roll kept for that purpose by each officer. A copy of this roll, signed, to be sent every Saturday morning to the Colonel of each Regiment. When the new Regiments are completed, the Colonels may, upon application, receive their Continental commissions for themselves and their officers.