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General Orders, from January 3rd


Head-Quarters, Cambridge, January 3, 1776.

(Parole, Woodford.) (Countersign. Norfolk.)

The Continental Rules and Articles, (as lately amended,) for the better government of the troops of the thirteen United Colonies, are now to take place; all trials are, therefore, to be under those articles. And, in compliance with the first, all officers are to subscribe them; each Colonel, or commanding officer of a regiment or corps, is to send to the Adjutant-General for a set for each company, and one for himself and officers to subscribe, which last is to be returned in, when the commissions are given out. These articles are to be read to the men, by an officer of a company, at least once a week. This to be considered as a standing order.

The Commissary of Stores is immediately to make a general return of all the stores under his care, here and at Roxbury; in doing which, he is to be very exact. An account of the arms is wanted, without delay. It was with no small degree of surprise that the General, yesterday, saw, after the repeated orders that had been given for having the tents (so soon as the barracks were fit to be entered) returned to the Quartermaster General, several of them standing uninhabited, and in a disgraceful, ruinous situation; and, moreover, hears, that others serve only for


bedding. The officers who have suffered this neglect are informed that this is the last admonition that will be given on this head.

It is expected, that the commanding officers of regiments will be exceedingly attentive to the training, exercising, and disciplining their men, bringing them, as soon as possible, acquainted with the different evolutions and manoeuvres necessary to be practised. And, as nothing reflects more disgrace upon an officer, or is more pernicious and dangerous in itself, than suffering arms tote in bad order, the General assures the officers and men, that he will never overlook or pardon a neglect of this kind. There are many practices in regular service highly worthy of imitation, but none more essential than this, and keeping soldiers always clean and neat. The first is absolutely necessary for self-preservation; the other for health and appearance: for, if a soldier cannot be induced to take pride in his person he will soon become a sloven, and indifferent to every thing else. Whilst we have men, therefore, who, in every respect, are superior to mercenary troops, that are fighting for two pence or three pence a day, why cannot we, in appearance, also, be superior to them, when we fight for life, liberty, property, and our country?

The companies now stationed in Cambridge, belonging to Colonel Prescott' s Regiment, are to march immediately, and join their respective regiments, at Sewall' s Point.

The companies now stationed at Sewall' s Point, under the command of Major Wesson, are, forthwith, to march, and take post at Fort No˙ 1.