Orderly Book of the
Second Pennsylvania Continental Line
at Valley Forge

March 29 - May 27, 1778

The Pennsylvania Magazine
of History and Biography

Colonel Henry Bicker

* March 21 - April 9 *
April 10 - April 20
April 21 - May 6
May 7 - May 18
May 19 - May 27

Edited by John W. Jordon
Re-edited by Mary Van Deusen

Colonel Henry Bicker (28 Jul 1723-7 Sep 1801)
Ancestors of Henry Bicker
Grandfather of Henry Bicker Gibson

Edited by John W. Jordan

The dates of the birth and death of Col. Henry Bicker have not been ascertained [Bap:28 July 1723-Bur:7 Sep 1801], but it is known that he was married [11 Dec 1745, Dutch Church NYC to Sophia "Fietie" Heyer (16 Mar 1726-15 Jul 1789)]. as two of his sons [Walter Bicker (2 Aug 1747-6 Apr 1821); Henry Bicker, Jr. (2 Feb 1752-1801)], commissioned officers, served with him in the Third Pennsylvania Battalion of Infantry, Col. John Shee.

His surname is found among the early Provincial residents of the city of New York. [Henry Bicker was the great grandson of the first New Amsterdam Burgomaster, Captain Martin Cregier, who kept a Journal of his military expedition to rescue settlers captured at the Esopus massacre.]

In 1755, he was commissioned Lieutenant of Captain William Skinner's company of Col. Peter Schuyler's New Jersey regiment, raised for one year of service for the defense of the frontiers. He was promoted captain, captured at Oswego [15 Aug 1756], and was kept a prisoner of war for fourteen months. After his release, he was appointed Quarter Master of General Gage's regiment and served to the close of the war. [Victor Bicker, Henry Bicker's father, shows up in the Committee of One Hundred.

In 1766, he was a resident of New Brunswick NJ, where for a time he was in business as a hatter and later proprietor of the "Tree of Liberty," a favorably known inn of the town.

The Public are hereby informed, that the Subscriber has just opened, a genteel house of entertainment in the City of New-Brunswick, at the Sign of the Tree of Liberty; where Travellers and others may be well accommodated with every Thing necessary for their comfort and subsistence. He hopes from his Endeavours to merit the Esteem of the Public, he may be gratified with a reasonable Share of their Custom.

N. B. He still carries on the Business of a Hatter, where Persons may be always supplied with Hats of every Sort and Quality, such as the best Beavers and Castors.

On the breaking out of hostilities between the Colonies and the mother country, Henry Bicker offered his services and was commissioned January 4, 1776, Major of the Third Pennsylvania Battalion of Infantry. Col. John Shee, recruited under the resolution of Congress, December 9, 1775, authorizing the raising of "four battalions more in the colony of Pensylvania." The officers were principally Philadelphians, but the companies were filled up by recruits from Pennsylvania and the neighboring colonies. On June 11th, Congress ordered the battalion to New York, where it was assigned to the brigade of Gen. Thomas Mifflin, and began the construction of Fort Washington, under the direction of Col. Rufus Putnam. Here they remained until the battle of Long Island, when they were ordered to New York, reaching there in the afternoon after the battle was over.

The following day they were transported to the entrenchments at Brooklyn. Only July 30th, they returned to New York, and later to their old encampment at Fort Washington. Walter Bicker, then Adjutant, and Henry Bicker, Jr., a Second Lieutenant of the regiment, were taken prisoners on the surrender of the fort [16 Nov 1776]. About three weeks prior to the investment of Fort Washington, Major Bicker was transferred to the Tenth Philadelphia Line Infantry, Col. Joseph Penrose, and after a short service in this regiment, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to the Sixth Pennsylvania Line Infantry, between the time Col. Magrew was a prisoner of war and the appointment of Col. Josiah Harmar to the command of the regiment.

On June 6, 1777, Lieut. Col. Bicker was promoted Colonel of the Second Pennsylvania Line Infantry, and was in command of the regiment at the battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Whitemarsh, in which it lost heavily, and at Valley Forge, where it was in the First Brigade, Col. James Chambers commanding, of Wayne's Division Pennsylvania Line. The Executive Council of Pennsylvania having resolved to incorporate the Thirteenth Regiment with the Second, Col. Walter Stewart was appointed to the command July 1, 1778, Col. Bicker became supernumerary, and his name disappears from the service.

4th Pennsylvania *
4 Jan 1776 - 25 Oct 1776
10th Pennsylvania
25 Oct 1776 - 5 Dec 1776
Lt. Colonel
6th Pennsylvania
5 Dec 1776 - 6 June 1777
2nd Pennsylvania
6 June 1777 - 1 July 1778
* 4th PA began as 3rd PA


Washington himself chose Valley Forge as the site of his army's winter encampment, arriving there Dec 19, 1776. It was near enough to Philadelphia, then occupied by the British, so that he could keep track of the enemy's doings, but on a good piece of high ground -- an easily defendable position.

The army that arrived at Valley Forge had been in some hot fights -- Brandywine, Germantown and Whitemarsh. Their performance had shown them to be an army of volunteers, far more enthusiastic than experienced. Expecting to find supplies for his army at Valley Forge, Washington instead discovered that the enemy had gotten there first. With his men in desperate need of food and clothing, Washington was dependent upon the Quartermaster General appointed by Congress to get badly needed supplies to his men. Badly turned out to be the operative word.

Thomas Mifflin was much more interested in winning laurels on a field of battle, than in doing his duty well. The supplies just didn't come. It wasn't until he was replaced by Nathaniel Greene in early March -- almost three months later! -- that supplies finally began arriving.

Colonel Henry Bicker commanded the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment, under Colonel Hartley's 1st Brigade, under General Wayne's Batallion. A marker monument for Hartley's Brigade can be found on Outerline Drive, off of Wayne's Woods, before Wayne's statue. The location of Wayne's Batallion within Valley Forge is shown in pink on the map below.

Larger Image

Lancaster, Feb 26th, 1778.

Garrison Orders
Court Martial:
The same reasons which prevented his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief from determining on the Sentences of the Court Martial ordered by the Marquis de Lafayette, Major Genl. &c., apply against the proceedings of the Court Directed by Genl Wayne in the Case of Lieuts. McMichael and Dickinson. His Excellency having return'd the order of Genl Wayne for holding said Court, has been pleased to Direct that Lt. McMichael and Dickinson be tried by the Genl Court Martial now sitting at this place, of which all persons concerned, are to take Notice.

His Excellency having been pleased to approve of the order of -- Directing that not more than one Ration pr. Diem be Issued to Any officer either of the line or Staff, and that no back Rations be paid up in provisions. The Issuing Commisary is therefore, to pay the stricted attention to this order, the least Deviation from which will be taken Notice of.

So soon as the returns for the Clothing are complete, which must be done with the greatest exactitude, they shall be brought to the Commanding Officer that the Articles may be drawn from the Clothier General and distributed to the Soldiery. The Officers Commanding Detachments are to pay attention to the men under their command to prevent them from embezzeling their Clothes.


Lancaster, Feb 28th, 1778.

New Officers Startup:
The Hon'bl the Supreme Executive Council of this State, having deliv'd their instructions to the Officers sent by His Excell'y, the Commander-in-Chief, for the purpose of recruiting men to complete the regiments from this State on the Continental Establishment. It is expected the officers will immediately repair to the Stations appointed them & exert themselves in the prosecution of this important business, the necessity for which must be so obvious to the Gentn Officers, as to render any further recommendation on this Head unneccessary.

Court Martial:
A Garrison Court Martial to sit this day for the Trial of all the prisoners now in confinemt in the Guard house. The Court will refer the trial of any prisoners they may find guilty of Capital offenses to the General Court Martial now sitting, reporting the names & crimes of all such persons so to be tried.

Lancaster, March 6th, 1778.

Tailors and Shoemakers Needed:
Such soldiers as are employed by the mechanics of this Town not Absolutely in the Continental Service, are ordered to repair immediately to the Adjt at the Hospital in order that they may be put to work for the Continent. The Issuing Commissary is to apply to Fredk Anspack and Mr. Adam Reigart for Beef, who will supply him with such Quantities as they can spare for the use of the Troops. A Subaltern's Command to hold themselves in readiness to march, to be furnished with 5 days provisions.

The Officers who have the care of the Detach'd Corps in this Town, are requested to make inquiries after the Solders alluded to in this order, as there is the greatest want of Tailors and Shoemakers to furnish Clothing for the Army.

GEO. GIBSON COL [Valley Forge]

Lt. General Baron Steuben will be Inspector General:
Exercise previous to Guard mounting, Major Wallace, Brigade Inspector in Genl Woodford's Brigade, will command and is to have two Adjutants of that Brigade to assist him. On Sunday at 10 o'clock in the forenoon, all ye Brigade Inspectors with officers and non commd officers, who are to mount Guard on Monday, are to attend at Headquarters, where the Inspector Genl will instruct them in what is to be done the next day.

Baron Steuben a Lieut. Genl in foreign service & a gentleman of great Military experience having obligingly undertaken to exercise the office of Inspector Genl in this army; the Commd-in-Chief till the pleasure of Congress shall be known, desires he will be Respected and obeyed as such, and hopes and expects that all Officers of whatsoever rank in it, will afford him every aid in their power in the executon of his Office.

Lieut. Col. Davis, Brussells & Barber & Mr. Tenant, are appointed Sub Inspectors, the three former maintaining their rank and station in the Line. The importance of establishing a uniform system of and useful manuevers & regularity of discipline, must be obvious. The deficiency of our Army must be to, the time we shall probably have to introduce the necessary reformation is short. Without the active exertions of Officers of every class, it will be impossible to devise the advantages proposed in this institution, which are of the greatest moment to the success of the ensuing campaigns. Arguments sure need not be multiplied to render the zeal of officers in another of such consequences to their own advancement of their own honor and proserity of our Arms.

Brigade Orders
Work Detail:
Adjutant of Day from the 10th Regt An officer from each company in the Brigade to refit the Men's Huts and see that all the entrenching tools and Axes, Spades & Shovels wanting handles be collected and delivered to their respective Quartermasters, except such as are employed by the Camp Colormen, who is to have them carried to Genl Patterson's Brigade and delivered to the Genl. A Fatigue party of 30 men to turn out tomorrow at 8 o'clock, properly assigned to work on the line.


Background xxxxx BARON VAN STEUBEN xxxxx Background

Inspector General Conway's performance as Inspector General had gone from dismal to disastrous. It was only when Conway's behavior landed him in a duel with General Cadwalader, that Washington was finally able to get someone he trusted to help him pull his army together. Baron von Steuben was not really a Baron, and not even an English speaker, but he had already proven his worth to Washington as a volunteer with Washington's army. Working through Washington's French speaking aides Hamilton and Laurens, Steuben created a military manual just for volunteer soldiers.

Head Quarters Valley Forge, March 29th, 1778.

Brigadier for tomorrow Varnum
Field Officers Lt. Col. Harney
Brigade Major Ogden

Inspectors' Meeting:
As the stormy weather prevented the Brigade Inspectors ye meeting this day, agreeable to yesterday's orders, the Sub and Brigade Inspectors with the officers and Non Comms'd Officers who were to have assembled this day at 10 o'clock, will attend at said time & place.

The following officers are appointed Brigade Inspectors and are to be obeyed and respected as such in their respective Brigades:

Col. Tuper
in Gen. Patterson's Brigade
Lt. Col. Sprout
in Glovers
Major Wallace
in Woodford's
Major Cabell
in Weedon's
Major Hull
in Learned's
Major Fish
in Poor's
Major Bloomfield
in Maxwell's
Major Hulings
in late Conway's
Capt Smith
in Varnum's
Capt Converse
in Huntingdon's
Capt Eng
in McIntosh's

Capl Walker of Col. Livingston's Regt is appointed Brigade Major P.F. and is to be obeyed and respected as such.

Division Orders
Discipline and Cleanliness:
Discipline being the very soul of all Army's, so it ought to be the pride and study of all Officers, to introduce it into their respective Corps. In valor man to man are equal throughout the World, but it is discipline alone which gives the opportunity in the field. And as the Genl hopes to rival the Britons in that, he also wishes to bear the [faded] from the other part of the Army. For which purpose he requests the Officers to the example they set the other day, and which gave the highest pleasure to his Excellency and met his warmest approbation in maneuvering themselves as well as men.

As there is no Greater or surer mark of discipline than Cleanliness, so there is nothing more conducive to health and spirit. It introduces a laudible pride which is substitute for almost every virtue. The Genl therefore, in the most pointed terms, desires the Officers to oblige their men to appear clean & decent at all times and upon all occasions. Even punishing that Soldier that appears dirty whether on duty or not.

The Officers will compel the men to wear their Hats in one way, in the most soldier-like position, and oblige to mend their old clothes so as to make the best appearance possible. The Genl expects a sufficiency of Hats with some other clothing for the men every hour. He has also ordered Col Bayard to Lancaster, to provide the Officers clothing and the Drums and fifes belonging to this Division.


Head Quarters Valley Forge, March 30th, 1778.

Regimental Orders
Muster Rolls Due:
Muster Rolls to be made out immediately by the Commdr Officers of companies (agreeable to the former in the hands of the Adjutant) for the month of March, in order to the Regt being mustered on the first Day of April next.


Brigadier for tomorrow Poor
Field Officers Lt. Col. Buford, Major Porter
Brigade Major McCormick

Court Martial:
The Genl Court Martial whereof Col Ogden was president, is dissolved, and another ordered to sit tomorrow at 10 o'clock at the usual place, whereof Col Vose is appointed president, to try all persons that shall be brought before them. Each Brigade gives a Capt to the court. A Sub., Sargt and two privates from Genl McIntosh's Brigade, furnished with three days provisions, to attend at the Clothier's Store tomorrow A.M., to receive the Commissary of Prisoners directions.

Cut Back Baggage:
As the operations of the ensuing Campaign, whether offensive or defensive, renders it indispensibly necessary that the spare baggage of the Army should be at a distance from their Camp, and may be inconvenient & impracticable for want of teams to remove it at the instant it may become absolutely Requisite, the Genl desires that the Officers will lose no time in disengaging themselves from Everything they can possibly part with. On the means for removing it, they will consult the Quartermaster Genl, who may have empty Wagons returning from Camp.

Insubordination Court Martial:
At a Genl Court Martial whereof Col Swift was president, March ye 23rd, 1778, Lieut. Col. Perginer tried for disobedience of Orders and refusing to do duty when required by his superior Officer in a state unbecoming an inferior officer, and was acquitted of the charge exhibited against him with honor, which his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief approves the sentence and orders Lt. Col Perginer to be discharged from his Arrest.

Head Quarters Valley Forge, March 31st, 1778.

Division Orders
Clothes Are Now in Stock:
A Return to be immediately made by each Regt of the number of Hats, Britches, Hoes, Stockings and Waistcoats wanting for the men. A quantity of those articles being now arrived at Genl Wayne's Quarters for the immediate use of his Division.

Brigadier for tomorrow McIntosh
Field Officers Lt. Col. Rignier, Major Campbell
Brigade Major Benyane

Temporary Truce:
Germantown being appointed for the meeting of Commissioners from the two Armys, a strict Neutrality and suspension of hostilities are to be observed in all the extent of the Village and all Officers whether Continental, or Militia are expressly forbid to enter there either with their parties or singly, or to do any thing that may tend any wise to violate the peace which is to subsist in the above-mentioned place until further orders.

By permission of the Honorable Congress, the Paymaster Genl has appointed Thos Reed Esq., to be his Assistant, and he is to be considered as such, and the business of that Department in the absence of the Pay Master Genl to be transacted with him.

Get Ready for Parade
Clothes Are Now in Stock:
The Brigade to parade tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock, fresh shaved, well-powdered. It is expected that the Officers will pay the strictest attention to the appearance of their men.

The Fatigue party to parade tomorrow morning properly officer'd at Troop Beating, to finish the works.


Head Quarters Valley Forge, Apr 1st, 1778.

Brigadier for tomorrow Patterson
Field Officers Lt. Col. Breerly, Major Allison
Brigade Major Bayley

Synchronize Watches:
Some Brigades were late sending their men on the parade this morning. The Genl willing to attribute this to the difference in Watches, and to the end great punctuality may be observed in future with respect to time, the Adjutant Genl is to regulate his watch by the Clock at Headquarters, the Brigade Major by his, and the Adjutant by the Brigade Major.

Guard Detail:
The Guard at the Bridge is in future to consist of a Captain, two subalterns, three Sergts, 36 rank and file, whereof one subaltern, one sergt and 16 rank and file are to be posted on the other side. It is expected that this Guard will be very attentive to their duty and suffer no soldier to pass without written leave from the Commdg Officer of the Regt he belongs to.

Head Quarters Valley Forge, Apr 2nd, 1778.

Brigadier for tomorrow Maxwell
Field Officers Col. Bicker, Lt. Col. Hubley
Brigade Major Haskell

Temporary Drivers Needed:
A soldier from each Brigade acquainted with driving a Wagon, to be paraded tomorrow morning at Guard Mounting & to be employed in the Wagon Master Genl Department till the Wagoners enlisted for that purpose come to Camp.

Parade Inspection Plan:
The Inspector of the First Penna Brigade, will command the parade tomorrow and will bring with him two Adjutants from the Brigade, and when the parade is over, remit the command for the next day to the Inspector of the 2nd Pennsa Brigade, and his two Adjutants, who are desired to attend the parade tomorrow for that purpose, the same method to be observed in regular rotation.

The Inspector Genl proposes exercising the Officers of the Second Penna. Brigade at 10 o'clock tomorrow, and at 11 o'clock those of Genl Poor's Brigade. As the stumps and brush in front of the new lines, afford an excellent obstacle to the approach of the enemy, it is expressly forbid that any of it should be burned by any of the Fatigue parties or any others, for the distance of extreme musket shot range in front of the lines, in which all officers commanding Regts are to take particular notice, as there is a sufficiency of wood to furnish stakes for the works within the lines.

Colonel Hall Court Martial:
Col Josias Carville Hall tried by a Genl Court Martial held at Wilmington, the 20th of March 1778, by order of Brigadier Genl Smallwood, whereof Col. Richardson was president, charged of refusing to comply with a Genl Service, which at that time could not otherwise be remedied, and unofficerlike behavior & threatening to blow the brains out of any officer who would head a party to execute the same, and was acquitted on the following terms.

That the orders issued on that instant were not Military, nor conveyed through a Military Channel in the nature of an Impressment not even addressed to Col Hall, was an absolute confession that he had not a right to expect, nor exact a compliance to the order by virtue of superior command. And with respect to the second charge, altho' the Court do, by no means approve of Col Hall's intention or threats resisting by force the Officers sent to execute the order, yet as they can easily account for it, from the keen and sensible feeling of a person in his situation, and as a few moments of cool reflection determined him to act otherwise, we acquit him of ungentlemanly, or unofficer-like behavior and are, upon the whole, unanimously of opinion that he is not guilty of the Charges exhibited against him, and therefore, acquit him with Honor.

It is with much concern that his Excellency thinks himself obliged to disapprove the Determination. He is clearly of the opinion that the orders issued through Co' Sheriffs Division Quartermaster was regular and obligatory. Regular because Genl Smallwood as Commanding Officer to be exclusively vested with every power for the good of it, and consequently that Impressing of horses on an emergency and because the Division Qt Master was a proper channel through which it should operate, agreeable to the practice of Armies and to the true spirit and design of Genl orders. Obligatory because it was the orders of the superior Commdg officer, and from the face of the evidence, appears to have been founded in the necessity of the Case, and uncalculated to promote the service. Coll Hall's refusal to comply with the order was a blamable opposition to the Command of a superior officer acting in the line of his Duty & the violent threats thrown out against any person who should execute it were, at least, highly indelicate and improper. Col Hall is released from his arrest.

Major Forrest Court Martial:
At a Genl Court Martial whereof Col. Swift was president, March 28th 1778, Major Thomas Forrest tried for sending to Col Crane, Commanding Officer of Artillery, an insolent and unwarranted letter. It appeared to the Court that Major Forrest was president of a Court Martial when he wrote the letter he was arrested for, and was done by order of the Court. They are of opinion that he is not personally liable for writing the letter. At the same time, are of opinion, having considered the circumstances, that the letter is not insolent nor unwarrantable. The Commander-in-Chief confirms the opinion and orders Major Forrest to be discharged from arrest.

Brigade Orders
Keep Your Men Up to Snuff:
The officers Commandg the different Regts are requested to be very particular in having their men turned out under the inspection of their officers between 9 and 10 o'clock in the morning, & at the usual hours in the afternoon, to perfect themselves in Maneuvering.

Sounds like a party:
One of Col Hartley's houses on the Right to be cleared for the reception of the Brigade Guard.


Head Quarters Valley Forge, Apr 3rd, 1778.

Brigadier for tomorrow Wayne
Field Officers Lt. Col. Green, Major Vernon
Inspector from the 2d Penna. Brigade. .

Parade Problems:
A Sargeant and a private from Genl McIntosh's Brigade prepared for a Fortnight's Command to be mounted on the Grand parade. The works of the New lines being very carelessly executed in many parts, and the representations of the Engineers have been heretofore of no avail, the Genl calls upon the several Brigadiers to inspect the parts which have been allotted to their Brigade, and order the defected to be remedied, which appears to be principally owing to the weakness of the stakes, and those of the exterior for being placed two perpendicular.

Horse Stealing Court Martial:
At a Genl Court Martial whereof Col Ogden was president, March ye 24th 1778, William Morgan, inhabitant of the State of Penna., tried for coming out of Philadelphia, stealing a horse, and attempting to carry him back to the City. Found Guilty of a breach of a Resolution of Congress dated Octbr 8th 1777, and extended by another, and sentenced to be kept at hard labor during the contest with Great Britain not less then thirty miles from the enemies' Camp. And if he is caught making his escape to suffer death.

Conduct Unbecoming Court Martial:
At a Genl Court Martial whereof Col Vose was president, March 23d 1778, Lieut. Anderson of the 11th Pennsa Regt tried for behaving in a manner unbecoming the Character of an officer and a gentleman found Guilty of the charge exhibited against him, being a breach of the 21st Article 14th Section of hte Articles of war & sentenced to be discharged. His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief approves of the sentence and orders them to take place.

Subaltern Detail:
A Subaltern from Genl Woodford's and another from Genl Scott's to attend at the Adjut Genl's Office where they will receive their orders at 3 o'clock this afternoon.

Head Quarters Valley Forge, Apr 4th, 1778.

Brigadier for tomorrow Varnum
Field Officers Col. Vose, Major Sumner
Brigade Major Tynick
Inspector from Genl Poor's Brigade. .

Inspect Prisoners:
The Brigade Commissaries are to make an exact Return of the horns delivered into the Qt master Genl agreeable to the Orders of the 8th of Jany last. The Brigadier Genl of the Day is to visit the prisoners in the Provost, during his tour of Duty and to enquire into the manner of their treatment, which he is to report with the number and kind of them, and length of confinement, when he gives in the Genl Report of the Guard, & announces this to be considered a standing order and to be punctually executed.

Division Orders
General to Examine Each Man For Needs:
The whole Division to parade on Monday morning at 10 o'clock, fresh shaved, well powdered, arms and Accoutrements in the best order possible; the officers at the head of their respective Corps. It is the Genl's positive orders, that all the Invalids be paraded at the same time, and that the Officers take care that they appear clean, and that the whole are paraded.

The Genl being determined to examine every man himself, to the end that if any of the soldiers are suffering for want of necessaries or proper care or attention, either in the Officers or Surgeons, that these defects may be remedied. The Genl wishes the Commanding Officers of Regts or Corps to see that their men are completed to 40 Rounds per man immediately.


Head Quarters Valley Forge, Apr 5th, 1778.

Brigadier for tomorrow Poor
Field Officers Lt. Col. Meade, Major Pollen
Brigade Major Mervin
Detachment Col Livingston, Major Conway
Inspector from Genl Glover's Brigade. .

The Brigade Inspectors, Brigade Majors, and all the Adjutants of the Battalions are to attend on the Grand parade tomorrow at Guard Mounting. If the weather should prove bad, they shall attend the first fair day.

No Furloughs:
No furloughs to be granted to Non-Commisd Officers or privates till further orders.

Store Has Some Shoes and Stocks:
Those Regts that want shoes are to attend at the Clothier's Store for them. Few dozen of Worsted Stocks fit for officers, and some shoes, may be had at the store.

For Escort with two days' provisions to parade at 11 o'clock tomorrow. Adjutant of the Day tomorrow from the 10th Regt.

Head Quarters Valley Forge, Apr 6th, 1778.

Division Orders
Clean Up the Men:
The hair of all the Non-Commiss'd officers and privates to be cut short and alike. This afternoon the Commdg officers of Regts and Corps will pay a particular attention to this business, as it will not only be a means of keeping the men clean, but will make them appear more uniform and soldierly, and be attended with much less trouble.

Notwithstanding the repeated orders for officers to take care to oblige their men to appear clean and decent on all occasions, the Genl is extremely unhappy to find so little attention paid to it, when the health and spirit of his soldiers, & the good of the service, so much depends on a strict compliance with this Order.

Genl Wayne once for all does assure the Officers that attention to their soldiers & Discipline will be the criterion by which Congress will be directed on the New Establishment. He therefore wishes, for their own credit as officers and soldiers, that they would turn their whole attention to these subjects. Shoes and other articles for Officers and men may be had at the Clothiers Genl's on timely application.

Brigadier for tomorrow Mulinberg
Field Officers Col. Wessen, Lt. Col. Haskell
Brigade Major Minnes
Inspector from Genl Arnold's Brigade. .

Lieut. Col. Green is appointed to the Commd of the 10th, and Lieut. Col. Daviss to the Commd of the 14th Virginia Regt to further orders, and are to be respected accordingly.

Conduct Unbecoming Court Martial:
At a Genl Court Martial whereof Col. Vose was president, March 31st 1778, Lieut. Dunn of Col. Patton's Regl tried for striking & ungentleman-like behavior and acquitted. The Commander-in-Chief confirms the sentence and orders Lt Dunn to be discharged from arrest.

Can't We Settle Things Outside a Court Martial:
At the same time the frequent proceedings of Court Martials presented to him seem to originate from personal prejudices and private animosity, than real intention to promote the good of the service, gives him very sensible pain. He wishes the Officers of this Army to consider themselves as a band of Brothers cemented by the Justice of the Common Cause; that a perfect harmony might subsist among them, and that they would settle all personal disputes amongst themselves in an amicable manner, ever being cautious not to trouble Court Martials or the Genl with private dissentions, or add to the public files, which may hereafter disgrace themselves and the Army.

Head Quarters Valley Forge, Apr 7th, 1778.

Brigadier for tomorrow Patterson
Field Officers Col. Craig, Lt. Col. Maybien
Brigade Major Clayburn
Inspector from Genl Patterson's Brigade. .
For Fatigue Lt. Col. Miller

Court Martial to Meet:
A Genl Court Martial of the line, whereof Brig. Genl Poor is appointed President, to set tomorrow morning at nine o'clock at the presidt's Quarts to try such persons as shall be brot before them.

Col. Stewart, Lt. Col. Burr, Major Peters & a Capt. from the Corps of the Artillery (Woodford's, Scott's, First & Secd Penna, Glover's, Patterson's, Muhlenberg's, Maxwell's, Huntingdon's, Varnum's, & McIntosh's) Brigade's to attend as Members.

Capt. Will Lewis is appointed Brigade Inspector in Genl Muhlenberg's Brigade & Capt. Croghan in Gen. Scott's, and are to be respected accordingly.

Account for Men and Ammo:
The Brigade Qr Mastrs will immediately bring in the empty Ammunition boxes to the Park of the Artillery & deliver them to the Commissary of Military Stores.

An Exact Return of Arms & Accoutrements to be made immediately, according to the form which shall be deliver'd by the Brigade Majors.

Commanding Officers of the Regts & Corps are Desir'd to be very Particular in the next Weekly returns, to Acct for all their Officers & Men who are Absent, Sick, on Furlough or Command, and the places where, that proper measures may be taken to call them in to join their respective corps. The Genl strictly enjoins it upon them to be exceedingly Exact to Mention those Officers in any Department who detain any of their Soldiers as waiters, or for any purpose whatsoever, and any particular Circumstance relative to their absence, as his first Determination is that he will know the true state of his Army.

Gambling Anyone:
A few Continental Tickets to be had at the Auditor's Office and at the paymaster Genl's Office.

Brigade Orders
Court Martial Assignments:
Adjt of the Day tomorrow from 1st Regt. A Capt from the 7th Regt to attend the Court Martial of the Line tomorrow nine o'clock at Genl Poor's Quarters.

Head Quarters Valley Forge, Apr 8th, 1778.

Brigadier for tomorrow Maxwell
Field Officers Col. Brewer, Major Winslow
Brigade Major Ogden
Inspector from Genl Wheedon's Brigade. .

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness; Or Else:
A Review of the Orders Relative to the Cleanliness and proper Appearance of Soldiers who are to mount guard, however great a reproach to the Officers, whose province is to attend to these points, it becomes necessary that the Adjts in whom the Delinquents originates as it is their Duty in the first instance to Inspect Arms, Ammunitions, Accoutrements & Dress of their men before they Quit the Regt Parade, are particularly call'd upon.

The Brigade Majors minutely to examine the detachments Assembled on the parade of the Brigade in all the above mentiond Respects and the Adjts will remain there till the men are march'd off in Order to answer for any Deficiency.

When the Guards are Assembl'd on the grand parade, the Brige Majr, Field Officers of the Day, are carefully to report the same examination of the arms &c. and to order the Adjts under an Arrest when any ill appearances of Deficiencies may justly be attributed to their negligence.

Want of Uniformity in a Soldier's Clothing, and its indifferent Quality, so far from excusing Slovenliness and unsoldierly Neglect, in other respects out rather to Excite each man to compensate each man by redouble attention to the means he has in his power. For instances -- a Soldier may always shave his bear, appear with clean hands and face, in Genl have an air of Neatness which will be Conspicuous under all Disadvantages.

Capt. Chambers Court Martial:
A Court of Enquiry, whereof Lt. Col. Hubley's appointed Prest, to sit tomorrow morning nine o'clock at the prest Quars to examine into a complaint exhibited by an inhabitant of this State against Capt Chambers of the 12th Penna Regt. Majer Lydald & a Capt from Glover's, Conway's & Huntingdon's Brigs.

Brigade Orders
Court Martial:
The Officers commanding Regts are requested to pay the strictest attention to the condition of the Sick, appoint a Weekly Officer to visit the Barracks & see that they have beds raised off the Ground & that their situation may be made as Comfortable as circumstances will admit. With the condition of the troops, much depends on the strict attention of the Officers to the Cleanliness of the men. It is therefore expected they will use every endeavor to make their men appear in as decent a manner as possible.


Head Quarters Valley Forge, Apr 9th, 1778.

Court Martial to Meet:
A Regimental Court Martial to sit this morning, whereof Capt Patterson is to be president, to try all Prisoners brought before them belonging to the 2d Penny Regt. Lieut. Stoy, Lieut. Percy, Lieut. Waggoner, members.

Division Orders
His Excellency Governor Wharton, having requested that an additional number of Officers be sent on the Recruiting service, two industrious and active Officers are to parade from each Regt at Genl Wayne's Quarters tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock, to proceed immediately to Lancaster on that business. The encouragement given to Officers and men is such, that these now meet with great success, and the Genl has the most Flattering hopes of seeing the Pennya Regts soon Completed.

Inspect the Inspectors:
In case the Officers do their Duty, the neglect and little attention paid to the repeated orders for Maneuvering the Troops by some of this Division obliges the Genl to Order the Brigade Inspectors to Report Such Officers or Corps as do not attend the parade at the hours appointed for that purpose, which is from nine to ten in the morning, and from 4 to 5 o'clock in the afternoon. And to the end that neither Officers or soldier may thereafter plead ignorance of orders, the orders of the day are in future to be Read, at the head of each Regt at Retreat beating, when every Officer, and Soldier will punctually attend. This is to be considered a standing order.

The Genl once more desires that Hooks may be fixed to place the Arms against every day.

Court Martial into Death of Patrick Cole:
The Court of Enquiry, whereof Lt. Col. Hubley is president, is to enquire into a charge against Capt McGowen of the 4th Penna. Rega for accidentally wounding Patrick Cole, a soldier belonging to his company, and of which wound it's thought he died. All evidences and parties concerned are to attend at the president's quarters tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.

Brigadier for tomorrow Wayne
Field Officers Col. Rich. Butler, Lt. Col. Farmer
Brigade Major McCormick
Inspector from Genl Muhlenberg's Brigade. .

Shape Up or Ship Out:
In addition to the orders of yesterday for the purpose of effecting Decency and Cleanliness of the men, the Commander-in-Chief informs the Sergts and Corpls of the Line and desires that it may be deeply impress'd upon them, that unless they exert themselves to the utmost, to bring about this desirable change (as far as the circumstnaces of Clothing will admit), and the same time by a conduct & example which ought to distinguish them from privates, endeavor to preserve Order, Regularity and Obedience, every Delinquent among, without exception, shall be Reduced to the Ranks & others appointed until good ones can be had to discharge their respective Duties properly.

It's a Matter of Life and Death:
Nothing does, nor nothing can, contribute more to the health of the Soldiers than a Clean Camp, Clean Clothes, and Victuals well dressed. These, however, deeply involv'd in Rags an army may be, are to be effected by attention in the Officers, the Genl therefore calls on every Officer, from the Major Genl to the Corporal, for their exertion, hoping therefore, by the Blessing of God, to prevent such Numbers of Deaths which unfortunately has happened since we came to this ground, and see a stricter Attention to order than has heretofore been paid.

Court Martial to Meet:
The Court of Enquiry, whereof Lt. Col. Hubley is president, to examine into the circumstances of Capt McGowan's mortally wounding a soldier of the 4th Pennsa Regt.

Bicker, Henry. "Orderly Book of the Second Pennsylvania Continental Line. Col. Henry Bicker at Valley Forge, March 29--May 27, 1778." Edited by John W. Jordan. Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 35 (1911), pp. 333-342, 463-396; 36 (1912), pp. 30-59, 236-253, 329-345.

Orderly Book
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Henry Bicker's Ancestors
Grandson Henry Bicker Gibson

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