J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year at Valley Forge

Gen. George Washington’s general orders to the army camped at Valley Forge on 1 Jan 1778 began like this:

As this day begins the new year The General orders a gill of spirits to be Served to each non-commission’d Officer and soldier;

And to avoid the irregular and partial distribution of this Article (which has been a good deal complaind of) he expressly orders that no Spirits shall issue to any part of the Troops in future but in Consequence of general or special orders from Head Quarters.

A deviation from this rule will be at the risque and peril of the Issuing Commissary.
Oh, yeah, that’ll stop the complaints.

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