George Weirick orderly book  1814
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The George Weirick orderly book contains 84 pages of orders and records, spanning October 5-November 29, 1814. The orders are general and brigade level and include paroles, countersigns, fatigue and police details, a muster roll of the officers in the regiment, and details of numerous courts martial. The orderly book opens with a general order that "the troops will be held in readiness for Muster and inspection" and a mandate for the preparation of a muster roll and returns. Thereafter, many orders in the book relate to discipline. One early entry, dated October 19, 1814, notes that volunteers and militia "have degraded themselves by irregular and Disorderly Conduct" and declares that such behavior is "not to be Tolerated." The same order urges officers who lack "firmness" to enforce the rules to retire, and calls them "utterly unfit for War." Another addresses the difficulty of getting the soldiers to settle down in the evening and notes that "the lights should be out and the men silent" during rest hours (November 1, 1814). Others concern deserters and require officers to treat them with extreme severity. One order calls desertion an "infamous crime" and simply states, "Deserters must be shot" (October 19, 1814). An order from the General Headquarters, dated November 18, 1814, warns "contractors, agents, subtlers, all followers of the army" against informing newspapers of the strength, movements, and destination of the corps: “It is positively forbidden, such communications find their way into the news papers and many of our news papers find their way to enemy."

A significant portion of the orderly book concerns courts martial.

A few notable examples include:

  • Colonel Conrad Kreickbaum for unofficer-like conduct (November 4, 1814)
  • Captain Peter Hanly for drunkenness and unofficer-like conduct and accused of selling "the rations of his soldiers for his own private profit" (November 8, 1814)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Louis Bache, who was the great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, for mutiny, disobedience of orders, and insubordination (November 10, 1814). The orderly book devotes four pages to this case.
  • Phillip Buttinstine for gambling (November 14, 1814)

Another entry in the orderly book addresses the defense of Philadelphia and outlines appropriate actions for four possible scenarios of British attack on the city. Dated November 5, 1814, it gives instructions for responses to various British approaches -- from Delaware Bay, the New Jersey side of the Delaware River, and the head of the Elk River. Other orders pertain to the soldiers' need for clothing (October 31, 1814), the delivery of ammunition and other ordnance (November 6, 1814), the use of detachments for hospital duties (November 4, 1814), and other topics. Also included is a muster roll of field and staff officers in Weirick's regiment as of November 14, 1814 (pp. 66-67).

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