Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
George Weirick Orderly Book, 1814

Finding aid created by
Shannon Wait, April 2011

Summary Information
Title: George Weirick orderly book
Creator: Weirick, George, 1773-1838
Inclusive dates: 1814
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract:
The orderly book of George Weirick, who commanded the 77th Regiment of the Pennsylvania militia at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, in 1814.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2007. M-4608.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

George Weirick orderly book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Biography

George Weirick was born in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, on July 15, 1773, the son of Revolutionary War veteran Captain Johann Wilhelm Weirick (1731-1807) and Maria Simon (ca. 1739-1824). He married Elizabeth Frederick (1780-1816) in 1801, and the couple had eight children. In 1806, he founded the community of Penns Creek in Snyder County, Pennsylvania. Weirick served as lieutenant colonel of the 77th Regiment of the Pennsylvania militia (also known as the Northumberland County Blues), which formed part of the 4th U.S. Military District, Brigadier General Henry Sperring's Brigade. Following the burning of Washington in September 1814, the unit was mobilized at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, on the Delaware River, 20 miles southwest of Philadelphia. The soldiers were discharged during the winter, when the threat of British attack waned. A year after the death of his wife in 1816, Weirick married Mary Meyer and had twelve children with her. He died on September 25, 1838.


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).

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Bache, Louis, 1779-1818.
    • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry.
    • Marcus Hook (Pa.)
    • Military discipline.
    • Pennsylvania--History--1775-1865.
    • Pennsylvania--Militia.
    • United States--History--War of 1812--Registers.
    Genre Terms:
    • Muster rolls.
    • Orderly books.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Volume   1  
    George Weirick orderly book,  October 5-November 29, 1814 [series]:
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Bibliography

    Bache, Louis. General Court Martial: Proceedings of a General Court Martial for the Trial of Lieut. Col. Louis Bache, Commanding a Detachment of Volunteers And Militia of Pennsylvania; Upon Charges of Mutiny, Disobedience of Orders, Insubordination, And Violation of the Established Usages of the Army, And of the Principles of Military Discipline, At the Camp Marcus Hook, On the Delaware, In October, 1814. Containing the Whole of the Evidence, And the Documents Referred to During the Trial. Philadelphia: Printed by James Wilson, 1815.