January 3rd, 1776


An officer aboard the British sloop HMS Otter writes home, “I have the pleasure to assure you that this rebel town is in ashes.  It is glorious to see the blaze of the town and shipping, I exult in the carnage of these rebels.”

Meanwhile, George Washington wrote this General Order from his Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts – “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 Manœuvres, necessary to be practiced; and as nothing reflects more disgrace upon an Officer, or is more pernicious and dangerous in itself, than suffering Arms to be 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?”


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