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The Alliance with France

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

May 5.—This afternoon, the Commander-in-chief issued, from head-quarters at Valley Forge, the following after orders: It having pleased the Almighty Ruler of the Universe, propitiously to defend the cause of the United American States, and finally, by raising up a powerful friend among the Princes of the Earth, to establish our Liberty and Independence upon lasting foundations—it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the divine goodness and celebrating the important event which we owe to his benign interposition.

The several brigades are to be assembled for this purpose, at nine o’clock to-morrow morning, when their chaplains will communicate the intelligence in the postscript to the Pennsylvania Gazette of the second instant, and offer up a thanksgiving, and deliver a discourse suitable to the occasion.

At half after ten o’clock a cannon will be fired, which is to be a signal for the men to be under arms.

The brigade inspectors will then inspect their dress and arms, form the battalions according to instructions given them, and announce to the commanding officers of brigades that the battalions are formed.

The brigadiers will then appoint the field officers to command the battalions, after which each battalion will be ordered to load and ground their arms. At half-past eleven another cannon will be fired as a signal for the march, upon which the several brigades will begin their march by wheeling to the right by platoons, and proceed by the nearest way to the left of their ground, in the new position that will be pointed out by the brigade inspectors. A third signal will be given, upon which there will be a discharge of thirteen cannon; when the thirteenth has fired, a running fire of the infantry will begin on the right of Woodford’s, and continue throughout the whole front line; it will be then taken up on the left of the second line, and continue to the right. Upon a signal given the whole army will Huzza! long live the King of France!

The artillery then begins again, and fires thirteen rounds. This will be succeeded by second general discharge of musketry in a running fire—Huzza! long live the friendly European powers! Then the last discharge of thirteen pieces of artillery will be given, followed by a general running fire— Huzza for the American States!1


1 New Jersey Gazette, May 13.