Washington’s Order - 1775
George Washington was a member of the Episcopal Church. His papers are sprinkled with references to God and to Providence. A nephew reported seeing him more than once on his knees in his library reading the Bible. Washington wrote to a friend, “The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this [the success of the Revolution], that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” In light of these facts it is not surprising that, on this day, 5 July, 1775, Washington issued this order to the Continental Army:
“The General most earnestly requires and expects a due observance of those articles of war established for the government of the army, which forbid profane cursing, swearing, and drunkenness. And in like manner, he requires and expects of all officers and soldiers not engaged in actual duty, a punctual attendance of Divine services, to implore the blessing of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.”
Bailey, Bill. The Wisdom of George Washington: A Collection of Quotes from His Writing and Speeches.