Court Martial 1783


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These pages from our 71st Highlanders Orderly Book reveal the harsh sentences handed out at a military Court Martial held #OTD in 1783 during the American Wars of Independence. Three men are sentenced to death for Mutiny and Desertion while others receive 1000 or 500 lashes of the whip.

"Thos Sanders & Wm Brughton privates in the South Carilina Regt Thos Jackson Thos Durel privates in the Kings C R.: Patrick Joyce Serjeant Jermiah OBrain Lance Corpl Michal Stanly Collin Sinclair & George Gordon privates in the royal North Caralina Regt conf d by Order of Brigr Genl McArthur for Muttiny and Desertion tried by a General Court Martial at Saint Agustin of which Lt Coll: Brown of the Kings Caralina Rangers was precident.

The court on Consideration &c _________________

Is of opinion that Joyce, OBrain, Stanly, & Gordon, are guilty of both Charges being Breaches of the 4th & 5th, 2d Section and 1st Article of 6th Section, Articles of war do sentence them to suffer death _________

That Sinclair is guilty of Desertion being A Breach of the 1st Article 6th Section of the Articles of war sentence him 500d Lashes but aqquit him of muttiny but being an very inoffensive Ignorant man hard of hearing and to every appearance an Idiot and other faverable circumstances do recomend him for mercy _____________

That Jackson, Brughton & Durel are guilty of Desertion in Breach as above do sentence them 1000 Lashes Each but aqquit them of mutiny __________

That Sanders on account of his youth and other favorable circumstances should not undergo a triel and Directed the Depy Judge Advocate to make application to Brigr Genl McArthur who was pleased to comply.

The Comander in Chief is pleasd to Confirm the above and Directs that Joyce, OBrain, Slanty and Gordon suffer death by being hanged at such time and place as Genl McArthur should think proper _________

That Sinclair & Jackson, Broughton and Durrel be pardoned the Corporal punishment but to have their uniforms striped of at the Head of their respective Battns & to be kicked out of their Regtall Quarters by their former Comrads to be Drumed out of the Garrison of St Agustin and never permitted to return or come near any of the Kings Troops _________

His Excellency approves Sanders not being tried and Directs that he be discharged and allowed to go where he pleases but he is never to be permited to return to the Garrison _________

The above Genl Court Martial is Desolved."