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General Court Martial of John Arrensdt
Part 1 of 3

Saturday the 26th Feby. 1780.

The Court being met pursuant to Adjournment.

John ARRENSDT, private Soldier in Capt. De DEIMAR’s Troop of Hussars, was brought Prisoner before the Court, accused of Mutiny, on the Outpost at Kingsbridge.

Lieut. George ALBUS of Capt. DEIMAR’s Troop of Hussars being duly Sworn deposed that, (the Revd. Bernard Michael H[OUSEAL] being duly sworn to interpret) in the morning of the 13th Novr. last, when the Troop was on the Out post at Kingsbridge, the Piquet was to go out, (when they frequently expected the Enemy), and Serjeant FAUBENHEIN acquainted him, that the Prisoner (John ARRENSDT) and five other Hussars of Capt. De DEIMARs Troop, had refused to obey the Orders, and go out upon duty with the Picquet.

Upon which he ordered the Serjeant to bring them immediately to him in order to know the Cause—;

That he asked them in presence of the Serjeant, why they refused to go upon duty, and make themselves guilty of Mutiny—and asked them if they did not know that such a Crime was punished with death;

upon which the Prisoner (who spoke for the rest of them) reply’d that they knew that very well, and would go upon duty, as soon as they had their Winter Breeches, Cloaks, and accounts of their pay but not without;

that he (the Witness) told them that it was then an improper time, as they had been ordered to go upon duty, and that they Should have gone first upon duty, and afterwards make their Complaints and that their Cloathing would be soon done, as it was at the Taylors; therefore they might make themselves easy and go upon duty.

After which he number’d the Six men, and number one happened to be the Prisoner, so that he ordered him to be sent to his Post, and he went, tho’ grumbling, and the rest of the men repenting of their behaviour, promised to go upon their respective duties;

that he (the Witness) ordered the prisoner to be confined, and went and acquainted Capt. De DEIMAR of it, who ordered him prisoner to the Bridge Guard;

that whilst he the Witness was at Capt. De DIEMARs, the whole Troop, except a few privates and all the Non Commissioned Officers, arose in a mutiny on account of the Prisoner John ARRENSDT being put in Confinement, saying that they all together would stay with him.

Capt. De DIEMAR therefore had the Prisoner brought before him and read the Articles of War concerning mutiny, and desired him to do his duty, and not refuse the given orders, but he (the Prisoner) still behaved obstinate, and said that he would not, and insisted upon Capt. De DEIMAR’s ordering another man in his place.

Upon which the Serjeant was ordered to carry him to the Guard, and all the rest of the Hussars followed him, so that he (the Witness) was under the necessity to order the Guard near the Bridge under arms, for fear of a mutiny.

        Q:(by the Court)—  Did the Officers and men of Capt. De DIEMAR’s Troop, consider themselves as in the immediate Service of Great Britain and of course subject to the British Laws?

        A: Yes.

        Q: Was the Prisoner attested?

        A: He does not know, that he (the Prisoner) was attested in Capt. De DIEMAR’s Troop.

        Q: Did the Prisoner receive pay and Cloathing in the Troop as a Soldier?

        A: Yes.

        Q: How long has the Prisoner served in Capt. De DIEMAR’s Troop?

        A: Since last Summer.

        Q: Has the Prisoner ever been upon duty with him?

        A: Yes.

        Q: On former Occasions did the Prisoner chearfully do his duty and Obey Orders?

        A: Yes.

        Q: Was the Prisoner in Liquor at that particular time?

        A: No.

Serjeant Fredk. DAUBENHEINE of Capt. De DIEMAR’s Troop of Hussars being duly sworn was examined.

        Q:(by the Court)—  Is he (the Witness) in the same Troop with the Prisoner?

        A: Yes.

        Q: Does he know whether the Prisoner received pay and Cloathing as a Soldier in the Troop?

        A: Yes.

        Q: Does he know any thing concerning the mutiny at Kings Bridge, or the Prisoner refusing to go upon duty when ordered?

        A: He says that he knows that the Prisoner, refused to obey orders, not only for himself, but for the whole Troop.

        Q: What were those Orders?

        A: A Corporal and five men were ordered to go upon Piquet, and the Prisoner in the name of the rest of them, refused to go.

        Q: Was not the Prisoner, the first number told off, and refused to go on Duty?

        A: Yes.

        Q: After they had refused to go on duty, were the Articles of War (concerning mutiny) read to the Prisoner, and all the party?

        A: Yes, Capt. De DEIMAR read the Articles to them, but they still refused to go with Lieut. ALBUS.

        Q: Were the Articles of War read to them in German?

        A: Capt. De DEIMAR explained the Articles to them in German.

        Q: On former Occasions did the Prisoner do his duty with Chearfulness and Obey Orders.

        A: Yes, he did his duty as a brave Soldier.

        Q: Was the Prisoner sober at the time he refused to obey Orders?

        A: Quite Sober.

        Q: How long has the Prisoners [sic] served in Capt. De DIEMAR’s Troop?

        A: Since the 12th May 1779.

        Q: Does he (the Witness) recollect the time that the Prisoner refused to go upon Piquet?

        A: He does not exactly know, but thinks that it was last September.

        Q: Did any others return to their duty?

        A: The Corporal and the rest of the party went to their duty but went grumbling all the way.

Lance Corporal Christain GUNDELAU of Capt. De DIEMARs Troop of Hussars being duly Sworn was examined.

        Q:(by the Court)—  Does he (the Witness) know any thing concerning the mutiny at Kingsbridge, or the Prisoner refusing to go upon duty, when Ordered?

        A: He (the Witness) Was ordered to order a party upon Piquet, and the Prisoner was one and refused to go.

        Q: Was the Prisoner Sober at that time?

        A: To the best of his knowledge, he was quite Sober.

        Q: Were the Articles of War (concerning mutiny) read to the party after they had disobey’d Orders?

        A: He does not know.

The Court Adjourned till Monday Morning 11 o’Clock.

Click here for ---> Arrensdt Court Martial, Part 2

                               Arrensdt Court Martial, Part 3

Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 71, Volume 91, Pages 213–224.

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