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General Court Martial of James Garraty

[Extract of the General Court Martial whereof Lieut. Colonel James WEBSTER was President, held at Philadelphia on the 12th & 13th of February 1778.]

James GARRATY, private Soldier in the 46th Regt. of Foot, was brought Prisoner before the Court accused of deserting from the said Regiment.

Captain Christian VAN MOLITOR of the 1st Regiment of Anspach, being duly sworn, deposed (Frederick VERNER being sworn to interpret his Evidence from the German to the English Language) that on Wednesday Night last, about ten o'Clock (he the Witness) having the Guard at Redoubt No. 1, the Prisoner was going towards Frankfort, & running fast towards the advanced Sentries of his Guard, but was stopped by one of them & brought to him & that he must have been without the Lines, & upon asking him where he was going to, he said that he had been on Duty that day at No. 6, & had drank rather too much, & did not know where he was going, & begged very hard that he would let him go and join his Regiment.

        Q.Did he appear to be drunk?

        A.He appeared to be a little so, he was very dirty.

        Q.Had he his Accoutrements on?

        A.He had not.

Peter HUNGER, private Soldier in the 1st Regiment of Anspach, being duly sworn (Fredk. VERNER interpretg.) deposed that on Wednesday Night about 10 o'Clock, he was posted as an advanced Sentry from the Redoubt No. 1 when he saw the Prisoner going towards Frankfort; that he thereupon called to him, & upon repeating it the Prisoner then came up to him & he asked him where he was going to, he answered Philadelphia, & the Witness observed to him that he was going quite a different way & he therefore made him Prisoner.

John BOTSEL, private Soldier in the 2d Regiment of Anspach, being duly sworn deposed (Frederick VERNER interpreting) that he was posted as Sentry with Peter HUNGER on We[d]nesday Night, between nine & 10 o'Clock, when they saw the Prisoner going towards Frankfort, that he thereupon called to him, & on their doing it a second time, he stopt; that they asked him where he was going, & he said to Philadelphia but finding that he was bending his steps another way they took him Prisoner.

Corporal William NOWLAND of the 46th Regimt. of Foot, being duly sworn deposed, that he knew the Prisoner to have received pay as a Soldier in the said 46th Regimt. That upon calling the Roll on Wednesday Evening at Tattoo beating the Prisoner was absent, & he did not see him again till yesterday Morning, when he was a prisoner in the Guard–house.

        Q.Did he take his necessaries with him?

         A.Upon examining his knapsack yesterday morning he found that all his necessaries, except a pair of shoes & a piece of an old Shirt had been taken out, & he was informed that he had taken away a Shirt of his Comrades.

The Prisoner being put upon his Defence said that he had no intention to desert, but that having drank with several different Soldiers, that day, he was become rather intoxicated; that a Soldier of the 17th Regt. who was going with his Comrades Supper, who was in one of the redoubts, asked him to go with him, & he went with him part of the way, but then turn'd about with an intention to return to his quarters but not being able to find his way, he was making up to a light he saw in one of the Redoubts, when the sentries stopt him; that he had parted with his necessaries about a fortnight ago, & not then taken them away with an intention of Carrying them off, & that he is but Eighteen years of age.

John BLAND, Adjutant of the 46th Regimt. of Foot being duly sworn, deposed that the Prisoner was once tried by a Regimental Court Martial, but it was for some trifling fault, & in Consequence of his good Character, the Lieut. Colonel of the Regiment Pardoned him, that as far as comes within his own knowledge, he has always behaved like a Clean & Good Soldier.

The Court having considered the Evidence for and against the Prisoner James GARRATY, together with what he had to offer in his defence, is of Opinion that he is Guilty of the Crime laid to his Charge in breach of the 1st Article of War of the 6th Section & doth therefore Adjudge him the said James GARRATY, to receive five Hundred Lashes on his bare back, with Cats of nine tails.

                                       James WEBSTER
                                        Lt. Col. 33d Regt.

Step. P: ADYE
   D. Judge Advocate

                       W HOWE

Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 71, Volume 85, pages 281–283.

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