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General Court Martial of George Hughston

At a General Court Martial held at Fort Knyphausen in the Province of New York, on Thursday the 22d February 1780, by Virtue of a Warrant, bearing date the Seventeenth Instant from His Excellency Sir Henry CLINTON Knight of the most Honorable Order of the Bath, General and Commander in Chief of all His Majesty's Forces within the Colonies laying on the Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to West Florida Inclusive &ca &ca &ca

Lieutenant Colonel Willm. SCHUTZ Coldstream Regt. of Guards
Lieut. Colonel GUYDUKINS M     Lieut. Colonel STUART
Captain HAMILTON E     Captain THOMAS
——— BEAUCLERK E     Ensn. OLD [sic- ELD]
Lieut. Charles KERR 43d Regt. Deputy Judge Advocate

The President Members and Deputy Judge Advocate being duly Sworn.

George HUGHSTON Private in the First Regiment of Foot Guards was brought Prisoner before the Court, accused of Desertion, with his Arms and Accoutrements: Presenting and Cocking his Firelock at one of the Pioneers who was in pursuit of him.

Elijah VINCENT Ensign in the Corps of Pioneers being duly Sworn, deposes that on the Evening of the 13th of February between the Hours of Seven and eight o'Clock, he was informed that two men were crossing the River at Hollands Ferry;

Lieutenant HUNT of the Pioneers ordered two men to follow them immagining them to be Deserters, Ensign VINCENT followed them with part of his Guard, and came up with the Prisoner who was Kneeling and presenting his firelock at one of the men he had with him, he desired Prisoner to drop his Piece, which he immediately did and Surrendered himself a Prisoner,

upon the Firelocks being given to him he found it was Cocked; and after leaving the Prisoner in Charge of one of his Men he went in pursuit of the other man.

George STRAWBRIDGE Private Soldier in the Corps of Pioneers being duly Sworn Deposes that he was a Sentrie, and seeing two men crossing the River at Hollands Ferry he informed his Officer of it, who sent some men in pursuit of them, does not recollect the Night but thinks it was about fourteen days ago.

Gilbert WILLIAMS Private Soldier in the Corps of Pioneers, being duly Sworn, deposes that being ordered by his Officer, to pursue two men that were seen on the River, came up with them and saw one of them sitting in the Snow with his Piece presented at him, on which he retreated and called to the Guard to come up, saying that they had arms

upon his retreating the man called out to him laughing God damn you do you take me for a Rebel, upon assistance coming up to him, the man laid down his Arms and Surrendered himself a Prisoner

        Question by the Prisoner to the Evidence. Was not I in Liquor?

        A. I think you was in Liquor.

John LINT Private Soldier in the Corps of Pioneers being duly Sworn deposes, that on the night of the 13th Instant, he was sent by his Officer with others in pursuit of two men supposed to be deserting

on his coming up to the Prisoner he saw him with his piece presented at Gilbert WILLIAMS, he turned the Piece from WILLIAMS and presented it at him:

on Ensign VINCENTs coming up and calling to him to Surrender he dropt his firelock, which he took up, and found it to be Cocked.

        Question by the Prisoner to the Evidence. Was not I in Liquor?

        A. You was in Liquor.

The Prisoner being put on his Defence, says that he was so intoxicated with Liquor that he does not know how he got there, that if he had any intention of Deserting he has lately had frequent opportunity as he has been upon many of the out posts— has nothing further to say but throws himself intirely upon the mercy of the Court.

The Court having considered the Evidence against the Prisoner as also his Defence, is of Opinion that the Prisoner is Guilty of the Crime laid to his Charge, being a breach of the first Article of the Sixth Section of the Articles of War, therefore Sentence him to Suffer Death.

                                       Wm. SCHUTZ Capn. Coldm. Gs.
                                         & Lieut. Col. in the Army Prest.

Charles KERR Lt.
          43d Regt.
                    D: J: A:

                              H CLINTON

Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 71, Volume 91, Pages 257–259.

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