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General Court Martial of John McKinnon

At a General Court Martial held at Camp at Flushing Fly on Long Island in the Province of New York, on the fifth day of September in the Year of our Lord Seventeen hundred and seventy eight, and continued by several Adjournments to the Twenty fifth of the same Month, by Virtue of the Special Warrant of His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton, Knight 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 &c &c &c bearing date the fourth day of September, in the Year of our Lord Seventeen hundred and Seventy eight.

Colonel Gabriel LUDLOW President
Lieut. Colonel HEWLETT M     Major MENZIES
Capt. ALLISON E     Capt. KERR
Capt. JONES M     Capt. FRENCH
Capt. KEY B     Capt. YELVERTON
Lieut. BLANEY E     Lieut. CLOWES
Lieut. ACK R     Lieut. SINCLAIR
Graton DULANY Captain Deputy Judge Advocate

The President and Members being met, and duly Sworn, the Judge Advocate being also sworn, and Prosecuting in His Majesty's Name.

Prisoner—     Captain John McKINNON of His Majesty’s Battalion of Roman Catholic Volunteers commanded by Lieutenant Colonel CLIFTON, came Prisoner before the Court and the following Charge was exhibited against him.

Crime—     That he the said John McKINNON had behaved in an ungentlemanlike manner. Which Charge of ungentlemanlike behaviour was confined to the following Articles, first Plundering in the Jerseys; Second Suffering himself to be kicked by Captain McEVOY of the same Corps, on a Parade, without properly resenting it.

Evidence—     Lieut. CONNELL of the Roman Catholic Volunteers informs the Court that he saw Captain McEVOY Kick Captain McKINNON (the Prisoner) on the Parade. That he immediately arrested them, before Captain McKINNON (as he believes) could have resented it. That they both begged he would not inform the Major of it, and Captain McEVOY added, they might make it up amicably. Said if he had used any Gentleman ill, he was willing to ask his Pardon. Shook Hands with the Prisoner, and wished all malice a part, in Consequence of which he (the Evidence) released them from the Arrest.

Evidence for Prisoner     Capt. MORRIGAN of the Roman Catholic Volunteers Confirms the Evidence of Lieutenant CONNELL, with regard to Captain McEVOY’s kicking the Prisoner, and adds, that the prisoner told Capt. McEVOY he would not fight him, untill he cleared up his Character that Lieutenant CONNELL immediately arrested them. That he has seen them since seemingly on good terms.

Evidence—     Lieut. KEAN of the Roman Catholic Volunteers informs the Court that Capt. McEVOY in his presence begged pardon of Captain McKINNON for having kick’d him; said he was sorry for what had happened, and shook hands with him.

Evidence—     Lieut. WILSON of the Roman Catholic Volunteers, informs the Court, that in a Field on which the Roman Catholic Regiment Encamped upon the march through the Jerseys, two Cows had been left inclosed by some Light Dragoons, who said they were to be delivered to the Commissary; that the Prisoner’s Servant took one of them, and led her through the Jerseys to Sandy Hook.

Evidence—     Capt. McCULLOCH of the Roman Catholic Volunteers confirms the Evidence of Lieutenant WILSON, and adds that Capt. McKINNON shewed him a Letter, from the Major, in which he told him to deliver the Cow to the Quarter Master of the Regiment, if he desired the Affair to be Suppressed.

Evidence—     Thomas McANELLY Soldier in the Roman Catholic Regiment, and Servant to Captain McKINNON, informs the Court, that the Prisoner’s Girl ordered him to take the Cow, and lead her through the Jerseys. That she afterwards disposed of her in York. That he had heard, the prisoner say, he would have nothing to do with the Cow.

Defence—     The Prisoner being on his Defence, denies having taken the Cow, or Claimed her as his property. That he informed Commissary CHRISTY, that his Girl had got a Cow in the Jerseys, he answered, she was very welcome to it, he never took a Cow from an Officer, or an Officer’s Girl.

With regard to the other Article of the Charge the Prisoner says that on the Afternoon of which the Affair between Captain McEVOY and himself happened, they had both drank too freely. That some provoking Speeches passed between them upon which Lieutenant CONNELL put them both under Arrest. That Captain McEVOY who was the Aggressor, the same afternoon begged his pardon in the presence of Lieut. CONNEL, and Lieutenant KEAN, shook Hands with him, and said he was sorry for what happened. That Capt. McEVOY repeatedly told him, the next morning, that he was sorry for what had happened.

The Court having duly weigh’d the Evidence for, and against the Prisoner, are of Opinion that he is Guilty of the Charge, and do therefore Sentence him to be Discharged from His Majesty’s Service, according to the twenty third Article of the fifteenth Section of the Articles of War.

                                       G. G. LUDLOW Col.

Grafton DULANY acting
   Depy. Judge Advocate

                       Confirmed H CLINTON

Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 71, Volume 87, pages 173-176.

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