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General Court Martial of Patrick Snow

At a General Court Martial held at New York in the province of New York, on Saturday the 1st of February, and continued by Adjournment to Tuesday March the 4th, 1777, by virtue of a Warrant bearing date the 31st Ultimo, frorn His Excellency Sir William HOWE 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 &c &c &c

Lieutenant Colonel John MAXWELL, 27th Regiment of Foot President
Capt. John WEBSTER 4th Foot M Capt. William COTTON 27th Foot
Capt. John LEMOINE R Artillery E Capt. Francis NEEDHAM 17th Dragoons
Capt. Gerard LAWRENCE 57th Foot M Capt. Charles BROWNLOW 57th Foot
Capt. Edward HUBBARD 45 Foot B Capt. George GILLMAN 27th Foot
Lieut. John MALLORN 57th Foot E Lieut. David HAY 57th Foot
Lieut. Alexr. SHAND R. Artillery R Lieut. James HUSSEY 17th Dragoons
Stephen Payne ADYE Esqr. Deputy Judge Advocate

The President, Members and Judge Advocate being duly sworn,

Patrick SNOW, private Soldier in His Majesty's Regiment of Royal Highland Emigrants, was brought before the Court, and accused of having deserted frorn the said Regiment. And the following Witnesses examined in support of the accusation vizt.

Corporal Thomas LANE of His Majesty's 38th Regt. of Foot, being duly sworn, deposed that he was left sick at Halifax, when the Troops embarked from thence; and upon getting well he with other convalescents, were formed into Companies; that at this time the Prisoner was a Serjeant in the Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment, but he was afterwards reduced; and as the Convalescents did duty with the Highland Emigrants, the Witness himself has often posted the Prisoner as a Centinel, and has seen him doing other duties, as a Soldier in the said Regiment, that four or five days ago, as he was passing along the Streets of this Town, he met the Prisoner but as he was a Stout man and the Witness but weak he did not chuse to take him up immediately, but persuaded him to go with him into the Hospital and then calling another man to his assistance, they walked together to the Provost Guard, and after he had got him into the Provost Martial's room, he taxed him in his presence with being a Deserter, which he did not deny; that he gave him the bounty money for apprehending him.

        Q. Does he know hilll to have received pay as it Soldier?

        A. He never saw him receive pay.

        Q. Was the prisoner cloathed as a Soldier in that Regt.?

        A. Yes.

        Q. Did he hear of the prisoner's having deserted before [he] left Halifax?

        A. Yes, the Serjeant Major of the Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment told him that he had deserted, and that he believed him to be in the fleet; in which the Witness was coming from Halifax to New York, and therefore desired him to look after him.

William CUNNINGHAM, Provost Martial, being duly sworn, deposed that about four or five days ago, Corporal LANE brought the Prisoner to the Provost Guard, and informed him that he was a deserter from the Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment; that the Witness then questioned him, as to his having been in that Regiment, and he at first hesitated; but afterwards confess'd that he had been in that Regiment; and on being ask'd. How he came to desert from it, he answered that he had been ill used; and that he thought himself still in the service, by being on board a transport Ship.

The Prisoner being put upon his defence said that he was Mate of a Vessel, on the Newfoundland Station; when going one night on Shore, and falling in with some of the Soldiers of the Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment, he was made drunk, and when he wanted to go on board his Ship, they told him that he was inlisted, and that he must go with them, and when he was brought to Capt. McKENNON, he told him that he should have no reason to lament his being inlisted, for he would make him a Serjeant, and he was accordingly made a Serjeant, but upon his getting drunk, he was again reduced to a private Soldier; that he never received any pay, except three Dollars which the Serjeant Major gave him to buy Shirts; that having been brought up to Sea from the age of 14, and knowing nothing of the duty of a Soldier, he wish'd to Serve in a Station, that he could be of Service in, and came in a transport Ship in the service of Government from Halifax to New York, and was belonging to her, at the time he was taken up; that he never heard the Articles of War read, nor was he ever to his own knowledge, attested before a Magistrate or any other person.

The Court having duly considered the evidence against the Prisoner Patrick SNOW, 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, and doth therefore adjudge him, the said Patrick SNOW, to receive three hundred lashes on his bare back with a Cat of nine tails.

                                       John MAXWELL Presd.

Step: P: ADYE
   Deputy Judge Advocate

                       W HOWE

Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 71, Volume 83, Pages 157-160.

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