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General Court Martial of Edward Bayley/Bailey

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


Edward BAYLEY, private Soldier in His Majesty's 63d Regt. of Foot, was brought prisoner before the Court, and accused of having deserted from the said Regt. and the following Witnesses were examined in support of the Charge Viz:


Serjeant William BUTTERWORTH of the said 63d Regt. of Foot, being duly sworn, deposed that he knew the Prisoner to have received Pay as a Soldier in the 63d Regimt., and that on the 5th Inst. he was sent to the Redoubt No. 8 & the Witness did not see him again till he apprehended him on the 9th Instant near the Quarters of the Yagers, which is about two Miles from those of the 63d Regt. that upon his apprehending him and asking him what had induced him to quit his guard, he said that he had left his Blanket and pouch upon a Bush, & that when he returned to look for them, he found that they had been taken away, & he was afraid to go to the Guard without them.


Jonas PRICE private Soldier in the 63d Regimt. of Foot being duly sworn deposed that having information of the prisoner being in a certain House, he went with Serjt. BUTTERWORTH in Search of him, and was there informed, that he had been gone from thence about half an hour, that by tracing his footsteps in the Snow they found him at another House about two Miles from the one they had made the enquiry at.

        Q. Was the house they found him in, in the way to the quarters of the Regt. from the one they first enquired at?

        A. No, quite the Contrary.


        Q. Were the things that he said he had left on the Bush, ever found?

        A. No, not that he knows of.


Serjt. William MULLINS of the 63d Regt. of Foot being duly sworn, deposed, that the Prisoner was on guard with him at the Redoubt No. 8 on the 5th Instant, that he saw him in the Guard room about a quarter before two in the Afternoon, but upon calling the Roll at three, the Prisoner was absent & the Witness did not see him again till he was brought as Prisoner to the Regiment by Serjeant BUTTERWORTH on the 9th Instant.

        Q. Did the Prisoner apply to him for leave to go into Town, or tell him that he had left his pouch and Blanket on a Bush?

        A. No.


        Q. Did he leave his Arms and Accoutrements?

        A. He left his firelock & Bayonet but carried off his pouch & Blanket.


        Q. Did all the Men of that guard, Carry out their Provisions that day?

        A. The Witness himself and the generality of the Men did, he cannot say positively whether the Prisoner did, but there was an Order for them all to do it.


Lieut. John MONEY Adjt. of the 63d Regt. of Foot being duly sworn, deposed, that the prisoner was reported to him on the 6th Instant as having left his guard the day before & on the 8th Instant upon receiving Information of his having been seen, Serjeant BUTTERWORTH and another man were sent the next Morning in search of him & brought him in. That the Prisoner was tried in June last for Desertion, & Sentenced a thousand Lashes but pardoned.

        Q. At the time the prisoner was brought back, was he drunk or Sober?

        A. He was quite Sober.


The Prisoner being put upon his Defence, said that having no bread, he went into Town in Order to get some, & was away about an hour and half, that in his way to town he left his Blanket and pouch under a Bush & when he returned he found that they had been taken away & he was afraid to go back either to his Guard, or to his Regiment, but went to a house near the Bettering House, where he lay till Monday Morning the 9th Instant & being then almost starved, he went in search of a bit of bread, but not being able to get any he was returning to the Regiment when Serjeant BUTTERWORTH took him.


The Court having considered the Evidence for & against the Prisoner Edward BAILEY, 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 Edward BAILEY, to receive one thousand Lashes on his bare back with Cats of nine tails.

                                       James WEBSTER
                                       Lt. Col. 33d Regt.

Step. P: ADYE
   D. Judge Advocate

                       Confirmed
                       W. HOWE



Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 71, Volume 85, pages 269272.

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