General Court Martial of John Arrensdt
Monday the 28th Feby. 1780.
The Court being met pursuant to Adjournment.
The Prisoner being put upon his Defence Says that he served fourteen Years in a Brunswick Regiment Commanded by Major Baron De BERNER and that in the Year 1775 he was sent over to Canada to Serve His Britanick Majesty;
that in the Year 1777 he served in the Army under Lieut. General BURGOYNE, and was made prisoner by the Convention at Saratoga.
Being hard put upon by American Usurpers, he resolved to make his escape and join the British Army again; that he came into New York in May 1779.
Inlisted in the Troop of Hussars, Commanded by Capt. De DEIMAR, in which Service he always chearfully and faithfully executed the Orders of his Superiors.
That some time in Septr. last he was ordered to go on a piquet at Kings Bridge with a Corporal and Six other men, to be Commanded at that time by Lieut. ALBUS that being called out the first man, and of course No. 1, he said that the Corporal and the other Six Men, were always ready to Sacrifice the last drop of blood for the Service of his Majesty;
but that that Piquet could not go under the Command of Lieut. ALBUS before a legal Enquiry, was made into the conduct of the said Lieut. ALBUS, which they thought their duty to declare, to be detrimental and disgraceful to His Majesty’s Service; and wantonly endangering the Lives of His Soldiers which they thought themselves able, and in duty bound to prove.
Whereupon he (ARRENDST) was ordered to be confined, and the whole Troop followed him to the Guard, declaring that his (ARRENDEST) Sentiments, were fully their own, which they do still declare, and are willing upon all occasions (agreeable) to their duty to Sacrifice the last drop of Blood in their Veins for His Majesty’s Service under the Command of any lawful Officer except Lieut. ALBUS—untill his Conduct is enquired into.
That two hours after he (the Prisoner ARRENDST) was confined, General MATHEWS arrived at Kingsbridge;
and after he was informed of the affair, he (ARRENDST) was released from his Confinement and ordered by Capt. De DIEMAR to go on his duty, which he immediately comply’d with, and went on the Piquet.
That he continued doing duty with the Troop, from that time till he was sent Prisoner to the Provost at New York in Octor. last for the above mentioned reasons alledged by him, and the Six other men of the Troop of Hussars;
—all which circumstances he (the Prisr.) humbly submits to the wise, generous and humane Judgement of the Honorable Court, who are the Guardians of Justice and the Fathers of His Majesty’s Soldiers, knowing the Frailty of men erring now and then tho’ owing to a good intention for His Majesty’s Service.
Lieut. George ALBUS, of Captn. De Diemars Troop of Hussars already Sworn, was again examined, in part of the Prosecution for the Crown.
Q:(by the Court)— Was the Prisoner released from his Confinement by Capt. De DIEMAR; and ordered to do his Duty by him, after he was confined on the 13th Novemr. Last, for Mutiny?
Q: Did the Prisoner do duty after the 14th Novr. & how long?
Q: Was the Prisoner confined for the Second disobedience of Orders, on the 14th November?
Corporal Christian GUNDELAU already Sworn was examined, for the Prisr. John ARENDST.
Q:(by the Prisr.)— Did not he (the Prisoner) do duty with him after he had been released from his Confinement for mutiny at Kingsbridge?
Q: Did he (the Witness) hear the Prisoner say that he would not be Commanded by Lieut. ALBUS?
Q:(by the Court)— Does he know who released the Prisoner?
Serjeant Fredk. DAUBENHEINE, of Capt. De DIEMAR’s Troop of Hussars, already sworn was again examined.
Q:(by the Prisoner)— Does he the Witness know by whose order the Prisoner was released after he had been in Confinement for mutiny at Kingsbridge?
John PROWMAN, private Soldier, of Capt. De DIEMARs Troop of Hussars, being duly Sworn was examined.
Q:(by the Prisoner)— Did not he (the Prisr.) do duty with the Troop after he had been released from his Confinement for mutiny, at Kings Bridge?
Q:(by the Court)— By whose Order was the Prisoner released?
Q: Does he (the Witness) know, who order’d the prisoner in Confinement on Long Island, and who ordered him to be brought Prisoner to New York.
The Court Adjourned ‘till Tuesday the 29th Febry. 1780 at 11 o’Clock in the morning.
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