General Court Martial of John Bayard
“Saturday March 28th 1778.
“The Court met according to Adjournment & having compared the fair Proceedings “with the foul Copy, and considered the Evidences, the following Questions were put by the Judge “Advocate.
"First Question on the fact.
"To be revised
“The Court met according to Order to revise their Proceedings—Adjourn’d at three “o’Clock to the following day.
“The Court met according to Adjournment and having duly revised the Sentence “they had given, are of opinion that according to Circumstances, the distinction of the Law being “thoroughly considered, they could not have acted otherwise. Yet laying those distinctions aside, and “acting entirely as a Military Court; they are of opinion the Prisoner Lieut. Col. BAYARD, is Guilty of “wounding Lieut. Col. BIRD, of which wound He died. And do therefore Sentence him to be “Cashier’d as Lieut. Colonel of the Orange Rangers.
And I am thereupon Commanded to Signify to your Excellency, that although the Prisoner Lieutenant Colonel John BAYARD was not expressly arraigned upon a Charge of Murther, yet as the Court Martial appears throughout the Trial to have that point particularly in view and has actually declared him not Guilty of Murther, but of Manslaughter only, the King considers this declaration of the Court, as a compleat Acquittal of the Prisoner from the Crime of Murther, and His Majesty is pleased to confirm the said Acquittal, which seems to be warranted by the Evidence.
The King does not think fit to ratify the opinion of the Court, by which the Prisoner is found Guilty of manslaughter (a distinction peculiar to the Common Law of England) nor the Judgment of the Court, whereby the Prisoner is Sentenced to be Cashiered; but is graciously pleased absolutely to remit the same, and to Order, that the Prisoner Lieutenant Colonel John BAYARD be released from his Arrest.
I have the honor to be,