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The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies

General Court Martial of
Thomas Stephens & Caleb Jones
Part 3 of 3

[Proceedings of a General Court Martial held by Order of Major General John CAMPBELL commanding His Majestys Forces in West Florida; by Virtue of a Warrant from His Excellency Sir Henry CLINTON Knight of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, General and Commander in Chief of all His Majestys Forces within the Colonies laying on the Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to West Florida inclusive &c. &c. &c.]

Captain JONES being put on his Defence produced it in Writing, which being read is as follows—

Mr. President and Gentlemen
of the Court.

Defence—     I am under unfeigned concern, to have unwarily been the occasion of giving you the present Trouble.

It has ever been my Wish and I have earnestly endeavoured as far as in me lay to pay the strictest Obedience to the Orders of my Commanding Officer, not more from a Sense of my Duty, than from the personal Respect I have ever retained for Colonel ALLEN.

In the present Affair I declare to you Gentlemen, that I had no Conception of giving Offence by requesting Permission to absent myself from the Parade on the Evening of the third Instant.

The Distance between Colonel ALLEN and myself prevented me from hearing the positive Orders which the Colonel has been pleased to declare to the Court he gave me; nor did [I] know that my Conduct was offensive untill I was Ordered into Arrest.

The next Morning I requested of Captain KENEDY to wait on Colonel ALLEN, and to assure him that if I had done wrong, my Error proceeded from a total Misunderstanding on my Part, and therefore that I was ready to make any Apology, which was in my Power as a Gentleman and an Officer, and such as I hoped would be satisfactory to him;

this Captain KENEDY will prove in his Evidence, as also that the Colonel declared to him he did not believe that I wished to insult him;

that he would not have taken so much Notice of my Conduct, had not an Officer of the Waldeck Regiment been present.

I waited the whole day, flattering flattering [sic] myself that by the personal Interview I had requested, I should be enabled to satisfy the Colonel with Regard to my Conduct: but I was disappointed in my Hopes, the Interview being refused.

The next Morning I wrote a Letter to Colonel ALLEN, a Copy whereof I now beg Leave to lay before the Court for their Consideration, which apologized for my Conduct on the Monday Evening, and contained every Concession it was in my Power to make;

this Letter I sent to the Colonel by Lieutenant TOWNSHEND of my own Company to whom I read the Letter, who will prove to the Court the Delivery thereof, and will acquaint you with his Answer.

Mr. President and Gentleman [sic]

It is not my Wish to give you any unnecessary Trouble, I acknowledge my having erred through misconception, but I flatter myself, I even dare to be persuaded, that the Concessions which I have made to Colo. ALLEN, will fully exculpate me with a Court composed of Officers, whose Length of Service and Experience will enable them to distinguish between a Misconception of Orders and a premeditated Intention to disobey them

                                                Caleb JONES Captn.
                                                United Corps P & M Lsts.

Copy of a Letter from Captn. JONES to Colo. ALLEN

Camp, Fort George 5th July 1780.


I flattered myself Yesterday that I should have had it in my Power, by the Honor of a personal Interview to convince you that no Part of my Conduct on the Parade on Monday Evening proceeded from Disrespect to your Person or Rank, or the most distant Wish to give you Offence, but wholly from a Misunderstanding on my Part.

Conscious of the Innocence of my Intentions, I therefore think it a Duty I owe to my own Honor to take this Method of conveying to you my Sentiments, and at the same Time to apologize will all possible Respect for any Trouble which I have given you on the Occasion.

A Concession of this Nature made to a Man of Honor and Delicacy, by one who has always been desirous to cultivate your Friendship, will I am persuaded be satisfactory, and I cannot but believe will convince you of the Sincerity and Respect wherewith I have the Honor to be, Sir

Your most obedient
& most humble Servant

Lieut. Colo. ALLEN

Lieutenant TOWNSHEND of my own Company, who will have the honor to deliver you this Letter is acquainted with its Contents, and will with great Pleasure being me any Answer which you may think proper to entrust him with.

Evidence—     Captain Patrick KENEDY of the United Corps of Pensylvania and Maryland Loyalists being duly Sworn deposeth that on Tuesday the 4th of July in the Morning Captn. JONES requested him to wait on Colonel ALLEN to acquaint him that he (Captain JONES) was exceedingly concerned for what had passed the Evening before;

that he hoped Colonel ALLEN would not think he meant to offer him any Insult or Affront, and that he was ready to make him any Concessions in his Power:

the Colonel then told him it was too late, and that he was determined to see what a Court Martial would do:

the Colonel repeated the Transaction of the preceeding Evening, which he had not heard the Particulars of before.

He (the Evidence) again repeated that he believed from Captain JONES’s Report to him, that he never meant to offer him any Insult or Affront on that occasion:

the Colonel again repeated that the Insult was very gross, and aggravated by the Presence of an Officer of the Regiment of Waldeck.

He again repeated that he was certain Captain JONES did not intend an Insult; and that he believed Captain JONES was somewhat Merry on the Occasion of the good News, and therefore hoped he would take the Matter into Consideration;

the Colonel seemed to hesitate, which gave him Room to hope that he would overlook the Matter, and receive Concessions.

When he returned to Captn. JONES with the Account of what had passed, he told him that he believed and hoped that the Colonel did not look upon it as a designed Insult in him.

Sentence—     The Court having maturely considered the Evidence against the Prisoner Captain Caleb JONES, together with his Defence is of Opinion that he is guilty of the Crime laid to his Charge, which being a Breach of the 5th Article of the Second Section of the Articles of War he is thereby cashiered.

The Court considering the Situation of Capt. JONES, he having from Motives of Loyalty and Affection to his King and Country left his Family and Fortune in Maryland, also acknowledging his Error, and wanting to attone for it, beg Leave to recommend him to His Excellency the Commander in Chief’s known Lenity.

W: STIELL Lt. Colo:
3rd Batt: 60th Foot

     H. CLINTON.

Click here for ---> United Corps Court Martial, Part 1

                               United Corps Court Martial, Part 2

Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 71, Volume 92, Pages 188-206.

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