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Court Martial of private Michael Meany

Court Martial of private Michael Meany, New York, August 1782


Michael Meaney Private Soldier in the Twenty Second Regiment of Foot, was brought Prisoner before the Court, Charged with Desertion. The Prisoner pleaded not Guilty, and the following Witnesses were examined in support of the Accusation.

Serjeant John Andrews of the Twenty Second Regiment of Foot, being duly Sworn, deposed that he has known the Prisoner (Michael Meany) some months; that he has received Pay and Cloathing as other Soldiers in the 22d Regiment; that on the 23d of July last, he ordered the Corporal to inform Lieut: Carr, the Officer Commanding at Sandy Hook, that the Prisoner was Absent from his Post; that he saw no more of him from the time mentioned till the 25th, when he was brought in Prisoner by two Refugees.

Clayton Tilton, a Refugee from Monmouth County in the Province of New Jersey, being duly Sworn, deposed that he knows the Prisoner (Michael Meany); that he was the person who was in Company with, and taken up by him (the deponent) with Corporal Tucker of the 57th Regiment, and delivered up as a Deserter to Lieut: Carr Commanding the Post at Sandy hook; that he had on his Regimental and Side Arms at the time he was discovered on the Shore.

Joseph Price, a Refugee from the County of Monmouth in New Jersey, being duly Sworn, deposed that he knew the Prisoner (Michael Meany) that he was the person he(the deponent) in Company with Mr. Tilton discovered on the Shore on the 25th of July last, and was delivered up in Company with Corporal Tucker of the 57th Regiment by him(the deponent) and Mr. Tilton, as a Deserter to Lieut: Carr, Commanding the Post at Sandy Hook.
Q: from the Court What distance was the place he took the Prisoner, from the Post at Sandy Hook?
A: Between five and Six Miles.

The Prisoner Michael Meany being called to and put on his Defence, says he had no intention to Desert; that he was in liquor when he went away; that both himself and Corporal Tucker crossed the Water to come back at the hazard of their lives, and would have returned before, but waited in hopes of pursuading the other man to return, who refused, but they nevertheless brought over his Cloathes and refused to give him them, as he would not return.

Lieutenant Carr, already Sworn, being called to before the Court again, was examined;
Q: by the Court When the Prisoner and Corporal Tucker were brought back to the Post, had they any Cloaths belonging to the other man who did not return?
A: He recollects they had some Cloaths belonging to the person alluded to, but he did not pay particular attention to them.

Serjeant George Strachan of the 22d Regiment being called upon by the Prisoner in support of his Character & being duly Sworn, deposed that he has known the Prisoner upwards of two Years, & that he always, as far as came within his knowledge, supported a good Character.

The Court having heard and considered the Evidence in support of the Accusation together with what the Prisoner had to offer in his Defence is of opinion that the Prisoner Michael Meany is Guilty of the Charge brought against him in breach of the first Article of the Sixth Section of the Articles of War and do therefore Sentence him to receive Five hundred Lashes with a Cat of nine Tails in the usual manner.

E Eyre Capt. 40th Major in ye Army

Richard Porter
As. Dy. J. Advocate

Confirmed
Guy Carleton

Notes:

Michael Meany was recruited in the British Isles, and was added to the pay rolls of Colonel Gage's
company in January of 1781. After his conviction, he was pardoned on the condition that he serve
in the infantry at Senegal, Coast of Africa. [WO 12; General Orders, 24 August 1782, Benjamin
Craven orderly book, Newberry Library]

John Andrews was a carpenter from Newkilpatrick, Dunbarton, who was born in 1756 and had
served in the army since 1771. A member of the Light Infantry company of the 22d Regiment, he
was among the men captured at Yorktown in October of 1781; by January 1782 he was no longer
among the imprisoned soldiers, but it is not clear how he made his way back to New York. He was
discharged from the regiment in 1793.

George Strachan was added to the pay rolls of the regiment at the same time as Meany, having also
been recruited in the British Isles. He served in Captain Edward Handfield's company, and was
promoted to directly from private to serjeant in July of 1781.