George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 29 September 1776

From Major General William Heath

Kingsbridge Sept. 29th 1776

Dear General

Inclosed I send your Excellency the report of the Court Martial, which I laid before you the Last Evening, with the addition of another report Given in this morning, I have Passed upon all the Sentences in the first report Except that of McCormick and on all in the Second Report, Except the Lieutenants, I Should be Happy to Know your Excellency’s Opinion, not only with respect to the Present, But also future Tryalls of offenders in this Division, which I should be glad to Know as Soon as is agreable to your Excellency, as there are many Prisoners yet untried.1 I have the Honor to be with great respect &c.

W. Heath

ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1The two enclosed reports contain proceedings of the court-martial over which Col. John Lasher presided at King’s Bridge on 26, 27, and 28 September. The first report, which covers 26–27 Sept., is in DLC:GW, and the second one, covering 28 Sept., is in MHi: Heath Papers. Adj. Gen. Joseph Reed returned the second report to Heath on 1 Oct. (see Reed to Heath, that date, in Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 2:827–28). James McCormick, a soldier in the 16th Continental Regiment who had been convicted of desertion in early August, was found guilty on 26 Sept. of mutiny and attempted desertion during the retreat from Horn’s Hook several days earlier, and he was sentenced to die (see report for 26–27 Sept., DLC:GW, and General Orders, 6 Aug. and 1 Oct.). GW approved that sentence in an undated statement that he wrote and signed on the report following the part concerning McCormick. Lt. Thomas Younkman of Col. Henry Haller’s 2d Pennsylvania Flying Camp Regiment and Lt. Oliver Mildeberger of Col. Lasher’s regiment of New York levies were sentenced on 28 Sept. to be cashiered for being absent from their regiments without leave. Mildeberger also was fined one month’s pay (see report for 28 Sept., MHi: Heath Papers). GW’s aide-de-camp William Grayson informed Heath in a letter of 1 Oct. that GW had approved McCormick’s and the two officers’ sentences. “I have it further in command,” Grayson wrote, “to acquaint you, that whenever any prisoners in your division are charged with capital offenses, that it will be adviseable to send them here [GW’s headquarters] for tryal; in other instances you are to proceed as heretofore” (MHi: Heath Papers).

Index Entries