Head-Quarters, Morristown, March 31st 1777.
Parole: Reading.Countersign: Bethlehem.
The General Court Martial held at Woodbridge the 28th Inst:, whereof Col. Martin was President, for the trial of Capt: Will: Work of the 12th Pennsylvania Regt accused of “Misbehaviour and Cowardice, in an Action with the Enemy, on Carman’s hill, near Bonum-Town, on the 8th Instant”—The Court after mature consideration, are of opinion that the prisoner is Guilty, and sentence the said Capt: Work to be cashiered, and dismissed the service, as a person unfit for a military Command.1
His Excellency approves the sentence, and orders the said Capt: Work forthwith to depart the Camp.
Capt: Henry Fister of the German Battalion, tried by the same General Court Martial for “Quitting his Company and Regiment, being absent from both a fortnight, without leave from his commanding officer”—After mature consideration, the Court are of opinion, the said Capt: Fister is Guilty; and sentence him to be dismissed the service.2
His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence.
The Commander in Chief is pleased to make the following promotions in the Regiment of Cavalry from Virginia. viz. Theoderick Bland Esqr: Major, Comdt to be Colonel thereof. Capt: Benjamin Temple of the 2nd Troop is appointed the Lt Col. Capt: John Jameson of the 3rd Troop is appointed the Major. Lieut: Cuth: Harrison of the 2nd Troop is appointed Captain of the same. Lieut: Alexander S: Dandridge of the 4th is appointed Captain of the 3rd. Lieut: John Belfield of the 5th is appointed Captain of the 6th; vacant by the resignation of Capt: Nelson. Cornet William Lindsay of the 3rd Troop is appointed Lieutenant of the same. Cornet William Watts of the 4th is appointed Lieut: of the same. Cornet Henry Peyton of the 5th is appointed Lieutenant of the same. Cornet Henry Clements of the 6th is appointed Lieut: of the second. Mr Cole Diggs, Cadet, is appointed Cornet of the 3rd Troop. Mr Robert Yauncey, Cadet, is appointed Cornet of the 4th Troop.3
Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. William Work was appointed a captain in the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment in October 1776. During Gen. William Maxwell’s skirmish with a British force near Bonhamtown, N.J., on 8 Mar., “Col. Cook [William Cooke] of the Pennsylvanians [12th Pennsylvania Regiment] had been ordered from Matuching [Metuchen] to come down on Carman’s Hill and keep along the heights till he met the enemy.” Cooke’s regiment and other American troops subsequently engaged an advanced party of the British force which was posted on Punkhill, and the skirmishing increased as other troops from both sides joined in the fighting. Maxwell claimed that he drove the British back toward Amboy “in great confusion” (N.J. Archives description begins Documents Relating to the Colonial, Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary History of the State of New Jersey. 42 vols. Newark and Trenton, 1880–1949. description ends , 2d ser., 1:318–20; see also Lydenberg, Robertson Diaries description begins Harry Miller Lydenberg, ed. Archibald Robertson, Lieutenant-General Royal Engineers: His Diaries and Sketches in America, 1762–1780. New York, 1930. description ends , 125, and Kemble Papers description begins [Stephen Kemble]. The Kemble Papers. 2 vols. New York, 1884-85. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 16–17. description ends , 1:111).
2. Henry Fister was appointed a captain in the German Battalion in July 1776.
3. These officers of the 1st Continental Light Dragoon Regiment, except Digges and Yancey, were commissioned initially by the fifth Virginia convention in June 1776 (see Scribner and Tarter, Revolutionary Virginia description begins William J. Van Schreeven et al., eds. Revolutionary Virginia: The Road to Independence. A Documentary Record. 7 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1973–83. description ends , 7:474–77, 488–89), and they were taken into Continental service on 14 Jan. 1777 (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 7:34). John Jameson (1751-1810) of Culpeper County, Va., who was wounded near Valley Forge in January 1778, served as major of the 1st Continental Light Dragoons until July 1780 when he became lieutenant colonel of the 2d Continental Light Dragoons (see GW to the Board of War, 15 July 1780, DLC:GW). Jameson remained in service until 1783. Cuthbert (“Cuddy”) Harrison (c.1758–1815) of Brunswick County, Va., apparently resigned his captaincy in the 1st Continental Light Dragoons in the fall of 1778, and Alexander Spotswood Dandridge (1753–1785) of Hanover County, Va., a former aide-de-camp to Patrick Henry, resigned his commission as a captain in the regiment in April 1780 (see ibid., 16:363–64). Dandridge, having married Gen. Adam Stephen’s daughter in 1779, later settled in Berkeley County, Virginia. John Belfield (1725–1805) of Richmond County, Va., was promoted to major of the 3d Continental Dragoons in 1781, and he retired from the army in November 1782. John Nelson (1748–1827) of Yorktown, Va., who was a son of Thomas Nelson, Sr., the former secretary of the colony of Virginia, had resigned his commission as a captain in the 1st Continental Light Dragoons in February 1777. In December 1779 Nelson was appointed major commandant of a Virginia state regiment of cavalry, which he commanded until February 1782. William Lindsay, who was wounded near Valley Forge in January 1778, became a captain in Maj. Henry Lee’s Corps of Partisan Light Dragoons in April 1778 (see ibid., 10:315), and he resigned his commission the following October. William Watts (d. 1816) was promoted to captain in the 1st Continental Light Dragoons in 1779. He was wounded at the Battle of Eutaw Springs in September 1781, and he retired from the army in November 1782. Henry Peyton became a captain in Lee’s Corps of Partisan Light Dragoons in April 1778 and major of Lee’s Legion by January 1781 (see ibid., 10:315, 18:1023–24, and Henry Lee to Nathanael Greene, 25 Jan. 1781, in Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 7:197). Henry Haggard Clements resigned his commission as a lieutenant in the 1st Continental Light Dragoons in November 1777, and Cole Digges (1754–1817) resigned as a cornet in May 1778. Clements apparently served as a lieutenant in the 1st Maryland Regiment in 1781 and 1782 and in the 5th Maryland Regiment in 1783. Robert Yancey (1750–1824), who acted as regimental quartermaster and paymaster for the 1st Continental Dragoons during 1777, was promoted to lieutenant in late 1778 and captain in June 1779. Captured at Charleston in May 1780, Yancey was not exchanged until the end of the war.