Head-Quarters Frederick’sburgh Wednesday Octr 28th 78.
Parole Narragansett—C. Signs Nobletown. Naples.
Lieutenant Job Vernon and Lieutt Andrew Little of the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment are appointed, the first Pay-Master and the second Quarter Master to the same from the 1st instant.1
A General Court-Martial of the Line to sit at or near Robinson’s House as soon as may be for the trial of Major Painter on an Appeal from a late Garrison Court-Martial held at West-Point—A Field Officer from the Virginia Line to preside—Four Captains from Muhlenberg’s Brigade five from Scott’s and three from the Garrison of West Point to attend as Members—All Evidences and Persons concern’d will attend the Court.2
At a Brigade General Court Martial held in General Clinton’s Brigade October 20th 1778. John Yeomans a soldier in Coll Dubois’s Regiment was tried for desertion and robbery—The Charge of robbery was not supported, but found guilty of desertion and sentenced to be shot to death at the head of the Brigade.
The Commander in Chief approves the sentence but is pleased to pardon said Yeomans on account of the recent instances of many criminals having been executed for breaches of military duty—which he hopes will not only deter him but every other soldier in the Army from violating his solemn obligations faithfully to serve the United-States.3
Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. Andrew Lytle (1731–1784) had been appointed a quartermaster sergeant in the 1st Battalion of Col. Samuel Miles’s Pennsylvania State Rifle Regiment in April 1776, and by the following fall he had been commissioned an ensign. Named regimental quartermaster of the Pennsylvania State Regiment in April 1777, Lytle had continued in that position after the regiment was designated the 13th Pennsylvania during the following summer. He subsequently obtained a commission as a first lieutenant ranking from 20 Jan. 1777, and transferred to the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment on 1 July 1778. Lytle transferred to the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1783, and he served until the following November. He died of camp fever in 1784.
2. For Elisha Painter’s previous conviction of unwarranted absence and neglect of duty, and his petition to GW of 14 Oct. requesting a new trial on both procedural and factual grounds, see General Orders, 13 Oct., and note 1 to that document; see also GW to William Malcom, 31 Oct., and Malcom to GW, 5 November.
3. Brig. Gen. James Clinton had referred Yeomans’s sentence to GW for confirmation in his letter to GW of 22 Oct., and GW had informed Col. Goose Van Schaick of his decision to remit the soldier’s punishment in his letter to Van Schaick of 27 October. In spite of GW’s decision, Yeomans may have been executed at the Continental Village on 2 November. The entry for 28 Oct. in the 4th New York Regiment’s orderly book reads in part: “At A Brigade Court Martial Held Octr 22nd 1778 Whereof Lt Colo Regnier was President John Yeomans of Colo Duboys’s Regt was tryed for Desertion found Guilty and Sentenced to Suffer Death. The Commander in Chief approves the Proceedings of the Court and his Execution is Differed till Next Saturday [31 Oct.] Morning 12 OClock” (Lauber, Orderly Books of the Fourth and Second New York Regiments description begins Almon W. Lauber, ed. Orderly Books of the Fourth New York Regiment, 1778-1780, the Second New York Regiment, 1780-1783, by Samuel Tallmadge and Others, with Diaries of Samuel Tallmadge, 1780-1782, and John Barr, 1779-1782. Albany, 1932. description ends , 37). The entry for 1 Nov. in that orderly book includes the following order: “Tomorrow being the Day Appointed for the Execution of John Yomans Now Under Sentence of Death, the Brigade will be Under Arms Percisely at 11 OClock and attend the Ceremony” (Lauber, Orderly Books of the Fourth and Second New York Regiments description begins Almon W. Lauber, ed. Orderly Books of the Fourth New York Regiment, 1778-1780, the Second New York Regiment, 1780-1783, by Samuel Tallmadge and Others, with Diaries of Samuel Tallmadge, 1780-1782, and John Barr, 1779-1782. Albany, 1932. description ends , 39).