Academic journal article Transactions of the American Philosophical Society

APPENDIX A: General Courts-Martial in George Washington's Main Army 1775-1778

Academic journal article Transactions of the American Philosophical Society

APPENDIX A: General Courts-Martial in George Washington's Main Army 1775-1778

Article excerpt

The United States Army judge advocate general, or his deputy, was mandated by Section XIV, Article 3 of the September 26,1776 Articles ofWar to prosecute all general courts-martial in the name of the United States of America. William Tudor was appointed in July 1775 as the Army's first judge advocate. Upon Tudor's resignation, John Laurance served as judge advocate general from April 10,1777 until June 6,1782. From July 4,1775 until war's end, the commander-in-chieFs daily general orders communicated general courts-martial dates, presiding officers, outcomes, and sentences to his Main Army.

Over the first three months of the six-month Valley Forge winter of 1777/1778, courts-martial incidence increased dramatically as General Washington employed military justice to sustain Main Army discipline until Prussian drillmaster Baron von Steuben's parade-ground protocols took hold. To quantify this phenomenon, the author has aggregated general courts-martial incidence in General Washington's Main Army on a quarterly basis from second quarter 1775 through the fourth quarter of 1778, as communicated in Washington's daily general orders. …

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