Revolutionary War Courts-Martial, 1775-1783

This record collection in Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) contains the records of 3,315 men who ran afoul of their superiors in some way and were tried for their infractions before a military court. It will likely be of interest even if your ancestor managed to steer clear of the military justice machine!

Battle of Guilford Courthouse (NPS.gov photo)
Battle of Guilford Courthouse (NPS.gov photo)

You can search this record collection for individuals, or you can search using Keywords or Comments. For example, you can search for offenses committed:

SEARCH—KEYWORD: desertion (Exact) 1,020 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: stealing (Exact) 230 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: disobedience (Exact) 198 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: mutiny (Exact) 160 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: absent (Exact) 115 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: abusing (Exact) 105 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: drunk (Exact) 82 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: robbery (Exact) 17 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: spy (Exact) 9 hits

You can also search for punishments handed down:

SEARCH—KEYWORD: lashes (Exact) 1,468 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: “death by shooting” 240 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: dismissed (Exact) 118 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: cashiered (Exact) 80 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: drummed (Exact) 50 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: hanging (Exact) 38 hits
SEARCH—KEYWORD: irons (Exact) 11 hits

You may use Ancestry LE at Central Library or any of our branches.

Here’s a complete list of SLPL reference databases.

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