Monday, December 22, 2008

Sodomy in the Continental Army

Head Quarters, V. Forge, Saturday, March 14, 1778.
Parole Ormskirk. Countersigns Otley, Ottery.
At a General Court Martial whereof Brigr. General McIntosh was President (10th. March) Colo. William Cook of 12th. Pennsylvania Regiment tried for disobedience of orders in sundry instances (viz) About 20th. of December last when the Enemy advanced over Schuylkill, the Brigade to which he belonged was ordered and did march towards the Enemy, but Colo. Cook absented himself from his Regiment and did not join it again whilst on that service which was near ten days. After the Regiment was incamped again for about two days, Colo. Cook after having been refused leave of absence, did without leave abscond from Camp and did not return again until a few days since. For giving leave of Absence to Officers of his Regiment and reporting them absent without leave, by which they were brought to a trial by a Court-Martial and acquitted.
The Court having maturely considered the Evidence produced are of opinion that Colo. Cook after having been refused leave of absence, did without leave absent himself from Camp and did not return until near two months after he went away being a breach of General orders of 22nd. of december last and contrary to good order and military discipline and do sentence him on account of some particular Circumstances and on account of the good character he has sustained as an officer only to be reprimanded in General orders, but acquit him of furloughing his officers and reporting them absent without leave.
The Commander in Chief approves the sentence and hopes that the disgrace to an Officer of Colo. Cook's rank of being found guilty of the Charge of quitting Camp without leave will be a sufficient reprimand.
At a General Court Martial whereof Colo. Tupper was President (10th March 1778) Lieutt. Enslin28 of Colo. Malcom's Regiment tried for attempting to commit sodomy, with John Monhort a soldier; Secondly, For Perjury in swearing to false Accounts, found guilty of the charges exhibited against him, being breaches of 5th. Article 18th. Section of the Articles of War and do sentence him to be dismiss'd the service with Infamy. His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with Abhorrence and Detestation of such Infamous Crimes orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of Camp tomorrow morning by all the Drummers and Fifers in the
[Note 28: Lieut. Frederick Gotthold Enslin.] Army never to return; The Drummers and Fifers to attend on the Grand Parade at Guard mounting for that Purpose.
At a Court of Inquiry held in the Brigade of Artillery whereof Lieutt. Colo. Strohbogh was President March 11th. 78, to examine into a Complaint exhibited by one John Willson against Captains Rice and Proctor Senior29 of Colo. Proctor's Regiment for plundering and taking by force and for permiting the soldiers to take a quantity of houshold Furniture and other Articles from the Complainant. The Court after hearing the Evidence and Altercations of the Parties are of opinion that the charges exhibited against Captains Rice and Proctor Senior are groundless, consequently the Complaint quash'd.
[Note 29: Capts. Joseph Rice and Francis Procter, sr., of the Fourth Continental Artillery.]


  1. Very interesting! Where did you find this?

  2. from George Washington's writings!

  3. See my Wikipedia entry. I authored it originally. I read a wonderful book on the subject:
    William Benemann, Male-Male Intimacy in Early America: Beyond Romantic Friendships Haworth Press, 2006