New York: May 14-15, 1783.
[Letter:] 1pp, plus integral blank. [General Order:] 1p. Folio and 4to. Old fold lines. Minor soiling and wear. Very good Item #354158
Letter, signed by Brigadier General Guy Carleton, written to Brigadier General Alured Clarke regarding clemency for deserters from the British Army at the end of the American Revolution; together with orders for General Clarke from Deputy Adjutant General Frederick Mackenzie, dated May 14th, to deny any deserters wishing to return to the ranks.
At the time, Carleton, who was Commander in Chief of all British forces in North America, was overseeing the evacuation of the British forces and Loyalists from New York, a process that would last until November. He writes: "I enclose a copy of an order I have given here relative to deserters: Such as come in and surrender themselves to the officer commanding at any of our posts, shall be pardoned in like manner. You will take such measures for the transportation of the sick from Philadelphia to this place, as, from their numbers and other circumstances, you shall judge most convenient and adviseable, paying some attention to their own wishes." The enclosed order from General Mackenzie, however, is far less forgiving and seemingly countermands Carleton's order: "The Commander in Chief has so far pardoned several English deserters, as to allow them to return within the lines, and to send them home; but their dishonor is not done away. No regiment here shall receive them, nor shall they again serve in this army. 'Tis recommended to the soldiers of every British, and to the soldiers of every British American Corps, to kick all such rascals out of their quarters, should they have the impudence to come in among them."
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