Thursday, May 29, 2014

Big bugs and Understrappers in the Garrison

Fort Meigs, looking towards the gate between blockhouses 6 and 7.

From the Orderly Book of Colonel James Mills' 1st Regiment, 3rd Division Ohio Militia, stationed at Fort Meigs in 1813:

Camp Meigs June 21st 1813. 
Charges and Specifications exhibited by Col. James Mills... against Lieut. Jacob Vance... in Capt. Patrick Shaw's Company... 
Charge--Disobidience of orders
1st Specification: Opening a gate of this garrison between block house No. 6 and No. 7 at or about 7 o'clock on or about the 3rd day of May in a time of extreme danger when the garrison was besieged by the enemy, and at the same time going out himself with the gate open, and letting others likewise go out.
2nd Charge-- Ungentlemanly and unofficerlike conduct
1st Specification: Using insolent and unbecoming language on or about the third day of May last after having been called back into the garrison, and reprimanded by the Commander in Chief, viz. in saying that he would open the gates when he pleased and go out in spite of General Harrison or the Devil or words tantamount...

(Court martial of Ensign William Dill, June 21st)

Charge-- Ungentlemanly and unofficerlike conduct being exhibited by Ensign William Dill to Sergt. Major John McCloskey-- in saying to the sergt. Majr. when he was in the discharge of his official duties that there were so many big bugs and under-strappers in the Garrison that the men don't know what they should do, or words tantamount, implying that the Sergt. Majr. was an under-strapper who ought not to be obeyed or respected.

(note from Colonel Mills to Ensign Dill)

It appears that you have been guilty of un-gentleman and un-officerlike conduct in your treatment to the Sergt. Majr. John McCloskey this morning you will therefore consider yourself suspended from any command in the company until you be reported fit for duty and will do well henceforward to be prudently reserved in your Language.

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