You voted yesterday that I had not from my Orders any Authority to call Councils of the Army and Navy – Should be glad of the Opinion of the Court. Whether by my Orders I had Authority to call to a Council of War the several Commanders of Armed vessels which sailed under my Command.

  • Q Gen’l. Lovell – Did you not tell me the day after you landed upon Baggaduce that it would not promote your Operations, for me to go into the Harbour with the ships, in order to Destroy the Enemies Shipping, unless I could assure myself of preventing the Seaman & Marines from reinforcing, or joining the Enemy in their Citadel. Did you ever Did I not Aid – Assist – & Cooperate during the Expedition –
  • Q Capts. Thomas – Holmes – Burke – The Day the Gen’l. Paraded his Men in the Battery by the Barn, the Day the Reinforcem’t. arrived — Did not the Grape Shot fired from the Citadel at the Men in the Battery go half acro’t the Harbour — Did I in Council, or at any other Time Preach of Terror – Did you not receive from me necessary Orders & Instructions from Time to Time – Did you ever sustain any Injury or Inconvenience at any time for want of Orders from me – Did we not upon the Appearance of the Enemies Reinforcem’t. Beat down the Bay, but the Wind dying away prevented our reaching them.  Had the Enemies Ships that lay in Baggaduce any Guns upon their Larb’d. Sides – where were those Guns – What was the Enemies Force by Land, I mean what Batteries had they.
  • Q Mr. House & Capt. Salter – When in sight of the Enemy did I discourage any of my Officers or Men – Could the Ship Warren have been got further up the River than She was that afternoon the Ordinance Brigg was blown up – Could She have got up as far as She was earlier than She was – Did you not go ashore Mr. House after a Pilot – Did not the Enemy fire two Guns at us the first Evening we went in from the Battery on Banks’s Island – We returned their Shot if you remember when we came to anchor they fired at us.
  • Q Col. Tyler – Was you not QtrMastr. to the Land Forces on the Exp[edition]. to Peno[bscot]. Did you not take passage in the Warren from Nantasket to Townsend – Did not I several Times observe to you that the Fleet and Army would labour under Disadvantages

if they did not gain good information of the Enemies Strength before or at our arrival at Penobscot – Did not you inform me you Petition the Council of Massa. State for 200 Dollars in Silver to procure Intelligence – Spies – and Guides for the Expedition to Penobscot – What answr. did you receive –

  • Q Col. Revere – Upon the Result of your Council the 13th Aug. Did you not get your Artillery on board the Ordinance Brigg – Did not you hear J[John] Bakeman say that the information he gave up our first arrival he Rec’d. from the Captains of the Enemies Transports who were frequently at his House and that he had not himself been at Baggaduce for four years antecedent. Did not you hear Gen’l. Lovell say the day after our Troops Landed that he was against the Ships going in unless they could make their crews Prisoners
  •  Q Capt’s. Thomas – Holmes – Burke – Did not you hear me frequently say that if it was not for the Councils of War I would raise the Siege – For after destroying the Ships we were not at liberty to Quit Penobscot but there must remain ‘till the General had reduced the Land Forces.

After the vote on October 6 by the Naval Board on “whether from the Orders Captain Saltonstall was at liberty to call Councils with the Land & Sea Officers and to abide by their determinations in all respect,” Saltonstall penned these notes requesting an opinion on his ability to call the armed vessel commanders to a Council of War. The court’s response, recorded by George Richards can be found elsewhere in this exhibit.

Saltonstall also had questions for the Penobscot Expedition land force commander, General Solomon Lovell, his co-leader in the Expedition who was completely exonerated by the Massachusetts Board of Inquiry of any blame.  The privateer captains Thomas Thomas of Newburyport and Alexander Holmes and William Burke of Boston, part of Saltonstall’s original list of witnesses, were able to return for the later trial. Captain Titus Salter of the HAMPDEN, New Hampshire’s contribution to the Penobscot Expedition, routinely voted in Councils of War to attack the British ships. Mr. House, quartermaster John Tyler and Paul Revere, in command of the artillery also raised questions from Saltonstall.