Warrant for Court Martial
On Dudley Saltonstall Esq.
September 7th 1779
Navy Board Eastern Department
To Saml. Nicholson Esq. Captain Commander in the Navy of the United States of America.
Whereas the principal part of the Fleet employed in the Expedition against the Enemy at Penobscot Particularly the Ship Warren, Sloop Providence, Brigantine Diligent, all under the Command of Dudley Saltonstall Esq. late Captn. And Comdr. Of the Continental Frigate Warren, have been destroyed and lost as is Suggested by the bad conduct of the said Dudley Saltonstall, & his conduct is now therefore become a proper subject for the Examination and Judgment of Court Martial.
We do therefore by virtue of the Power and Authority with which we are vested hereby Order and Direct that a Court Martial be called for that purpose, which Court Martial we do hereby appoint to consist of you the aformd. Saml. Nicholson as President – and of John Peele Rathbone – and Samuel Tucker Esq. Captain in the C. Navy – and of Mr. David Phipps. Adam Thaxter – and Hopley Yeaton first Lieutenants in the C. Navy – and of Seth Baxter – Edmond Arrowsmith – and Willm. Jones Captains of Marines in C. Navy – and of Saml. Pritchard – William Waterman – and Peter Green Lieutents. Of Marines in C. Navy – who together are to constitute this Court Martial, to set on board the Continental Ship Deane now lying in the Harbour of Boston, on Tuesday the 14th Day of this Inst. Septembr. at 10.. Clock in the Forenoon with power to Adjourn from Time to Time and Place to Place as occasions may require – And the Court Martial being so constituted and met at Time and Place aforesd. and Qualified agreeable to the Resolutions of Congress, are to consider & thoroughly examine the Conduct of the said Dudley Saltonstall during his command aforesd. and hear & examine all such Matters & Informations, as shall then be bro’t before you, relating to the Conduct of the said Dudley Saltonstall during his aforesd. Command on proper Evidence, thereon to Try, Determine, & make up Judgment on the said Dudley Saltonstall for the aforesd. Losses, & his Conduct during his Command aforesaid. According to the Rules of Naval Discipline, and the Articles for the Regulation of the American Navy.
And if in any Respect found guilty of being by his Conduct the occasion of the Disgrace and Losses aforesd. To pass sentence accordingly – which sentence you are to return to us with the Evidence & other Papers had before you.
And you are hereby Authorized, and Empowered to Order and Direct the attendance of any Master at Arms – Sergeants of Marines, or any other Officer, or Seaman of the C. Navy, who may be wanted as an Attendant on your said Court, & also to Summon such Witnesses as you may suppose able to give Testimony in the Matter.
And for so doing this shall be to you, & each of you Members of said Court Martial, hereby appointed, and all others concerned a sufficient Warrant.
Given under our Hands at Boston this Seventh Day of September AD 1779 – In the fourth year of the Independence of the United States of America
A true copy Geo Richards Jud Advoc
A true copy – Examined
Dudley Saltonstall was tried by a jury of his peers from the Continental Navy. Saltonstall had served on a number of court martial trials during his tenure as a Captain in the Continental Navy.
Due to the delay in the trial, David Phipps and Edmond Arrowsmith were replaced by Lieutenant Brown and Captain Smith.