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Rules and Articles of War
Research
posted Tue Feb 19 2002
There has always been a feeling that the Rangers, let alone Rogers Rangers, didn't have to follow anything but Rogers 29 rules. This is a mistaken path that is regularly taken. We have a very glamorous, John Wayne, "give 'em hell, Harry," vision of the Rangers.

In Rogers two journals, we find the various establishments that formed Rogers battalion over their years of service. In Rogers 1764 Journal, we find on page 13, the establishment of the Independent Company in 1756. In this we find the following; "they were, moreover to be subject to military discipline, and the articles of war." On pages 45-46 we find the establishment of 1757. In this we find, "and to sign a paper subjecting themselves to the rules and articles of war." In the establishment of 1758, which is the last of the establishments, we find on pages 69-71 a very similar statement. This is as follows; "they are all to be subject to the rules and articles of war." In Rogers own rule number one, Rogers states in the first sentence that they (the Rangers) are to be subject to the rules and articles of war.

I hope now that I have convinced you that we as Rangers at least were read these articles, if not living by them regularly. We at least knew them if nothing else. Since our company fell under the command of Major Scot, I can promise you that he knew them extremely well. I am also convinced that he held his Officers to them.

The copy of Rules and Articles that I can find is the 1749 issue. This appears to be the articles that we were subject to. These articles are 32 pages in length. To make this somewhat easier to learn I have condensed them, creating a summary or highlights if you will. There are as follows:

Section I, Divine Worship
Article I
  • Divine Service and sermons to be frequented.
  • The penalty: If an Officer, they will be severely reprimanded. If a non-commissioned officer or private soldier, First offence: deduct 12-pence from their next pay. Second offence: deduct 12-pence from their next pay and be placed in irons for 12 hours
    Article II
  • The Penalty of Swearing or Cursing.
  • The penalty: same as Art. I
    Article III
  • No Officer or soldier to speak against the Articles of the Christian Faith.
  • The penalty: turned over to the civil Magistrate.
    Article IV
  • The Penalty of Profaning Churches, or Offering Violence to Chaplains or Ministers.
  • The penalty: Court Martial.
    Article V
  • Penalty on Chaplains absenting from the Regiment.
  • The penalty: Court Martial
    Article VI
  • Penalty on Chaplains guilty of Drunkenness or other vicious Behavior.
  • The penalty: Shall be removed from his said Office.

    Section II, Mutiny
    Article I
  • The Penalty of speaking traitorous or disrespectful words against the King, or any of the Royal Family.
  • The penalty: Court Martial
    Article II
  • The Penalty of disrespectful behavior to the General or Commander in Chief.
  • The penalty: Court Martial
    Article III
  • The Penalty of Mutiny
  • The penalty: Suffer Death or other
    Article IV
  • And of not suppressing, or the concealing of Mutiny.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death or other.
    Article V
  • The Penalty of striking, or drawing any Weapon against a superior Officer, or disobeying Orders.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death or other.

    Section III, Of Enlisting Soldiers.
    Article I
  • Non-commissioned Officers and Soldiers at their enlisting, to have the Articles against Mutiny and Desertion read to them; and to be brought before the next Justice, or in Foreign Parts, before the Judge Advocate.
  • The Justice to give a Certificate thereof.
    Article II
  • No discharge to be allowed unless signed by a Field Officer of the Regiment.

    Section IV, Musters
    Article I
  • What an Officer must do in order to the Muster.
    Article II
  • Field Officers residing with the Regiments may grant Furloughs. The Time a Soldier may be absent, and by what leave.
    Article III
  • Commanding Officer to give to the Commissary Certificates of the time, and Reason of the Absence of any not appearing at Muster, which are to be inserted in the Muster rolls, the Certificates and Muster rolls to be remitted to the Commissary's Office.
  • Discharged from Service
    Article IV
  • The Penalty of signing false Certificates.
  • The penalty: Shall be cashiered.
    Article V
  • The Penalty of making false Musters; or signing false Muster rolls.
  • The penalty: Cashiered or other
    Article VI
  • Penalty on the Commissary taking Money on a Muster, or on signing the Muster roll.
  • The penalty: Removed from office or other.
    Article VII
  • Penalty of mustering any accustomed to wear a Livery, or not doing Duty as a Soldier.
  • The penalty: Cashiered or other.

    Section V, Returns.
    Article I
  • Penalty on Officer making false Returns.
  • The penalty: Cashiered
    Article II
  • Penalty of not remitting a Monthly Return to the Commander in Chief, and Secretary at War.
  • The penalty: Court Martial
    Article III
  • The like Returns to be made in Ireland and Scotland.
    Article IV
  • Returns to be made from Gibraltar, Port Mahon and America.

    Section VI, Desertion.
    Article I
  • The Penalty of Desertion.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death
    Article II
  • Soldiers absenting from their Company or Detachment without Leave
  • The penalty: Court Martial
    Article III
  • Penalty of enlisting in other Regiments, without a Discharge from the Former Regiment.
  • Penalty of Officers entertaining and not confining such as Deserters.
  • The penalty: Confinement/ Cashiered
    Article IV
  • The Penalty of persuading any one to desert.
  • The penalty: Court Martial

    Section VII, Quarrels and Sending Challenges.
    Article I
  • The Penalty of Provoking Speech or Action.
  • The penalty: Imprisonment
    Article II
  • The Penalty of Sending a Challenge
  • The penalty: Cashiered/ Corporal Punishment, Court Martial
    Article III
  • The Penalty if an Officer suffers anyone to go out to fight a Duel, the seconds carrying challenges, shall be principals.
  • The penalty: Same as challenger.
    Article IV
  • All Officers have Power to part Frays, Penalty of resisting.
  • The penalty: Court Martial.
    Article V
  • Penalty for upbraiding any for refusing to challenge.
  • The penalty: Same as Challenger.

    Section VIII, Suttling.
    Article I
  • Suttlers not to sell anything after Nine at Night, or before the Reveille, or upon Sundays, during Divine Service.
  • The penalty: Dismissed from future Suttling.
    Article II
  • Liberty given for bringing Provisions into Garrisons, &c.:
    Article III
  • Commanding Officers are to see the Soldiers supplied with Provisions at the Market Price.
  • The penalty: Answerable for Neglect
    Article IV
  • Penalty of exacting in the letting out of Stalls to settlers, or Laying a Duty on, or being interested in the Goods sold by them.
  • The penalty: Discharged from Service.

    Section IX, Quarters.
    Article I
  • Penalty of demanding Billets for Quartering more than the Number of effective Men; or of Quartering Women, Children or taking Money for freeing of Landlords from Quartering Soldiers.
  • The penalty: Cashiered/ Lowered in Rank, Court Martial.
    Article II
  • Commanding Officer to see the Quarters cleared Weekly; and to give Certificates for Money due in Quarters, and remit Duplicates thereof to the Paymaster General;
  • The penalty: Cashiered
    Article III
  • Penalty on the Commanding Officer not causing Public Notice to be given against crediting Soldiers beyond their pay.
  • The penalty: Suspended for Three Months and pay Applied.
    Article IV
  • Inhabitants crediting Soldiers beyond their Pay, after public Notice to the contrary, Officers not liable to the Debt.
    Article V
  • The Penalty of an Officer refusing to see Justice done, if any Person shall be altered or wronged by a Soldier.
  • The penalty: Court Martial

    Section X, Carriages
  • Commanding Officers is to apply for Carriages, and to pay for them, according to the Act of Parliament; and not to suffer the Persons attending them to be abused; of their Carriages overloaded; On Failure of Money, he is to grant Certificates to them.
  • The penalty: Cashiered or Court Martial

    Section XI, Of Crimes Punishable by Law.
    Article I
  • Commanding Officers are, upon Application, to use their utmost Endeavors to deliver over to the Civil Magistrate any Officer, Non-Commissioned Officer, or Soldier accused of Crimes punishable by the known Laws of the Land; and to be aiding to the Officers of Justice in securing such Offender;
  • The penalty: Cashiered
    Article II
  • The Penalty if an Officer protects anyone from his creditors.
  • The penalty: Cashiered.

    Section XII, Of Redressing Wrongs.
    Article I
  • What an Officer must do, if he thinks himself wronged.
    Article II
  • What an inferior Officer or Soldier must do, if he thinks himself wronged.

    Section XIII, Of Stores, Ammunition, &c.;
    Article I
  • Penalty of an Officer selling Military Stores without Order; or embezzling, or misapplying them, or suffering them to be damaged by neglect.
  • The penalty: Dismissed from service, make good the losses.
    Article II
  • The Penalty of wasting Ammunition delivered out for the Service.
  • The penalty: Reduced in Rank, Corporal Punishment, and Court Martial.
    Article III
  • The Penalty if a Soldier sells or Spoils his Arms, &c.;
  • The penalty: Weekly Stoppages, Imprisonment, Corporal Punishment, Court Martial.
    Article IV
  • The Captain to be accountable to his Colonel for the Arms, &c. of his company.

    Section XIV, Of Duties to Quarters, in Garrison, or in the Field.
    Article I
  • The Penalty if a Soldier be found 1 mile from his Camp without Leave in Writing.
  • The penalty: Court Martial.
    Article II
  • The Penalty of Staying out of Camp or Quarters all night.
  • The penalty: Court Martial.
    Article III
  • The Penalty if a Soldier does not retire to his Quarters, at the Beating of the Retreat.
  • The penalty: Punished by Commanding Officer.
    Article IV
  • The Penalty if a Soldier does not repair at the Time fixed to the Parade of Exercise, or other Renezvous; or of quitting his Guard, &c. without being dismissed, or relieved.
  • The penalty: Court Martial
    Article V
  • The Penalty of Drunkenness
  • The penalty: Court Martial
    Article VI
  • Penalty if a Sentry be found sleeping on his Post, or of quitting it before he is relieved.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death or Court Martial
    Article VII
  • The Penalty if a Soldier hire another to do his duty.
  • The penalty: Court Martial.
    Article VIII
  • The Penalty of an Officer's conniving at the hiring of duty.
  • The penalty: Court Martial
    Article IX
  • The Penalty of making false Alarms, in Camp or Quarters.
  • Suffer Death or Court Martial.
    Article X
  • The Penalty if an Officer or Soldier shall quit his Pelottoon or Division
  • The penalty: Court Martial
    Article XI
  • The Penalty of doing Violence to any who bring Provisions to the Camp or Quarters.
  • The penalty: Pain of Death
    Article XII
  • The Penalty of misbehaving before the Enemy, &c., or abandon his post;
  • The penalty: Suffer Death
    Article XIII
  • The Penalty of Running away from the Enemy, or speaking Words to induce others to do the like; or of Plundering.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death or Court Martial.
    Article XIV
  • The Penalty of Casting away Arms or Ammunition.
  • Suffer Death or Court Martial
    Article XV
  • The Penalty of making known the Watch Word, or giving a false one.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death or Court Martial.
    Article XVI
  • Officers and Soldiers are to be orderly in Quarters, and on their March the Penalty of Spoiling the Property of any Person, unless by order, to annoy the enemy.
  • The penalty: Court Martial
    Article XVII
  • The Penalty of forcing a Safeguard.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death.
    Article XVIII
  • The Penalty of relieving or Harbouring an Enemy.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death
    Article XIX
  • The Penalty of holding Correspondence with, or giving intelligence to, the Enemy.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death
    Article XX
  • Public Stores to be secured for His Majesty's Service.
    Article XXI
  • The Penalty of going in Search of Plunder.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death
    Article XXII
  • The Penalty of compelling the Commandant of any Fortress, or a Post, to give it up to the Enemy.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death or Other
    Article XXIII
  • Suttlers and Retainers to the Camp to be subject to Military Orders.
    Article XXIV
  • Brevets
    Article XXV
  • The eldest Officer is to command when any Troops of the Horse Guards and the regiment of Horse Guards shall do Duty together.
    Article XXVI
  • Or when any of the horse or Foot Guards shall do Duty with any other Corps.
    Article XXVII
  • The Foot Guards doing Duty unmixed, to be considered as One Corps and the Officers to rank &c. as they are mustered.

    Section XV, Administration of Justice.
    Article I
  • General Court Martial in Great Britain or Ireland
    Article II
  • General Court Martial in Places beyond the Seas.
    Article III
  • These Articles relate to the Horse and Foot Guards, as well as to other Forces. Rules relating to Court Martial, in Cases where the Horse or Foot Guards are concerned.
    Article IV
  • Rules relating to Court Martial where the Foot Guards are concerned.
    Article V
  • Members of Courts Martial are to take the same Rank as their sittings as they hold in the Army.
    Article VI
  • Judge Advocate is to inform and prosecute.
    Article VII
  • Oaths to be taken.
    Article VIII
  • Decency to be observed in Courts and the Youngest to give his vote first.
    Article IX
  • Rules to be observed in the Proceedings of a General Court Martial.
    Article X
  • Rules to be observed in the Trial of Field Officers.
    Article XI
  • Rules to be observed before Execution of the sentence of a General Court Martial.
    Article XII
  • Rules to be observed in composing the members of Courts Martial.
    Article XIII
  • Every Regiment may hold a Regimental Court Martial for the trial of lesser Offences.
    Article XIV
  • Rules to be observed in Regimental Courts Martial.
    Article XV
  • Officers Commanding in Forts, or Barracks may appoint Regimental Courts Martial.
    Article XVI
  • No Commissioned Officer may be Cashiered, but by Order of His Majesty; or by a General Court Martial.
    Article XVII
  • The Penalty of Menacing Words, Gestures or Disturbance, before a Court Martial.
    Article XVIII
  • How a Commanding Officer is to proceed when an Officer is put in Arrest or a Soldier committed to Custody.
    Article XIX
  • The Time limited for Confinement.
    Article XX
  • Officer of the Guard or Provost Martial to receive Prisoners.
    Article XXI
  • The Penalty if an Officer or Provost Martial, release a Prisoner without Orders.
    Article XXII
  • Prisoners Names and Crimes to be returned within 24 hours.
    Article XXIII
  • If a Non-Commissioned Officer or Soldier, sentenced to prison and Escapes or attempts escape.
  • The penalty: Suffer Death or other.
    Article XXIV
  • The Penalty if an Officer breaks his arrest.
  • The penalty: Cashiered.
    Article XXV
  • Officers convicted of ill behavior
  • The penalty: Cashiered

    Section XVI, Entry of Commissions.


    Section XVII, Half Pay
    Article I
  • Restrictions on an Officer at Half Pay.
    Article II
  • Officers on Half-Pay, are subject to discipline and Commands as if at Full Pay.

    Section XVIII, Effects of the Dead.
    Article I
  • The Major to take care of an Officers Effects when he dies.
    Article II
  • And the Commanding Officer of any Private Man's Effects.

    Section XIX, Artillery.
    Article I
  • These Rules to be observed by the Officers and others of the Trains of Artillery.
  • The penalty: Court Martial.
    Article II
  • Courts Martial to be held by them.

    Section XX, Relating to the Aforegoing Articles.
    Article I
  • These Articles to be read Once in every Two months.
    Article II
  • Courts martial may punish Criminals in places beyond the seas, where there is no Civil Judicature in force, for the Offences not punishable by these articles.
    Article III
  • All Crimes and Disorders or Neglects are subject to a Court Martial.
  • The penalty: As prescribed.
  • by Brian Wilson



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