AN ACT FOR ESTABLISHING
RULES AND ARTICLES FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE ARMIES OF THE UNITED
SECTION 1. Be it enacted, by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That, from and
after the passing of this act, the following shall be the rules and
articles by which the armies of the United States shall be governed:
ARTICLE 1. Every officer now in the army of the United States shall, in
six months from the passing of this act, and every officer who shall
hereafter be appointed shall, before he enters on the duties of his
office, subscribe these rules and regulations.
ART. 2. It is earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers
diligently to attend divine service; and all officers who shall behave
indecently or irreverently at any place of divine worship shall, if
commissioned officers, be brought before a general court martial, there
to be publicly and severely reprimanded by the president; if
non-commissioned officers or soldiers, every person so offending shall,
for his first offence, forfeit one-sixth of a dollar, to be deducted
out of his next pay; for the second offence, he shall not only forfeit
a like sum, but be confined twenty-four hours; and for every like
offence, shall suffer and pay in like manner; which money, so
forfeited, shall be applied, by the captain or senior officer of the
troop or company, to the use of the sick soldiers of the company or
troop to which the offender belongs.
ART. 3. Any non-commissioned officer or soldier who shall use a profane
oath or execration, shall incur the penalties expressed in the
foregoing article; and a commissioned officer shall forfeit and pay,
for each and each such offence, one dollar, to be applied as in the
ART. 4. Every chaplain commissioned in the army or armies of the United
States, who shall absent himself from the duties assigned him
(excepting in cases of sickness or leave of absence), shall, on
conviction thereof before a court martial, be fined not exceeding one
month's pay, besides the loss of his pay during his absence; or be
discharged, as the said court martial shall judge proper.
ART. 5. An officer or soldier who shall use contemptuous or
disrespectful words against the President of the United States, against
1 These rules and articles, with the exceptions
the notes: annexed to articles 20, 65, and 87, remain unaltered, and in
force at present.
thereof, against the Congress of the United States, or against the
Chief Magistrate or Legislature of any of the United States, in which
he may be quartered, if a commissioned officer, shall be cashiered, or
otherwise punished, as a court martial shall direct; if a
non-commissioned officer or soldier, he shall suffer such punishment as
shall be inflicted on him by the sentence of a court martial.
ART. 6. Any officer or soldier who shall behave himself with contempt
or disrespect towards his commanding officer, shall be punished,
according to the nature of his offence, by the judgment of a court
ART. 7. Any officer or soldier who shall begin, excite, cause, or join
in, any mutiny or sedition, in any troop or company in the service of
the United States, or in any party, post, detachment, or guard, shalI
suffer death, or such other punishment as by a court martial shall be
ART. 8. Any officer, non-commissioned officer, or soldier, who, being
present at any mutiny or sedition, does not use his utmost endeavor to
suppress tho same, or, coming to the knowledge of any intended mutiny,
does not, without delay, give information thereof to his commanding
officer, shall be punished by the sentence of a court martial with
death, or otherwise, according to the nature of his offence.
ART. 9. Any officer or soldier who shall strike his superior officer,
or draw or lift up any weapon, or offer any violence against him, being
in the execution of his office, on any pretence whatsoever, or shall
disobey any lawful command of his superior officer, shall suffer death,
or such other punishment as shall, according to the nature of his
offence, be inflicted upon him by the sentence of a court martial.
ART. 10. Every non-commissioned officer or soldier, who shall enlist
himself in the service of the United States, shall, at the
of his so enlisting, or within six days afterward, have the Articles
for the government of the armies of the United States read to him, and
shall, by the officer who enlisted him, or by the commanding officer of
the troop or company into which he was enlisted, be taken before the
next justice of the peace, or chief magistrate of any city or town
corporate, not being an officer of the army, or where recourse cannot
be had to the civil magistrate, before the judge advocate, and in his
presence shall take the following oath or affirmation: "I, A. B .. do
solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be), that I will bear true
allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them
honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers
whatsoever; and observe and obey the orders of the President of the
United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me,
according to the Rules and Articles for the government of the armies of
the United States." Which justice, magistrate, or judge advocate, is to
give to the officer a certificate, signifying that the man enlisted did
take the said oath or affirmation.
ART. 11. After a non-commissioned officer or soldier shall have been
duly enlisted and sworn, he shall not be dismissed the service without
a discharge in writing; and no discharge granted to him shall be
sufficient which is not signed by a field officer of the regiment to
which he belongs, or commanding officer, where no field officer of the
regiment is present; and no discharge shall be given to a
non-commissioned officer or soldier before his term of service has
expired, but by order of the President, the Secretary of War, the
commanding officer of a department, or the sentence of a general court
martial, nor shall a commissioned officer be discharged the service but
by order of the President of the United States, or by sentence of a
general court martial.
ART. 12. Every colonel, or other officer commanding a regiment, troop,
ARTICLES OF WAR.
company, and actually quartered with it, may give furloughs to
non-commissioned officers or soldiers, in such numbers, and for so long
a time as he shall judge to be most consistent with the good of the
service; and a captain or other inferior officer, commanding a troop or
company, or in any garrison, fort, or barrack of the United States (his
field officer being absent), may give furloughs to non-commissioned
officers or soldier;s, for a time not exceeding twenty days in six
mouths, but not to more than two persons to be absent at the same time,
excepting some extraordinary occasion should require it.
ART. 13. At every muster, the commanding officer of each regiment,
troop, or company, there present, shall give to the commissary of
musters, or other officer who musters the said regiment, troop or
company, certificates signed by himself, signifying how long such
officers, as shall not appear at the said muster, have been
absent, and the reason of their absence. In like manner, the commanding
officer of every troop or company shall give certificates, signifying
the reasons of the absence of the non-commissioned officers and private
soldiers; which reasons and time of absence shall be inserted in the
muster rolls, opposite the names of the respective absent officers and
soldiers. The certificates shall, together with the muster rolls, be
remitted by the commissary of musters, or other officer mustering, to
the Department of War, as speedily as the distance of the place will
ART. 14. Every officer who shall be convicted before a general court
martial of having signed a false certificate. relating to the absence
of either officer or private soldier, or relative to his or their pay,
shall be cashiered.
ART. 15. Every officer who shall knowingly make a false muster of man
or horse, and every officer or commissary of musters who shall
willingly sign, direct, or allow the signing of muster-rolls wherein
such false muster is contained, shall, upon proof made thereof, by two
witnesses, before a general court martial, be cashiered, and shall be
thereby utterly disabled to have or hold any office or employment in
the service of the United States,
ART. 16. Any commissary of musters, or othe.r officer, who shall be
convicted of having taken money, or other thing, by Wily of
gratification, on mustering any regiment, troop, or company, or on
signing muster-rolls, shall be displaced from his office, and shall be
thereby utterly disabled to have or hold any office or employment in
the service of the United States.
ART. 17. Any officer who shall presume to muster a person as a soldier
who is not a soldier, shaH be deemed guilty of having made a false
muster, and shall suffer accordingly.
ART. 18. Every officer who shall knowingly make a false return to the
Department of War, or to any of his superior officers, authorized to
call for such returns, of the state of the regiment, troop, or company
or garrison under his command; or of the arms, ammunition, clothing, or
other stores thereunto belonging, shall, on conviction thereof before a
court martial, be cashiered.
ART. 19, The commanding officer of every regiment, troop, or
independent company, or garrison of the United States, shall,in tee
beginning of every month, remit, through the proper channels, to the
Department of War, an exact return of the regiment, troop, independent
company, or garrison, under his command, specifying the names of the
officers then absent from their posts, with the reasons for and the
time of their absence. And any officer who shall be convicted of
having, through neglect or design, omitted sending such returns, shall
be punished, according to the nature of his crime. by the judgment of a
general court martial.
ART. 20. All officers and soldiers who have received pay, or have been
duly enlisted in the service of the United States, and shall be
convicted of having deserted the same, shall suffer death, or such
other punishment as, by sentence of a court martial, shall be
ART. 21. Any non-commissioned officer or soldier who shall, without
leave from his commanding officer, absent himself from his troop,
company, or detachment, shall, upon being convicted thereof, be
punished according to the nature of his offence, at the discretion of a
ART. 22. No non-commissioned officer or soldier shall enlist himself in
any other regiment, troop, or company, without a regular discharge from
the regiment, troop, or company in which he last served, on the penalty
of being reputed a deserter, and suffering accordingly. And in case any
officer shall knowingly receive and entertain such non-commissioned
officer or soldier, or shall not, after his being discovered to be a
deserter, immediately confine him, and give notice thereof to the corps
in which he last served, the said officer shall, by a court martial, be
ART. 23. Any officer or soldier who shall be convicted of having
advised or persuaded any other officer or soldier to desert the service
of the United States, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as
shall be inflicted upon him by the sentence of a court martial.
ART. 24. No officer or soldier shall use any reproachful or provoking
speeches or gestures to another, upon pain, if an officer, of being put
in arrest; if a soldier, confined, and of asking pardon of the party
offended, in the presence of his commanding officer.
ART. 25. N a officer or soldier shall send a challenge to another
officer or soldier, to fight a duel, or accept a challenge if sent,
upon pain, if a commissioned officer, of being cashiered; if a
non-commissioned officer or soldier, of suffering corporeal punishment,
at the discretion of a court martial.
ART. 26. If any commissioned or non-commissioned officer commanding a
guard shall knowingly or willingly suffer any person whatsoever to go
forth to fight a duel, he shall be punished as a challenger; and all
seconds, promoters, and carriers of challenges, in order to duels,
shall be deemed principals, and be punished accordingly. And it shall
be the duty of every officer commanding an army, regiment, company,
post, or detachment, who is knowing to a challenge being given or
accepted by any officer, non-com missioned officer, or soldier, under
his command, who has reason to believe the same to be the case,
immediately to arrest and bring to trial such offenders.
ART. 27. All officers, of what condition soever, have power to part and
quell all quarrels, frays, and disorders, though the persons concerned
should belong to another regiment, troop, or company; and either to
order officers into arrest, or non-commissioned officers or soldiers
into confinement, until their proper superior officers shall be
acquainted therewith; and whosoever shall refuse to obey such officer
(though of an inferior rank), or shall draw his. sword upon him, shall
be punished at the discretion of a general court martial.
ART. 28. Any officer or soldier who shall upbraid another for refusing
a challenge, sit all himself be punished as a challenger; and all
officers and soldiers are hereby discharged from any disgrace or
opinion of disadvantage which might arise from their having refused to
accept of challenges, as they
1 Modified by act of 29th May, 1830.
ARTICLES OF WAR.
will only have acted in obedience to the laws, and done their duty as
good soldiers who subject themselves to discipline.
ART. 29. No sutler shall be permitted to sell any kind of liquors or
victuals, or to keep their houses or shops open for the entertainment
of soldiers, after nine at night, or before the beating of the
reveille, or upon Sundays, during divine service or sermon, on the
penalty of being dismissed from all future sutling.
ART. 30. All officers commanding in the field, forts, barracks, or
garrisons of the United States, are hereby required to see that the
persons permitted to suttle shall supply the soldiers with good and
wholesome provisions. or other articles, at a reasonable price, as they
shall be answerable for their neglect.
ART. 31. No officer commanding in any of the garrisons, forts, or
barracks of the United States, shall exact exorbitant prices for houses
or stalls, let out to sutlers, or connive at the like exactions in
others; nor by his own authority, and for his private advantage, lay
any duty or imposition upon, or be interested in, the sale of any
victuals, liquors, or other necessaries of life brought into the
garrison, fort, or barracks, for the use of the soldiers, on the
penalty of being discharged from the service.
ART. 32. Every officer commanding in quarters, garrisons, or on the
march, shall keep good order, and to the utmost of his power, redress
all abuses or disorders which may be committed by any officer or
soldier under his command; if, upon complaint made to him of officers
or soldiers beating or otherwise ill-treating any person, or disturbing
fairs or markets, or of committing any kind of riots, to the
disquieting of the citizens of the United States, he, the said
commander, who shall refuse or omit to see justice done to the offender
or offenders, and reparation made to the party or parties injured, as
far as part of the offender's pay shall enable him or them, shall upon
proof thereof, be cashiered, or otherwise punished, as it general court
martial shall direct.
ART. 33. When any commissioned officer or soldier shall be accused of a
capitol crime, or of having used violence, or committed any offence
against the person or property of any citizen of any of the United
States, such as is punishable by the known laws of the land, the
commanding officer and officers of every regiment, troop, or company,
to which the person or accused shall belong, are hereby required, upon
application duly made by, or in behalf of the party or parties injured,
to use their utmost endeavors to deliver over such accused person or
persons to the civil magistrate, and likewise to be aiding and
assisting to the officers of justice in apprehending and securing the
person or persons so accused, in order to bring him or them to trial.
If any commanding officer or officers shall wilfully neglect, or
shall refuse, upon the application aforesaid, to deliver over
accused person or persons to the civil magistrates, or to be aiding and
assisting to the officers of justice in apprehending such person or
persons, the officer or officers so offending shall be cashiered.
ART. 34. If any officer shall think himself wronged by his colonel or
the commanding officer of the regiment, and shall, upon due application
being made to him, be refused redress, he may complain to ing
the state or territory where such regiment shall be stationed in order
to obtain justice; who is hereby required to examine into said
complaint, and take proper measures for redressing the wrong
complained of, and transmit, as soon as possible, to the Department of
War, a true state of such complaint, with the proceedings had thereon.
ART. 33. If any inferior officer or soldier shall
his captain or other officer, he is to complain thereof to the
commanding officer of the regiment, who is hereby required to summon a
regimental court martial, for the doing justice to the complainant;
from which regimental court martial either party may, if he thinks
himself still aggrieved, appeal to a general court martial. But if,
upon a second hearing. the appeal shall appear vexatious and
groundless, the person so appealing shall be punished at the discretion
of the said court martial.
ART. 36. Any commissioned officer, store-keeper, or commissary, who
shall be convicted at a general court martial of having sold, without a
proper order for that purpose, embezzled, misapplied, or wilfully, or
through neglect, suffered any of the provisions, forage, arms,
clothing, ammunition, or other military stores belonging to the United
States to be spoiled or damaged, shall, at his own expense, make good
the loss or damage, and shall, moreover, forfeit all his pay, and he
dismissed from the service.
ART. 37. Any non-commissioned officer, or soldier who shall be
convicted at a regimental court martial of having sold, or designedly
or through neglect, wasted the ammunition delivered out to him, to be
employed in the service of the United States, shall be punished at the
discretion of such court,
ART. 38. Every non-commissioned officer or soldier who shrdl be
convicted before a court martial of having sold, lost, or spoiled,
through neglect, his horse, arms, clothes, or accoutrements, shall
undergo such weekly stoppages (not exceeding the half of his pay) as
such court martial shall judge sufficient, for repairing the loss or
damage; and shall suffer confinement, or such other corporeal
punishment as his crime shall deserve.
ART. 39. Every officer who shall be convicted before a court martial of
having embezzled or misapplied any money with which he may have been
intrusted, for the payment of the men under his command. or for
enlisting men into the service, or for other purposes, if a
commissioned officer, shall be cashiered, and compelled to refund the
money; if a non-commissioned officer, shall be reduced to the ranks, be
put under stoppages until the money be made good, and suffer such
corporeal punishment as such court martial shall direct.
ART. 40. Every captain of a troop or company is charged with the finns,
accoutrements, ammunition, clothing, or other warlike stores belonging
to the troop or company under his command, which he is to be
accountable for to his colonel in case .of their being lost, spoiled,
or damaged, not by unavoidable accidents, or on actual service.
ART. 41. All non-commissioned officers and soldiers who shall be found
one mile from the camp without leave, in writing, from their commanding
officer, shall suffer such punishment as shall be inflicted upon them
by the sentence of a court martial.
ART. 42. No officer or soldier shall lie out of his quarters, garrison,
or camp without leave from his superior officer, upon penalty of being
punished according to the lW.ture of bis offence, by the sentence of a
ART. 43. Every non-commissioned officer and soldier shall retire to his
quarters or tent at the beating of the retreat; in default of which he
shall be punished according to the nature of his offence.
ART. 44. No officer, non-commissioned officer, or soldier shall fail in
repairing, at the time fixed, to the place of parade, of exercise, or
other rendezvous appointed by his commanding officer, if not prevented
by sickness or some other evident necessity, or shall go from the said
place of rendezvous without leave from his commanding officer, before
he shall be regularly dismissed or relieved, on the penalty of being
punished. according to the nature of his offence, by the sentence of a
ARTICLES OF WAR.
ART. 45. Any commissioned officer who shall be found drunk on his
guard, party, or other duty, shall be cashiered. Any non-ecommisioned
officer, or soldier so offending shall suffer such corporeal punishment
as shall be inflicted by the sentence of a court martial.
ART. 46. Any sentinel who shall be found sleeping upon his post, or
shall leave it before he shall be regularly relieved, shall suffer
death, or such other punishment as shall be inflicted by the sentence
of a court martial.
ART. 47. No soldier belonging to any regiment, troop, or company, shall
hire another to do his duty for him, or be excused from duty but in
cases of sickness, disability, or leave of absence; and every such
soldier found guilty of hiring his duty, as also the party so hired to
do another's duty., shall be punished at the discretion of a regimental
ART. 48. And every nonĚ-commissioned officer conniving at
hiring of duty aforesaid, shall be reduced; and every commissioned
officer knowing and allowing such ill practices in the service, shall
be punished by the judgement of a general court martial.
ART. 49. Any officer belonging to the service of the United States, who
by discharging of firearms, drawing of swords, beating of drums, or by
any other means whatsoever, shall occasion false alarms in camp,
garrison, or quarters, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as
shall be ordered by the sentence of a general court martial.
ART. 50. Any officer or soldier who shall, without urgent necessity, or
without the leave of his superior officer, quit his guard, platoon, or
division, shall he punished, according to the nature of his offence, by
the sentence of a court martial.
ART. 51. No officer or soldier shall do violence to any person who
brings provisions or other necessaries to the camp, garrison, or
quarters of the forces of the United States, employed in any parts out
of the said States, upon pain of death, or such other punishment as a
court-martial shall direct.
ART. 52. Any officer or soldier who shall misbehave himself before the
enemy, run away, or shamefully abandon any fort, post, or guard which
he or they may be commanded to defend, or speak words inducing others
to do the like, or shall cast away his arms and ammunition, or who
shall quit his post or colors to plunder and pillage, every such
offender, being duly convicted thereof, shall suffer death, or such
other punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a general court
ART. 53. Any person belonging to the armies of the United States who
shall make known the watchword to any person who is not entitled to
receive it according to the rules and discipline of war, or shall
presume to give a parole or watchword different from what he received,
shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be ordered by the
sentence of a general court martial.
ART. 54. All officers and soldiers are to behave themselves orderly in
quarters and on their march; and whoever shall commit any waste or
spoil, either in walks of trees, parks, warrens, fish-ponds, houses, or
gardens, corn-fields, enclosures of meadows, or shall maliciously
destroy any property whatsoever belonging to the inhabitants of the
United States, unless by order of the then commander-in-chief of the
armies of the said States shall (besides such penalties as they are
liable to by law), be punished according to the nature and
of the offence, by the judgment of a regimental or general court
ART. 55. Whosoever, belonging to the armies of the United States in
foreign parts, shall force a safeguard, shall suffer death.
ART. 56. Whosoever shall relieve the enemy with money, victuals. or am-
munition, or shall knowingly harbor or protect an enemy, shall suffer
death. or such other punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of
a court martial.
ART. 57. Whosoever shall be convicted of holding correspondence with,
or giving intelligence to, the enemy, either directly or indirectly,
shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be ordered by the
sentence of a court martial.
ART, 58. All public stores taken in the enemy's camp, towns, forts, or
magazines, whether of artillery, ammunition, clothing, forage, or
provisions, shall be secured for the service of the United Slates; for
the neglect of which the commanding officer is to be answerable.
ART. 59. If any commander of any garrison, fortress, or post shall be
compelled, by the officers and soldiers under his command, to give up
to the enemy, or to abandon it, the commissioned officers,
non-commissioned officers or soldiers, who shall be convicted of having
so offended, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be
inflicted upon them by the sentence of a court martial.
ART. 60. All sutlers and retainers to the camp, and all
whatsoever, serving with the armies of the United States in the field,
though not enlisted soldiers, are to be subject to orders, according to
the rules and discipline of war.
ART. 61. Officers having brevets or commissions of a prior date to
those of the regiment in which they serve, may take place in courts
martial and on detachments, when composed of different corps, according
to the ranks given them in their brevets or dates of their former
commissions; but in the regiment, troop, or company to which such
officers belong, they shall do duty and take rank both in courts
martial and on detachments which shall be composed of their own corps,
according to the commissions by which they are mustered in the said
ART. 62, If, upon marches, guards, or in quarters, different corps of
the army shall happen to join, or do duty together, the officer highest
in rank of the line of the army, marine corps, or militia, by
commission, there on duty or in quarters, shall command the whole, find
give orders for what is needful to the service, unless otherwise
specially directed by the President of the United States, according to
the nature of the case.
ART. 63. The functions of the engineers being generally confined to the
most elevated branch of military science, they are not to assume, nor
are they subject to be ordered on any duty beyond the line of their
immediate profession, except by the special order of the President of
the United States; but they are to receive every mark of respect to
which their rank in tho army may entitle them respectively, and are
liable to be transferred, at the discretion of the president, from one
corps to another, regard being paid to rank.
ART. 64. General courts martial may consist of any number of
commissioned officers. from five to thirteen, inclusively; but they
shall not consist of Iess than thirteen where that number can be
convened without manifest injury to the service.
ART. 65. Any general officer commanding an army, or colonel commanding
a separate department, may appoint general courts martial
whenever necessary. But no sentence of courts martial shall be carried
into execution until after the whole proceedings shall have been laid
before the officer
1 Modified by act of 20th May, l830.
ARTICLES OF WAR.
ordering the same, or the officer commanding the troops for te time
being; neither shall any sentence of a general court martial extending
to the loss of life, or the dismission of a commissioned officer, or
which shall, either in time of peace or war, respect a general officer,
be carried into execution, until after the whole proceedings shall have
been transmitted to the Secretary of War, to be laid before the
President of the United States for his confirmation or disapproval, and
orders in the case. All other sentences may be confirmed and
executed by the officer ordering the court to assemble, or the
commanding officer for the time being, as the case may be.
ART. 66. Every officer commanding a regiment or corps may appoint for
his own regiment or corps, courts martial, to consist of three
commissioned officers, for the trial and punishment of offences not
capital, and decide upon their sentences, For the same purpose, all
officers commanding any of the garrisons, forts, barracks, or other
places where the troops consist of different corps, may assemble courts
martial, to consist of three commissioned officers, and decide upon
ART. 67. No garrison or regimental court martial shall have the power
to try capitol cases or commissioned officers; neither shall they
inflict a fine exceeding one month's pay, nor imprison, nor put to hard
labor, any non-commissioned officer or soldier for a longer time than
ART. 68. Whenever it may be found convenient and necessary to the
public service, the officers of the marines shall be associated with
the officers of the land forces, for the purpose of holding courts
martial, and trying offenders belonging to either: and, in such cases,
the orders of the senior officer of either corps who may be present and
duly authorized, shall be received and obeyed.
ART. 69. The judge advocate, or some person deputed by him, or by the
general, or officer commanding the army, detachment, or garrison, shall
prosecute in the name of the United States, but shall so far consider
himself as counsel for the prisoner, after the said prisoner shall have
made his plea, as to object to any leading question to any of the
witnesses, or any question to the prisoner, the answer to which might
tend to criminate himself; and administer to each member of the court,
before they proceed upon any trial the following oath, which shall also
be taken by all members of the regimental and garrison courts
"You, A. B., do swear that you will well and truly try and determine
according to evidence, the matter now before you, between the United
States of America and the prisoner to be tried, and that you will duly
administer justice, according to the provisions of 'An act
establishing Rules and Articles for the government of the armies of the
United States,' without partiality, favor, or affection; and if any
doubt should arise, not explained Articles, according to your
conscience, the best of your understanding, and the custom of war in
like cases; and you do further swear that you will not divulge the
sentence of the court until it shall be published by the proper
authority; neither will you disclose or discover the vote or opinion of
any particular member of the court martial, unless required to give
evidence thereof, as a witness, by a court of justice, in a due course
of law. So help you God."
And as soon as the said oath shall have been administered the
respective members, the president of the court shall administer to the
judge advocate, or person officiating as such, an oath in the following
"You, A. B., do swear, that you will not disclose or discover the vote
or opinion of any particular member of the court martial, unless
give evidence thereof, as a witness, by a court of justice, in due
course of law; nor divulge the sentence of the court to any but the
proper authority, until it shall be duly disclosed by the same. So help
ART. 70. When a prisoner, arraigned before a general court martial,
shall, from obstinacy and deliberate design, stand mute, or answer
foreign to the purpose, the court may proceed to trial and judgment as
if the prisoner had regularly pleaded not guilty.
ART. 7l. When It member shall be challenged by a prisoner, he must
state his cause of challenge, of which the court shall, after due
deliberation, determine the relevancy or validity, and decide
accordingly; and no challenge to more than one member at a time shal1
be received by the court.
ART. 72. All the members of a court martial are to behave with decency
and calmness; and in giving their votes are to begin with the youngest
ART. 73. All persons who give evidence before a court martial are to be
examined on oath or affirmation, in the following form:
"You swear, or affirm (as the case may be), the evidence you shall give
in the cause now in hearing shall be the truth, the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth. So help you God."
ART. 74 On the trials of cases not capital, before courts
alrtial, the deposition of witnesses, not in the line or staff of the
army, may be taken before some justice of the peace, and read in
evidence; provided the prosecutor and person accused are present at the
taking the same, or are duly notified thereof.
ART. 75. No officer shall be tried but by a general court martial, nor
by officers of an inferior rank, if it can be avoided. Nor shall any
proceedings of trials be carried on, excepting between the hours of
eight in the morning twd three in the afternoon, excepting in cases
which, in the opinion of the officer appointing the court martial.
require immediate example.
ART. 76. No person whatsoever shall use any menacing words, signs, or
gestures, in presence of a court martial, or shall cause any disorder
or riot, or disturb their proceedings, on the penalty of being punished
at the discretion of the said court martial.
ART. 77. Whenever any officer shall be charged with a crime, he shall
be arrested and confined in his barracks. quarters, or tent, and
deprived of his sword by the commanding officer. And any officer who
shall leave his confinement before he shall be set at liberty by his
commanding officer, or by a superior officer, shall be cashiered.
ART. 78. Non-commissioned officers and soldiers, charged with crimes,
shall be confined until tried by a court martial, or released by proper
ART. 79. No officer or soldier who shall be put in arrest shall
continue in confinement more than eight days, or until such time as a
court martial can be assembled.
ART. 80. No officer commanding a guard, or provost-marshal, shall
refuse to receive or keep any prisoner committed to his charge by an
officer belonging to the forces of the United States; provided the
officer committing shall at the same time, deliver an account in
writing, signed by himself, of the crime with which the said prisoner
ART. 81. No officer commanding a guard, or provost-marshal, shall
presume to release any person committed to his charge without proper
authority for so doing, nor shall he suffer any person to escape, on
the penalty of being punished for it by the sentence of a court
ART. 82. Every officer or provost-marshal, to whose charge prisoners
ARTICLES OF WAR.
be committed, shall, within twenty-four hours after such commitment, or
as soon as he shall be relieved from his guard, make report in writing,
to the commanding officer, of their names, their crimes, nd
names of the officers who committed them, on the penalty of being
punished for disobedience or neglect, at the discretion of a court
ART. 83. Any commissioned officer convicted before a general court
martial of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, shall be
dismissed from the service.
ART. 84. In cases where a court martial may think it proper to sentence
a commissioned officer to be suspended from command, they shall have
the power also to suspend his pay and emoluments for the same time,
according to the nature and heinousness of the offence.
ART. 85. In all cases where a commissioned officer is cashiered for
cowardice or fraud, it shall be added in the sentence, that the crime,
name, and place of abode, and punishment of the delinquent, be
published in the news papers in and about the camp, and of the
particular State from which the offender came, or where he
usually resides; after which it shall be deemed scandalous for an
officer to associate with him.
ART. 86, The commanding officer of any post or detachment, in which
there shall not be a number of officers adequate to form a general
court martial, shall, in cases which require the cognizance of such
court, report to the commanding officer of the department, who shall
order a court to be assembled for the nearest post or department, and
the party accused, with necessary witnesses, to be transported to the
place where the said court shall be assembled
ART. 87.1 No person shall be sentenced to suffer
by the concurrence of two-thirds of the members of a general court
martial, nor except in the cases herein expressly mentioned; nor shall
more than fifty lashes be inflicted on ant offender, at the discretion
of a court martial; and no officer, non-commissioned officer, soldier,
or follower of the army, shall be tried a second time fur the same
ART. 88. No person shall be liable to be tried and punished by a
general court martial for any offence which shall appear to have been
committed more than two years before the issuing of the order for such
trial, unless the person, by reason of having absented himself, or some
other manifest impediment, shall not have been amenable to justice
within that period,
ART. 89. Every officer authorized to order a general court martial
shall have power to pardon or mitigate any punishment ordered by such
court, except the sentence of death, or of cashiering an officer;
which, in the cases where he has authority (by Article 65) to carry
them into execution. he suspend, until the pleasure of the President of
the United States can be known; which suspension, together with copies
of the proceedings of the court martial, the said officer shall
immediately transmit to the president for his determination. And the
colonel or commanding officer of the regiment, or garrison
any regimental or garrison court martial shall be held, may pardon or
mitigate any punishment ordered by such court to be inflicted.
AR'l'. 90. Every judge advocate, or person officiating as such, at any
general court martial, shall transmit, with as much expedition as the
opportunity of time and
distance of place can admit, the original proceedings
1 So much of these rules and articles as
infliction of corporeal punishment by stripes and lashes, was specially
repealed by act of 16th May, 1812. By act of 2nd March, 1833,
repealing act was repealed, so far as it applied to the crime of
desertion, which, of course, revived the punishment by lashes for that
sentence of such court martial to the Secretary of War which said
original proceedings and sentence shall be carefully kept and preserved
in the office of said secretary, to the end that the persons entitled
thereto may be enabled, upon application to the said office, to obtain
The party tried by any general court martial shall, upon demand
thereof, made by himself, or by any person or persons in his behalf, be
entitled to a copy of the sentence and proceedings of such court
ART. 91. In cases where the general, or commanding officer may order a
court of inquiry to examine into the nature of any transaction,
accusation, or imputation against any officer or soldier, the said
court shall consist of one or more officers, not exceeding three, and a
judge advocate, or other suitable person as a recorder, to reduce the
proceedings and evidence to writing; all of whom shall be sworn to the
faithful performance of their duty. This court shall have the same
power to summon witnesses as a court martial, and to examine them on
oath. But they shall not give their opinion on the merits of the case,
excepting they shall be thereto specially required. The parties accused
shall also be permitted to cross-examine and interrogate the witnesses,
so as to investigate fully the circumstances in the question.
ART. 92. The proceedings of a court of inquiry must be authenticated by
the signature of the recorder and the president, and delivered t.o .tbe
commanding officer, and the said proceedings may be admitted as
evidence by a court martial, in cases not capital, or extending to the
dismission of an officer, provided that the circumstances are such that
oral testimony cannot be obtained. But as courts of inquiry may be
perverted to dishonorable purposes, and may be considered as engines of
destruction to military merit, in the hands of weak and envious
commandants, they are hereby prohibited, unless directed by the
President of the United States, or demanded by the accused.
ART. 93. The judge advocate or recorder shall administer to the members
the following oath:
” You shall well and truly examine and inquire, according to
evidence, into the matter now before you, without partiality, favor,
affection, prejudice, or hope of reward. So help you God."
After which the president shall administer to the judge advocate or
recorder the following oath:
"You, A. B., do swear that you will, according to your best abilities,
accurately and impartially record the proceedings of the court, and the
evidence to be given in the case in hearing. So help you God."
-The witnesses shall take the same oath as witnesses sworn before a
ART. 94. When any commissioned officer shall die or be killed in the
service of the United States, the major of the regiment, or the officer
doing the major's duty in his absence, or in any post or garrison, the
second officer in command, or the assistant military agent, shall
immediately secure all his effects or equipage, then in camp or
quarters, and shall make an inventory thereof, and forthwith transmit
the same to the office of the Department of War, to the end that his
executors or administrators may receive the same.
ART. 95. When any non-commissioned officer or soldier shall die, or be
killed in the service of the United States, the then commanding officer
of the troop or company shall, in the presence of two other
commissioned officers, taken an account of what effects he died
possessed of, above his arms and accoutrements, and transmit. the same
to the office of the Department of War, which said effects are to be
accounted for, and paid to the representatives of such deceased
non-commissioned officer or soldier. And in case any
ARTICLES OF WAR.
of the officers, so authorized to take care of the effects of deceased
officers and soldiers, should, before they have accounted to
their representatives for the same, have occasion to leave
regiment or post, by preferment or otherwise, they should, before they
be permitted to quit the same, deposit in the hands of the commanding
officer, or of the assistant military agent, the effects of such
deceased non-commissioned officers and soldiers, in order that the same
may be secured for, and paid to, their company representatives.
ART. 96. All officers, conductors, gunners, matrosses, drivers, or
other persons whatsoever, receiving pay or hire in the service of the
artillery, or corps of engineers of the United States, shall be
governed by the aforesaid Rules and Articles, and shall be subject to
be tried by courts martial, in like manner with the officers and
soldiers of the other troops in the service of the United States.
ART. 97. The officers and soldiers of any troops, whether militia or
others, being mustered and in pay of the United States, shall, at all
times and in all places, when joined, or acting in conjunction with the
regular forces of the United States, be governed by these
and articles of war, and shall be subject to be tried by courts martial
in like manner with the officers and soldiers in the regular forces;
save only that such courts martial shall be composed entirely of
ART. 98. All officers serving by commission from the authority of any
particular state, shall, on all detachments, courts martial, or other
duty, wherein they may be employed in conjunction with the regular
forces of the United States, take rank next after all officers of the
like grade in said regular forces, notwithstanding the commissions of
such militia or state officers may be older than the commissions of the
officers of the regular forces of the United States.
ART. 99. All crimes not capital, and all disorders and neglects which
officers and soldiers may be guilty of, to the prejudice of good order
and military discipline, though not mentioned in the foregoing articles
of war, are to be taken cognizance of by a general or regimental court
martial, according to the nature and degree of the offence,
be punished at their discretion.
ART. 100. The President of the United States shall have power to
prescribe the uniform of the army, .
ART. 101. The foregoing articles are to be re!td and published, once in
every six months, to every garrison, regiment, troop, or company,
mustered or to be mustered, in the service of the United States, and
are to be duly observed and obeyed by all officers and
who are, or shall be, in said service.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That in time of war, all persons and
citizens of, or owing allegiance to, the United States of America, who
shall be found lurking as spies in or about the fortifications or
encampments of the armies of the United States, or any of
shall suffer death, according to the law and usage of
sentence of a general court martial.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the rules and regulations by
which the armies of the United States have heretofore been governed,
and the resolves of Congress thereunto annexed, and respecting the
same, shall henceforth be void and of no effect, except so far as may
relate to any transactions under them prior to the promulgation of this
act, at the several posts and garrisons respectively, occupied by any
part of the army of the United States. [APPROVED, April 10, 1806. ]
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