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Renegade RevolutionaryThe Life of General Charles Lee$
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Phillip Papas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814767658

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814767658.001.0001

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Washington’s Scapegoat?

Washington’s Scapegoat?

(p.256) 15 Washington’s Scapegoat?
Renegade Revolutionary

Phillip Papas

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on Charles Lee's court-martial that was initiated due to his actions in the Battle of Monmouth. On July 4, 1778, Lee was in a makeshift courtroom in New Brunswick to hear the charges against him. Judge Advocate General John Lawrence read the three distinct charges: disobedience of orders in not attacking the enemy; misbehavior by making an unnecessary, disorderly, and shameful retreat; and disrespect to the commander-in-chief, George Washington, in two letters dated June 30, 1778. Lee pled not guilty in all three charges. This chapter discusses Lee's military trial and the court's guilty verdict, along with his unsuccesful bid to convince the Continental Congress to reverse the court's decision.

Keywords:   court-martial, Charles Lee, Battle of Monmouth, John Lawrence, disobedience, retreat, disrespect, George Washington, military trial, Continental Congress

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