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it is numbered; between each, a pause equal to three paces in slow time takes place, which is marked by the time taken to circle the cat round the head, or formerly in some cases by taps of the drum. A commanding officer is not justified in prolonging the infliction beyond the usual time; and charges have been grounded upon the non-observance of such caution. No punishinent is to be inflicted but in the presence of the surgeon or of the assistant surgeon, in case of any other indispensable duty preventing the attendance of the surgeon. Should any symptoms arise which indicate the propriety of suspending the infliction, it is the duty of the medical officer to report to the senior officer on the parade, who directs accordingly. The cat-onine-tails consists of a drum stick, or handle of wood of similar length, having fixed to it nine ends of common whip cord; a larger description of cord, or the substitution of a rope, could not be justified; each end is about sixteen inches long, and knotted with three knots, one being near the end : the drum major sees that the ends are not entangled during the infliction, so as to produce a more serious blow than intended, but that they are disengaged from time to time, and, if necessary, washed in water. A previous preparation of cats, by steeping them in brine and washing them in salt and water during the punishment, has been made the subject of a charge against a commanding officer ; and, although the officer referred to (lieutenant colonel Bayly, of the 98th regiment) was (1) G. O. No. 450.
prolonging timo of, not Justifiable;
(2) Gen. Reg. page 252. (3) See a note, Homicide excusable.--Index.
Order of Ilis
acquitted “of all knowledge of, or participation in, the cruel and unprecedented practices of steeping the cats in brine, and of washing them with salt and water, during the infliction of the punishments;" yet his majesty, ever alive to the reputation of the army, and desirous of tempering with mercy the unavoidable severity of military punishment, was pleased to command “that the admonition, to which brevet lieutenant Bayly has been sentenced by the court, should be communicated to that officer, accompanied by the expression of his majesty's regret and displeasure, that punishments, deemed necessary in their nature to the maintenance of discipline, and legally authorized, should have been inflicted in any corps in so cruel and unprecedented a manner as the evidence on the face of the proceedings clearly establishes to have been the case in this instance, and that so unquestionable a proof should have been afforded of neglect of duty on the part of an officer in command of any regiment or detachment of his majesty's troops, as is too clearly chargeable upon lieutenant colonel Bayly, and as is justly so held by the court, when an occurrence so prejudicial to military discipline, and tending so manifestly to bring the army into disrepute, could have been preconcerted without his knowledge, and afterwards take place without his notice, in the depôt under his immediate command.”
A commanding officer is not justified in re- sonder onder leasing soldiers under sentence of corporal cannot be
(1) G. O. No. 511.
sentence of, an doing duty, subjected to;
infiction of, by right and left handed drummerr.
punishment, permitting them to do duty in presence of the enemy or at other times, and afterwards in inflicting the punishment.”
Although right and left handed drummers have been sometimes employed indifferently, yet it must have been remarked by every man who has witnessed the infliction of military punishments, that there is by this means a vast increase in the degree of pain beyond that produced by punishing with right handed drummers alone. It therefore appears scarcely to be acting up to the letter of a sentence, which prescribes corporal punishment in the usual inanner, to adopt a mode of infliction which greatly enhances the suffering, and which is not uniformly and invariably practised. These observations, and those which were offered as to flogging on the breech, when speaking of the sentence, may by some be deemed trifling; but the subject of them is one of great consequence to the soldier who may be exposed to corporal punishment, and they are also connected with the best interests of the service, if the author has judged rightly of the feelings of soldiers on witnessing the modes of punishment here adverted to, which though justified, or rather palliated, by the custom of the service, were never frequent.
The practice of completing an awarded corporal punishment at a time subsequent to the first infliction, if the culprit was unequal to bear the whole at once, in the judgment of the
Second inflictions of oorporal punishment,
(1) Court martial on lieutenant colonel Archdale, of the 40th regiment. Lamego, February, 1813.
surgeon superintending, had been for many years discontinued, and is now forbidden by the regulations.
The commanding officer is in all cases respon- Sentences sible that the punishment is inflicted according to the custom of the service. His late Majesty declared, upon the occasion of the irregularity above referred to, " that whatever may be the opinion or sentence of a general court martial, his majesty will continue to require that officers be held responsible for what passes in regiments under their command.” The order making known his majesty's sentiments on the subject, also contains the following passage : " It matters not whether such irregularities proceed from design, inattention, or ignorance, on the part of the commanding officer. Whatever
Whatever may be the cause, it is equally clear, that the officer who may either authorize or allow such acts, or during whose command such acts may take place, is in no way fit to be entrusted with the charge of a body of troops ; and it is, therefore, the imperative duty of the general commanding in chief, whenever such a case is brought forward, to make a special report of it for the serious consideration of his majesty."
The attention of the general commanding in Military punish chief having been called to the punishment of a sziliated on soldier of the 11th hussars on a Sunday, his lordship remarked that it was well known that it is not the practice of this country to carry the penal sentences of the law into execution on that day, neither was it the practice of the army (1) Gen. Reg. p. 252. (2) Sce page 413.
(3) G. O. No. 511.
of evident necessity.
the letter D
whether employed abroad or at home, and he desired that it may be clearly understood that
the sentences of military courts are not to be except in cases carried into execution on Sundays, excepting in
cases of evident necessity, the nature of which
it could not be requisite for him to define. Marking with
It is directed that the punishment of marking for desertion should be inflicted on the parade and in presence of the men, with an instrument in every respect similar throughout the army ; in the cavalry by the trumpet major, and in the infantry by the drum or bugle major, or in their absence by some other person, who must, as well as these non-commissioned officers, be instructed in the proper application of the instrument, and also of the substance (whether ink or gunpowder) with which the mark is to be coloured, by a medical officer, without whose presence this punishment is never to be inflicted.
Soldiers serving on foreign stations, recomrecommendertio mended by
mended by a court martial to be discharged
with ignominy, may be discharged by direction discharged by
of the general officer commanding on the station, under such restrictions as the commander in chief may prescribe.”
It would promote the discipline, and conduce to the respectable character of the army,
if men convicted of stealing, or of confirmed bad charac
(1) G. O. No. 553, 22nd April, 1841.
(2) Circular, Horse Guards, 5th May, 1842. (3) 75th Art. War.—These restrictions are contained in a circular letter, dated Horse Guards, 1st May, 1838. By a circular dated 12th March, 1839, General officers abroad, in the case of soldiers belonging to the Ordnance corps, were required to make a special report to the adjutant general, in order to a final decision being notified to them, but by a subsequent circular (12th May, 1840) they are, notwithstanding, permitted to give effect to the recommendation of courts martial, when they shall consider an immediate example necessary towards the maintenance of discipline.
Soldiers, on foreign service, be discharged with infamy, may be
order of the general officer coinmanding.
Advantage of discharging bad characters, and exciting high feeling in soldiers.