Mutiny of the Massachusetts Line

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Mutiny of the Massachusetts Line

MUTINY OF THE MASSACHUSETTS LINE. 1 January 1780. William Heath wrote in his memoirs: "Early in the morning about 100 soldiers belonging to the Massachusetts regiments [of the West Point garrison] … marched off with intent to go home: they were pursued and brought back: some of them were punished; the greater part of them pardoned." Once back in quarters the individual cases were reviewed, and some of the men received their discharges. As would be the case again a year later, the cause of the problem was a difference of opinion on the meaning of the phrase—regarding length of service—"three years or the duration."


Heath, William. Heath's Memoirs of the American War. Reprinted from the original edition of 1798 with introduction and notes by Rufus Rockwell Wilson. New York, 1904.

                          revised by Robert K. Wright Jr.