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Continential Army Major General Charles Lee Convicted at Court-Martial

On August 12, 1778, just two weeks after the Battle of Monmouth during the Revolutionary War, Major General Charles Lee was convicted at his court-martial of all three charges laid against him for his conduct during the early stages of that encounter: disobeying orders in not attacking the British on the morning of the battle, contrary to “repeated instructions; conducting an “unnecessary, disorderly, and shameful retreat”; and disrespect towards George Washington, the commander-in-chief. Congress would confirm the verdict in December, and Lee was suspended from the army for a year, a sentence so lenient that some interpreted it as a vindication of all but the charge of disrespect.


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