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Letter from William Tryon to Joseph Leech, including orders to the prison guards
Tryon, William, 1729-1788
December 24, 1770
Volume 08, Pages 683-684

-------------------- page 683 --------------------

Newbern 24th Decr 1770.

Colonel Joseph Leech.

As I find it necessary to Keep a Guard during the nights, till further Orders, on the Prison in this Town for the secure keeping of Prisoners, you will order from the Town Company, a Serjeant, a Drummer and six men to parade with their arms every evening at sunset before the Prison Ground, and after you or the Lieutenant Colonel has reviewed them the Serjeant will post two Centries about the Prison and the remainder of the Guard will lodge their arms and remain at the Guard room at Mr. Setgreaves's all night ready to turn out upon any alarm. These Centries are to be relieved by two others every two hours from the said Guard until eight o'clock in the morning when the Guard may be dismissed and not before, immediately after which the Serjeant is to make a report to you of the names of the men on Guard and of all occurrences during the night, particularly if any men quit their post while Centry or leave the Guard Room without leave, which Report you will send to me by the Adjutant or an Officer of the Regiment every morning by nine o'clock—The Sergeant and men will be allowed the same pay as granted per day by the Militia Act and Mr Setgreaves allowed for fire, candle and the use of the Guard Room. If any alarm should happen in the night you will immediately report it to me.

A copy of the enclosed Orders fairly transcribed you will order to be affixed up in the Guard Room signed by yourself.

The Orders referred to in the preceding letter follow vizt:

Orders and Regulations for the Guard of the Prison.

The Sergeant or Commanding Officer on no account to leave his Guard nor to allow more than one man at a time to be absent from the Guard, and frequently in the night to go round to see the Centries are alert on their Posts.

No man to quit his Post, nor to lay his Arms out of his hands while Centry or hold any conversation with the Prisoners, nor is the Centry to suffer any Person to converse with the Prisoners but in the presence of the Sheriff.

If any man quits his Post or leaves his Guard without leave, or gets drunk on duty, to have his pay for that Guard stopped from him and distributed to the men on Guard, and the Person guilty to be punished according to the nature of the offence.

-------------------- page 684 --------------------

The Sergeant upon Guard, on an alarm to fire off a musket and to send a man of his Guard immediately after to acquaint the Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel of the nature of the alarm.

If any attempt is made for the release of the Prisoners two musket shots are to be fired which will be a signal for the Town Company immediately to get under arms, and the Captain to parade them between the Court House and Prison for the Protection of the Gaol and to prevent the escape of any Prisoner and to continue under Arms till they receive further Orders from the Commanding Officer of the Regiment.

The Centries to challenge all Persons coming near the Guard and to suffer no Person to come within reach of their Arms, and every half hour to call out in a loud voice “all is well.”

These Orders to be read every night to the Guard and his Excellency expects the men will have spirit enough to pay a punctual obedience to the Regulations contained therein.