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Friday, March 24, 2006

March 24. 1777
Our thief was caught last night, a youth aged 13 caught while attempting to steal some leftover food. He was caught in a trap intentionally layed for him. Some of the men earlier in the evening had mentioned their stock of food layed by the way. After lights out several remained awake. In the near pitch black of the night they could hear someone quietly rummaging through their stock and they set up the alarm which brought the sentry and other marines. The youth was caught by the neck until the guards came. This morning the first lieutenant conferred with Captain Johnston and he has allowed us to punish the young thief ourselves. Captain Johnston informed him that stealing in a ship’s crew was a serious crime and could not go unpunished. The shirt was stripped from his back and we formed two lines along the length of our deck and made him run the gauntlet twice with each of us thrashing his back with nettles given us by the British. I dare say he will not sleep on his back tonight while the rest of us sleep soundly.

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