Some reports of desertion in Hamilton's artillery company
John Reling, of Capt. Hamilton’s Company, in the New-york Artillery, tried by the same General Court Martial for “Desertion,” is found guilty of breaking from his confinement, and sentenced to be confin’d for six-days, upon bread and water.
— General Orders, 8 May 1776
Uriah Chamberlain of Capt. Hamilton’s Company of Artillery, tried at a late General Court Martial, whereof Colonel Huntington was president for “Desertion”—The Court find the prisoner guilty of the charge, and do sentence him to receive Thirty nine Lashes, on the bare back, for said offence. -General Orders, 16 May 1776
New York, May 31, 1776. An entry in the Journals of the New York Provincial Congress under this date reads: “Ordered, that Capt. Alexander Hamilton, or any or either of his officers, be and they are hereby authorized to go on board any ship or vessel in this harbour, and take with them such guard as may be necessary, and that they make strict search for any men who may have deserted from Captain Hamilton’s company
-To Alexander Hamilton from the Provincial Congress of the Colony of New York, [31 May 1776]
(Founders online puts that ‘This order was issued after a member had “informed the Congress that some of Captain Hamilton’s company of artillery have deserted, and that he has some reasons to suspect that they are on board of the Continental ship, or vessel, in this harbour, under the command of Capt. Kennedy’)
John Davis of Capt. Hamilton’s Company of Artillery, tried by a Court Martial whereof Col. Malcom was President, was convicted of “Desertion” and sentenced to receive Thirty-nine lashes.
-General Orders, 7 September 1776
The reports of the desertions that I could find on founders online were mostly from May - September of 1776. ‘The war of the revolution’ by Christopher Ward has that, around this time:
‘The army was in a deplorable condition, mentally and physically. Dispirited by its recent defeat, dejected by its hardships, dismayed at the prospect of the future… Physically, too, everything was in sad condition. The men were tired, soaked to the skin, hungry and in some part leaderless… Desertion was consequentially rife, especially among the militia. They went off in whole companies, in whole regiments. Within a few days the Connecticut militia dwindled from 8,000 to 2,000 men.’