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Volume Three of deserter ads is the final volume in this series. It is based on an examination of thirty-eight newspapers published from Massachusetts to South Carolina between 1775 and 1783. Included in this volume’s list of newspapers for the first time are issues of the Virginia Gazette. As Virginia allowed officials from South Carolina and Georgia to recruit in Virginia, readers will discover many deserters from units for those two states in the pages of the Gazette. Though most of the deserters named in this volume are from various American units, British, German, and French ones are also included, as well as naval deserters from both sides of the conflict.
Soldiers deserted from all theaters of the Revolution, although roughly as many deserted during the first two years of the war as in the period after June 1777, as the Patriot army became more professionalized. When soldiers ran away, a designated officer placed an advertisement in the local newspaper describing the deserter in considerable detail and offering a reward for his capture. Each ad describes the deserter by physical features, his place of birth or last residence, occupation, company served in, date missing, and other characteristics.