Desertion the ultimate dereliction of duty

Desertion in antiquity: Desertion was a crime under Roman military law.

The Black Watch execution: In 1743, three members of the Scottish Black Watch regiment—Samuel McPherson.

American War of Independence: Between 1776 and 1783 during the American War of Independence.

Napoleonic Wars: Desertion by British combatants during the Napoleonic Wars was rife.

Desertions on both sides: Over 100,000 deserted the Confederate Army.

Newton Knight: The most famous rebel deserter was Newton Knight. 

Mark Twain: Before his writing career took off under his pen name of Mark Twain.

Death of John Barnett: On September 17, 1862, a Union soldier, Private John Thomas Barnett.

The First World War: Both Britain and France took a strong line towards deserters in the First World War.

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