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COWARDICE. Pusillanimity; fear.
     2. By the act for the better government of the navy of the United States, passed April 21, 1800, 1 Story, L. U. S. 761; it is enacted, art. 5, "every officer or private who shall not properly observe the orders of his commanding officer, or shall not use his utmost exertions to carry them into execution, when ordered to prepare for, join in, or when actually engaged in battle; or shall, at such time, basely desert his duty or station, either then, or while in sight of an enemy, or shall induce others to do so, every person so offending, shall, on conviction thereof by a general court martial, suffer death, or such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge.
     3.-Art. 6. "Every officer or private who shall, through cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, in the time of action, withdraw from, or keep out of battle, or shall not do his utmost to take or destroy every vessel which it is his duty to encounter, or shall not do his utmost endeavor to afford relief to ships belonging to the United States, every such offender shall, on conviction thereof by a general court martial, suffer death, or such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge."
     4. By the act for establishing rules and articles for the government of the armies of the United States, passed April 10, 1806, it is enacted, art. 52, "any officer or soldier, who shall misbehave himself before the enemy, run away, or shamefully abandon any fort, post, or guard, which he or they may be commanded to defend, or speak, words inducing others to do the like, or shall cast away his arms and ammunition, or who shall quit his post or colors to plunder and pillage, every such offender, being duly convicted thereof, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a general court martial."

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
The gates flew open as the chariot appeared before them, and the Cowardly Lion and Hungry Tiger trotted up a jeweled driveway to the front door of the palace and stopped short.
Hontiveros, chair of the Senate committee on women, said 'ghosting is immature and cowardly.'
5 (Petra) -- His Majesty King Abdullah has sent a cable to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, expressing condolences over the victims of the cowardly terrorist attack that targeted Qasr El Ainy area in Cairo.
Bishop Sarfaraz condemned the terror incidents and said these barbaric and cowardly attacks against innocent and peaceful people were aimed to create unrest in the world for their ulterior motives.
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe condemned a string of blasts that killed at least 138 people on Sunday as "cowardly" and said the government was working to "contain the situation."
ISLAMABAD -- President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday condemned cowardly terrorist attack in Buzi Top area of Makran Coastal Highway, Balochistan.
A "COWARDLY" driver killed a cyclist in a horror crash and then tried to cheat justice by lying about having a brain injury.
Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the cowardly act of terrorism in DIG Complex Loralai.
KARACHI -- Pasban Democratic Party President Altaf Shakoor has expressed solidarity with the government and people of China in the wake of recently cowardly attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi and hoped that the friendly ties between the two nations would further be augmented.
FM condemns cowardly' attack, lauds timely action by security forces ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday condemned the attempted terror attack on Chinese consulate in Karachi, which was foiled by security forces and resulted in the martyrdom of two policemen.
Cairo, Safar 21, 1440, October 30, 2018, SPA -- The Arab Parliament has strongly condemned the cowardly terrorist attack on a police station in Jufra District, Libya, on Monday, which resulted in killing and abducting a number of security forces members.
Police are on the hunt for the "cowardly" driver of aVW Golfwho they say refused to stop at the scene of a crash it was involved in.