He enlisted under the alias 'James Howard' (4).
He was born in 1835/36 (2 (25 in 1861)).
When he enlisted, he was a printer, and was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2).
When he enlisted, he was 5 feet 6 inches tall, and had a dark complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair (2).
He enlisted and was mustered into service, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 26 November 1861 (1, 2). He was mustered in as a private in company I (1, 2, 5).
He was then sent to Camp Distribution, Virginia (4). On 1 September 1862, he escaped from Camp Distribution (4). On 3 September 1862, in or near Washington, DC, he enlisted in the 119th Pennsylvania (4).
He was caught on 5 July 1864, in or near Philadelphia (4).
On 5 September 1864, he was tried by court martial (3). He was charged with deserting twice, and with violating the 22nd Article of War, by re-enlisting in a different regiment without having been discharged (4). He pled guilty to the specifications of the desertion charge, but not to the charge, and guilty to re-enlistment without having been discharged (4). The Court found him guilty on all counts, and sentenced him to be dishonorably discharged, with loss of all pay and allowances then or thereafter due, and to be confined at hard labor at Fort Delaware for three years (4). The reviewing authority confirmed the sentence (4). He was a private, in company I (5).
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233. (In the roster) (James Howard)
2 Civil War Veterans' Card File, available at the Pennsylvania State Archives, searched 28 March 2005 (James Howard)
3 National Archives Archival Research Catalog (accessed 24 July 2010) (James Howard)
4 court-martial record, William Lauchlin alias James Howard, National Archives and Records administration, file NN 2422 (William Lachlin (or Lauchlin) alias James Howard)
5 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (James Howard)
II A General Court Martial is hereby appointed to meet at Alexandria Va. on Monday August 8th 1864. at 10. OClock AM or as soon thereafter as practicable for the trial of such prisoners as may be brought before it.
|[the names and regiments are very light and hard to read]|
|1.||Major||F. G. Stiles||42d Mass Vols|
|2.||1st Lieut.||Wm T. Hill.||2nd D.C. Vols.|
|3.||" "||C. W. Baster||42d Mass Vols|
|4.||" "||Henry J. Jennings||" " "|
|5.||2nd Lieut.||Alexander Brookfield||2nd D.C. Vols|
|6.||" "||G. K. Edwards||" " "|
|7.||" "||Wm McCluney||" " "|
|1st Lieut.||J. W. Smith||" " "|
V. [?] No other Officers than those named can be assembled without manifest injury to the Service.
The Court met pursuant to foregoing Order and adjournment.
All the member were present.
The Court then proceeded to the trial of William Lachlin [sic] alias James Howard, Private Co. "I" 91st Regiment Penna Vols who was brought before the Court, and having heard the Order appointing the Court read, was asked if he had any objection to any member named in the Order. And [??] the prisoner answered No Sir.
The Court was then duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, and the Judge Advocate duly sworn by the President of the Court in the presence of the prisoner.
The prisoner was then arraigned on the following Charge and Specification.
In this that Private Wm Lachlin alias James Howard Co "I" 91st Regt Penna Vols. having been duly enlisted in the Military Service of the United States did, without proper authority, absent himself from his Company and Regiment and so remained until apprehended on or about the last of August 1862. at or near Philadelphia Pa.
This at or near Alexandria Va on or about the 1st of August 1862.
In this that Private William Lachlin alias James Howard Co "I" 91st Regt. Penna. Vols. having been apprehended and forwarded to Camp Distribution Va. did, without proper authority, absent himself from Camp Distribution Va. and so remain until apprehended on or about the 5th of July 1864. at or near Philadelphia Pa.
This at or near Camp Distribution on or about the 1st of September 1862.
In this that Private William Lachlin alias James Howard Co "I" 91st Regt. Penna. Vols having been duly enlisted in the Military Service of the United States did, without proper authority, absent himself from his Company and Regiment and reenlist in the 119th Regt Penna Vols.
This on or about the 3d of September 1862 at or near Washington D.C.(signed) H. H. Wills
To which Charge and Specification the prisoner William Lachlin alias James Howard Pvt. Co "I" 91st Regt Penna Vols pleaded as follows.
The prisoner having no evidence to call in his defense, submitted a written statement in extenuation of his crime. it is appended and marked "A."
The Judge Advocate submitted the case to the Court.
The Court was then cleared and after mature deliberation find him,
The Court does therefore sentence him William Lachlin alias James Howard private Co "I" 91st Regt. Penna Vols. to be dishonorably discharged the military service of the United States with the loss of all pay
and allowances now due or may [sic] become due and be confined at hard labor at Fort Delaware or such other place as the Commanding General may direct, for the period of three years.
The proceedings findings and sentence in the cases ofx x x
are approved. Fort Delaware is designated as the place of this confinement. They will be delivered by the Provost Marshal General defences South of the Potomac to the Provost Marshal of the District of Columbia with their Descriptive Lists, Clothing Accounts and a Copy of this Order and their Sentence will be executed.
I received no bounty from either of the Regiments, and did not desert with any intention of getting any bounty or compensation whatever.William Lachlan