91st PA at Fredericksburg--court martials

Courts martial of James B Bonsall and David Baker

[I have proofread this page]

[source: court-martial record, trial of James B Bonsall, 3 January 1863, and trial of D B Baker, 3 January 1863, National Archives, Record Group 153 (Judge Advocate General, Army), file KK691]

KK 691

[order establishing first court martial]

Proceedings of a General Court Martial which was convened at Head Quarters 1st Brigade, 3d. Division, 5th Corps, near Fredericksburg, Va., by virtue of the following special order:

Head Qrs. 3d. Division 5th Corps
January 2nd 1863

A General Court Martial is hereby appointed to meet at the Head Quarters of 1st Brigade, 3d Division, 5th Army Corps on Saturday the 3d. inst. at 9 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as practicable for the trial of such prisoners as may be brought before it.

Detail for the Court
Lieut. Col. W. H. Armstrong129th Regt.Pa. Vols.Presd
Major John H. Thompson134th [?] "" "
" E. M. Schrock133d "" "
Capt. W. H. DavisonCo. "B" 126th "" "
" J. M. MoyerCo. "A" 131st " "" "
" F. T. Wilson
Judge Advocate
Co. "I" 131st " "" "

No other officers than those named can be assembled without manifest injury to the Service.

The Court will sit irrespective of hours.

By Command of
Brig. Genl. A. A. Humphrys
Comdg. Division
(Signed) Carrll McClellan
A. A. General
[page 2]

Head Quarters 1st Brig. 3d Division 5th Corps
Camp Near Fredericksburg Va
Jan 3d 1863

The Court met at 1 1/2 o'clock P.M. pursuant to the forgoing [sic] order.

Present.
Lieut. Col. A. H. Armstrong
Major E. M. Schrock
Capt. W. H. Davison
Capt. F. T. Wilson, Judge Advocate

[first trial of James Bonsall]

After organization, the Court proceeded to the trial of James B. Bonsall, Second Lieut of Co "F" 126th Regt Penna Vols. He was called before the Court, and having heard the order appointing the Court read, was asked whether he had any objections to any member named in the order. Having no objections to any members, the Court was, there in his presence, duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, and the Judge Advocate was duly sworn by the President of the Court.

The accused James B Bonsall Second Lieut. Co. "F" 126th Regt. Penn. Vols. was arraigned and tried on the following Charge and Specification.

Charge - Failure to deliver orders entrusted to him by his commanding officer for delivery.

Specification - In this, that he, the said Lieut James B Bonsall, Company "F" 126th Regt. Penna. Vols., whilst his company and regiment were on Picket duty to the left and front of Fredericks [page 3] burg, Va. having been ordered by Lt. Col. D.W. Rowe, the officer commanding his regiment, to communicate an order of Brig. Genl. Humphrys to the commanding officer of the Berdan Sharpshooters, and to the commanding officer of a company of the 91st Penna. Vols. on the picket line held by the 126th Penna. Vols., in relation to the withdrawal of the said SharpShooters and the said company of the 91st P.V. did fail to deliver said order to the commanding officer of the said company of the 91st P.V. This at or about 6 o'clock A.M. of the 16th day of December 1862.

To which charge and specification the accused pleaded as follows:

To the Specification - "Not Guilty"
To the Charge - "Not Guilty"

The following evidence was received on behalf of the prosecution.

[testimony by D B Baker]

Acting Lieut. Baker 91st. Regt P.V. sworn.

I know nothing further than, that the commanding officer of Co. "E" 91st Regt. P.V., told me that he was not notified. I heard Lt. Bonsall instructing the commanding officer of Berdan's SharpShooters to retire as skirmishers. I did not hear him tell Capt. Lentz, commanding officer of Co. "E" 91st Regt. P.V., to retire. Capt. Lentz was not present when the order was received. I was next in command [page 4] to Capt. Lentz. I started in search of Capt. Lentz with the intention of communicating the order. When he gave the notice to the commanding officer of Berdan's Sharpshooters, I remarked that we would be left by ourselves. He replied: "No, you will retire too.["] Lt. Bonsall gave me the order to retire. He told me Capt. Lentz was notified. I think Lieut. Bonsall mistook me for Capt. Lentz--that has been my oppinion [sic] since. I wore a commissioned officer's sword and belt. I had on an enlisted man's overcoat. It was twenty yards from the left of the line of pickets. Capt. Lentz was on the right of the picket line.

[testimony by Lt Col Rowe]

Lt. Col. Rowe 126th Regt. PV sworn.

I was the officer commanding the 126th Reg. P.V. on the morning of the 16th of Dec. last. The regiment was doing picket duty to the left of Fredericksburg Va., a short distance from town. When I posted the pickets, I took Lt. Bonsall with me--his company being with the reserve, in order that, if I should have any orders to send out, he might be acquainted with the line, and carry them. About 3 oclock in the morning I was ordered to withdraw the 126th Reg. as quietly as possible. Lt. Bonsall carried that order. A few minutes [page 5] afterwards the order was countermanded and I sent Capt. Andrew R. Davison Co. "K" 126th Regt. P.V. to replace the regiment as pickets. About an hour afterwards Lt. Diehl of Genl. Tyler's Staff brought me an order to post a company of the 91st P.V., which came up a few minutes afterwards, on the line of pickets held by the 126th Regt. P.V. + to withdraw the 126th. I sent Capt. Davison with that company to execute the order. The picket line was 1/2 mile long, with a blockhouse at the far end. Not long afterwards I received an order to have the Berdan SharpShooters and the company of the 91st (just posted) retire as skirmishers, as soon as my regiment should have assembled + begun to move down towards town. I sent Lt. Bonsall to communicate that order to the commanding officer of the SharpShooters and of the company of the 91st P.V. I did not know the name of either of those officers. He and Capt. Davison both returned at the same time, and informed me that they had communicated the order I had sent by them. Lt. Bonsall was in the house, where the picket reserve were, + where I had my headquarters, and did not see Capt. Lentz' company go out on the line, nor know what Co. had gone. [I g]ave him the order in the road in [page 6] front of the house. I told him to execute it as speedily as possible, the regiment having already begun to assemble in the road. Lt. Bonsall was absent a very short time. The regiment was just beginning to move when Lt. Bonsall returned. Capt. Davison was gone about three quarters of an hour. All these orders I understood to have come from Genl. Humphrys, and were brought to me by Capt. Cavada of Genl. Humphys' Staff, and Lieut. Diehl of Genl. Tyler's Staff.

The Court then adjourned to meet at half past 9 oclock A.M. Monday the 5th inst.

The Court met pursuant to adjournment, and proceeded to hear the following evidence.

[testimony of Captain Lentz]

Capt. Lentz sworn.

I was in command of the company (Co. "E" 91st P.V.) on the 16th Dec. 1862. I did not receive any order to retire with my command by Lt. Bonsall. The picket line was about 150 yds long. Act. Lt. Baker was second in command. I was at the blockhouse. I did not know that Lt. Baker was on the line, until after I came to camp. The Col. told Lt. Baker to take a squad of 12 men up on [page 7] the hill - all that I know of that matter is the fact of his leaving with the men. Lt. Baker had been detached previously to my being ordered out and he afterwards joined the company, as I afterwards learned without my knowing it. I do not know when Act. Lt. Baker rejoined his company. I did not retire until compelled to do so by the enemy.

[testimony by Colonel E M Gregory]

Col. E. M. Gregory sworn.

I am Col. of the 91st Regt. P.V. A little before daylight on the morning of the 16th Dec 1862, an officer of Genl Humphrys' Staff requested me to detail a company of twenty-five or thirty-five men with officers. I understood him, that he wished them to releive [sic] the pickets of the 126th Regt. P.V. and would want them but a short time. I ordered Capt. Lentz of Co. "E" to bring out his company, and to follow the officer and he would give him his instructions. I received an order soon after from one of the Aids [sic] of Genl Tyler to order in the men on duty, on picket, in my regiment, which was done with the exception of Co. "E". I was then ordered to retire with my regiment, which I did and came to the road where I supposed Co "E" was posted. [page 8] Lt. Diehl of Genl. Tyler's Staff assured me that he had relieved company "E". "It's all right" was his language. The regiment was then halted, waiting. Lt. Diehl says "Forward, Col. with your regiment, you have no time to lose." I again referred to company "E", when he assured me that he had releived [sic] them. I saw no more of company "E" until we had crossed the river, where Act. Lt. Baker reported himself with a portion of the men. I enquired for Capt. Lentz and the balance of the men. He said they would soon be along. Capt. Lentz reported himself with twelve men in camp on the same day. The same evening he reported to me that he had lost part of his command. I think he stated that he lost 11 men. It was a little before daybreak when Lt. Diehl assured me that it was all right. I was about twenty or thirty minutes in assembling my regiment. Just after Capt. Lentz had started out with his command, Lt. Baker came up and inquired what it meant, and asked the question shall I go with my company, and I said yes, "go with your company["], and he went out with his company. I think that the men that were with Baker, were with the company when it came out. My impression is that Lt. [page 9] Baker said he saw Capt. Lentz and the men come off the hill.

[testimony of Lt Diehl]

Lt. Diehl of Genl. Tyler's Staff sworn

About 6 oclock in the morning Col. Gregory said to me that he would have to go back and look after company "E". The Col. was then withdrawing his regiment from the picket line. I remarked that, you need not go back, that it was all right, as I had sent the company information through Lt. Col. Rowe.

[verdict and sentence]

The prosecution having no further evidence to offer and none being offered by the accused, the Judge Advocate submitted the case to the Court without remark. The Court was then cleared for deliberation; and after mature deliberation on the evidence adduced, finds the accused James B. Bonsall 2nd Lt. Co. "F" 126th Regt. P.V. as follows:

Of the Specification "Guilty."
Of the Charge "Guilty."

The Court thereupon sentenced the said James B Bonsall 2nd Lt. of Co. "F", 126th Regt. P.V. To be publicly reprimanded by his commanding officer and forfeiture of one month's pay, and the Court composed this sentence for the reason [page 10] that he intended to perform his duty faithfully and failed only in mistaking Act. Lt. Baker for Capt. Lentz.

The Court then took a short recess.

Frank T Wilson
Capt Co I 131st P V
Judge Advocate

W Armstrong
Lieut Col 129 P.V.
Prest of Court.

[report of review]

Head Qrs 3d Div. 5th Corps
Jany 9 1863

The Proceedings of the Court are illegal because a less number of members were present than the minimum allowed by law. [See Article 64 of the Articles of War]

A A Humphrys
Brig. Genl. Comdg. Div .

[page 11]

[first trial of D B Baker]

The Court met after a short recess.

Present
Lt. Col.W. H. Armstrong129th RegP.V.
MajorE. M. Schnock133th "" "
CaptW. H. Davison126th "" "
"J. M. Moyer131st "" "
 F. T. Wilson
Judge Advocate
  
Absent
MajorJ. H. Thompson134th RegtPVwounded

The Court then proceeded to the trial of D. B. Baker, Act. Sec. Lt. of Co. "E", 91st Regt. P.V. He was called before the Court, and having heard the order appointing the Court read, was asked whether he had any objections to any member named in the order. The accused having no objection to any member named in the order, the Court was there in his presence duly sworn by the Judge Advocate and the Judge Advocate was duly sworn by the President of the Court.

The accused was then tried and arraigned on the following Charge + specification.

Charge - Leaving his company without authority from his commanding Officer.

[page 12]

Specification. In this, that the said Actg. 2nd Lt. D. B. Baker Co. "E" 91st Regt. P.V., did retire with a portion of the company without permission and leaving the captain with the balance of the command. This while on Picket duty near Fredericksburg Va. on the morning of the 16th of December, 1862.

To which charge + specification the accused pleaded as follows.

To the Specification - "Not Guilty."
To the Charge - "Not Guilty."

The following evidence was received in behalf of the prosecution.

[testimony by Captain Lentz]

Capt. Lentz Co. "E" 91st Regt. P.V. Sworn.

On the morning of the 16th Dec. 1862, my company was ordered to get ready and to follow some Aid [sic] that was there on horseback. I proceeded with my command about a half mile out to the road; there I met Col. Rowe who gave me my instructions. He sent a Capt. with me to show me where to post. I posted my men along the line - one man at a post. When I arrived at the blockhouse [page 13] I had 12 men left. The 12 men and myself went into the blockhouse and there remained. Lt. Baker was acting as a commissioned officer at the time. Lt. Baker told me that an officer had told him that I had been notified, and that he was to retire as skirmishers. I gave Lt. Baker no authority to retire. I do not know whether Lt. Baker was with me or not. In an after conversation Lt. Baker stated that he was at the left of the company - keeping the men in line while I posted from the right. When he retired, he took with him about 16 or 17 men.

[testimony of Samuel Conrad]

Samuel Conard [sic] Sworn.

I belong to Co. "E" 91st. P.V. The officer that we releived [sic] gave Lt. Baker orders to retire as skirmishers. I do not know the officer's name that gave the order. I heard him give the order to retire. I heard Lt. Baker ask for Capt. Lentz. I heard an officer tell Lt. Baker that Capt. Lentz was notified. This officer was notifying the line of Pickets at the time.

[testimony of Lt Bonsall]

Lt. Bonsall Co. "F" 91st [sic] P.V. Sworn

On the morning of 16th of Dec, 1862, Lt. Col. Rowe gave me authority to [page 14] order the company of the 91st P.V. and Berdan's SharpShooters to retire as skirmishers, and take with them all the stragglers they saw on their way. I gave Lt. Baker orders to retire as skirmishers. I am satisfied that the accused is the officer to whom I gave the orders to retire. I did not know there was such a man as Capt Lentz.

[verdict and sentencing]

The prosecution having no further testimony to offer and no other being offered by the accused, the Judge Advocate submitted the case to the Court without remark. The Court was then cleard [sic] for deliberation, and having maturely considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused D. B. Baker Act. 2nd Lt. Co. "E" 91st Regt. P.V. as follows:

Of the Specification "Guilty."
Of the Charge "Guilty."

And the Court does therefore sentence him, the said D. B. Baker Act. 2nd Lt. of Co "E" 91st P.V. to be publicly reprimanded by his commanding officer and a forfeiture of one months pay.

[page 15]
Frank T. Wilson
Capt. Co. I 131st P.V.
Judge Advocate

W Armstrong
Lieut Col 129 P.V.
Prest

[result of review]

Hd. Qrs. 3rd Div. 5 Corps.
Jany 9 1863

The proceedings are illegal, a less number of members having been present than the minimum allowed by law.

A. A. Humphrys
Brig. Genl. Comg. Div.


[I did not transcribe the remaining trials in KK691]


[source: court-martial record, trial of James B Bonsall, 12 January 1863, and trial of D B Baker, 12 January 1863, National Archives, Record Group 153 (Judge Advocate General, Army), file KK664]

[order establishing second court martial]


[page 1]
Proceedings of a General Court Martial which was convened at the Head Quarters of the 1st. Brig. 3d. Division, 5th Corps, at Camp near Potomac Creek, Va by virtue of the following special order.
Head Quarters 3d Division 5 Corps.
Jan. 11th 1863

The proceedings under the order from these Head Quarters of the 2nd inst. convening a General Court Martial for the trial of such persons as might be brought before it, having been illegal throughout, are void of any effect. The condition of the Division did not admit of a greater number of officers being detailed for the Court than the minimum allowed by Law, yet, three members proceeded to the trial of 2nd Lt. James C. Bonsall 126th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers - four members to the trial of Actg. 2nd Lt. D. B. Baker 91st Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers - and three members to the trial of private Jacob Merriman Co. "K" 123d Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, of private Samuel Parker Co. "C" 123d Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, and of private Jacob Hollman Co. "D" 126th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. In each of these cases the the [sic] so called Court was illegally constituted, and its acts being void, the above [page 2] named prisoners will be brought before a General Court Martial which is hereby appointed to meet at the Head Quarters of the 1st. Brigade 3d Division 5th Army Corps, on Monday, the 12th day of January 1863, at 9 oclock A.M. [or as] soon thereafter as practicable, for the trial of the prisoners named and such other persons as may be brought before it.

Detail for the Court
Lt. Col. W. A. McCartney133d RegP. V.Presiding
Major Joseph Anthony129th "" "
Major E. M. Schnock123d "" "
Captain David Bly131st "" "
" W. H. Davison126th "" "
 Capt. F. T. Wilson
Judge Advocate
131st "" "
No other officers than those named can be assembled without manifest injury to the service.

The Court will sit irrespective of hours and will give at least ten hours a day to trial until it has completed its labor.

By Command of
Brig. Genl. Humphrys
Comdg. Division
(Signed) Carrll McClellan
A.A.G.

[second trial of James Bonsall]

[page 3] Head Quarters 1st Brig. 3d Division 5th Corps
Near Potomac Creek Jan. 12th 1863

The Court met at 10 oclock AM Jan 12, 1863 persuant to the forgoing [sic] order.
Members Present.
Lt. Col. W. A. McCartney
Major Joseph Anthony
" E. M. Schnok
Capt. David Bly
Capt. W. H. Davison
Capt. F. T. Wilson Judge Advocate

After organization, the Court proceeded to the trial of 2nd Lt. James C. Bonsall Co. "F" 126th Regt. P.V. He was called before the Court and having heard the order appointing the Court read, was asked whether he had any objection to any members named in the order. Having no objection to any member of the Court, the Court was then in his presence duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, and the Judge Advocate was duly sworn by the President of the Court.

[charge and specification]

The accused 2d Lt. James C. Bonsall, Co. "F" 126th Regt. P.V. was arraigned and tried on the following charge + specification.

Charge - Failure to deliver orders entrusted to him by his commanding officer for delivery.

[page 4]

Specification - In this, that he, the said Lt. James C. Bonsall, Company "F" 126th Regt P.V. whilst his company and regiment were on picket duty to the left and front of Fredericksburg Va., having been ordered by Lt. Col. D. W. Rowe, the officer commanding his regiment, to communicate an order of Brig. Genl. Humphrys, to the commanding officer of the Berdan Sharp Shooters and to the commanding officer of a company of the 91st Reg. P. V. on the picket line held by the 126th Regt Penn Vols, in relation to the withdrawal of the said Sharp-Shooters and the said co. of the 91st P.V., did fail to deliver said order to the commanding officer of the said Company of the 91st P.V.

This at or about 6 oclock A.M. of the 16th day of December 1862.

To which Charge + Specification the accused pleaded as follows:

To the Specification- "Not Guilty"
To the Charge - "Not Guilty"

The following evidence was received on behalf of the prosecution.

[testimony of D B Baker]

[page 5] Sergt. Actg. 2nd Lt. D. B. Baker Co. "E" 91st P. V. sworn.

I had just returned from the Hill with twelve men that had been posted there with me when the regiment first arrived. I had not been in from there more than 5 or 10 minutes before Co. "E" was detailed to relieve the 126th Reg. P.V. followed at the rear of the company and saw the Capt. posting the men behind a fence on the brow of a hill, on the right of the road. He hardly had the men posted, when he received orders to retire as skirmishers, and to take up all stragglers. I received the order from Lt. Bonsall. He told me afterwards that he had notified Capt. Lentz. I am of the impression that he mistook me for Capt. Lentz. Lt. Bonsall was instructing the commanding officer of Berdan's Sharp-Shooters to retire as skirmishers and to keep in the rear of the column on the road, and to take up all stragglers; I there remarked that we would be left by ourselves, no! he says, you will retire too. He gave me the same instructions that he gave to the Berdan Sharp-Shooters. I wore a commissioned officer's sword + belt.

[testimony of E M Gregory]

[page 6] Col. E. M. Gregory, 91st P.V. sworn.

I was with my command below the City. On the morning of 16th of Dec. 1862, about daybreak, an officer of Genl. Humphrys' Staff ordered me to detail of co. of 25 or 35 men with officers, he wished to have them a short time - less than an hour, I think he said. I detailed a co. of my command, Capt. John D. Lentz with Act. 2nd Lt. D. B. Baker as officers. I directed Capt. Lentz to follow the officer, who would give him his instructions. My impression is that he said he wished to relieve the pickets of the 126th P.V. Lt. Diehl of Gen. Tyler's Staff ordered me to draw in the pickets of my regiment, the 91st P.V., which I did. he then ordered me to withdraw my regiment. I moved my regt. to the road and halted it, and said to Lt. Diehl that Co "E" of my regiment must be relieved. he answered that Capt. Lentz was releived [sic] that he had attended to it. "It is all right, forward Col["]. I hesitated and made some remark such as this, that I would not move without knowing that Capt Lentz was releived [sic]. He assured me again that it was all [page 7] right. The next I saw of Co "E" men was Lt. Baker with a portion of the men on this side of the River. Capt. Lentz the same day reported in camp with, I think, twelve men.

[testimony of John D Lentz]

Capt. John D. Lentz Co. "E" 91st Reg. P.V. sworn.

I did not receive any order from Lt. Bonsall, to retire. I was not aware of the presence of Actg. Lt. D. B. Baker. I did not see Lt. Baker until I arrived in camp - camp near Falmouth Va. I did not fall back, until compelled by the enemy. After I had arrived in camp, Act. Lt. Baker told me that he had recd orders to fall back.

[verdict and sentence]

The prosecution having no further evidence to offer, and none being offered by the accused, the Court was cleared for deliberation. The Judge Advocate submitted the case to the Court without remark. After mature deliberation on the evidence adduced, the Court found the accused as follows.

Of the Specification - "Guilty."
Of the Charge - "Guilty."
[page 8]

And the Court did sentence him the said 2nd Lt. James C. Bonsall, Co. "F", 126th Regt. P.V. to be publicly reprimanded by his commanding officer at such time and place as the Gen. may direct.


W. A. M. Cartney
Lieut. Col. 133rd Regt. P.V.
President

F. T. Wilson
Capt. Co. I, 131st P.V.
Judge Advocate

[result of review]


Head Qrs. 3rd Div. 5th Corps
Feby. 17th 1863

The proceedings & findings are disapproved for the reason that no evidence was adduced to show that Lt. Bonsall had been ordered by Lt. Col. Rowe to communicate an order to the commanding officer of the Co. of the 91st regt. P.V. on the picket line on the morning of the 16th of December 1862. Lt. Col. Rowe should have been brought as a witness before the Court although he was in arrest at the time of the trial. By Lt. Bonsall's neglect to enquire whether the officer to whom he delivered the order to retire commanded the company, the main body of that company was left on the enemy's side of the river when the army recrossed the Rappahannock, and a portion of it was captured. Still more serious consequences might have resulted from this neglect. The commander of his Regt., Lt. Col. Rowe represents Lt. Bonsall to be usually a careful and attentive officer. It is hoped that this lesson will prevent the recurrence of such blunders.

A. A. Humphry
Brig. Genl. Comg. Div.
[page 9]

[second trial of D B Baker]

The Court then proceeded to the trial of Sergt. Actg. 2nd Lt. D. B. Baker Co. "E" 91st Regt. P.V. He was called before the Court and having heard the order appointing the Court read was asked whether he had any objection to any member named in the order. Having no objection to any member, all the members of the Court were duly sworn by the Judge Advocate and the Judge Advocate was duly sworn by the President of the Court.

The accused, Sergt. Act. 2nd. Lt. D. B. Baker, Co. "E" 91st P.V., was arraigned and tried on the following Charge + Specification:

Charge - Leaving his company without authority from his commanding Officer.

Specification - In this, that the said Sergt. Actg. 2nd Lt. D. B. Baker Co. "E" 91st Regt. P.V. did retire with a portion of the company without permission and leaving the Captain with the balance of the command. This while on Picket Duty near Fredericksburg Va. on the morning of the 16th of December 1862.

(Signed) E. M. Gregory
Col. Commdg.
91st Regt. P.V.

Witness
Capt. John D. Lentz
[page 10]

To which charge + specification the accused pleaded as follows:


To the Specification - "Not Guilty"
To the Charge - "Not Guilty"

The following evidence was received on behalf of the prosecution.

[testimony of John D Lentz]

Capt. John D. Lentz Co. "E" 91st Regt. P.V. Sworn.

On the morning of the 16th of December, 1862, I was in command of Co. "E" 91st Regt. P.V. while on Picket Duty. I did not give Sergt. Act. 2nd Lt. D. B. Baker permission to leave the company. I do not know that Act. Lt. Baker was with me while on picket at the Blockhouse. I think the picket line that my company covered was about 200 yds. long. On this side of the river Act. Lt. Baker acknowledged that he was with the company and withdrew a portion of the company.

The following evidence was received on behalf of the accused.

[testimony of J C Bonsall]

2nd Lt. J. C. Bonsall Co. "F" 126th Regt. P.V. sworn.

On the morning of the 16th of December 1862, I received authority to give to the commanding Officer of the Berdan Sharp-Shooters and to the Company of the 91st Regt. P.V. , an order to retire as skirmishers. [page 11] It was a verbal order. As soon as I gave the order to Act. Lt. Baker, he started off to execute the above order. I gave that order to Sergt. Act. 2nd Lt. D. B. Baker. I am positive that the accused is the person to whom I gave that order. I did not know that there was such a man as Capt. Lentz.

[testimony of Samuel Conrad]

Private Saml Conard [sic] Co. "E" 91st Reg. P.V. sworn

On the morning of the 16th of December, I heard the man whom I supposed to be an officer tell Sergt. Act. Lt. Baker that Capt. Lentz had been notified.

[verdict and sentence]

There being no further testimony offered by either the prosecution or the accused, the Court was cleared for deliberation. After maturely considering the evidence adduced the Court found the accused as follows:

Of the Specification - "Guilty"
Of the Charge - ""Guilty"

The Court then sentenced him the said Sergt. Actg. 2nd Lt. D. B. Baker, to be reduceded [sic] to the ranks and to carry a ball + chain four hours per day Sundays excepted for the period of one month.

The Court then adjourned till 8 oclock next morning.

[result of review]

Hd. Qrs. 3rd Div., 5th Corps, Febr 17th 1863

The proceedings + findings are disapproved. The evidence shows that Actg. Lt. Baker withdrew the part of the company commanded by him by order of Lt. Col. Rowe, the order being delivered to Actg. Lt. Baker by Lt. Bonsall. The authority was sufficient & Actg. Lt. Baker justified, under the circumstances, in acting as he did. The charge is not sustained by the proof. Actg. Lt. Baker will be returned to duty.

A. A. Humphrys
Brig. Genl. Comg Div.

[I did not transcribe the remaining courts martial in KK 664]

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revised 24 Feb 08
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