Archive:Court Martial File, Benjamin M. Whitney

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Archives > Archive:Military Records > Archive:Civil War, Pension Files > Court Martial File, Benjamin M. Whitney

He is identified as Benjamin Morse6 Whitney (Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1).

A couple of years ago I reviewed the widow's claim on the Civil War pension of Benjamin M. Whitney. The claim was denied because he had been court martialed.


From the proceedings of the General Court Martial

Of Benjamin M. Whitney

LL0164

National Archives, Washington D.C.


TRANSCRIPTION

Case 19th

Proceedings of a General Court Martial convened at Camp Pitcher, Va. by virtue of the following order,

Headquarters, 1st Division, 3rd Corps

Camp Pitcher, Dec 23rd 1862

General Orders

No. 10

A general Court Martial is hereby appointed to meet at the Headquarters of Berry's Brigade on the 24th day of December 1862 at 9 o'clock AM, or as soon thereafter as practicable for the trial of such prisoners as may be brought before it.

Detail for the Board

1. A.A. McKnight Colonel 105th Penna Vols

2. Jethro Pierson Colonel 1st NY Vols

3. Gilbert Reardon Lieut. Col. 37th NY Vols

4. Charles B. Merrill Lieut. Col. 17th Maine Vols

5. Moses B. Houghton Major 3rd Michigan

6. Francis L. Leland Captain 1st NY Vols

7. Louis Fitzgerald Captain 40th NY Vols

8. E. Van Tuyl Captain 1st NY Vols

Benjamin Page, 1st Lieutenant, 1st NY Vols

Judge Advocate

No other officers than those named can be detailed without manifest injury to the service.

The Court will meet without regard to hours or the temporary absence of members provided the numbers present does not fall below the prescribed minimum.

In case the Division marches the Board will meet subject to call of its President.

By order of

Brig, Gen. D.B. Birney

8TH Day, Monday January 5th, 1862. 9 o'clock AM

The Court met pursuant to adjournment

Present

Col. A. A. McKnight 105th Penna. Vols., President

Major Moses B. Houghton 3rd Michigan

Captain Francis L. Leland 1st NY Vols.

Captain Louis Fitzgerald 40th NY Vols.

Captain E. Van Tuyl 1st NY Vols.

1st Lieut. Benjamin Page, 1st NY Vols., Judge Advocate

Absent

Colonel Jerhro Pierson 1st NY Vols. under arrest

Lieut. Col. Charles B. Merrill 17th Maine cause unassigned

Lieut. Col. Gilbert Riordan 37th NY Vols. on leave of absence

The judge advocate here submitted to the Court a communication from the Commanding General desiring a further adjournment of the Court; the Court did therefore adjourn to meet again at 9 o'clock on the 6th instant.

9th Day Tuesday January 6th, 1862. 9 o'clock AM

The Court met pursuant to adjournment

Present

Colonel A.A. McKnight 105th Penna.Vols., President

Lieut. Col. Charles B. Merrill 17th Maine Vols.

Major Moses B. Houghton 3rd Michigan Vols.

Captain Francis L. Leland 1st NY Vols.

Captain E. Van Tuyl 1st NY Vols.

1st Lieut. Benjamin Page, 1st NY Vols. Judge Advocate

Absent

Colonel Jethro Pierson 1st NY Vols. under arrest

Lieut. Col. Gilbert Reardon 37th NY Vols. on leave of absence

Captain Louis Fitzgerald 40th NY Vols.

The Court then proceeded to the trial of Private Benjamin Whitney of Co. G, 17th Maine Volunteers, who being called into Court, and having heard the order read was asked if he had any objection to any of the members named in the order, to which he replied in the negative.

The Court and Judge Advocate were then duly sworn in his presence, and Private Benjamin Whitney of Co. G, 17th Maine Vols. was arraigned on the following charge specifications:

Charge

Conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline.

Specification 1st:

In this, that he Benjamin M. Whitney, Private of Co. G, 17th Maine Vols. did at the time of his enlistment on the 21st day of July 1862, in the name of the United States willfully and fraudulently concealed his true age, and represent himself to be of the age of forty five years of age, when in fact he was fifty-six years of age.

Specification 2nd

In this, that the said Benjamin M. Whitney, Private, Co. G, 17th Maine Vols. did by fraud and cheating obtain from the Government of the United States, a large sum of money, to wit Twenty-five Dollars as bounty money, and thirteen dollars advance pay, when in fact said Benjamin M. Whitney was not entitled to receive or draw the same.

All this at Camp at Cape Elizabeth, Maine on the 19th day of August 1862.

To which charge and specifications the prisoner pleaded as follows:

Guilty to Specification the 2nd

Guilty to Specification the 1st

Guilty to charge

Defense:

When the Three hundred thousand troops were called for, there was great enthusiasm in the neighborhood from which I came. I was urged very hard to enlist, they knowing my exact age as well as I did, saying they thought I could get through it. I have hitherto done my duty well, not being on the sick list but once and I think I could get through if I could get rid of carrying my pack. I was at the battle of Fredericksburg and used my musket as well as any one in the Regiment, I think.

The Court was then closed, and after mature deliberation, the Court do confirm the plea of the prisoner and do therefore sentence Private Benjamin M. Whitney of Co. G, 17th Regt. Maine Vols. as follows:

Sentence

To forfeit all pay, allowances, and bounties now due him, and to be discharged the service, and shall not receive any final statement.

A.A. McKnight

Col. 145th PA Vols.

& President Court Martial

B. Page, 1st Lieut. 1st NY Vols,

Judge Advocate

Headquarters, 1st Division, 3rd Corps

The proceedings of the court in the case of Private Benjamin M. Whitney of Co. G, 17th Maine Vols. are confirmed. The sentence is very light and is not adequate to punish such gross frauds and deception, but in view of the age of the prisoner and the disgrace which this dishonorable dismissal from his country's service brings to him, the sentence is confirmed and will be Executed at once.

D.B. Birney

Brig. General


Copyright © 2006, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group.

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