PDA

View Full Version : Judge Advocate Impression



1860sEsquire
06-05-2009, 07:00 AM
Hello everyone.

Is anyone in the Southeast portraying a CW judge advocate? I'm a lawyer and a former Army officer (artillery) who has been researching the practice of law during the antebellum period through the Civil War, with emphasis on the Union judge advocates although I'm starting to familiarize myself with the military courts of the Confederate army and their judge advocates; I want to put together an impression and attend events, organize and run a few courts martial, etc., but I'd love to connect with anyone or groups already doing this. I'm in the Atlanta area and open to either a CSA or USA impression.

Regards,

Thomas

sigman
06-05-2009, 01:12 PM
12th NJ had a captain pulled from the ranks to serve as judge advocate on the Division staff level the winter of 1863. When campaigning started he was sent to Philadelphia. He returned to the ranks later 1864 when officer's corps of the battalion was decimated after Grant's Overland campaign.

Andy Siganuk, 12th NJ, Co. K

mravery
06-15-2009, 02:28 PM
Hey Thomas,

I really like the idea of the impression that you are focusing on. When I decided to get into ACW reenacting, I too wanted to portray a non-mainstream impression and choose a Federal Paymaster (I have Banking and Banking Software background). The Federal group here in Florida welcomed me with open arms as it is an impression that is rarely portrayed in a ‘full time’ manner. I have had a lot of fun researching and playing out the scenarios.

I’m not sure what groups are in Georgia but I know that the Florida Federals would appreciate a good JAG impression (accurate).

The problem that you might run into as I run into it almost every encampment, is the time to work in the scenarios and courts. The weekends are pretty full with engagements and drill.

If you would like, I can help you with the “do’s” and “don’ts” that I have learned in the past year as far as getting started etc.

Cheers
Mark

Ross L. Lamoreaux
06-15-2009, 02:49 PM
The last couple of years, at least at Florida events, there have been several theatrical courts martial, but all seemingly lacking authenticity. They've been ad hoc, utilizing line officers in all of the positions, and have been almost comical, all ending in the stereotypical mock execution (overdone to the extreme). I, and many others of us, would welcome a well-researched, history based impression, as well as more plausible scenarios such as plain crimes like theft, dereliction, etc.

mravery
06-15-2009, 03:00 PM
The last couple of years, at least at Florida events, there have been several theatrical courts martial, but all seemingly lacking authenticity. They've been ad hoc, utilizing line officers in all of the positions, and have been almost comical, all ending in the stereotypical mock execution (overdone to the extreme). I, and many others of us, would welcome a well-researched, history based impression, as well as more plausible scenarios such as plain crimes like theft, dereliction, etc.

Exactly!!!!!..... What Ross states in his paragraph is what I meant by my single word "(accurate)" comment ;)

Cheers
M

"Doc" Nelson
06-15-2009, 05:13 PM
May I recommend Kautz' "1865 Customs of Service for Officers of the Army". There is a whole section dedicated to "military justice", which specifically speaks of this very subject (sections 138-199 or, pages 78-125, also sections 346-349 or pages 200 & 201). Quite a few vendors carry this reproduction book, not to mention, Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/1865-Customs-Service-Officers-Army/dp/0811700062/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245104001&sr=8-2) (that's where I bought mine).

mravery
06-15-2009, 10:31 PM
May I recommend Kautz' "1865 Customs of Service for Officers of the Army". There is a whole section dedicated to "military justice", which specifically speaks of this very subject (sections 138-199 or, pages 78-125, also sections 346-349 or pages 200 & 201). Quite a few vendors carry this reproduction book, not to mention, Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/1865-Customs-Service-Officers-Army/dp/0811700062/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245104001&sr=8-2) (that's where I bought mine).

ey Doc,

Anything in there for a Paymaster?

Cheers
Mark

"Doc" Nelson
06-16-2009, 06:26 AM
Mark,
I found nothing in Kautz' manual but, there is a section in the 1861 Army Regulations about the Pay Department. Not to mention, an entire book on the "Pay Department" itself, click here (http://books.google.com/books?id=jHcDAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=1861+revised+army+regulations).

mravery
06-16-2009, 08:06 AM
Hey Doc,

Yeah, I've got those two already... but I'm always looking for more!

Cheers and thanks!
M

KeystoneGuard
06-16-2009, 08:42 AM
Do not forget the 1863 Laws of War manual. Excellent source of information on what punishments went with what crime or offense

1860sEsquire
09-29-2009, 04:37 PM
Hello gentlemen,

Various obligations including my dear 9 month-old son have been competing for my time so I disappeared for a while but I'm still very much interested in the judge advocate impression.

I would really be interested only in an accurate and well-researched impression so I've been plodding along trying to delve into primary source materials but haven't found much apart from some treatises and law books. I'm not really interested in the dog and pony shows aspect - the "theatrical" trials that were, in reality, few and far between. I realize why people perform them since most spectators wouldn't want to attend a mock trial of a deserter or someone who stole rations or shoes but I think they could be interesting to perform if well thought out and researched. I think we're all used to Law & Order so we expect more drama.

I'd also like to focus on the routine paper work that the judge advocates handled, such as writs, reports, etc. I'd likely concentrate on "small" but routine and important trials that formed the basis of most judge advocate work.

I'd probably need to connect with some headquarters units in the Southeast to see if they would be willing to include me as a junior staff officer - my understanding is that the various departments in the Union army had judge advocates from the Bureau of Military Justice with ranks ranging from captain to major.

Who knows? Perhaps my research will result in an article or a book. In the meantime, I'd like the chance to make friends with fellow reenactors and learn about the hobby.

Regards,

Thomas

mravery
09-29-2009, 09:19 PM
Tom

Sent you a PM....

Cheers
Mark

1860sEsquire
10-12-2009, 07:34 AM
By the way, to clarify my impression (for those besides Mark with whom I've been pleasantly conversing), I intend to portray one of the assistant Judge Advocates attached to the armies in the field from 1862 onward, when the corps of Judge Advocates was created as a separate branch of the Union army to relieve the burden of line officers who had previously been tasked by their commanding officers with serving as judge advocates for general courts martial. I'm also a lawyer in real life so I'm familiar with writing, speaking and generally conducting myself in various legal matters which I think will add to my goal of accuracy and authenticity. I'm also now familiar with the antebellum and CW legal education process, writ drafting, as well as court-martial procedure and reporting.

I just wanted to mention all of this to clarify my intent so that folks who have been reenacting for many years and whom I respect and admire didn't mistake me for a brash upstart who wanted to usurp anyone's command structure or parade around like a peacock. I merely want to contribute to the broader CW living history experience and public education by shedding light on the court martial process and paying a sincere and authentic tribute to the 33 Union Judge Advocates who performed a very specific mission during the war - prosecuting cases on behalf of the federal government and advising the commanders in the field on various aspects of military law.


Regards,

Thomas