DEVTOME.COM HOSTING COSTS HAVE BEGUN TO EXCEED 115$ MONTHLY. THE ADMINISTRATION IS NO LONGER ABLE TO HANDLE THE COST WITHOUT ASSISTANCE DUE TO THE RISING COST. THIS HAS BEEN OCCURRING FOR ALMOST A YEAR, BUT WE HAVE BEEN HANDLING IT FROM OUR OWN POCKETS. HOWEVER, WITH LITERALLY NO DONATIONS FOR THE PAST 2+ YEARS IT HAS DEPLETED THE BUDGET IN SHORT ORDER WITH THE INCREASE IN ACTIVITY ON THE SITE IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS. OUR CPU USAGE HAS BECOME TOO HIGH TO REMAIN ON A REASONABLE COSTING PLAN THAT WE COULD MAINTAIN. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT THE DEVTOME PROJECT AND KEEP THE SITE UP/ALIVE PLEASE DONATE (EVEN IF ITS A SATOSHI) TO OUR DEVCOIN 1M4PCuMXvpWX6LHPkBEf3LJ2z1boZv4EQa OR OUR BTC WALLET 16eqEcqfw4zHUh2znvMcmRzGVwCn7CJLxR TO ALLOW US TO AFFORD THE HOSTING.

THE DEVCOIN AND DEVTOME PROJECTS ARE BOTH VERY IMPORTANT TO THE COMMUNITY. PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO ITS FURTHER SUCCESS FOR ANOTHER 5 OR MORE YEARS!

The Court Martial of Captain Thomas French

I own the copyright to the following work. I am making this available for free exclusively to Devtome users.

Primary document material is sourced from Court Martial Case Files QQ-994,’‘ Captain Thomas Henry French,‘‘ 1879 (entry 15); Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army), 1792-2010, Record Group 153; National Archives and Records Administration - (Washington, DC).

EDITOR’S FOREWORD

The court martial of Captain Thomas H. French is of particular interest since it reflects on the character of the Army officer responsible for, arguably, providing the sole supporting fire during the withdrawal of Major Reno’s forces from the valley fight at the onset of the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

After the initial attack on the south end of the Indian village, the Soldiers of the 7th Cavalry assigned to MAJ Marcus Reno’s battalion sought cover in a nearby stand of trees, often referred to as “the timber.” Under sustained attack, MAJ Reno ordered his men to mount their horses, dismount and mount them again only to scream out the command, “All those who wish to make their escape follow me.”

In the unusual circumstance of a military retreat, it is a wise tactic to provide defensive fire to support the withdrawal of one’s forces. This is done to prevent the attackers from overwhelming the unit strength.

Of all the Soldiers involved in Reno’s withdrawal from the timber, CPT Thomas French is hailed as solely responsible for providing defensive fire, saving a number of Soldiers’ lives in actions worthy of the Medal of Honor.

In June 1890, French wrote a letter to the widow of Dr. Cooke, where he corroborates the contention that he was the single shooter providing defensive support during the retreat. For well over a mile, he was the one Soldier who guarded the backs of his men and peers.

Major Marcus Reno began to look like a coward due to his actions and was accused by a number of Soldiers and by civilians of being drunk during the fight; a charge that haunted him for the rest of his life. After the biographer Whittaker put pressure on the Army and Reno for a formal inquiry, MAJ Reno submitted himself to the military. But of all the eyewitnesses, two men who may have provided some very interesting material were not present. Lieutenant Thomas Weir, if he were there, may have accused Reno of wanting to abandon the wounded during the first night of the battle. He heard a conversation between Reno and Benteen where the Major suggested the leadership flee leaving the rest to the mercy of the Indians. CPT Benteen said, “No, Reno, you can’t do that.” Before he died, Weir had promised the Custer widows that he would visit them and then, late at night with the curtains drawn, would tell them the full story of Reno’s guilt. His death became another part of the growing belief in an ongoing conspiracy to cover up Reno’s guilt.

Another man who may have shed light on the court of inquiry was Thomas H. French. French would likely have testified of the cowardice of Major Reno. He may have also been privy to the truth about Reno’s drinking. We will probably never though, however, since CPT Thomas H. French had been conveniently court-martialed the year before Reno’s court of inquiry and therefore was not authorized to testify before a military court of inquiry.

In the letter to Dr. Cooke’s widow, French also admits that during the battle, a thought went through his mind: He wanted to kill Reno. CPT French told Mrs. Cooke that the murder of Reno would have been justified at that time, but then he put it out of his mind. It makes the reader wonder what would make a successful, committed, fearless officer in the US military want to kill his commanding officer during the heat of one of the most famous battles in US history.

Unfortunately, the court martial of CPT Thomas H. French doesn’t shed much light on the most compelling charges made against Reno. But these court martial records do provide additional insight into the character of French. He appears to have been attracted to the presence of women and to alcohol. But there is no doubt that Captain Thomas H. French was an excellent leader with absolutely zero tendencies toward cowardice. His courage saved the lives of many Soldiers, in multiple battles, during his career.

1ST DAY

Proceedings of a General Court Martial which convened at Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. [Dakota Territory], pursuant to the following orders: SPECIAL ORDERS ) Headquarters Department of Dakota NO. 145 ) St. Paul, Minn. December 9th, 1878

(EXTRACT)

2. A General Court Martial is hereby appointed to meet at Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T., at 10 o’clock a.m. on Monday the 6th day of January 1879, or as soon thereafter as practicable for the trial of such persons as may be brought before it by authority from these Headquarters.

DETAIL FOR THE COURT:

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry 4. 5. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 6. 7. Captain Wm. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 8. 9. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 10. 11. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 12. 13. Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry 14. 15. 1st Lieutenant Allan H. Jackson, 7th Infantry Judge Advocate 16.

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

By order of Brigadier General Terry Commanding the Department (signed) Geo. D. Ruggles Assistant Adjutant General

II

SPECIAL ORDERS ) Headquarters Department of Dakota NO. 154 ) St. Paul, Minn. December 31th, 1878

1. The General Court Martial, instituted by paragraph 2, Special Orders No. 145, current series, from these Headquarters, will assemble on the 9th day of January 1879, instead of the 6th day of January 1879, as heretofore ordered.

2. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry, is hereby detailed as a member of the General Court Martial instituted by paragraph 2, Special Orders No. 145, current series, from these Headquarters.

3. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, is hereby relieved as a member of the General Court Martial instituted by paragraph 2, Special Orders No. 145, current series, from these Headquarters, and is appointed Judge Advocate of the Court vice 1st Lieutenant Allan H. Jackson, 7th Infantry, who is hereby relieved.

By Command of Brevet Major General Gibbon (signed) Geo. D. Ruggles Assistant Adjutant General Fort Abraham Lincoln D. T.

January 10th, 1879

The Court met pursuant to the foregoing orders at 11:45 o’clock a.m., and as soon as practicable.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain Wm. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry

and

Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, the accused.

The Judge Advocate announced to the Court that he had sent January 8th, 1879, a copy of the charges to Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, the accused, upon which he was to be arraigned and tried, and also the following letter to wit: Rooms General Court Martial Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 9th, 1879 Captain Thomas H. French, 7th U. S. Cavalry

Sir:

The General Court Martial instituted by S. 0. No. 145 & 154, series 1878, from Headquarters, Department of Dakota, before which you are to be arraigned and tried will convene at eleven o’clock a.m. tomorrow the 10th instant at the Quarters lately occupied by Captain F. W. Benteen, 7th Cavalry, 3rd set from the south end of line of officers quarters. You will please report to the President of the Court at the above place and time.

Very respectfully, Your obdt. servt.

J. S. Poland Capt. 6th Infantry J.A.G.C.M.

The Judge Advocate further stated that the accused had not so reported, and the Court directed the Judge Advocate to request the Commanding Officer of the Post to cause Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, to be brought to the Court for trial, which the Judge Advocate did in the letter hereto appended, marked “A.”

The Commanding Officer of the post having returned the application with the endorsements thereon and the same having been read to the Court, particularly that of the Post Surgeon, W. D. Wolverton, stating that the accused “was too sick to attend to any official duties whatever: in my opinion he will be able to attend to official business in two (2) days.” The Court at 1:05 o’clock p.m. adjourned to meet at 11 o’clock a.m. on Monday, the 13th instant unless sooner called together by the President of the Court.

J. S. Poland Captain, 6th Infantry Bvt. Lt. Col. Infantry Judge Advocate

SECOND DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 13th, 1879 The Court met at 11:20 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain Wm. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis 11. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry

The accused, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, also absent.

In explanation of the absence of Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, the Judge Advocate read to the Court a letter from Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, which is hereto appended, marked “B. Medical certificate has not been received. The proceedings of the 10th instant were then read and approved.

At 11:40 a.m., the accused appeared before the Court. The Court then proceeded to the trial of Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, who thereupon came before the Court, and having heard the order convening it read, was asked if he had any objection to any member present named in the order, to which he replied in the negative. The members of the Court were then severally duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, and the Judge Advocate was then duly sworn by the President of the Court. All of which oaths were administered in the presence of the accused.

The Judge Advocate here requested authority to introduce Private Benjamin Duchman, Co. B, 6th Infantry, as Clerk of the Court, which was granted, and he was thereupon duly sworn by the Judge Advocate to faithfully perform the duties of his office, which oath was administered in presence of the accused.

The accused now requested permission of the Court to introduce Lieut. John Carland, 6th Infantry, as his Counsel, which request was granted. The accused was then duly arraigned upon the following charges and specifications.

CHARGE 1ST

Violation of the 38th Article of War.

Specification 1st. In this, that he, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, being on duty in command of his company in the field, marching from Camp J. G. Sturgis, Dakota, to Camp Ruhlen, Dakota; and under orders to report with his company to the Commanding Officer of Camp Ruhlen, D. T., was, on his arrival at Camp Ruhlen and at the time of his report, drunk. This at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., on or about the 29th day of August, 1878.

Specification 2nd. In this, that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th Cavalry, being on duty in the field, conducting a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry and a wagon train from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., was drunk. This at or near Cedar River Station on the Bismarck Road to Deadwood, D. T., on the 24th day of October, 1878.

Specification 3rd. In this, that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, being on duty in the field, conducting a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry and a wagon train from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., was drunk. This on the Bismarck Road to Deadwood, D. T., on or about the 23rd day of October, 1878, and at a point about ninety miles from Bismarck, D. T.

Specification 4th. In this, that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, while on duty as Officer of the Day at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., was drunk. This on or about the 7th Day of November, 1878.

CHARGE 2ND

Violation of the 15th Article of War.

Specification. In this, that Captain Thomas H. French, on the 7th U. S. Cavalry, being on duty in the field, conducting a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry and a wagon train from Fort A. Lincoln, D.T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., did at or near Heart River, D. T., about twenty miles from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., on or about the 20th day of October, 1878, leave his said command without official reason or necessity, taking with him one horse belonging to the United States, and after an absence of two days without authority from his command, did return to it by stage on the Bismarck and Deadwood Road, about ninety miles from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., without the said horse; he, Captain French, being unable to state where the said horse then was, it being then lost to the service of the United States, through the said Captain French’s willful misconduct and neglect. This at or near the places on or about the dates above specified.

CHARGE 3RD

Breach of arrest in violation of the 65th Article of War. Specification. In this, that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, having been placed in close arrest by his Commanding Officer, Major H. M. Lazelle, 1st U. S. Infantry, did, willfully and knowingly violate such arrest by visiting without permission the trader’s store of the camp. This at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., on or about the 11th day of November, 1878.

CHARGE 4TH

Conduct unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman.

Specification 1st. In this, that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, having been placed in close arrest by his Commanding Officer, Major H. M. Lazelle, 1st U. S. Infantry, and having knowingly violated such arrest by visiting the store of the Post Trader, did there ask Mr. W. S. Fanshaw to say, if any questions were asked concerning his, Captain French’s visit to the Trader Store, that he, Captain French, was messing at the store, which was not the fact, as at the time he, the said Captain French, was messing at the Officer’s Mess of the camp. This at or near Camp Ruhlen, D. T., on or about the 11th day of November, 1878.

Specification 2nd. In this, that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, being on duty in the field, conducting a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, and a wagon train from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T. to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., did go to an ambulance containing two laundresses of his command, and there repeatedly drink whiskey or other intoxicating liquor with one of them, (a Mrs. Egan) out of the same cup, she, the said Mrs. Egan, being under the influence of liquor at the time. This in the presence of the driver of the ambulance, an enlisted man. And the said Captain Thomas H. French, did afterwards on the same day enter the tent of the said Mrs. Egan, and there drink intoxicating liquor with her, or in her presence. All this at or near and in the presence of the camp of a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, on the Bismarck Road near Heart River, and on or about the 19th day of October, 1878.

Specification 3rd. In this, that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, being on duty in the field conducting a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry and a wagon train from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., did get into an ambulance containing two laundresses and leaving his command, drive on eighteen miles, or thereabouts, to a ranch at or near Cedar River on the Bismarck Road, and there in the presence of the driver, an enlisted man, and in the company of one or both of the laundresses aforesaid, get so drunk that it became necessary for an enlisted man to support him to his tent in the presence of his command. This on or about the 24th day of October, 1878. To which the accused pleaded as follows:

To the 1st Specification 1st Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the 2nd Specification 1st Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the 3rd Specification 1st Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the 4th Specification 1st Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the 1st Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the Specification of the 2nd Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the 2nd Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the Specification of the 3rd Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the 3rd Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the 1st Specification 4th Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the 2nd Specification 4th Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the 3rd Specification 4th Charge - NOT GUILTY

To the 4th Charge - NOT GUILTY

The accused then requested to be allowed to withdraw his plea to the Specification 2nd Charge and to substitute the following: The accused declines to plead to so much of the Specification of the 2nd Charge as alleges “that he did leave his said command without official reason or necessity,” he being the sole judge of the necessity for leaving said command and only exercised the ordinary discretion reposed in all officers in command of troops and of the rest of Specification “Not Guilty.”

The Court was thereupon cleared and closed and after due deliberation granted the accused’s request, and again opened, and the accused and his counsel present. The decision of the Court was announced, that the accused be allowed to withdraw his plea to Specification 2nd Charge. The accused then submitted the following. The accused declines to plead to so much of the Specification 2nd Charge as alleges “that he did leave his said command without sufficient reason or necessity,” he being the sole judge of such necessity and that it charges no military offence, and that he only exercised the ordinary discretion lodged in all officers in command of troops and to the rest of the Specification “Not Guilty.”

The Court was then cleared and closed. The Judge Advocate having announced that he had a remark to make in open Court before a decision was arrived at; the Court was re-opened and the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced to the accused and the Court that he withdrew the Charge 2nd and its Specification, and they will not be entertained, as the Government of the United States has not sustained the loss alleged. The accused having no other amendments of plea to offer, Major H. M. Lazelle, 1st Infantry, a witness for the prosecution was then called before the Court, and having been duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows, the questions being asked by the Judge Advocate:

Q. State your name, rank, regiment and station.

A. H. M. Lazelle, Major, 1st Infantry, Station: Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. I do. Captain French, 7th Cavalry. I think his first name is Thomas.

Q. Does he belong to your command?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. When did he first join your command?

A. I think it was about the 29th of August last. I am not sure of the date.

Q. Did you particularly observe him on that date?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Why?

A. His manner was that of a man very much under the influence of liquor, his manner and speech.

Q. What was his condition or manner?

A. In my judgment he was drunk.

Q. What was the station of the accused previous to this day?

A. Camp Sturgis, and he came over to join my command. The occasion I speak of he came to report, or rather he did not come with his company but came in advance about three quarters (3/4) of an hour.

Q. And his condition at that time was what?

A. I think he was drunk.

Q. Where was it he reported to you?

A. At Camp Ruhlen, near my Headquarters.

Q. This Territory?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long did he remain on duty in your command?

A. I can’t say as to that. He left on leave of absence in about a month. I think he was reported for duty about 25 days. I think so before his leave.

Q. Did he then go on leave?

A. I think he had a leave for seven days.

Q. Did he again return for duty to your command?

A. Yes. I think he again reported for duty in November, about the first of November.

Q. In what year?

A. In 1878.

Q. Do all the dates belong to the year 1878?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was the accused relieved from duty after he reported November 1st, 1878?

A. Yes, sir. He was relieved from duty the 11th of November, 1878 past, or somewhere about there.

Q. What duty was the accused on about this date?

A. He came to report as Officer of the Day in the morning and I think that it was three or four days before the 11th that he came to report as Officer of the Day.

Q. Was the accused relieved from duty after he reported as Officer of the Day?

A. He came to report and his condition was that of a drunken man to me, and as this was the second time that I had noticed his condition officially I sent the enlisted men from the office and closed the door. My Adjutant was then Lieut. Edmunds, 1st Infantry. I said to him, the accused, I noticed that he was under the influence of liquor, as near as I remember, and I told him that that sort of thing had to cease, he had got to get sober and stay so. He manifested a great deal of feeling and tears and excited my sympathy very much, said he could not reform without help, and his expression was “for God’s sake give me a chance.” I told him I would do so, that he could go to his quarters and consider himself on leave for three days. After a few days, I think it was the second day, Lieut. De Rudio came to me officially saying he was going to make an official complaint against Captain French. I asked him the nature of it, and told him to put it in writing, and he went on.

The accused objects to the witness giving any oral testimony when it appears that the matter was reduced to writing, that being the best evidence, it would be produced. The Judge Advocate replied that oral testimony not official had not appeared as yet, to be in writing. The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided that the objection was not sustained. The Court was reopened, and the accused and his counsel present, the decision of the Court, that the objection of the accused was not sustained was announced. The witness, Major H. M. Lazelle, 1st Infantry, continued:

It was in consequence of this official complaint and subsequent investigation that I placed Captain French in arrest before his leave of absence granted him verbally had expired. I think it was before that. I am not sure about it. It is my impression.

Q. About what was the date when he reported to you as Officer of the Day?

A. It must have been about the 8th. I do not remember exactly.

Q. What was the nature of the arrest of the accused?

A. I think I directed the Adjutant to place him, Captain French, in close arrest and confine himself to his quarters.

Q. About what was the date of the arrest of the accused?

A. My impression is it was about the 11th of last November.

Q. Did you subsequently extend the limits of the arrest of the accused?

A. Yes, sir. I think they were extended before the expiration of eight days.

Q. About what date?

A. I don’t remember. I can’t tell you.

Q. What were the limits, after the limits of the arrest had been extended?

A. They were not expressed. I don’t know that I saw the order. I gave no order to have the limits expressed.

Q. Where did this take place? At what post or station?

A. Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. Did the accused observe the limits of his arrest?

A. I do not know, sir, anything about that.

The accused states that he desires to be excused, may go his quarters as he had been quite unwell for several days and wished now to lie down. There being no objection the accused was excused at 2:40 o’clock p.m., and the Court thereafter adjourned at 2:40 o’clock p.m. to meet at ll:oo o’clock a.m. the 14th instant.

J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Infantry Bvt. Lieut. Colonel U.S.A. Judge Advocate

THIRD DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 14, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 11:25 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Lieut. Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain William A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Shindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, reported sick.

The accused and his counsel also present.

The proceedings of the 13th instant were then read and approved.

Major H. M. Lazelle, 1st Infantry, a witness for the prosecution, having been recalled before the Court, his cross-examination by the accused proceeded.

Q. How often had you seen Captain French previous to his reporting to you on or about the 29th of August last?

A. I do not remember that I ever saw him in my life. I might probably, but I don’t remember.

Q. Please state particularly from what facts you considered that the accused was drunk on the occasion referred to.

A. Well, I have already stated it was the speech and appearance of Captain French at the time he was hesitating in his speech and uncertain. His appearance had many particulars that characterized a drunken man that I noticed in general. He took a seat rather abruptly and complained of feeling unwell. I think he asked me to give him a drink of water. I gave him about a pint cup full and he asked for another. I was so satisfied at the moment that he was not able to get up himself, that I went and got it for him. The tent where the water was might have been fifty (50) feet or so from where he sat. When we started very soon after, I started with him to show him where the camp would be, his gait was unsteady, though I do not think he staggered, and he soon after went off, and when the troop came in he was not present. He came in soon afterward and I think he said he had been asleep, or the Sergeant said he had been asleep, or one of them. It might have been the orderly, or the Sergeant. I am not certain about it. I did not pay much attention to it.

Q. Do you mean to testify that from these facts, “that the accused called for water and that he was absent from the ground when his troop came in, or as the orderly said that he had been asleep,” that he was drunk?

A. I mean to testify from the facts already given, from the general appearance of the accused, at the time, and that was my judgment about it.

Q. Are you aware that Captain French has a natural hesitation or impediment in his speech?

A. Well, I do not know that I have noticed it particularly when he is himself. He may have. I think I have noticed a deliberation of speech.

Q. Did I not approach you properly and dismount and reported my command as approaching, and furthermore, did I not say properly that my horse was quiet and needed no attendance when you had offered a man to attend him?

A. So far as that is concerned, he did, except that his gait was unsteady. I think he was slow in dismounting. I do not remember about whether he did, or did not say properly that his horse was quiet and it might have taken place, maybe it did. I say I think very probably it did. I do not remember.

Q. Is it unusual for a person who has been in the saddle for some time to be unsteady?

A. I have been so myself, after riding several hours. That is all I can say about it. I do not know about other people.

Q. Is there not a marked difference in the steadiness relatively of mounted and foot soldiers in walking?

A. I do not think I have ever observed it sir.

Q. Please describe the unsteadiness of my gait. Was it a staggering or a straight slow, limping walk?

A. I do not think he staggered, but his gait was what is called unsteady. That is all I can say about it. He did not seem to be limping.

Q. Did I not, when called by my orderly at once arise, give the instructions to the command, as received from you relative to their encampment to the position where the horses were to be picketed?

A. Well, I do not know anything about his arriving, or when he was found he made his appearance on the ground. I think my impression is I had previously indicated to Lieutenant Mann, the only officer I could find at the moment, or, to go still further back, I think Captain French’s troop came in first and I saw no officer with it, nor was Captain French with it, as I recollect, nor was he about. I saw, however, an officer, or who seemed to be an officer, at the head of the next troop, which came in almost immediately after and I gave to this officer, who proved to be Lieutenant Mann, instructions as to the position, and I think I told him to leave a hundred paces between the flanks of the two troops. It was then that I saw Captain French on the ground for the first time since I had seen him when he first came in. I had previously inquired for him, and the orderly, or the Sergeant, I do not remember which, told me he believed Captain French had been asleep. Lieutenant Mann may have told Captain French. I do not know who told him. At all events I saw Captain French pacing off this interval and it was done satisfactorily to me.

Q. You say that at the time the accused reported to you as Officer of the Day that you had a conversation with him. Did he not at that time converse with clearness and intelligence?

A. I do not remember saying a conversation with, only what I expressed, the conversation was what I told him and what his answer was. I will say further, however, that after he had reported as Officer of the Day, I interrogated him concerning some requisitions for his company that I had called his attention to, and he did not seem to understand what I was asking about, and I could not make him understand it. As far as I could judge I thought it was stupor from the effects of liquor that prevented him from understanding it. That was all the conversation that occurred that I remember anymore than what I have detailed. There is one thing that I omitted to say yesterday. That when I told him, Captain French, to go to his quarters on a leave of absence for three days.

The accused respectfully submits that a proper clear and unambiguous question has been submitted and as yet no answer has been elicited, and that the witness appears to amend or correct testimony given by him yesterday before answering the said aforesaid question, and the accused asks the Court to instruct the witness to answer before going into any other matter.

The Judge Advocate said he had no remarks to make.

The Court was then cleared and closed and after due deliberation the Court decided to sustain the objection of the accused and directs that the witness be instructed to answer the question before going into the other matter. The Court was reopened and the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court. The objection of the accused is sustained and that the Court do instruct the witness to answer the question before going into the other matter. The question was repeated to the witness.

A. I may say that he did not.

Q. Please state all the conversation you had with the accused on the occasion referred to and his replies as near as you can recollect.

A. I called his attention to some requisitions which I several times asked him to make out; all that I remember of his answer was not intelligent and irrelevant. He did not seem to understand what I was talking about or what I was talking about or what I wanted. He may have said something. I think he said the Sergeant had sent in the papers. I am not even sure about that. That is merely my impression now.

Q. Do you remember anything said by the accused on this occasion relative to the requisitions testified to?

A. No more than what I have just stated.

Q. Did you not refer to the small number of overcoats required by my company in this conversation?

A. I think I tried to explain it to him, as that requisition related to clothing. I think I had to explain it to him but I can’t recall what I did say. I do not remember having done so.

Q. Did I not properly explain that the old men had their chests at Camp Ruhlen containing everything and that the recruits had brought their overcoats with them?

A. I do not remember that. However, he may have done so. I do not remember.

Q. Please explain how it is that you are so positive in your conclusions as to the unintelligibility and irrelevance of the accused’s replies and conversation generally, yet not state a word of what he said.

A. Well, I do not know that I can explain it any further than by reference to my testimony. I have simply said what I recollect and what I don’t. My impressions at the time were those of conviction in one direction and were made up of a great many little things that I do not remember.

Q. At the time the accused reported to you as Officer of the Day was not his appearance more that of a person who was suffering from sickness though it may have been from indulgence in intoxicating liquor, rather than that of being drunk? A. No, sir. I think not.

Q. Did he not exhibit deep and proper feeling on the subject of drinking and did he not express himself intelligently in regard to his desire to reform, and suggest the means of doing so? A. He manifested a good deal of emotion, even to tears. I have already stated what I recollect of what he said and of what I said. I can repeat it if desired so far as understanding what I stated to him. I should think he did so. He said “For God’s sake give me a chance,” and that was the only suggestion that was made by him as near as I recollect.

Q. Do you characterize as drunk a man who is able to so correctly appreciate his position and suggest the remedy?

A. I characterized his condition at the time as drunk as my judgment and as far as he suggested a remedy. I characterized that as drunk or himself as drunk at the time.

Q. Did you not ask me “If I had not been drinking” without first accusing me of being “drunk” or affected by liquor?

A. No, sir. I do not believe that I did to the best of my recollection.

Q. What did you say?

A. I said to him that I noticed that he was under the influence of liquor and this thing of drinking liquor had got to stop. He had got to get sober and keep sober.

Q. Did you offer at my request to allow me to remain in seclusion for four days, or did I say to you that I regarded that permission as a necessity to my reform, before the leave was given?

A. No, sir. My recollection of it is this, that you said “For God’s sake give me a chance. I cannot reform without help. I replied, “Very well,” or something to that effect. My reply was that he could consider himself on leave of absence for three days. I did give him a chance.

Q. When you placed the accused in close arrest was there not given an implied or expressed permission to leave his tent or quarters for the purpose of procuring food?

A. I don’t think I said anything about it. My recollection is that I directed the Adjutant to place the accused in close arrest and that I said nothing further about it.

The accused submits the following:

May it please the Court this question is susceptible of an answer in the affirmative or negative addressed as it is to the authority who was competent to either give the authority either expressly or by implication. This is a matter lodged in the breast of the Commanding Officer of Camp Ruhlen and as the accused is charged with breach of his arrest the Court will see its materiality. The accused respectfully asks the Court to instruct the witness to answer the question.

The Judge Advocate replied that he had no remark to make.

The Court was then cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided to give no instruction to the witness.

The Court was then opened, the accused and his counsel present, and the Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court, that the Court would give no instructions to the witness. Major H. M. Lazelle, 1st Infantry, a witness for the prosecution recalled. On repetition of the question put, answered. I understood that he had a right to go to get his meals at the place where he messed. There was not conveyed an implied or expressed permission to leave his tent or quarters for that purpose by my direction I might say.

Q. Was there any particular place designated by you where he was to procure food or refreshment at the time you placed the accused in close arrest?

A. No, sir.

The accused here concluded his cross-examination. The Judge Advocate declined to reexamine. The Court then asked:

Q. When the accused reported to you August 29th, 18 78, at Camp Ruhlen, was he, in your opinion, capable of performing his whole duty as Commanding Officer of his company, and if not, why not?

A. In my judgment he was not because he was drunk.

Q. About how long a distance is it from Camp J. G. Sturgis, D. T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., the place Captain French marched from on the 29th of August, 1878, the date he reported to you?

A. On the route usually taken, I think it is about six (6) miles.

The testimony of the witness was thereupon read over to him, who then stated he had no corrections to make and the witness was there upon discharged. The Court at 2:35 p.m. took a recess for fifteen minutes. At 2:40 p.m. the Court reassembled. The Judge Advocate announced that the remaining time being insufficient to complete taking the testimony of any witness before the Court. The Court thereupon at 2:45 o 1clock adjourned to meet at 10:30 o’clock a.m. tomorrow the 15th instant.

J. S. Poland Captain, 6th Infantry Bvt. Lieut. Colonel U.S.A. J.A.G.C.M.

FOURTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 15, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 10:40 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain W. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

The accused, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, and his counsel, absent.

The Judge Advocate then stated to the Court that he had telegraphed to the Assistant Adjutant General, Department of Dakota, his action in withdrawing the Second Charge and its Specification against the accused, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, and desires to read to the Court the reply, which telegrams are hereto appended and marked “C” and “D.”

The accused, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, and his counsel appeared before the Court at 10:45 o’clock a.m., and the proceedings of the 14th instant were then read and approved.

2nd Lieutenant Frank H. Edmunds, 1st Infantry, a witness for the prosecution, having been called before the Court, and having been duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows: Questions by the Judge Advocate:

Q. State your name, rank and regiment.

A. Frank H. Edmunds, Second Lieutenant, First Infantry.

Q. What is your station?

A. Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. Do you know the accused?

A. I do.

Q. State his name, rank and regiment.

A. Thomas H. French, Captain, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Where is his station?

A. Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. When did he first report for duty there?

A. On the 29th day of August, 1878.

Q. Did you see him on that day?

A. I did.

Q. Where?

A. I saw him about 9:30 a.m. on his way from Camp Sturgis, D. T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., and again about 1 o‘clock p.m. of the same day at Camp Ruhlen.

Q. What was his condition as to sobriety when you saw him on that day?

A. When I saw him in the morning I passed him on the road, and I was under the impression that he was under the influence of liquor at the time.

Q. Where did you see him the second time?

A. I saw him in his tent.

Q. What was his condition at that time?

A. I could not say as regards sobriety.

Q. Did the accused remain continuously on duty after he reported at Camp Ruhlen, D. T.?

A. I left Camp Ruhlen on the 29th of August, 1878, and was absent on detached service at Fort Sully, D. T., and returned to Camp Ruhlen on the 17th day of September, 18 78. He was then on duty at Camp Ruhlen. About the 23rd day of September, 18 78, the accused was granted leave of absence for seven days with permission to apply at Department Headquarters for an extension. Under that authority he was absent until the 28th day of October 1878, upon which date he returned to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., and remained on duty until the 7th day of November 1878.

Q. And on or about this day was he relieved from duty?

A. He was.

Q. Will you explain why?

A. He was on the 6th day of November, 1878, detailed for Officer of the Day to go on duty the following morning, relieving me from that duty. When he reported to the Commanding Officer for orders, after some conversation between himself and the Commanding Officer, he was relieved from further duty as Officer of the Day, and granted a leave of absence for four days.

Q. What was the reason for the said leave being given and release from duty on that day?

A. He was relieved from duty as Officer of the Day because he was under the influence of liquor.

The accused objects to this answer on the ground of incompetency.

He cannot testify as to what moved the Commanding Officer of Camp Ruhlen to grant the accused the four days leave. This is a conclusion for the Court and not this witness. To which the Judge Advocate replied. Former testimony of the Commanding Officer shows this witness to have occupied on the date given the official position and official relation to the Commanding Officer of Post Adjutant, that he was present and remained in the office on this date and at this interview, and the witness’s own testimony shows his presence in the office of the Commanding Officer with the accused to report as officer of the Day. The testimony is therefore deemed proper as a recital of facts coming to his knowledge in two different capacities. The accused rejoined. The accused insists that the official position occupied by this witness does not enable him to dispense with the well settled rule of evidence, i.e., “that the best evidence in the nature of the case must be produced,” and his testimony is not the best evidence. It is for the Commanding Officer of Camp Ruhlen to say why the accused was relieved and him alone. The Court was then cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided not to sustain the objection. The Court was then opened and the accused and his counsel also present, the Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

Q. Did you see and observe the condition of the accused on this day?

A. I did.

Q. What was it?

A. I considered him at the time as being under the influence of liquor.

Q. Was the accused placed in arrest on this occasion?

A. He was not.

Q. Was he placed in arrest subsequently?

A. He was about the 11th day of November, 1878.

Q. What was the nature of that arrest?

A. It was close arrest, confined to his tent.

Q. Who placed the accused in arrest?

A. I did, by order of the Commanding Officer.

Q. What office do you hold at the post?

A. I held the position of Camp Adjutant at that time, and the nature of my duties is the same now.

Q. Did you have a conversation with the accused when you placed him in arrest?

A. I did.

Q. What was it?

A. I went to his tent and said, “Captain French, the Commanding Officer has directed me to place you in close arrest. You must confine yourself to your tent.” The accused asked me, “What for?” I told him. He then said, “I suppose I will be allowed to go to the mess for my meals?” I said I thought so, but to have the matter settled I would speak to the Commanding Officer about it. He then said, “Never mind. I will have my meals sent to my tent. You need not bother about it.”

Q. What day was this?

A. I think on the 11th day of November 1878.

Q. Did the accused fully observe that arrest?

A. He did not.

Q. How not?

A. About the -

The accused objects to this witness testifying to a conclusion of law, as he has in answer when he testifies that the accused did not observe his arrest. The question of the Judge Advocate is also objectionable as being leading. The Court was then cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided not to sustain the objection. The Court was opened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

The witness resumed:

A. About the middle of November, 1878, I saw the accused enter the Post Trader’s store, or the Camp Trader’s store, and I reported to the Commanding Officer that Captain French, the accused, was not observing his arrest.

Q. Had the limits of the arrest of the accused, as far as your official knowledge goes, been extended on this day?

A. They had not.

Q. Was the arrest modified after this day you saw him going into the Trader’s store?

A. It was.

Q. How?

A. It was modified by an order issued by direction of the Commanding Officer about the 23rd or 24th day of November, 1878. His limits were extended to within one mile of the Adjutant’s office. It meant a circle about the camp within a radius of one mile.

Q. Was this the only modification of the limits of his arrest?

A. It was.

Q. How many days was the accused kept in close arrest?

A. About 12 or 14 days altogether.

Q. Then about what date did his close arrest terminate?

A. The 23rd or 24th of November.

Q. When you saw the accused go to the Trader’s store, had the limits of his close arrest been extended?

A. They had not.

Q. Where did all this occur?

A. It was at Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. In what year?

A. In 1878.

Q. On or about the dates testified to?

A. Yes, sir.

Direct examination of the witness closed. Cross-examination of the witness begun by the accused:

Q. From what circumstance did you receive the impression that the accused was under the influence of liquor on the morning of the 29th of August last?

A. From his general appearance. His eyes were swollen and he did not seem to have a very firm seat in his saddle.

Q. Did you stop or converse with him?

A. I did not stop. I simply said, “Good morning,” as I passed him.

Q. And from a passing glance you swear that the accused was under the influence of liquor?

A. I do not think I was. I do not think I could have been mistaken.

Q. How often had you seen the accused before the morning of the 29th of August, 1878?

A. I do not think I had seen him more than twice.

Q. Had you heard that the accused had arrived at Camp Sturgis before you met him on this morning?

A. I had. I had seen him there, at Camp Sturgis.

Q. Had you heard anything unfavorable to the accused previous to meeting on this morning, that prepared your mind for the impression you say you formed from a passing glance.

A. I had not heard anything that morning. If it refers to any previous time I had.

Q. Then you mean to be understood as testifying that on the morning of the 29th of August and which you swear the accused was under the influence of liquor, your mind was biased against the accused and ready to receive an unfavorable impression?

A. I heard so much of the accused in this respect that I was not surprised to see his condition. I cannot say that I was prejudiced against him. Personally, I knew nothing.

Q. Are you able to determine how much was due to the unfavorable condition of your mind and how much to the actual condition of the accused in forming this impression you have testified to?

A. I think his appearance decided the matter in my mind, and I made a remark to that effect to the person who was with me at the time.

Q. Was the accused drunk on this occasion or incapacitated from performing his duty by reason of drunkenness?

A. That was my impression at the time.

Q. Had you ever seen the accused mounted before?

A. I had not.

Q. Do you not know that many persons, especially on a march, have a very easy rolling seat in the saddle, in fact peculiar to mounted soldiers as distinguished from others not accustomed to long marches on horseback, an accommodation to the movement of their horse?

A. I cannot from my own experience answer that question as I have not served with mounted troops or been with them on the march for any length of time.

Q. On the morning that the accused relieved you as Officer of the Day, November 7, 1878, in what particular way was he wanting in competency to discharge his duty as such Officer of the Day?

A. I did not consider him competent to discharge his duty in any particular as Officer of the Day on that morning. There was no occasion after the time he reported for duty as Officer of the Day requiring him to exert himself to perform his duties as Officer of the Day.

Q. Did he not march on and receive the Guard properly? If not, state in what particular he was deficient.

A. He did as far as I observed.

Q. Did he accompany you to the Commanding Officer’s office after guard-mounting? If so, state what occurred on the way, if anything.

A. He did, when we were nearing the office, he said hold up a minute. I can’t walk as fast and made some remark about his feeling oppressed about the heart. He also asked me if his uniform was all right, if it was put on properly. I told him it was.

Q. Upon your arrival at the Commanding Officer’s office, did the accused not report properly as Officer of the Day?

Q. State what took place in the Commanding Officer’s Office between the Commanding Officer and the accused, all the conversation between them.

A. Captain French, the accused, said: “Sir, I report for orders.” Commanding Officer replied the usual orders. Commanding Officer then asked if he had made out the estimate for clothing that he had directed him to make out. He said he had. The Commanding Officer then took up a paper, apparently an official paper, and asked him if that was all the clothing he requited for his company. Captain French said it was. The Commanding Officer then said it was a very small amount for a year’s supply. The accused said that was all that was required, and that the old men in his company had plenty of clothing in their boxes, that that was an estimate for the recruits. The Commanding Officer then asked him if he had not directed him to make out an estimate for his whole company. The accused said he had. The Commanding Officer then said, “I do not give orders for fun. I expect to have them obeyed.” Captain French then repeated his remark that that was all the clothing needed. The Commanding Officer then sent out the enlisted men that were in the office. Captain French took a seat. I think the Commanding Officer invited him to take a seat. The Commanding Officer then said, “Captain French, this thing has gone far enough. You were under the influence of liquor when you reported to me for duty here, have been more or less since and are now. “Captain French was very much affected, said he knew it, but “don’t be too hard on me, Colonel,” or words to that effect. “I have contracted this habit and at times it gets the better of me, and I cannot control myself. If I could only shut myself up for a few days in my tent as I have done heretofore when in such condition, I think I would be all right.” The accused asked the Commanding Officer if he wouldn’t give him, the accused, a chance. The Commanding Officer said he would. Captain French then said if he could be relieved from all duty for a few days he certainly would be all right. The Commanding Officer directed me to make out an order giving him a leave of absence for four days.

The Commanding Officer said he hoped this would be a lesson and this wouldn’t occur again, or words to that effect, and then the Commanding Officer told him he could go to his tent. Captain French asked if in arrest the Commanding Officer said no, he did not want him to go in arrest. That was all the conversation.

Q. Was the leave of four days granted at the request or suggestion of the accused?

A. I cannot state that he asked for a leave of absence, but he gave the idea. He originated the idea that he should be allowed to shut himself up in his tent.

Q. Was not the leave of absence of four days regarded by you, and did it not seem to be regarded by the Commanding Officer as an ending of all previous accusations, provided that I was able to recover myself?

A. I so regarded it. I think the Commanding Officer did also.

Q. Did not the accused converse during all the interview of which you have testified, in an intelligent manner?

A. He did report in the usual manner.

A. I understood all that the accused said, but his manner was not clear and decided.

Q. Were not his answers responsive to all questions propounded to him? If not, state in what particular.

A. They were.

Q. When you testified that the accused did not observe his arrest, do you mean to swear that he committed a breach of it?

A. I considered that he had or I should have said nothing about the matter.

Q. Please state what constitutes a breach of arrest in your opinion.

A. Leaving his tent or quarters unless necessary without the authority of his Commanding Officer or his, the Commanding Officer’s superior officer, who could have authority to terminate his arrest, or extend the limits.

Q. Would every absence from his quarters by the accused without the express authority of the Commanding Officer, be a breach of arrest while in close arrest? On the request of a Member of the Court, the Court was cleared and closed, and after due deliberation decided that no further questions eliciting the opinion of this witness as to what constitutes breach of arrest be put. The Court was opened, the Court took a recess at 2:30 o’clock p.m., for five minutes. At 2:35 p.m., the Court reassembled. The accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate read the decision of the Court.

The accused then submitted the following. The accused respectfully begs leave of the Court to state that he is not responsible for making the witness an expert as to what constitutes a breach of arrest as the evidence of the witness on his direct examination and to which the accused objected was positive as to the breach of arrest by the accused, and the Court ruled this evidence proper and admissible for the correctness of this position. The Court is respectfully referred to his answer to the question, observe his arrest, and to his answer to my question as to what he meant by his answer to the Judge Advocate, a question touching the breach of arrest.

To which the Judge Advocate replied. The question respecting arrest asked the witness, “Did the accused observe his arrest,” is a question to a competent witness having knowledge of the rules and articles of war and the usages of the service and calls for a statement of fact only if such fact is within the personal knowledge of the witness.

To which the accused rejoins that the prosecution having introduced a witness who testifies positively that the accused committed a breach of arrest they are stopped from shutting out the defendant from testing his knowledge of what constitutes such breach. His answer though a matter of fact includes a conclusion of law and that the very matter in issue of which the Court is to judge from all the facts and circumstances and not the witness.

The Judge Advocate replied he had nothing to reply.

The accused asks the ruling of the Court on the following points:

1st. Is this witness competent to testify absolutely as to whether the accused committed a breach of arrest?

2nd. If he has been allowed to so testify, is the accused denied the right on cross examination to test his knowledge as to what constitutes a breach of arrest?

3rd. In testifying positively to such breach of arrest, is the witness not swearing to a conclusion of law, one of the formal charges on which the accused is arraigned?

The Judge Advocate submits the questions without remark.

The Court at 2:57 o’clock p.m. adjourned to meet tomorrow the 16th instant at 10:30 o’clock a.m.

J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Infantry Bvt. Lieut. Colonel U.S.A. Judge Advocate

FIFTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 16th, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 10:40 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain W. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

The accused and his counsel absent.

The proceedings of the 15th instant were then read to page 40, when the accused and his counsel, at 11 o’clock a.m., appeared and the reading continued, and the same were approved.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided upon the questions submitted by the accused. That the accused may fully interrogate the witness concerning the facts upon which he, the witness, bases his opinion that the accused did commit a breach of arrest.

The Court was then opened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court and the witness for the prosecution, Lieut. Frank H. Edmunds, 1st Infantry, having been recalled before the Court, his cross-examination continued.

Q. You have testified that you saw the accused go to the Trader’s store when he was in close arrest. How long did he remain there?

A. I do not know.

Q. Do you know what the accused went to the Trader’s store for?

A. I do not.

Q. Do you not know that the accused had been in the habit of going to the Trader’s store previous to this for the purpose of obtaining something to eat?

A. Not previous to his arrest. After the limits of his arrest had been extended I frequently saw him at the Trader’s store taking something to eat.

Q. How long had the accused been on duty at Camp Ruhlen before he was placed in close arrest?

A. He was on duty from the 29th day of August, 1878. From that time until the 17th day of September, 1878^ I was absent from the camp. He was then on duty from the 17th day of September, 1878, until the 23rd or 24th day of the same month on which date he was granted leave of absence, and was absent till the 28th day of October, 1878, and was on duty from that date until the 7th day of November 1878.

Q. If the accused went to the Trader’s store for the purpose of procuring such food as he required at the time he was in close arrest, would you consider it a breach of such arrest?

A. Not if he had been in the habit of taking his meals there as the place where he messed.

Q. Was there any place designated in orders where the accused should procure his food?

A. There was not.

Q. Then was there not an implied authority for the accused to select such place as he deemed proper in the absence of such limitation?

A. I should think not, in view of the conversation that took place when I placed him in arrest.

Q. You say you should think not. State your reason for such conclusion.

A. After placing the accused in arrest he said, “I suppose I will be allowed to go to the mess for my meals.” I said I thought so, but that I would see the Commanding Officer on the subject. He said, “Never mind. I’ll have my meals sent to my tent.” I said, “Very well. I’ll not say anything about it then.”

Q. Was the accused forbidden to leave his tent to procure his meals by expressed or implied order when he, the accused, was placed in arrest?

A. I told the accused he must confine himself to his tent at the time I placed him in arrest, but I considered that he had authority to leave his tent for a necessary purpose.

Q. State what time of day it was when you saw the accused go to the Trader’s store while in close arrest.

A. It was either just before 12 noon or a short time after. I think after. I think it was after 12 o’clock.

Q. State whether or not the accused in passing from his tent to the Trader’s store was in full view of the garrison. Was it public and open and was it not a bright day?

A. He was and it was.

Q. How far were you from the accused when you saw him go to the Trader’s store?

A. Not over twenty yards.

Q. State what position you occupied relative to the accused at this time.

A. I was passing him.

Q. Did the accused look at or towards you at this time?

A. I think not. I had no words with him. I think he passed without noticing me.

Here the cross-examination ended.

Re-examination by the Court:

Q. In the interview November 7, 1878, between the Commanding Officer and the accused was there any apparent difficulty on the part of the accused in understanding the object of making out the clothing requisition?

A. I think there was.

Q. What do you mean by the word, Mess, used in your testimony regarding Captain French obtaining his meals when you placed him in close arrest on the 11th of November, 1878?

A. I understood it to be the place where the Officers were in the habit of taking their meals.

Q. Was there such a place?

A. There was.

Q. Would what you had heard prior to the 29th of August, 1878, regarding Captain French have so biased you that you would have been liable to form an incorrect opinion as to Captain French’s condition as to sobriety at any time thereafter?

A. I think not.

Q. When Captain French reported to the Commanding Officer as Officer of the Day on the 7th of November, 1878, was he in a condition to perform the whole duties of that position and if not, why not?

A. It was my opinion that he was not because he was not in a fit condition to perform such duties on account of the use of intoxicating liquors.

Q. You say that the accused was unfit to perform the whole duties of Officer of the Day on or about the 7th of November, last, by reason of the use of intoxicating liquor. Do you mean by this that he was at the time drunk?

A. I do.

Q. Did I not say to you in passing from the Guard House to report to the Commanding Officer that I had been principally living on stimulants and that the need of them had made me weak?

A. He did, and at the time he complained of the feeling about his heart and asked me to walk slow.

The witness heard his testimony read over and was asked if it was correctly recorded and he answered, “It is.” The witness was thereupon dismissed.

The Court at 1:15 o’clock p.m., took a recess for fifteen (15) minutes and reassembled at 1:30 o ’clock p.m. The accused and his counsel present.

Mr. W. S. Fanshaw, Post Trader at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., a witness for the prosecution having been called before the Court and having been duly sworn by the Judge Advocate testified as follows, questioned by the Judge Advocate:

Q. Please state your name.

A. William S. Fanshaw.

Q. And your place of residence?

A. Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. Your occupation?

A. Trader.

Q. Do you know the accused?

A. I do.

Q. State who he is.

A. Thomas H. French, Captain, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Do you know where he is on duty?

A. At Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. How long has he been on duty there?

A. He was there before I went there. I went there about the 1st of October, 1878.

Q. Has the accused been on duty there since that date, the date you went there?

A. Yes.

Q. In your business arrangements have you provided a mess house or boarding house for the accommodation of officers?

A. No sir.

Q. Have you had boarding with you at your own mess any of the officers of the command at Camp Ruhlen?

A. No.

Q. Was the accused in the habit of visiting your store?

A. He was.

Q. Do you remember any particular visit of the accused to your store?

A. I remember one visit in which he stated to me that he came there for the purpose of taking something to eat and told me that if any questions were asked about his visit that I could state so.

Q. Do you remember any other circumstance which distinguished this visit from his ordinary visits?

A. No sir.

Q. Do you remember what day and month this visit was made in?

A. I do not.

Q. Can you give any idea of the date by reference to any circumstance occurring on the same day?

A. No, I could not.

Q. When did you assume control of the Trader’s store?

A. About the first of October.

Q. About how long after you assumed control of the store was this visit and request of the accused made to the best of your recollection?

A. About six weeks I should say.

Q. Which would bring the date on or about what date?

A. On or about the middle of November. Here the direct examination of the witness ended.

The cross-examination was begun by the accused:

Q. On the occasion referred to when the accused visited your store, did he procure anything to eat? If so, state what the articles were.

A. He did. I believe they were oysters.

Q. Did the accused leave your store soon after procuring the oysters?

A. Yes.

Q. About how long did he remain at your store on this occasion?

A. A few minutes. Not over ten minutes.

Q. Has the accused been in the daily habit of visiting your store for the purpose of taking a lunch or procuring something to eat previous to this occasion?

A. He took something to eat there very frequently. I couldn’t say it was daily previous to this occasion.

Q. Did I in any way attempt to induce you to inform any one that I intended to mess at your store, or to say anything but that I had come for food?

A. Captain French asked me if there were any objections to his coming then for the purpose of taking his meals. I replied that I had none. He said that his visits there in the future would be for that purpose, that I could state so if asked any questions about his being there. That is all the conversation that took place.

Re-examination by the Judge Advocate.

Q. After this visit on this occasion did the accused regularly visit your store for the purpose of taking his meals or messing there?

A. He did not.

Q. Did Captain French take his meals at your store at any time?

A. He never came there at stated times, but he did come and take things to eat there frequently.

Q. How many meals did the accused take at your store?

A. I don’t think I can answer that question. A regular meal, of course, he could not obtain there, only such articles or canned goods, oysters, cheese, potted meats, crackers, et cetera.

Q. Please state what articles of food the accused generally called for when visiting your store.

A. Potted meats.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him, he pronounced it correctly recorded. The witness was thereupon discharged.

The Court at 2:30 o’clock p.m. adjourned to meet at 10:30 o’clock a.m. tomorrow the 17th instant.

J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Infantry Bvt. Lieut. Colonel U.S.A. Judge Advocate  

SIXTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 17th, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 10:40 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain W. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, Sick.

The Counsel for the accused was present. The accused not.

The proceedings of the 16th instant were then read and were approved.

The Counsel for the accused desired to state to the Court that the accused was too ill to appear before the Court. In explanation of the absence of the accused the Judge Advocate read to the Court the communication signed by Blair D. Taylor, assistant surgeon, U. S. Army, hereto appended marked F.

The Court was then cleared and closed and after due deliberation directed the Judge Advocate to send the following communication to the Post Commander, viz.: General Court Martial Room Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 17, 1879 Commanding Officer: Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T.

Sir:

I am instructed by the Court to communicate to you that it is the purpose of the Court Martial having the case of Captain T. H. French, 7th Cavalry before it to invite the attention of the Commanding General of the Department to the absence of the accused from the meeting of the 10th instant and also on this date, the 17th instant, and to ask to what period it shall prolong its sessions at this post to complete the trial of the said accused.

For the information of the Department Commander a full statement of the nature and cause of the sickness of the accused on each of the days named and the probable duration of the present sickness of the accused is deemed necessary.

You are therefore respectfully requested to forward to the Court at as early a moment as practicable the desired information. Enclosed please find report of the medical officer assistant surgeon Blair D. Taylor which please return to the court with the report called for.

I have the honor to be Your obdt servant J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Infantry Bvt. Lieut. Col. U.S.A. Judge Advocate G. C. M. P.S. Surgeon W. D. Wolverton, M.D., made the certificate of the 10th instant. The Court was thereupon reopened and at 12:20 p.m. the Court took a recess for forty minutes. At one o’clock (1) p.m., the Court reassembled and was then cleared and closed and the Judge Advocate announced to the Court that the Commanding Officer, Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T., had returned the medical certificate of Assistant Surgeon Blair D. Taylor with endorsements which were by him read to the Court and appended to the record marked E.

The Court was reopened and took a recess to await the reply of the Commanding Officer of Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T., to that part of the communication addressed to him this date referring to the absence of the accused on the 10th instant.

The Court again reassembled at 1:30 o’clock p.m. and then directed the Judge Advocate to send the following telegram to the Assistant Adjutant General, Department of Dakota, viz.: Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T.

January 17, 1879

Adjutant General Ruggles, St. Paul, Minn.

Whereas Captain French has absented himself two days from trial and Court asked the Post Commander to produce accused before, and said accused is absent this date, and Commanding Officer reports by endorsement of Medical Officer that accused is absent sick by too continuous and injudicious use of stimulants if he can be kept from the use of these he will probably be able to appear on the 20th instant and whereas in his own endorsement states he knows of no method of carrying out the condition referred to in assistant surgeon’s report. The Court desires instructions by telegraph.

J. S. POLAND Judge Advocate Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T.

January 17, 1879

Adjutant General Ruggles, St. Paul, Minn.

The Judge Advocate also read to the Court a telegram prepared by himself to the Assistant Adjutant General Department of Dakota, viz:

I report but three witnesses for prosecution examined. The condition of accused for proper appearance before Court seems difficult to secure. I believe it would be expedient to convene a Court at Saint Paul.

J. S. POLAND Judge Advocate The Court then at 2:30 o’clock p.m. adjourned the further hearing of the case of the United States against Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry and proceeded to the trial of First Lieutenant Nelson Bronson, 6th Infantry.

C. C. Gilbert Lieut. Colonel, 7th Infantry, Pres. J. S. Poland

Captain, 6th Infantry

Judge Advocate, G. C. M.

SEVENTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 18, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 10:40 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain W. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 10. 11. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 12.

Absent

1. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry, sick. His medical excuse attached, marked Exhibit H. 2. 3. The accused, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, and his counsel were also absent. 4. The proceedings of the 17th instant were read and approved. The Judge Advocate then read to the Court a message from the Commanding Officer, Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T., received this date and hereto attached marked “F”.

The Court at 11:20 o’clock a.m., then adjourned the further hearing of the case of the United States against Captain Thomas II. French, 7th Cavalry, and proceeded to the continuation of the case of the United States against First Lieutenant Nelson Bronson, 6th Infantry.

C. C. Gilbert Lieut. Colonel, 7th Infantry, Pres. J. S. Poland

Captain, 6th Infantry

Judge Advocate

EIGHTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 21st, 1879 The Court met this date at 10:50 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain W. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel , 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

The accused and his counsel present. In explanation of the failure of the Court to meet on yesterday, the 20th instant, the Judge Advocate stated the reasons following.

The accused, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, was not able to appear before the Court as shown by the certificate of the Assistant Surgeon, Blair D. Taylor, M.D. U.S.A., hereto attached, marked “G” and also that Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry, as per certificate of the Post Surgeon, W. D. Wolverton, M.D., U.S.A. was not well enough to attend the meeting of the Court. The accused desired to introduce Mr. John A. Stoyell of Bismarck as additional counsel.

The proceedings of the 18th instant being in closed court were not read, the reading being dispensed with. The Court was cleared and closed, and to facilitate the business of the Court, decided to apply by telegraph to the convening authority, for authority to hold and continue its sessions without regard to hours. The Judge Advocate here introduced a certified copy of the order from Headquarters Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T., dated October 17, 1879, placing Captain French in charge of detachment of recruits en-route to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., hereto attached, marked I. Corporal Patrick McCann, Company E, 7th Cavalry, a witness for the prosecution, having been duly sworn, testified as follows, questioned by the Judge Advocate:

Q. State your name, rank, regiment and station.

A. Patrick McCann, Corporal, E. Company, 7th Cavalry, Camp Ruhlen.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Yes. Captain French, Captain, M Company, 7th Cavalry.

Q. When were you last on duty at Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T.?

A. On or about the 18th of October 1878.

Q. Then where did you go?

A. Went to Camp Ruhlen.

Q. With whom did you go?

A. With a detachment of recruits, Captain French in command.

Q. Recruits of the 7th Cavalry?

A. Yes.

Q. Was a wagon train taken along?

A. Yes.

Q. Any other officer along?

A. Lieutenant Spillman, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Where did the detachment camp the first night out?

A. Camped on Heart River the first night out.

Q. About how far from Ft. Lincoln, D. T.?

A. About six miles.

Q. Were there any ambulances with the column?

A. Two ambulances.

Q. By whom were these ambulances occupied?

A. One was used by Mrs. De Rudio and her family, and the other by two laundresses of E Company, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Did you see the accused in the first camp after leaving Lincoln, D. T.?

A. Yes.

Q. Where did the detachment camp on the second evening?

A. I believe it was on Louse Creek.

Q. How far was that from Lincoln, D. T.?

A. That was about thirty miles.

Q. Where did you see the accused on the evening of the first encampment?

A. I saw him in conversation with one of the laundresses of E Company.

Q. Where was the laundress at this time? In a tent?

A. No, sir. She was standing close by the ambulance.

Q. Did you see the accused drink anything while at or near this ambulance?

A. No, sir.

Q. How long did the accused remain near it?

A. He was there only a short time. I did not remain there only a short time myself.

Q. Where did you go after seeing Captain French at the ambulance?

A. I went down to my tent.

Q. Did you leave your tent after that?

A. Not to go anyplace except to go around outside.

Q. When the tents were put up for the laundresses, did you see the accused in camp?

A. After the tents were put up I saw the accused.

Q. Where abouts?

A. I seen him in the first place down at Mrs. De Rudio’s tent and afterwards up to where the laundresses were having the tent pitched. I did not see him afterwards that night.

Q. When did you see the accused last?

A. I saw him talking with one of the laundresses that night.

Q. What was the name of the laundress?

A. Mrs. Egan.

Q. What was the name of the other laundress?

A. Mrs. James.

Q. Was the accused talking with Mrs. Egan?

A. Yes.

Q. Was there any liquor carried out by any one on that march and into that camp?

A. There was.

Q. By whom?

A. Mrs. Egan had some along and some men of the detachment.

Q. How did you know Mrs. Egan had liquor?

A. I saw it.

Q. Did you drink any of it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Out of what did you drink it?

A. Out of a tea cup.

Q. Did you see the accused on the following day?

A. No, sir.

Q. Were you with the detachment?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who had command of the detachment on the second day?

A. Lieutenant Spillman.

Q. Where was the accused on the second day’s march?

A. I don’t know.

Q. How did the column march with the recruits, ambulances and wagons? In one column?

A. No. The recruits and the ambulances were in one column and the wagons in one column following up.

Q. Who had command the second night out?

A. Lieutenant Spillman.

Q. Did you see the accused in the camp?

A. No, sir.

Q. When did you next see the accused?

A. I seen the accused on the 21st.

Q. State the time, place and circumstances when you saw him on the 21st.

A. When we got into camp at Cedar River Station, I went up to a whisky ranch near the mail station. I met Captain French at the door coming out. I went inside one of the laundresses of E Company. She asked me to take Captain French to camp, that he was not feeling well. Captain French retired into the shack and asked where the camp was at. I said I would show him, that I was going down there. I went outside. Captain French took hold of ray arm and we proceeded down toward camp. At this time I did not see anything out of the way with Captain French. I could notice that he had been drinking some from his appearance. When we got into camp he asked me for some covering, said he wanted to lay down. I told Lieutenant Spillman’s servant to take him over some and return back to my detachment.

Q. How far was that from where you left him?

A. About forty (40) yards.

Q. How long did the accused remain where you left him?

A. I don’t know. I didn’t see him leave there that evening afterwards.

Q. Did he leave there afterwards?

A. I don’t know that he did leave or not.

Q. Did you see the accused take anything to drink at the whiskey ranch?

A. No, sir. I did not.

Q. At the time you left this ranch, the accused was under the influence of liquor, was he?

A. That was my belief, slightly.

Q. You think he had been drinking?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you next see the accused?

A. I do not remember seeing the accused after he lay down till the next day. I saw him the next day. I saw him in the ambulance.

Q. During the march on the day the detachment reached Cedar River station, was the accused in command of the detachment?

A. No, sir. He didn’t ride with the detachment.

Q. When did he ride?

A. I saw him in the ambulance on that day.

Q. Which ambulance?

A. The ambulance used by the laundresses.

Q. Did that ambulance remain with the column that day?

A. No, sir. It went ahead of the column.

Q. About when did it leave the column that morning?

A. Soon after leaving camp, that morning.

Q. And you next saw the ambulance where?

A. At Cedar River.

Q. After leaving Cedar River station and you saw the accused in the ambulance, where did you next see the accused?

A. After leaving Cedar River station I saw him in camp. I don’t remember the name of the camp. It was the 5th camp out.

Q. Was it in the first camp after leaving Cedar River station?

A. Yes.

Q. In what year did this occur?

A. In 1878.

Q. In what month?

A. October.

Q. And between what dates?

A. Between the dates of the 18th and 22nd of October.

Q. About what day did you reach Camp Ruhlen, D. T.?

A. On or about the 29th of October, 1878.

Q. On what road?

A. On the Bismarck road.

Q. Between what points?

A. Between Bismarck and Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. To what point from Camp Ruhlen does this road run?

A. To Deadwood, Black Hills, D. T.

Q. When the accused got into the laundresses’ ambulance to ride to Cedar River station, were the laundresses also in the same ambulance on that ride?

A. The laundresses were in the same ambulance.

Cross Examination

The accused asked the questions.

Q. Did I not say that my leg pained me in taking your arm, and was I not lame?

A. Yes.

Q. Could I not have gone without your assistance, in your opinion, without staggering?

A. Yes. I believe he could.

Q. Was there any soldier besides the driver and yourself in the ranch when I was there? There were myself and the ambulance driver, the only two soldiers in the ranch at the time. Was not the accused perfectly intelligible in all his conversation with you when going from the ranch to camp?

A. Yes.

Re-Examination

Questions asked by the Court.

Q. Did the accused stagger when he came out of the ranch?

A. No, sir. He did not.

Q. You said you walked with Captain French from the whiskey shack near Cedar River to the camp of the detachment, and there he laid down. Did he go to a tent or lie down on the ground?

A. He laid down on the ground. The wagon train hadn’t got in then.

Q. Did you see him lying there afterwards, and if so, how long after he laid down?

A. I didn’t see him lying there after the wagon train came in. He might have lain there an hour.

Q. Was it not the habit of the accused to go through the whole camp by every tent every night as far as you know?

A. It was not, to my knowledge.

Q. Can you state the day of the week when the detachment reached the camp near Cedar River?

A. I don’t know what day of the week it was.

Q. Do you remember where the detachment camped on the first Sunday night after leaving Fort Lincoln?

A. I do not remember.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him and pronounced correct, he was discharged from further attendance.

The Court then at 1:05 o’clock p.m. took a recess for fifteen (15) minutes. The Court reassembled at 1:30 o’clock p.m., all the members present.

The Judge Advocate announced to the Court the receipt of a telegraphic order from Department Headquarters this date hereto attached marked K, authorizing the Court to sit without regard to hours.

Private John Harvey, Company G, 11th Infantry, a witness for the prosecution, having been called before the court, duly sworn by the Judge Advocate testified as follows with questions by the Judge Advocate:

Q. State your name, rank and regiment.

A. John Harvey, Private, Company G, 11th Infantry.

Q. Do you know the accused?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. State who he is.

A. Captain French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Were you ever under his command?

A. Yes, sir. I left here, Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T., under his command on the 18th or 19th of October 1878.

Q. What was your duty?

A. I was ambulance driver.

Q. What ambulance did you drive?

A. I drove the ambulance occupied by two laundresses.

Q. Give their names.

A. One was Mrs. Egan, and one was Mrs. James, Co. E, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Where did the command encamp the first night out from Fort Lincoln?

A. It was about four or five miles from here what is called Stone Bridge, I believe.

Q. Did you see the accused in this camp?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where did you see the accused the next day?

A. I did not see him the next day.

Q. When and where did you see him?

A. I saw him on the morning of the fourth day from here, the morning of the day we went into Cedar Creek. He came into my ambulance and ordered me to drive ahead to the ranch.

Q. Did you leave the column behind that morning?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was any liquor carried along by any one on that march?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. By whom?

A. Mrs. Egan.

Q. In the laundresses’ ambulance?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was that liquor in the ambulance on the day you left the column and proceeded to Cedar River station?

A. Yes.

Q. How do you know?

A. I put it in the ambulance that morning out of the tent myself.

Q. By what other fact or facts do you know that the liquor was in the ambulance?

A. I put it in my front box in the morning and I locked it in the front box and did not take it out. It must have been there.

Q. Was this liquor carried on the second day’s march?

A. It was carried in the ambulance same as usual in the front box. There was no other way to carry it.

Q. Was any of it used on the second day’s march after it had been put in the ambulance?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. By whom?

A. By myself and a man of E Company drank out of the keg.

Q. Anybody else?

A. No, sir. I can’t say whether the ladies drank out of it or not. The key was in the wagon.

Q. Was any of it used the day you inarched to Cedar River station?

A. No, sir.

Q. Please state to the Court all that was connected with the march on the day you reached Cedar River station.

A. I came into Cedar River station about 11 o’clock a.m. and Captain French, 7th Cavalry told me to unhitch my team and give it some hay. I fed the team and came into the saloon afterwards and as I came in, Captain French told the barkeeper to give me a drink if I wanted it. I took it and remained there until the command came up.

Q. State all that occurred while you remained in the saloon and during the time the accused was present.

A. There didn’t nothing amount to anything occur that I saw.

Q. What persons took drinks in the saloon while you were present?

A. Mrs. Egan took several. Captain French took several. I took one drink in the saloon. Corporal McCann came in and took some drinks. I could not say how many, two or three, and there was other parties but I couldn’t say who they were.

Q. Were the persons in there before Corporal McCann came in drinking together?

A. No, sir. Only except those that came in the ambulance and Captain French and myself was all that were in there. I did not see them drink together when I came in there was nobody drinking except myself when I went up and got a drink.

Q. Did the accused leave the saloon?

A. No, sir. He didn’t leave the saloon until after the command had come in and gone into camp.

Q. Did he then leave the saloon?

A. Yes, sir. Corporal McCann took him down to camp. He asked Corporal McCann where the camp was and Corporal McCann took him down to where the camp was.

Q. Before Corporal McCann came in, about how many drinks did the accused take?

A. Well, I could not state the number he took. Seems like about six or seven drinks.

Q. What did the accused drink?

A. I think it was whiskey. The bottle was a whiskey bottle. It tasted like whiskey.

Q. What was the accused’s condition at the time he left the saloon with Corporal McCann?

A. Well, his condition was, I should call him, slightly drunk, slightly under the influence of liquor.

Q. Did you see the accused after this in camp?

A. No, sir. I did not.

Q. When did you next see him?

A. I saw him the next morning after I had hitched up. He came to the ambulance and got in and ordered me to drive ahead. I told him I could not do it because I had orders from Lieutenant Spillman to stay behind the command. I drove there all day, where I was ordered to drive.

Q. Was the accused present in the ambulance?

A. Yes, sir. He rode to within about four miles of camp. There he got on to his horse and went ahead to pick out a camp.

Q. About what day of the month was it when you reached Cedar River station?

A. I believe it was about the 21st or 22nd of October, 1878.

Q. While the laundresses rode in the ambulance with the accused, did they or anybody else in said ambulance drink of the liquor carried in the ambulance?

A. No, sir.

Q. When did all this occur? On what road?

A. Between Fort Lincoln, D. T. and Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. Where does the road lead to going west?

A. Deadwood, Black Hills, D. T.

Q. State what buildings are at Cedar River station?

A. There is a stage ranch, and saloon, and a stage stable.

Q. For the accommodation of stage passengers?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. The second day after leaving Cedar River station, did you see the accused?

A. No sir.

Cross Examination

Questioned by the accused.

Q. How many rode in the ambulance occupied by Mrs. De Rudio?

A. Mrs. De Rudio and her children, I believe. I think there was six, Mrs. De Rudio, four children, colored servant and driver.

Q. Did not the accused complain of being ill while riding in the ambulance each day while riding with you?

A. Yes, sir. He did.

Q. Did not the accused appear to be ill, each day while riding with you?

A. Well, I did not notice the first day to amount to anything. I heard him speak of feeling bad. I did not notice him. I had four horses to drive and was wrapped up.

Q. What kind of a bottle did accused drink from while at the saloon at Cedar River station? Did it have a label on it?

A. Yes, sir. It had some kind of a label on it. I could not say what kind of a label.

Q. Was a Surgeon with the command?

A. No, sir.

Q. Are you sure that the bottle did not contain East India Bitters instead of whiskey?

A. I don’t know as I would know them apart. I could not say. It was in a white square bottle holding about a quart.

Q. Did you read the label on the bottle from which the accused drank?

A. No, sir. I did not.

Q. What do you mean by saying that Corporal McCann took accused down to camp?

A. I mean that he went down with him. At least they went out of the saloon together.

Q. Did you not consider me able to have walked to camp without assistance?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did I not conduct myself properly and converse intelligently during the time you saw me at the saloon?

A. Yes, sir. He did.

Q. What did the accused say to you as you were beginning to tell a few minutes since on his leaving the saloon at Cedar Creek?

A. I says, “Captain, shall I take the ambulance down to camp?” He said, “Hitch up the ambulance and take it down to camp and camp in the usual place.” That was about fifty (50) yards in the rear of the detachment cook tent.

Q. Was the accused drunk on the occasion when you saw and conversed with him?

A. Well, I could not call him drunk, but I should call him under the influence of liquor. I should call him slightly drunk.

Q. Did you consider that the accused was unfitted or incompetent to perform his duties by reason of having drank intoxicating liquor? If so, state in what particular?

A. I can’t answer that.

Q. Did not the accused appear to you to be in possession of all his mental faculties and physically able to walk and take care of himself, except a lameness in one leg?

A. I don’t understand the question. I did not notice that he was lame at all. I did not see him limp. He spoke as if he had been drinking some. You could notice it. His orders or instructions were given so that any person could understand him.

The accused asked that the witness be instructed as to the meaning of the question in reference to mental faculties. The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided that the witness in the opinion of the Court has answered the question as far as he is capable of so doing, and the Court further recommends the counsel for the accused to so simplify his questions as to suit the capacity of the witness.

The Court was reopened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

Re-Examination

Questioned by the Court.

Q. Did you take any drinks from the same bottle that the accused did at the ranch at Cedar River, and if so, what did it have in it?

A. When I came in the bottle was setting on the counter as if somebody had been drinking out of it. I was asked to take a drink and I took it out of the bottle that was sitting on the counter. I called for whiskey and that’s what they gave me, told me it was there. I call it whiskey. I saw him take a drink from the bottle. I do not know whether it was the same bottle that I took a drink from or not.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him and pronounced correct, the witness was directed to remain in attendance as a witness for the defense.

At four-ten o ‘clock p.m., the Court took a recess for ten (10) minutes. At 4:20 o ’clock p.m., the Court reassembled. Present all the members, the accused and his counsel also present. Then was called before the court, Frank Jones, civilian, a witness for the prosecution and having been duly sworn by the Judge Advocate testified as follows, questioned by the Judge Advocate:

Q. State your name.

A. Frank Jones. (Colored)

Q. What do you do for a living?

A. I work for it.

Q. What at?

A. I work for Mrs. De Rudio.

Q. Did you go with Mrs. De Rudio from Fort Lincoln, D. T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T.?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. In what month?

A. October.

Q. How do you know it was October?

A. Cause I was paid for that month.

Q. Where were you paid?

A. At Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. What year?

A. 1878.

Q. Where did you camp the first night after leaving Fort Lincoln, D. T.

A. Heart River.

Q. Who went out from Fort Lincoln, D. T., to that camp?

A. Detachment of cavalry, Captain French was in command.

Q. Who is Captain French?

A. Captain of M Company, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Is that gentleman here?

A. Yes, sir. (The witness pointed the accused out.)

Q. State what other persons went out?

A. Lieutenant Spillman, Mrs. De Rudio. There was Mrs. Egan, Mrs. James, Laundresses.

Q. Of what company?

A. Company E, 7th Cavalry.

Q. What did the laundresses go out in?

A. They went out in the ambulance.

Q. Did you see them in camp on Heart River?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you in Mrs. Egan’s tent that evening.

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where?

A. In the tent.

Q. While you were in the tent, did anybody drink any liquor?

A. Yes Sir.

Q. What persons were in the tent?

A. Captain French and Mrs. Egan.

Q. Anybody else?

A. Myself, sir.

Q. Who drank the liquor?

A. Captain French.

Q. Who else?

A. Then Mrs. Egan.

Q. What did they drink the liquor out of?

A. A tin cup.

Q. Out of the same cup?

A. Out of the same cup.

Q. How did Mrs. Egan appear? Sober or drunk that night?

A. She didn’t look drunk.

Q. Did she act drunk?

A. No sir.

Q. How many drinks did they take while you were in the tent?

A. One.

Q. That was at the first camp out from Lincoln, D. T., was it?

A. Yes sir.

Direct examination ended, the Court at 4:45 o’clock P. M. adjourned to meet at 10:30 o’clock A.M. tomorrow the 22nd instant.

J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Infantry Bvt. Lieut. Colonel U.S.A. J. A. G. C. M.

NINTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 22, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 10:35 a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain W. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

The accused and his counsel present.

The fair copy of proceedings of yesterday not being completed, the reading was dispensed with for today.

Frank Jones, a witness for the prosecution, having been called before the court, his cross examination by the accused was begun.

Q. What is your understanding of an oath, such as you have taken as a witness?

A. To tell nothing but the truth.

Q. State why you must tell nothing but the truth?

A. Because I know it is the truth.

Q. Is there any other reason than that given by you for telling the truth?

A. Because I saw it.

The accused objects to this witness on the ground of incompetency as wanting in a knowledge of that sanction legal or moral which is indispensable and binding in an oath of this character.

To which the Judge Advocate replies, that the cross examination has not as yet established the incompetency of the witness for certainly his answer to the first question, clearly shows a clear conception of the witnesses’ moral duty when under oath, and the cross examination has not continued sufficiently, considering the probable education and knowledge of the witness to show or establish whether the witness does or does not understand that he will be punished for not telling the truth under oath.

Although the accused failed to raise the question of competency at the proper time, that is before the witness was sworn, and the Judge Advocate does not wish to take advantage of the omission of the accused and leaves, as it is duly within the province of the Court to determine the competency of the witness, to the Court itself.

The accused submits to the Court that the question of competency was reserved for the cross examination, and without prejudice to accused, and it was understood by accused that this stipulation was made a matter of record.

The Judge Advocate replies that the Court was given to understand when the direct examination of this witness began, the Judge Advocate would not object to the accused testing the competency of the witness on cross examination. The accused has partially cross examined the witness and then objects to the witness “as wanting in a knowledge of that sanction legal or moral which is indispensable and binding in an oath of this character.” The Judge Advocate stated in his previous reply that the cross examination of the witness had not as yet established the ground for assuming the reputed want of knowledge of the witness and therefore leaves it to the Court to determine whether the witness is really wanting in the requisite knowledge to render him competent as a witness.

The accused respectfully submits that the fact of incompetency may be shown at any stage of the examination.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation the Court decided, that from the testimony of the witness, thus far elicited, the Court does not find the witness incompetent, and the objection of the accused to this witness is not therefore sustained.

The Court was reopened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

The witness was recalled to the stand and the cross examination continued.

Q. What would be the consequence in case you should not tell the truth?

A. I would be put in jail.

Q. How do you know that you would be put in jail if you did not tell the truth?

A. I would be perjured for not telling the truth sir.

Q. Who told you that you would be perjured if you did not tell the truth?

A. Nobody sir.

Q. What is perjury?

A. Perjury is telling something that is not so.

Q. With whom do you live?

A. Mrs. De Rudio.

Q. Have you ever conversed with anyone beside the Judge Advocate about this case? If so state who.

A. Major Lazelle.

Q. Do you swear positively that you never conversed with anyone about this case, and how you would testify, beside Major Lazelle?

A. No sir.

Q. How did you happen to converse with Major Lazelle about this question?

A. He sent for me.

Q. Who delivered his order to you when he sent for you?

A. His orderly.

Q. What did you say in reply to Major Lazelle when he asked you if you knew anything about Captain French?

A. He asked me did I see him at the first camp out from Lincoln. I answered yes.

Q. Was this the first time that you said anything to anyone about what you saw Captain French do on the march to Camp Ruhlen from Fort A. Lincoln?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you tell anyone right away or soon after what you saw Captain French doing in the laundresses’ tent?

A. No sir.

Q. How do you know that Mrs. Egan had whiskey?

A. I smelt it.

Q. Did you take the bottle and smell of its contents?

A. No sir.

Q. How do you know the accused drank whiskey in Mrs. Egan’s tent?

A. I seen him.

Q. What kind of a vessel did he drink from?

A. A tin cup.

Q. At what time of day or night did you say that Captain French visited the tent of the laundresses?

A. Between 7 and 8. It was in the evening.

Q. How long do you say that he was there?

A. I did not stop to see how long he was there.

Q. How many laundresses were with the command?

A. Two.

Q. Who sent you to the laundress’s tent on the occasion you saw Captain French there?

A. I went over myself to look for Gilbert.

Q. Did both laundresses occupy the same tent and were both present on the occasion of which you testify?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Will you swear positively that you never conversed with Lieutenant or Mrs. De Rudio concerning any of the facts which you have testified to in this court?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How long have you lived with Lieutenant De Rudio?

A. Three months.

The Court was cleared and closed at the request of a member, and the line of cross examination discussed without decision and the Court reopened the accused and his counsel and the witness present.

Q. How long after your arrival at Camp Ruhlen was it that Major Lazelle sent for you?

A. I do not remember.

Cross examination closed.

Court and Judge Advocate then asked questions.

Q. What did Mrs. Egan keep her whiskey in?

A. I did not see what she had it in.

Q. Did she let you taste it?

A. No sir.

Q. How old are you?

A. Sixteen.

Q. Do you know the difference between good and evil?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Do you consider the form of oath administered to you by the Judge Advocate to be such as will be binding on your conscience?

A. Yes sir.

Q. In whose hand was the tin cup when you entered the tent?

A. Captain French’s sir.

Q. Who drank first, the accused or Mrs. Egan?

A. Captain French.

Q. How near were you to the tin cup when you say you smelled whiskey?

A. I was right on it.

Q. State more particularly how near you were to the tin cup. What do you mean by saying that you were right on it?

A. About two feet. I mean I was about two feet from it.

Q. Where did Mrs. Egan get the liquor from which you say she drank after Captain French had drank?

A. The same cup.

Q. When Mrs. Egan drank from the tin cup, did she do so immediately after the accused drank and without replenishing the cup with more liquor?

A. Yes, when Mrs. Egan drank I did not see her refill the cup.

Q. Did Captain French leave some liquor in the cup or did Mrs. Egan get some from some other place?

A. Captain French left it in the cup.

Q. Did you see how much, if any liquor, was left by Captain French in the cup?

A. Yes sir.

Q. State how much?

A. A small glass full sir.

Q. How came you to see how much was in the cup after the accused drank?

A. I looked in it.

Q. Where was the cup when you looked in it?

A. It was right on my left side in Mrs. Egan’s hand.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him, he pronounced it correct, and the witness withdrew. Thereupon the Court took a recess of ten minutes.

The Court at 2 o’clock p.m. reassembled, the accused and his counsel present.

Lieutenant Baldwin D. Spillman, 7th Cavalry, a witness for the prosecution having been called before the Court and having been duly sworn by the Judge Advocate testified as follows to questions by the Judge Advocate:

Q. State your name, rank, regiment, station?

A. Baldwin D. Spillman, Second Lieutenant, 7th Cavalry, Fort Meade, late Camp Ruhlen, Dakota Territory.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. When did you leave Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T., to go to Fort Meade, D. T.?

A. On the 18th of October, 1878, about 3 p.m.

Q. Did you go with troops?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What constituted the command of Captain French?

A. About forty-five recruits of the 7th Cavalry, two ambulances and a wagon train.

Q. Who were in the ambulances?

A. One ambulance was occupied by two laundresses, Mrs. Egan and Mrs. James, both of “E” Company, 7th Cavalry, the other ambulance was occupied by Mrs. De Rudio and her children, three little girls.

Q. Where did the command encamp the first night out from Fort Lincoln?

A. On the little Heart River.

Q. When did the command leave that camp?

A. The next morning.

Q. Who was in command the next morning?

A. Captain French was until just about the time the command started, or, in fact he was all the time I was in charge.

Q. Of what?

A. Of the command.

Q. Where did the command camp the second night out?

A. I believe it was at or near Chautepete.

Q. Where did the command encamp the third night out from Fort Lincoln?

A. That was about half way between Dogtooth and Cannonball.

Q. What station did you reach on the next day’s march.

A. Cedar River.

Q. How far is Cedar River from the third Camp?

A. I think it is about twenty miles.

Q. Please state the circumstances of the march from the third camp to Cedar River station, in so far as the accused is concerned?

A. That morning the accused said he was sick and wanted to ride in the ambulance occupied by the laundresses, there being no room in the other one, and Captain French took his place there. The position of the two ambulances was just in rear of the column of soldiers, the one occupied by Captain French was in front of the one occupied by Mrs. De Rudio. I left the head of the detachment and rode back to Mrs. De Rudio’s ambulance, where I remained about three quarters of an hour, when I left the rear of that ambulance, the ambulance containing Captain French had left the column and gone ahead. I did not see anything more of it until I reached Cedar River, and there I found the ambulance, and Captain French was lying on the hillside wrapped up in some robes. He remained there I think about two hours, or two hours and a half, when the wagon train arrived, and the tents were pitched. He then came into his tent and laid down and went to sleep. During the night he made several efforts to go to the saloon there but I intercepted him and brought him back on each occasion. He drank nothing but I know of except a small quantity of liquor that I gave him myself to get him to sleep. He remained in the tent the rest of the night. The next morning he said he would rather get in the wagon than to ride with the laundresses in the ambulance. He rode on the wagon during that day, and the next morning assumed charge of the command and retained it until his arrival at Capt Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. Did you see the accused on the evening of the third camp before you marched to Cedar River Station?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What was his condition when you saw him?

A. He got out of the stage and introduced me to three gentlemen, and stood conversing with us for a few minutes. He appeared to be sick. I do not know whether he was under the influence of liquor then or not, or if he was to what extent. He was able to talk and walk from that place without staggering some distance to his tent.

Q. What was his condition as to sobriety on the evening you saw him at Cedar River Station?

A. I could see that he had been drinking some, but his conversation and movements would not indicate it after I saw him get up.

Q. After your arrival at Fort Meade, was the accused relieved from duty?

A. In a few days the Commanding Officer of the Post told me to take charge of the company.

Q. Did the accused give you a reason why he was relieved?

A. No sir.

Q. Did he give you any explanation?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you hear any explanation given by the Commanding Officer or the accused, why he was relieved?

A. No sir.

Q. Did the accused remain on duty continuously after the arrival of the detachment which he commanded at Camp Ruhlen, D. T.?

A. He did not.

Q. Why not?

A. I was told by the Commanding Officer.

The accused objects to this witness testifying to what anyone told him, beside the accused for the purpose of binding or concluding him, for the simple reason that being hearsay it is inadmissible. The Judge Advocate replies that the witness, being an Officer of the accused’s company, must know officially why the accused did not remain on duty continuously after the arrival of the detachment at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., particularly when he testifies that he did not. The Judge Advocate does not solicit hearsay testimony outside of what was communicated to him as the accused’s successor in command, and requests the Court to so instruct the witness.

The accused further submits - The testimony sought to be given by the prosecution is also objectionable because of its immateriality, what persons may have said not under oath, not before the Court, cannot be properly admitted.

The Judge Advocate rejoins that the question referred to above did the accused remain on duty continuously after the arrival of the detachment which the accused commanded is material to the charge that the accused was placed in arrest and did break his arrest, and the following question to the witness’s answer that the accused did not remain on duty is also pertinent and avoids the objection of a leading question.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation the Court decided that the objection of the accused to the introduction of hearsay testimony is sustained. The Court was reopened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the court.

The Judge Advocate begs to call the attention of the court to his first reply wherein he disclaims any attempt to introduce hearsay testimony.

The Judge Advocate withdrew the question.

Q. Did the accused remain at Camp Ruhlen after his arrival there until recently ordered to appear before this Court?

A. So far as I know, he did.

Q. What was the status of the accused during the whole time that he was there in relation to his duty or was he on duty the whole time?

A. No sir, he was not. He was on duty for a few days when he first arrived. I do not think he has been on duty since.

Q. Where has he been?

A. He has been at Camp Ruhlen.

Q. What was his status?

A. He was in arrest.

Q. About when was he placed in arrest?

A. On or about the 5th of November.

Q. After he was placed in arrest, did the accused inform you of it?

A. He did.

Q. Was the accused in the habit of visiting the Traders store prior to being placed in arrest?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he visit the store after he was placed in arrest.

A. Yes sir.

Q. Is there an officer’s mess at Camp Ruhlen?

A. There is.

Q. What officers messed there after your arrival with the detachment under the accused’s command?

A. Major Lazelle, Major Smith 1st Infantry; Lieut. Markland 1st Infantry; Lieut. Edmunds 1st Infantry; Lieut. Starr 1st Infantry, Lieut. Pettit, 1st Infantry, Lieut. Carrington 1st Infantry, and once or twice I saw Captain French there, and myself.

Q. Was that the only mess at the post for officers?

A. The only one, except private messes.

Q. Did Captain French have a private mess?

A. Not that I know of.

Q. In what year did this occur?

A. 1878.

Q. On what road were the marches made and stations located as testified by you?

A. On the road from Bismarck to Deadwood, Dakota Territory.

Q. In what month of 1878 was said march made?

A. In the month of October.

Q. In what year was the month November, testified to, that the accused was placed in arrest?

A. November, 1878.

Direct examination ended and questions by the accused began.

Q. Did I not appear to be ill when I told you I was, and when I first went into the ambulance?

A. He did appear to be ill.

Q. Were the instructions testified to by you made in a proper manner?

A. They were.

Q. Do you know what the accused visited the Traders store for either before or after his arrest?

A. No sir. I do not. I have seen him at the Traders store both eating and drinking.

Q. Is there not for sale at the Post Traders all kinds of canned articles that are edible fruits, vegetables and meats?

A. There are canned meats, but I do not know whether there are canned fruits or vegetables or not.

Q. You testify that there is an officer’s mess at Camp Ruhlen. Is this mess a restaurant where officers or others may obtain meals or refreshments?

A. It is.

Q. Was the Fort Meade, D. T., spoken of in your testimony known by any other name during last October, and if so what?

A. Camp Ruhlen was adjoining what is now Fort Meade, D. T.

Q. Was Captain French’s condition on his joining the detachment by stage on the third day out from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., such as to enable him to perform his whole duties as Commanding Officer of the detachment and if not why not?

The accused objects to the witness giving his opinion as to whether Captain French was, or was not able to perform his whole duty. Let the witness state the facts from which the Court can judge as to the fitness of the accused on this occasion.

In reply to which the Judge Advocate read from Par. 15, page 167, decision Judge Advocate General Holt.

The accused’s objection is not to the witness’s competency to testify to drunkenness or any other fact in his possession, lest he is not therefore laying a proper foundation competent to testify as an expert on this question, as to his capacity for command or any other duty devolving on him.

In view of the testimony on this point given by the said witness, the Judge Advocate submits the objection without further remark. The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation, decided that the objection be not sustained. The Court was reopened and the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court. The Judge Advocate began questions after answer.

A. Captain French appeared to be ill at that time. I do not think he had been drinking anything for at least a day and night, but had it been necessary I believe he was able to perform his whole duty as Commanding Officer of the detachment.

Q. Was Captain French’s condition (on the evening of your arrival at Cedar River) such as to enable him to perform his whole duties as Commanding Officer of the detachment, and if not, why not?

A. Captain French was asleep when I arrived at Cedar River, but in the evening he was suffering from the influence of what he had been drinking. I do not think he was able at that time to perform his duty as Commanding Officer of the detachment.

Q. If Captain French had had a private mess would you have known it?

A. I think I would.

Q. Who is Captain of your company and what company do you belong to?

A. Captain Thomas H. French, Company “M” 7th Cavalry.

Q. Was the incapacity of which you testify the result of the then present intoxication or from illness?

A. He appeared to be somewhat under the influence of liquor at that time, and he also appeared to be very ill.

Q. Was there a Surgeon with the command?

A. There was not.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him, he pronounced it correct and the witness was discharged.

The Court at 4:40 o’clock p.m. adjourned to meet at 10:30 o’clock a.m. tomorrow the 23rd instant.

J. S. POLAND Captain 6th Infantry J. A. G. C. M.

TENTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 23, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 10:30 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain W. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

The accused and his counsel present. The reading of the proceedings of the 18th instant were dispensed with.

Judge Advocate then announced that the prosecution here rested. The Court was cleared and closed, the Court having no decision to record it was reopened and the accused and his counsel present, the accused entered on his defence.

Sergeant Albert J. Cunningham, Company “D” 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence then came before the Court and having been duly sworn by the Judge Advocate testified as follows, questioned by the accused:

Q. Do you know the accused?

A. I do.

Q. State his name, rank and regiment.

A. Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. On what duty were you in the month of October, 1878?

A. I was here at this post. There was an order here directing me to report to my company. My company was at the Black Hills as far as I knew; for want of transportation I could not be sent at the time the order came. In the meantime, there was a detachment of recruits came here, and I was ordered to report to Captain French to accompany the detachment of recruits to Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. Did you leave this post with the detachment? If so, state when you left this post.

A. Captain French put me in charge on the 28th of October.

Q. Are you sure that you left this post on the 28th?

A. As near as I can recollect.

Q. About what time did you reach Camp Ruhlen?

A. Did I say the 18th? I qualify my answer to that question, the 28th. We left Fort Abraham Lincoln on the 18th. To this question I answer about the 29th. I am not certain because I kept no account.

Q. Where did the detachment camp the first night out from Fort Lincoln?

A. At the Little Heart River.

Q. Did you see the accused at this camp? If so, state what occurred, if anything?

A. Yes sir. I saw him. What I would state particularly I don’t exactly know. There are incidents occurring in every camp.

Q. Did you have any conversation with the accused at the first camp out from Fort Lincoln?

A. I really do not remember. No more than the usual instructions that I received from him.

Q. In what capacity did you act with the detachment?

A. As First Sergeant.

Q. Did the accused complain of feeling sick at the first camp? If so, state all that took place at that time?

A. Yes sir. He did. I will not be positive whether he asked me if I had any whiskey, or put in parenthesis if. I asked him if a drink of whiskey would not do him good. Told him that I thought I could get him a drink. He said, “Very well.” We went to the ambulance which was occupied by the laundresses, and I asked one of them if she had any whiskey. She replied that she had. Asked if she might not give me a little. She said she would. She poured a small quantity into two glasses. Captain French drank. So did I. That is all about that.

Q. What did the accused do next?

A. We came away, both of us. I went to look after my duty, and I do not know where he went to.

Q. Did you see the accused again after he drank at the ambulance that evening?

A. Yes sir. I did.

Q. How often, and when did you see him last that night?

A. My memory fails me on that. I had seen him. Don’t know when nor how often after that time.

Q. What was the condition as to sobriety of the laundress who gave you the whiskey?

A. I could not perceive anything in the conduct of the laundress that would lead me to think that she was other than properly sober.

Q. Who handed the whiskey to the accused?

A. I did. He did not come quite up to the ambulance.

Q. Do you know of the accused having drank more than one drink of liquor on this occasion?

A. He did not.

Q. What was the condition of the accused as regards sobriety before as well as after he took the drink at the ambulance?

A. There was nothing in his conduct to indicate to me that he was under the influence of liquor. He however looked as if he was suffering. He looked haggard. That was all I see, nor after he took the drink it didn’t make any change as far as I could see.

Q. What kind of a tent did the laundresses occupy at the first camp out from Lincoln?

A. I cannot say. There was a detail for that purpose, a quartermaster sergeant who gave them the tent. I do not remember what kind of a tent. They camped about perhaps a hundred yards from our camp and I did not go near their camp.

Q. When did you next see the accused after parting with him at the ambulance?

A. I told you that I did not know where or how often I saw him. No other answer than that. My memory fails me. I might have seen him quite often perhaps.

Q. Did you see him at all after leaving the ambulance that night or evening?

A. Yes sir. I did.

Q. What was the condition of the accused when you last saw him on this evening, as to sobriety?

A. I could not say that he was anything else but sober.

Q. Who occupied the wall tents during the march of the detachment from this post to Camp Ruhlen?

A. Mrs. De Rudio, and I think Captain French and Lieut. Spillman.

Q. What tent or tents did the laundresses occupy during the march?

A. One “A” tent.

Q. How many laundresses were along with the detachment, and had any children with them?

A. Two, and one little girl.

Direct examination closed.

Cross Examination by Judge Advocate.

Q. Which laundress gave you the drinks for yourself and the accused?

A. Mrs. Egan.

Q. Out of what kind of a vessel was the whiskey poured into the glass? What was it poured out of?

A. I think it was a covered demijohn, basket covered.

Q. Are you sure about it?

A. No sir. I am not. To the best of my opinion it was that.

Q. Might it not have been a water keg or small whiskey keg?

A. To the best of my knowledge, my memory is bad anyhow, it was a demijohn.

Q. How long were you and the accused at this ambulance?

A. Not five minutes.

Q. Did you observe Mrs. Egan closely or particularly?

A. No, I took no more notice of her than I would of anybody else that was waiting on me.

Q. Then is it not likely that she may have been under the influence of liquor and you not have observed it at the time?

A. It is a direct question and I don’t know how to answer it. The woman had no appearance of being under the influence of intoxicating drink. The question was repeated to the witness. I think I would have observed it, if she was under the influence of liquor.

Q. Why do you think so?

A. Persons actions will lead me to know whether they are under the influence of drink.

Q. Always?

A. No, it may be some other disease that I might confound with being influenced with drink.

Q. When you spoke of the haggard look of the accused - that he was suffering - do you think you confounded some other disease with being under the influence of drink?

A. I might be mistaken when I thought this looking sick and haggard was superinduced by strong drink. It might be from some other cause.

Q. Did you think then, whether there was any mistake about it or not?

A. I do not know exactly what my thoughts were. You can see from my reply that when I asked him if a drink of whiskey might do him any good.

Q. What did you think from what you knew of your own knowledge and had seen of the accused, what produced the condition he was in when you asked him if a drink of whiskey would do him any good?

The accused objects to the question.

The Judge Advocate withdrew the question.

Q. From your own knowledge and what you saw of the accused, what do you believe produced the condition he was in when you asked him if a drink of whiskey would do him any good?

The question of the Judge Advocate is objected to by the accused on the ground of incompetency, it being a proper question for a medical expert which the prosecution have not shown the witness to be.

The Judge Advocate calls attention to the testimony of the witness on direct examination wherein he stated the accused “looked as if he was suffering he looked haggard” to an answer to the question of the accused “What was his condition as to sobriety before as well as after he took the drink at the ambulance?” and also to the testimony of the witness on cross examination wherein he says “I might be mistaken when I thought his looking sick and haggard was superinduced by strong drink” it might be from some other cause. The witness however much of an expert on such matters is not asked on that account to state his belief as to the cause of the condition of the accused, and the Judge Advocate adds that the witness is competent to state what caused his condition if he knows the cause.

The accused further objected to this question because it is not pertinent to the issue. The accused is charged on this occasion with drinking repeatedly with a laundress and she under the influence of liquor. The evidence must be confined to the issue.

The Judge Advocate submitted the objection without remark. The Court was cleared and closed and again opened whereupon it took a recess for fifteen minutes. The recess having expired the Court reassembled. The members all present, the accused and his counsel and the Judge Advocate. The Court was then cleared and closed and after due deliberation upon the objection of the accused to the preceding question on cross examination the Court decided to not sustain the objection. The Court was reopened and the accused and his counsel present, the Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court. The Judge Advocate withdrew the question.

Q. Did Mrs. Egan take a drink while you and the accused were at the ambulance?

A. I did not see her take a drink.

Q. You said you saw the accused after taking the drink at the ambulance. State how long after.

A. I could not state how long.

The Court was cleared and closed on account of the uproar overhead reopened, the accused and his counsel present.

Cross examination ended.

Re-examination by the accused begun.

Q. When you asked me at Camp on Heart River if a drink of whiskey would do me good, what answer did I make?

A. When I asked him, if he thought a drink of whiskey would do him good, he said he did not have any, he never carried any with him.

Q. Did my illness cause me to fail in the performance of any of my military duties at the Camp on Heart River?

Objection by member of the Court. The questions on re-examination must be confined to matter brought out on the cross examination. To which the accused replied, he had nothing to say. The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation the Court decided to sustain the objection.

The Court was reopened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

The witness desired to correct his testimony in relation to the tents occupied by the laundresses, and states that he cannot make any positive statement as to whether it was an “A11 or a wall tent the laundresses occupied.

The testimony having been read over to him, was pronounced to be correctly recorded, and the witness was discharged.

The Court thereupon adjourned at 3:08 o’clock p.m. to meet tomorrow the 24th instant at 10:30 o’clock a.m.

J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Infantry J. A. G. C. M.

ELEVENTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 24th, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 10:35 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry

2. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry

3. Captain W. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department

4. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry

5. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry

6. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry

7. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

The reading of the proceedings of previous days was on motion, dispensed with by the Court. The accused respectfully represents to the Court that he learned last evening after the adjournment that Private Gilbert, of “E” Company, 7th Cavalry, is a material witness for the defence in this case and asks that he be summoned as a witness, it appearing in evidence that it was in consequence of 1st Lieutenant Charles C. De Rudio’s complaint that charges were preferred against accused, and it also appearing that Frank Jones (colored) a witness for the prosecution is a servant of Lieut. De Rudio’s and that said Jones on cross examination swore “that he had never conversed with said De Rudio or any other person except Major Lazelle, 1st Infantry, about what it is alleged the accused did on the march from Fort A. Lincoln in October last.” The witness Gilbert is required by the accused to contradict said witness, touching the truth of his testimony in this matter and therefore request that he said Gilbert be summoned for the defence, and the accused is also informed that said Gilbert if called as a witness will testify that said Jones in conversation with him had said he had told Lieutenant and Mrs. De Rudio all about what he knew about this case, and also told said Gilbert about what he would testify to on this case.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation on the question as to how the witness asked for should be summoned, decided to direct the Judge Advocate to summon the witness by telegraph. Copy hereto attached marked “L.”

Mr. John Allen, civilian, a witness for the defense having been called before the Court, and having been duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows as questioned by the accused:

Q. State your name?

A. John Allen.

Q. Place of residence?

A. Bismarck, D. T.

Q. Where were you residing and what were you doing about October 24, 1878?

A. I was out at Cedar River, D. T. I was in charge of saloon and grocery store.

Q. Did you see the accused at your then residence during the month of October, 1878, and if yes, at about time in said month, and under what circumstances?

A. I see him there in October, about 11 o’clock forenoon; he came there accompanied by two women, one soldier and little girl. I can’t recall the date exactly, but I think it was between the 21st and the 24th of October.

Q. What was the condition of the accused as to sobriety at the time when he first came to your place?

A. He was perfectly sober I think, and complained of being sick, having a sore leg.

Q. Did he make any other complaint as to his physical condition at that time than the one stated in your last answer concerning his complaining of having a sore leg?

A. He complained of having a diarrhea.

Q. State fully what happened at your place while the accused was there?

A. When he first came in he asked what constituted my assortment of liquors. I told him what assortment I had. He preferred taking bitters, He took a drink himself and left the counter, and told the other party, that if they chose to take a drink to help themselves. Then he went out to the rear. Directly afterwards he came in and sat down by the stove warming himself, looking over some newspapers. During an interval of about an hour he went to the rear several times to my knowledge. He bought two bottles East India Bitters, opened one and took a drink, and told that party that was with him to help themselves. The bottle he opened he left on the counter, and the other I set back on the shelf. Out of the bottle he had opened there I should think he drank four or five times out of, himself, the other party also drank out of it. I don’t know to what extent. He conducted himself properly and intelligently up to the time he left there, was sufficiently capable to discharge the duties pertaining to an officer, according to my judgment.

Q. What was the condition of the accused while he was at your place, and when he left there as to sobriety, and how long was he at your place?

A. He was there about three hours. Well, his condition was then, I couldn’t say that the gentleman was anything but sober. He conducted himself properly and intelligently while he was there. I am not a very particular observer of stranger’s countenance. For that reason I may not have observed anything unusual.

Q. What do you refer to in your previous testimony as the “other persons” who were at your place and drank while the accused was there?

A. I don’t know their names. Two laundress women, and a soldier. I think his name is Harvey.

Q. How much was drank altogether by the accused and the other parties previously referred to in your testimony during all the time that the accused was at your place?

A. One full bottle of bitters and one drink each out of another bottle of East India Bitters.

Q. Did the accused or the other parties drink anything other than East Indian Bitters while at your place?

A. No sir.

Q. How much did the bottle hold which you refer to, and what was the size of the drink which the accused drank which he did not drink from the bottle which was all drank up at your place?

A. The bottle didn’t hold quite a quart. That is to the best of my belief they don’t hold quite a quart. The size of the drink was an ordinary drink, common glass two-thirds (2/3) full.

Q. What kind of a glass do you refer to?

A. Common heavy bar tumbler.

Q. Had any other person or persons arrived at your place or, in the vicinity of your place at the time when the accused left there and if yes, who?

A. There was a command of the Seventh Cavalry, a detachment of the Seventh Cavalry.

Q. Did the accused leave your place so soon as the detachment or command came up, and if yes, where did he go?

A. He left there shortly after they came. I don’t know where he went.

Q. Did he return afterwards?

A. No sir.

Q. State if you know the quality and strength of the bitters referred to in your previous testimony?

A. They are a milder drink than whiskey, and very good drink for a person that’s nervous, or sits around the house.

Q. Examine the bottle passed you and state how its label and appearance and contents compare with what the accused had and drank at your place at the time referred to in your testimony, and whether what he then had it from was manufactured by the same company which that handed you purports to have been manufactured by.

Here a bottle with the following label was passed: Kennedy’s East India Bitters, or nervine invigorator, a Botonic Distillation that will not injure the most delicate organization. Cures Dyspepsia, Rheumatism and all other diseases arising from a disordered Liver, or an impure state of blood. Is unequaled as an appetizer, Family tonic or Beverage, and is expressly useful to all persons leading sedentary lives. Can be found at any well ordered drug store and Hotel. Iler & Co. Sole manufacturers, Omaha, Neb. Entered according to the Act of Congress in the year 1869 by Iler & Co. in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Neb.

A. The exterior appearance of this bottle and label is the same whether its contents is or not I don’t know.

Q. Taste the contents of the bottle handed you and state how it compares with the liquor which the accused had and drank at your place?

A. According to my best belief and knowledge that is the same kind of liquor that he drank out there.

Q. Have you any personal knowledge if the number of drinks contained in a gallon of whiskey or other alcoholic liquors such as men ordinarily drink?

A. About sixty (60) drinks. I have personal experience.

Q. Did the accused drink in company with any of the other parties at your place?

A. No Sir.

Direct examination closed and cross examination begun by the Judge Advocate.

Q. Did the accused offer drinks to any other parties in your place?

A. He told the other party that was with him to drink out of his bottle if they wished to.

Q. Did the laundress take a drink out of the bottle?

A. Yes sir.

Q. State in full the answer you gave the accused when he asked you what constituted your stock?

A. I told him I had whiskey, brandy, gin, wine and bitters.

Q. What kind of a bottle did you keep the whiskey at the bar in?

A. In a round common black bottle.

Q. You say that the East India Bitters you had at your place on this occasion were milder than whiskey? How much milder and in what respect?

A. In respect to the alcohol, for strength, about one third milder.

Q. The Bitters were then about two thirds as strong as whiskey?

A. Yes sir.

Q. In alcohol you mean?

A. Yes sir, in the strength of that.

Q. Might a man not familiar with whiskey in taking a drink of Bitters suppose he had whiskey, or something like whiskey?

A. I don’t know. It is rather better for him to suppose it was whiskey.

Q. Wouldn’t he taste the alcohol in it?

A. I don’t know.

Cross examination ended. Re-examination begun by the Court.

Q. Have you ever been in the military service? If so, how long and in what capacity?

A. I never was in the military service.

Q. State the condition of the weather on the day referred to at Cedar Creek, D. T?

A. Cold and windy.

Q. Does it or not appear from the label on the bottle that the Bitters are used for ailments?

A. Yes sir. I think so.

Q. How many drinks were taken by the other parties you speak of out of the bottle you opened for the accused?

A. I don’t know about how many they did drink.

Q. Did they drink two thirds, or half, or a quarter of it?

A. I should judge they drank half.

Q. Do you sell the East India Bitters ordinarily over the bar as a drink?

A. Yes sir.

Q. When a person calls for a drink of liquor, do you set out East India Bitters for them especially?

A. No sir.

Q. Prior to tasting the East India Bitters in Court, how long is it since you had tasted East India Bitters?

A. Twenty days.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him, he pronounced it correct, and he was discharged.

At 1:55 o’clock p.m. the Court took a recess for five minutes. The Court reassembled at 2:00 o’clock p.m.

Mr. William J. Latimer, a witness for the defence, being called before the Court, and having been duly sworn by the Judge Advocate testified as follows with questions by the accused:

Q. State your name?

A. William J. Latimer.

Q. State your place of residence?

A. Fort Meade, late Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. State your occupation?

A. Cooking and running an officers mess.

Q. Are you one of the proprietors of a restaurant situated at Camp Ruhlen, D. T.?

A. Yes sir. I was until the 1st of this month, and am running another mess now.

Q. Did the officers of the camp generally mess with you?

A. Yes sir. They all messed with me.

Q. Did the accused occasionally take his meals with you in the month of November 1878?

A. Yes sir.

Q. State how regularly he took his meals with you during the month of November, 1878?

A. There was times he would not be there for a couple of weeks and we sent his meals to him.

Q. Did you send his meals regularly to him when he was absent from your restaurant or only when he ordered them?

A. Just as he ordered them.

Q. Did you see the accused during the month of November at the trader’s store? If so, state what he was doing, if anything.

A. He was down there getting potted meats, turkey and such things as I did not keep at the restaurant, small things, canned goods.

Q. Did not many days frequently elapse when I received no meals from your establishment during the month of November, 1878?

A. Yes sir.

Q. About how many consecutive days, and when?

A. As to the date I do not recollect. About the days, for three or four days at a time the accused’s man would not come for any.

Q. What was I doing with the potted or canned turkey when you saw me with it at the trader’s store?

A. He was taking it to his tent and eating it. I didn’t just see him eat it, but he was taking it away.

Q. Was this at times when I received no meals from the restaurant?

A. Yes it was.

Q. Was there any other place where refreshments or food, such as canned meats, fruits, etc., could be obtained except your establishment and the post trader’s store at Camp Ruhlen?

A. No sir.

Direct examination ended. Cross examination by Judge Advocate began.

Q. Did you send meals to the accused on or about the 10th of November to the middle of the month?

A. Yes sir. I believe it was the 28th of October, 1878, that the accused began to board with me from that time up to the first of January, 1879. The accused did not come every day. It was when he was sick we sent meals to him. After he got better he came and got his meals.

Re-examination by the Accused.

Q. Was it between these dates that I failed to receive meals from you for several days at a time?

A. Yes. I believe it was. Along about that time he was sick.

Q. Was there any other mess for the officers at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., except private messes besides your own?

A. No. Not for officers.

Q. You say there was no place at Camp Ruhlen beside the Trader’s store where canned meats, fruits etc., could be obtained. Do you know what articles were kept on hand by the post commissary?

A. Yes sir. Some of them such as corned beef, tongue, canned apples, fruit such as that, cove oysters, salmon and such things as that. They have a general variety of canned goods except such things as turkey, chicken and ham sandwiches. These things are for sale at the post trader’s.

Q. Could Captain French have obtained his meals at your restaurant during the month of November, 1878, if he had so desired at any time?

A. We could have sent them to him. Yes sir. His appetite did not crave what stuff I got from the commissary.

Q. Was there any such articles as you saw the accused getting at the post trader’s for sale at the post commissary?

A. No sir.

Q. Was your place of business at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., an officers mess or a restaurant of which you were one of the proprietors?

A. Officers mess. It was for the officers.

Q. Did not officers merely eat there without being concerned in the management in any way?

A. Yes sir. They boarded by the month. The Major (Lazelle) looked after the mess to see that the officers were treated right and got what they wanted.

Q. Could not and did not persons other than officers obtain their meals at your place?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did officers have anything to do with catering or paying your bills aside from simply paying their board bill when presented by you or your partner?

A. They paid their bills into the Adjutant and our commissary bill was deducted out except Captain French’s. He paid two months board to Mr. Wilson in advance before he got sick.

Q. What articles did the accused get at the trader’s store when you saw him?

A. Canned turkey or chicken. I think he was getting - can’t state positively. We sent for cove oysters once. We sent Captain French’s man for them.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him, he pronounced it correctly recorded, and was thereupon discharged from further attendance as a witness.

The Court at 3:00 o’clock p.m. adjourned to meet at 10:30 o’clock a.m. tomorrow the 25th instant.

J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Infantry J. A. G. C. M.

TWELFTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 25, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 10:40 a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain William A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Infantry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

The accused and his counsel also present.

The reading of the proceedings of the previous day were dispensed with.

Corporal Herman Bindewald, Company “M” 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence, having been called before the Court and being duly sworn by the Judge Advocate testified as follows to questions by the Accused:

Q. State your name, rank and regiment?

A. Corporal Herman Bindewald, Company “M” 7th Cavalry.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Yes. Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. How long have you known the accused?

A. I have known him since the third of August, 1876.

Q. Have you waited on him? If so how long and during what year and months?

A. I had waited on him for about two years, from December 1876 to about the 10th of November, 1878.

Q. Do you remember a march made by your company from Camp Sturgis to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., on or about the 29th day of August last?

A. Yes sir.

Q. On what duty were you during the month of August last past?

A. I was waiting on Captain French.

Q. Had you free access to all the effects of the accused during that month?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know of the accused having in his possession, or having drank any intoxicating liquor during said month?

A. No sir.

Q. What was the condition of the accused as to sobriety on the morning of the 29th, and during the march of his company from Camp Sturgis to Camp Ruhlen, and on his arrival there?

A. Captain French gave me distinct orders on the morning of the 29th, or thereabouts - I don’t know exactly the date the morning of this march - that I was to stop back, and see that everything was packed in the wagons, all the effects of the officers of the company, and then come up and join the company. After arriving at Camp Ruhlen, Captain wanted me to report to him and notify him of the arrival of the company. I did find Captain setting in the shade, a few paces back of the officer’s mess hall. Captain French got up and went down to where the company was halting, assigned the places to the companies and told the 1st Sergeant, after he, Captain French, stepped off the distance for company camping ground, if it warn’t sufficient, to take more room towards the right, that it was to be a permanent camp. He gave orders about having sinks dug and put the horses on the other side of Bear Butte Creek for grazing, and to be sure about it to have them side lined. After that the Captain showed me where he wanted his tent, Lieut. Naves and the cook-house tent, also to have the sink dug for officers’s [sic] use of the company. That is about all.

Q. Now state what the condition of the accused was during the time covered by your testimony so far as to sobriety.

A. I never did see Captain French take a drink. He was sober.

Q. Would you not have known by his appearance if he was under the influence of liquor at the time.

A. Yes sir.

Q. What was the character of the day you marched from Camp Sturgis to Camp Ruhlen as to temperature? Was it hot, warm or cool?

A. It was very hot.

Q. What duty were you on during the month of November last particularly on or about the 6th of said month?

A. I was waiting on Captain French.

Q. Do you recollect of Captain French the accused, being detailed as officer of the day on or about November 7, 1878?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he march on as officer of the day in accordance with said detail or at that time?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where were you and what were you doing the evening and night before the accused marched on as officer of the day?

A. I was sitting in Captain French’s tent reading when Captain French came in and told me that he was for duty in the morning, and also requested me to sit up with him that night that he would like to have a bath in the morning, and a clean change of clothes.

That was in reference to the evening. The Captain was laying in his bed asleep till I woke him in the morning. Told him the bath was ready for him, and he got up, took the bath, dressed himself and went down towards where guard-mounting was, and came back in about three quarters of an hour and told me he had four days leave of absence and that he intended to stay in his tent. That is all.

Q. About what time in the evening did you have this conversation last testified to with the accused and what time did you awake him for his bath.

A. Between eight and nine o’clock in the evening. I called the Captain about half past eight o’clock in the morning.

Q. Did the accused take any intoxicating liquor during the night?

A. No sir.

Q. Would you have known if he had? Why would you have known it?

A. Yes sir. Because I was sitting up with him.

Q. What was the condition of the accused as to sobriety when he left his tent to go to guard-mounting?

A. He was sober.

Q. Did the accused drink any intoxicating liquor from between 8 and 9 o’clock in the evening before until he left his tent for Guardmounting?

A. No sir. He did not.

Q. About this time and previous, where did the accused take his meals?

A. At the officer’s mess hall and at the trader’s store.

Q. About how frequently did the accused take his meals at the trader’s about this time before as well as subsequent?

A. I do not know how long the intervals were between. I have seen him frequently at the trader’s store eating.

Q. When he took his meals at the trader’s did he go anywhere else on the same day for meals?

Q. Did you know of the accused having been knocked down by a horse a few days before you marched from Camp Sturgis? State all you know about it.

A. The accused in trying to make a crossing at Horse Head Creek fell down, the horse struck him with the fore leg in the head and stunned him and he had to be carried up on the bank and attended to by the Surgeon who did dress and sew up the wound and give him some liquor. I believe it was - I don’t know - out of a bottle. The command went down Horse Head Creek. We couldn’t make the crossing there, went further down the Creek, crossed there and went into camp. This was the 22nd August.

Q. What was the condition of the accused when he returned to his tent when he told you he had four days leave? Was he drunk or sober?

A. He was sober.

Direct examination ended.

Cross examination began with questions by the Judge Advocate.

Q. How long a march was made by Captain French’s command on the 29th of August?

A. From Camp Sturgis to Camp Ruhlen, a distance of about 8 miles.

Q. How long a time was taken or consumed in making that march?

A. About two hours and a half.

Q. Who had charge of the column?

A. Captain T. H. French.

Q. Did he leave camp in command?

A. Yes.

Q. Did he remain with the column in command?

A. Well, I do not know. He must have left the column somewhere near the crossing of Bear Butte Creek to go on ahead to report to the Commanding Officer, as I did find him at Camp Ruhlen when the company came in.

Q. You think he left the command then?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where did he leave it?

A. At the crossing of Bear Butte Creek, or thereabouts.

Q. How do you know he left then?

A. Because he was not with the company there.

Q. Then he must have left it before he got there.

A. Yes sir. Somewhere around there.

Q. Do you know then when he did leave the column?

A. I do not know exactly where he left it.

Q. Did you march with the company?

A. I did not.

Q. How far is the crossing of Bear Butte Creek from Camp Sturgis?

A. About six miles by the way we came.

Q. What way did you come?

A. We kept right alongside the butte, marched right around in a circle round the butte till we came to Bear Butte Creek and went up on the left bank of the creek till we came about two miles from Camp Ruhlen.

Q. How long was the accused out of your sight on the march?

A. He was out of my sight all the time.

A. I do not know.

Q. Did you reach Camp Ruhlen before the column?

A. I did not.

Q. What officer commanded the column when it came into Camp Ruhlen?

A. Why, Sergeant White was in charge of it.

Q. If you were not where you could see the accused on this march, how do you know the accused was or not under the influence of liquor during the period you have testified to?

A. I testified to the leaving of the column from Camp Sturgis and the arrival at Camp Ruhlen and the Captain was sober at the time he left Camp Sturgis, and at the time he arrived at Camp Ruhlen.

Q. Then, as to his condition on the march you know nothing not having seen him?

A. No sir.

Q. How did you find the accused at Camp Ruhlen, asleep or awake?

A. He was awake.

Q. Did you pass anybody on the march from Camp Sturgis to Camp Ruhlen going from Camp Ruhlen to Camp Sturgis on the morning of the 29th of August?

A. No sir.

Q. Have you at any time during the period you have testified to, say from the 29th of August to the 10th day of November 1878, seen the accused under the influence of liquor?

A. There was a long period between that, that I didn’t see the accused at all.

The accused objects to this question, first, because it being too general, and second, because it is irrelevant. The accused is here to answer to specifications alleged to be on or about certain specified dates and not to answer sweeping and general charges. The accused is not prepared and cannot be expected to answer any other charges than those before the Court, and the accused further objects to this question in that it is not proper cross examination. The Judge Advocate simply repeats the question and asks the attention of the Court to the question as a privilege of cross examining the witness to test the value of his testimony as to the particular dates, August 29th, November 6th, etc. The Judge Advocate dissents from the assumption of the accused that it is not proper cross examination.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided to not sustain the objection. The Court was re-opened and the accused and his counsel present the Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court. The witness being recalled before the Court had the question repeated.

Q. Did you at any time during the period you have testified to, say from the 29th of August to the 10th day of November 1878, see the accused under the influence of liquor?

A. There was a long time between that, that I didn’t see the accused at all.

Q. How long, and from what date to what date you didn’t see him at all?

A. I seen him from the 29th of August to about the 11th or 12th of September 1878. I might be mistaken in dates because the Captain went on furlough then and from the 19th of October or somewhere about there to the 10th of November

Q. Now answer the question as to the period of time you did see the accused?

A. I never seen him drunk but by appearances it seems to me as if he had been drinking on the evening of the 6th of November.

Q. How about the 19th of October.

A. Captain French was sober then.

Q. Where did you see him on the 19th October?

A. That was was the day the recruits for two companies did arrive at Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. Are you positive that that was the date?

A. The day of the arrival of the detachment under charge of Captain French at Camp Ruhlen, D. T. I am not very positive of it.

Q. You think it was to the best of your recollection?

A. To the best of my recollection.

Q. Is your recollection very good generally?

A. Not in the matter of dates.

Q. At what time in the morning of August 29th 1878 did Captain French leave Camp Sturgis?

A. He left about half past eight, sir.

Q. Was Captain French in your sight the entire morning August 29th, 1878, up to the time you left Camp Sturgis?

A. He was not.

Q. Was not Captain French in the club room at Camp Sturgis on the morning of the 29th of August 1878 before starting for Camp Ruhlen.

A. I don’t know if he was.

Q. Did Captain French leave Camp Sturgis for Camp Ruhlen with the column?

A. I don’t know about that.

Q. On or about the night of November 6th last, why did the accused request you to sit up with him?

The accused objects to the question, first because it is immaterial, second because the witness can not possess the information sought for by the question, third because it is not cross examination, and fourth because it is incompetent and irrelevant, incompetent because he could not know the reason why, but could testify to what the accused said, it is in evidence on the direct examination what the accused said to witness on this occasion, and this conversation is the only proper matter for cross examination as to this particular question. To which the Judge Advocate replies that the accused has elicited the fact that he requested, so his witness says, that the witness sit up with him on the night of November 6, 1878. It is therefore deemed pertinent to know all the facts and circumstances of this request made on the day on which the accused received a detail for officer of the day for the day following and on which day following the accused is charged being drunk.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided to not sustain the objection. The Court was reopened and the accused and his counsel also present, the decision of the Court was announced by the Judge Advocate. The witness having been recalled before the Court, the Judge Advocate withdrew the question.

Q. On or about the night of November 6, 1878, why did you sit up with the accused?

A. I could give no reason.

The accused asks that the question objected to by him and admitted by the Court be answered subject to his legal objections to the question which objection was not sustained by the Court which is in effect an order of the Court that said question be answered. The Judge Advocate replies that the only reason why he withdrew the question was that he might elicit the testimony of the witness in cross examination upon the particular point in a manner entirely unobjectionable as to the form of the question.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided not to grant the order requested that said question be answered. The Court was re-opened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court. The witness having been recalled before the Court.

Q. On or about the night of November 6, 1878, why did you sit up with the accused?

A. I did not get a reason for it. Because I was ordered or rather requested to.

Q. State all the accused said to you in relation to sitting up with him on this night?

A. He came in the tent and requested me to sit up with him, have a bath ready for him in the morning and a clean change of clothing as he was on duty. That was all.

Q. Nothing else?

A. No sir. Not that I recollect of.

Q. Did he say anything else at all?

A. Not that I recollect.

Q. Did he leave the tent that night?

A. He did not.

Q. When he returned from marching on as officer of the day, state all the conversation the accused had with you.

A. He told me he had four days leave of absence that he had the privilege to go wherever he wanted, but that he wanted to stay right in his tent. That’s all.

Q. Nothing else?

A. No sir. Not that I recollect.

Q. What day of the week was the 6th of November?

A. I do not recollect.

Q. What kind of meals did the accused take and how were they served at the post trader’s at Camp Ruhlen, D. T«?

A. I do not know exactly how they were served. I know that the Captain used to eat canned turkey, chicken broth. That’s the only thing I recollect having seen him eat.

Q. You saw him eat these things?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What are meals?

A. To eat anything at all so as to satisfy your appetite, little or much.

Q. During the time you waited on the accused did you do duty with your company?

This question is objected to by the accused for the reason that it is clearly immaterial whether he did or not so far as the issue before the Court is concerned, also because it is not cross examination. The Judge Advocate replied: The witness testified that he waited on the accused from December 1876 to the 10th day of November 1878. He is, as the Court perceived by his testimony, a corporal in the accused’s company. The question leads to the showing of friendly interest in the accused and is pertinent to the showing of the value of the witness’ testimony in the case.

The accused replies that the prosecution cannot discredit his witness without either a legal or military presumption to found it on. Let him ask the witness who recommended or made him corporal. Who was in command when he was so made if the prosecution so desires what the Judge Advocate states he can read the facts sought without objection in this manner.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided not to sustain the objection. The Court was then re-opened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

The witness was recalled before the Court, the question was repeated and the witness answered:

A. On duty so far as taking care of my horse that was the duty I done.

Q. Was that all the duty you did?

A. Yes sir.

Cross examination closed and re—examination begun by the accused.

Q. When were you made a corporal, by whom and under what circumstances? State any conversation you have had with your Company Commander in relation to making you a non-commissioned officer.

A. I was made by Lieut. Nave about the 5th of January 1879. I had no conversation with him about it except him telling me in the company orderly room of my appointment. That is all.

Q. Did the other men who waited on officers do more company duty than to take care of their horses?

The Judge Advocate objects on the ground of irrelevancy, as the Court is not asked to inquire what duty officers’ servants perform if said performance of duty is not in issue before the Court.

The accused wishes to show to the Court that his man the witness was not treated exceptionally or favored more than others in like places. The Court was cleared and closed for deliberation and decided that the objection of the Judge Advocate be not sustained. The Court was reopened and the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

The Witness having been recalled and the question repeated, he answered:

A. No sir.

Q. Are you positive that the accused did not drink any intoxicating liquor during the month of August 1878?

A. I am positive of it except that given by the Doctor right at Horse Head Creek.

Q. Did you see Captain French on his arrival at Camp Ruhlen on the 29th of August 1878?

A. I did see Captain French on his arrival at Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. When you say you saw Captain French on his arrival at Camp Ruhlen on the 29th day of August last do you mean you saw him when he arrived or afterwards when the command came in?

A. That’s what I mean, when the command came in.

Q. When you say that you are positive that the accused did not drink intoxicating liquor during the month of August except what the Doctor gave him at Horse Head Creek, do you mean to include more than to the 29th of said month or up to the 31st?

A. I mean up to the whole month.

Q. State to the Court how you know that the accused did not drink intoxicating liquor during the month of August 1878.

A. Well, I would have noticed it on him if he had.

Q. Was there a Surgeon with the command from Camp Sturgis to Camp Ruhlen? If so, what was his name?

A. There was not.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him in answer to the question “If you were not where you could see the accused on this march, how do you know the accused was or not under the influence of liquor during the period you have testified to?” he desired to explain he meant to say at the time he, the witness, arrived at Camp Ruhlen, and to his answer to question: “What kind of meals did the accused take and how were they served at the post trader’s at Camp Ruhlen, D. T..” to add “at the Trader’s.” and to the answer to question “Was that the duty you did?” do add, “I had to attend to all company drills.”

With the corrections he pronounced his testimony correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance on the Court.

The Court then at 2:40 o’clock p.m. adjourned to meet on Monday the 27th instant at 10:30 a.m.

J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Infantry J. A. G. C. M.

THIRTEENTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 27, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 10:35 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain William A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Singer, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

The accused and his counsel also present.

The reading of the proceedings of the previous day the 25th instant was dispensed with.

Lieutenant J. J. D. Mann, 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defense, having been called before the Court and being duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows as questioned by the accused:

Q. State your name, rank, regiment and station?

A. James D. Mann, Second Lieutenant, 7th Cavalry, Fort Meade, D. T.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. What duty were you on about the 29th day of last August?

A. I was Second Lieutenant, Co. “E” 7th Cavalry, and on the 29th I was in command of that company marching from Camp Sturgis to what was afterwards known as Camp Ruhlen, D. T.

Q. Did you see the accused on this occasion? If so, state under what circumstances.

A. I did. I saw him when I arrived at Camp Ruhlen with “E” Company. “E” Company followed about half a mile behind “M” Company. As I came up to a point where the camp was afterwards established, I saw Major Lazelle, First Infantry, walking down from the infantry camp. He came towards me and spoke to me and I halted the company and dismounted and went to him. He asked me who was in command of the battalion. I told him Captain French. He then asked where he was. I told him he was up there with his “M” Company as I could see his horse out one side of the company and someone there, that is Captain French’s horse. Major Lazelle told me to send for Captain French to come down. I sent a Trumpeter to him with that message. He, Captain French, mounted his horse and came down then and reported the battalion. Major Lazelle then asked how we were accustomed to going into camp. I told him we camped in line usually, and he said we should choose a place for camp indicating himself the general way in which it was to face so that the infantry could afterwards be moved down there. I suggested a place for the time and asked Captain French’s opinion.

I suggested this more to him than to Major Lazelle and Captain French said that us all right, he thought it would be the best. Major Lazelle objected to this line as it would bring the line of Company Officer’s tents too near a place which he had designated as the site for Officers’ Mess house. We all walked down then a little farther and I said I thought the place where we then went to would be a good place for the left of the line to rest. I asked Captain French then what he thought of that line. He liked that. Major Lazelle said “Go into camp there,” and Captain French called for a guidon to establish the line. The guidons were established. I put my company into camp, it being on the left and Captain French sent word to his first sergeant to mount the company and march over there. He then formed the company in line himself and dressed it to the left and dismounted the company and went back to where his tent was to be placed. I saw nothing more of him after that.

Q. What was the condition of the accused as to sobriety when you saw him on the 29th day of August last?

A. I considered he was sober.

Q. Was the accused when you saw him on the 29th day of August last competent to perform all his duties as an officer.

A. I believe he was. He did those that were required of him there.

Direct examination closed and cross examination by Judge Advocate began.

Q. Did you see the accused from the time you left Camp Sturgis until you arrived at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., on the 29th of August last?

A. No sir.

Cross examination ended. The testimony of the witness having been read over to him he pronounced it correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance on the Court.

Sergeant Charles White, a witness for the defense, having been called before the Court and being duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows to questions by the accused:

Q. State your name, rank, company and regiment.

A. Charles White, Company “M” 7th Cavalry.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Yes. His name is Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. How long have you known the accused?

A. Since the spring of 1871.

Q. What position did you hold in your company on the 29th day of August last?

A. I was First Sergeant, Company “M” 7th Cavalry.

Q. Did your company march from Camp Sturgis to Camp Ruhlen on that date?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who commanded your company on that march?

A. Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Did he remain with the company until its arrival at Camp Ruhlen?

A. No sir.

Q. Where did he leave the company on said march?

A. About twenty yards or thirty, something like that, on the other side of Bear Butte Creek just before we crossed.

Q. How far was it from Camp Ruhlen?

A. About two miles as near as I could judge.

Q. Was he in your view from the time the company left Camp Sturgis until he left it to go to Camp Ruhlen?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What was the condition of the accused as to sobriety during this march and after you arrived at Camp Ruhlen?

A. He was perfectly sober.

Q. Did you see the accused drink any liquor on this march and could he have drank without your seeing him while he remained with the company?

A. No sir. He did not drink any liquor and could not drink any without me seeing him.

Q. Did the accused start with the company and remain with it constantly until leaving at Bear Butte Creek?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What did the accused say to you on leaving the company?

A. He gave me orders to rest the company and follow up as soon as the company had rested and report to him as soon as I got to camp, making some complaint about the heat, that he couldn’t stand the heat. That’s all.

Q. Did I give any reason for going ahead?

A. He said that he was going to report to the Commanding Officer, and that he couldn’t stand the heat.

The accused asks permission of the Court to allow this witness to testify as to the special acts of gallantry in the field; he asks this now so that the witness may not be detained for this special purpose.

The Judge Advocate submits the request without remark.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation the Court decided to grant the request of the accused. The Court was reopened and the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

The witness having been recalled before the Court continued:

Q. Were you First Sergeant of “M” Company 7th Cavalry at the battle of the Little Big Horn, 1876? If so, state what you saw the accused do at that battle.

A. No sir. I was not the First Sergeant at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876.

Q. Were you present at that battle, and if so, in what capacity? State what you saw of the accused there.

Q. Yes sir. I was Sergeant, Company “M” 7th Cavalry. I saw the accused there. He was the first officer to get his company out on the line of skirmishers. I was wounded as soon as I took my place on the line and was ordered to the timber where I had the opportunity to see what was going on. The Captain told some of the men there to take notice if that Indian on the grey horse to see if he’d fall after he fired. He fired and shortly after the Indian reeled out of his saddle and was dragged off into the brush. The Column then commenced a retreat and retreated towards the timber and there they mounted and retreated out. The Captain waited until all his men got out of the timber then followed up in the rear. He drew his revolver and firing at the Indians as they were riding alongside of him some twenty yards on each side of him. The Captain had barely chance to get to the ford and the Indians were so thick that you could hardly see what was going on until the Captain got on the other side of the river. He then dismounted from his horse, took his rifle and fired on the Indians standing on the river bank. I saw that he killed two there. Then I had to get out of the road the Indians were coining back into the timber again. I didn’t see anything more after that.

Q. Was this not a retreat instead of a charge when the Captain followed up in the rear of his company?

A. Yes sir. It was a retreat.

Direct examination ended. Cross examination began from the Court.

Q. The post of danger and honor then was at the rear and not the head of the column.

A. The Indians was closing in on the rear of the column then.

Q. How long was it from the time Captain French left you on Bear Butte Creek until you arrived at Camp Ruhlen?

A. It was as near as I could judge about an hour and a half.

The testimony of the witness was read over to him and he added to his answer to the question: “Were you present at that battle, and if so, in what capacity? State what you saw of the accused there,” “The “M” Captain was the only officer present with the three companies that had his company properly deployed on the skirmish line.”

Question by the Court:

Q. What do you mean by saying that Captain French was the only officer who had his company properly deployed on the skirmish

A. It was the only company that had any skirmish line formed. The other two companies were on its right and huddled into a bunch.

The witness then pronounced his testimony correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance upon the Court. Corporal Hobart Ryder, Company “M” 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence having been called before the Court and being duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows to questions by the accused:

Q. State your name, rank company and regiment?

A. Hobart Ryder, Corporal, Company “M” 7th Cavalry.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. I know him as Captain French, “M” Company 7th Cavalry.

Q. Where were you about August 22nd last, and do you recollect your company crossing Horse Head Creek? If so, state what occurred to the accused, if anything. A. Yes sir. I was there at that named creek assisting to make a crossing on account of being impossible to cross there on account of the water backing up. When we found it would be impossible to cross there, I started to walk across to the opposite side where our horses were. Captain French had not crossed yet and I stopped on the bank until he had crossed to see what the orders would be in reference to saddling up. He started to cross and got about two thirds of the way when his horse started to falling through the brush. The horse reared up and knocked the Captain down and struck him, as near as I could judge, by his fore foot. After knocking him down, on the head, and knocked him senseless. I see that he cut the Captain severely on the head down the bank to bring the Captain up to the top of the bank, but I did not go down on account of a sufficient number of men being ahead of me. That is all there is in reference to that, merely that I stopped there to see the Surgeon dress his head.

Q. Did I seem to be dizzy for some time after this blow?

A. It was some time before he came to his senses.

Q. Were you with your company on its march from Camp Sturgis to Camp Ruhlen on or about the 29th of August last?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you see the accused on this march? If so, state what his condition was as to sobriety.

A. I see him in the morning about, I should judge it was about eight o’clock walking towards the First Sergeant‘s tent. My tent was the next tent to the First Sergeant‘s. I heard him tell the First Sergeant to have the men all ready to move. I am not very positive whether it was half past nine or ten o’clock as to the exact hour. We struck tents and packed up and at the time that we started to move the Captain came from his tent. The company was reported to him as being present. He gave the command to “Prepare to mount” and “Mount, form ranks and fours right and column right, and moved off at the head of the company. He continued riding at the head of the company till we arrived within about two miles of Fort Meade, then called Camp Ruhlen, and he left the company and started on ahead. We shortly afterward went to a creek about where he left us a short way beyond at least, where he left us and dismounted, watered our horses, let them graze, for about as near as I can recollect, for one half an hour, when we remounted and moved into camp. On arriving at the camp I heard Sergeant White tell Private Benderwald [sic] — I am not positive, as near as I recollect it was Private Benderwald - to tell the Captain something about being there or arriving there. I think from his actions in general that he must have been sober. I consider that he could be nothing else to give his orders so plain and explicit.

Q. Did you see him after the arrival of your company at Camp Ruhlen? If so, state what his condition was as to sobriety.

A. Yes sir. I see him after my arrival there. He was sober. That is positive.

Q. Were you at the battle of the Little Big Horn? If so, state what you saw of the accused at said battle.

A. Yes sir. I was there. I saw the accused there. I rode in ahead of the company with Major Reno. After we had got very near a bunch of woods where we checked up and I fell in with the company. That was when the company came up. Captain French was in command. Captain French gave orders for myself and some others on the right of the company to move ahead to these woods. We done so and remained there until the company came up. The order was given to dismount then. Captain French ordered the company to deploy as skirmishers. We did so. Captain French stood within a very few feet of me. I see him kill one Indian as I supposed and wound another. After leaving the skirmish line we went to the woods where we left our horses. I heard Captain French give the order “M Company, follow me!” I supposed that we were going to make a charge. We started to move out of the woods. One of our company was killed, Private Lawrence. Captain French requested several of our men to try and bring him along. After leaving the woods Captain French was in rear of the company with a drawn pistol and I did not see him ahead of the company until our arrival on the hill. I see him after we were half way up the hill firing at the Indians after the companies passed him.

No cross examination. The Court questioned.

Q. Do you judge of the condition of the accused as to sobriety on the 29th of August 1878 from the fact that he gave the orders you have testified to regarding the starting of the company from Camp Sturgis, D. T.?

A. No sir. Not altogether on account of the accident that happened on the creek, the injury he received, that he hadn’t acted as naturally as usual especially in the heat of the day.

Re-examination by the accused.

Q. What was the appearance of the accused on the march? Was it that of a person under the influence of liquor or not?

A. No sir. It was not.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him, he pronounced it correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance upon the Court.

The Court then at 2:15 o’clock p.m., took a recess for ten minutes.

The recess having expired the Court reassembled. All the members present, the Judge Advocate, the accused and his counsel.

Sergeant Hugh N. Moore, Company “M” 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defense, having been called before the Court and being duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows to questions put by the accused:

Q. State your name, rank, company and regiment?

A. Hugh N. Moore, Sergeant, Company “M”, 7th U. S. Cavalry.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Captain Thomas H. French, Company “M” 7th Cavalry.

Q. Were you with your company on the 25th of June 1876, when the Sioux charged your line? If so, state what you saw the accused do on the occasion referred to.

Q. I was. When the Sioux charged our line I saw the Captain shoot one Indian himself and the recruits that came the fall before started to run. Somefew. The Captain called them back saying “I want every man to stand. The first man that runs I’ll shoot him.” They all came back. Just previous to the charge our company was ordered over by Colonel Reno to support “H” Company 7th Cavalry. We had nothing else to dig them with. Major Reno ordered Captain French to take his company over and support “H” Company. Captain French ordered the company over, and said “I want every man to go.” Says, “When I say go, I want every man to go.” The company went over at the time. In going over was where we lost the most men. Soon as we got over we had four or five men shot as we were going over, and four or five men were shot as soon as Captain French formed the line. Shortly after the line was formed the Indians charged the line, that and when Captain French said I want every man to stand and the company did stand. That was the only thing that stopped the Indians coming in because that was the strongest point, or where the Indians made the strongest attack.

The testimony of the witness was read over to him, and he pronounced it correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance upon the Court.

Private Lewis M. Adkins, Company “M” 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence, having been called before the Court and being duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows, to questions by the accused:

Q. State your name, rank, company and regiment.

A. Lewis M. Adkins, Private, Company “M” 7th Cavalry.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Did you march from this post to Camp Ruhlen m the month of October last?

A. Yes.

Q. Where did you make your first camp out from this post.

A. At Heart River.

Q. Did you see the accused at this camp? If so, state under what circumstances.

A. Yes sir. I seen him. He was sober.

Q. What special duty, if any, were you on at this time in addition to your regular duties?

A. I was taking care of Captain French’s horse.

Q. Did you saddle the accused’s horse for him on the evening that you encamped on Heart River? If so, state about what hour of the day it was.

A. Yes. I saddled him about six o’clock.

Q. Did you see the accused mount his horse and ride away from camp at this time?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you see him when he returned? If so, state when he returned and all that you know about his return.

A. Yes. I saw him when he returned. It was about eight o’clock or half past eight.

Q. How long after sunset was it when the accused left camp?

A. About half an hour.

Q. Where did the accused go after returning? State particularly how he came into camp, what he said, if anything, at the time he returned.

A. He came in. I heard a sentry challenge him, and the accused asked for me, Adkins. I was awake and I went out. He told me to take his horse and unsaddle it. He went towards his tent. I couldn’t see him go into his tent; it was dark. Guess that’s all.

Q. Were there any laundresses with the command? If so, state where their tents were pitched. Were they in the direction of the accused’s from your tent or not?

A. There were two laundresses. Their tents were pitched down to the right. I should think it was about a hundred yards or more. They were not in the direction of the accused’s tent from my tent

Q. Did the accused go in the direction of his tent or towards the tents occupied by the laundresses?

A. He went in the direction of his tent.

Q. About what time did the wagons with tents get into camp on this evening or day?

A. They got in about sundown.

Q. About how long after sundown was it when the accused left camp?

A. It was about half an hour.

Q. How long after the arrival of the wagons with the tents was it before the laundress’ tent were pitched?

A. It was about ten or fifteen minutes.

Q. How long after the arrival of the wagons with the tents was it before the accused mounted his horse and left camp?

A. About half an hour.

Q. What was the condition of the accused as to sobriety during all the time of which you have testified?

A. I couldn’t see nothing wrong with him, no more than usual.

The question was repeated.

A. I don’t know of any better answer then that I have given.

Q. Was not a change made in the laundress; tent from a common to a wall tent after the first had been pitched.

A. Yes, I think there was.

Direct examination ended. Cross examination by the Judge Advocate began.

Q. What did you do when the accused - after his return to camp - turned over his horse to you?

A. I unsaddled him and put him on the picket line and tied him and fed him.

Q. Where did you go then?

A. I went to bed.

Cross examination ended.

The testimony of the witness, having been read over to him. Pronounced it correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance upon the Court.

Private Frederick Dethoff, Company “M” 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence, having been called before the Court and being duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows to questions by the accused:

Q. State your name, rank, company and regiment.

A. Frederick Dethoff, Private, Company “M” 7th Cavalry.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Yes. Captain Thomas H. French, Company “M” 7th Cavalry.

Q. Did you march from this post to Camp Ruhlen in the month of October last?

A. Yes.

Q. State where you made your first camp.

A. Little Heart.

Q. What duty were you on at this time?

A. I waited on Captain French on the road.

Q. Did you see the accused on the evening that you encamped on the Little Heart?

A. Yes sir.

Q. About what time was it when you saw the accused on that evening?

A. It was about six o’clock.

Q. Did you see him after that on the same evening? If so, state when and where.

A. Yes. I see him the same evening. He told me to stay in his tent until he came back. He came back about eight o’clock.

Q. What did the accused do when you saw him at eight o’clock?

A. He went in his tent and went in his bed.

Q. What was he doing when you saw him about six o’clock that evening?

A. He went off mit [German “with”] his horse.

Q. Did you see him go to bed and did he go to sleep when he went in his tent?

A. Yes. I was in the tent when he went into bed. He went to sleep.

Q. What was the condition of the accused as to sobriety at the times that you have testified to having seen him at six o’clock and eight o’clock of that evening?

A. Well, he was all right as far as I seen.

Q. Was he drunk or sober?

A. He was sober.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him, pronounced it correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance. At 3:30 o’clock p.m. the Court adjourned to meet at 10:30 o’clock a.m. tomorrow the 28th instant.

J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Infantry J. A. G. C. M.

FOURTEENTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 28, 1879

The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 10:35 a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain William A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

The accused and his counsel also present.

The reading of the proceedings of the twenty-seventh instant were on motion dispensed with.

Private John Harvey, Company “G” 11th Infantry, having been previously sworn as a witness for the prosecution, was recalled before the Court as a witness for the defence and questioned by the accused:

Q. How near did you camp to the tent occupied by the Laundress Mrs. Egan at your first camp out from this post on or about October 18, 1878?

A. About ten or twelve feet.

Q. Did you see the accused near or about said tent? If so, state what he was doing, if anything.

A. I see him. I went over and got a tent and as I came back Captain French was there. I brought an “A” tent over with me to put up; he ordered me to take the “A” tent back and fetch a wall tent over. I did so and after the wall tent was up I didn’t see Captain French any more. He went off.

Q. Were you in a position to observe what was going on about this tent?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you see the colored boy, Frank Jones, near or about said tent on this evening?

A. I saw him there once for about five minutes.

Q. About what time did you see the colored boy Jones, alias Cuff, and where?

A. I think it was about five o’clock in the afternoon, between five and six.

Q. Do you believe the accused could have entered said tent between the hours of six and nine o’clock p.m. of this day without your seeing him?

A. No sir.

Q. You say you saw the colored boy about five o’clock this evening. Did you see him afterward the same evening?

A. No sir. I did not.

Q. Where was the colored boy when you saw him?

A. He was talking to Gilbert in front of the ambulance.

Q. Where was the ambulance at this time?

A. It was within about ten or twelve feet of the tent, Mrs. Egan’s tent.

Direct examination ended and cross examination by Judge Advocate begun:

Q. Did you have a tent in the camp referred to?

A. Yes sir.

Q. State where you were and what you were doing during the period of time you have testified to from six to nine o’clock p.m. this evening.

A. I broke a spreader on the ambulance. I had a fire built up then and changed the irons on to another set. That was about to half past ten or eleven getting them fixed.

Q. Did you stay there all this time?

A. I was near all the time. I might have been away five or ten minutes at a time, once or twice.

Q. Did you see and observe all the persons who entered and left Mrs. Egan’s tent that evening?

A. Well, that I couldn’t say. I didn’t take much notice to anybody passing there. There was a great many passing around hunting up their things that they put in the wagons in the morning on leaving here. I didn’t notice the men. I saw a great many persons passing around.

Q. After dark?

A. Yes sir. After dark and before dark.

Q. At the times you were absent from your tent, where did you go?

A. I went over to one of the government wagons to get the hammers and chisels to take the irons off the broken spreader.

Q. Which direction did Mrs. Egan’s tent face from where your tent stood?

A. I did not have no tent.

Q. As you did not take much notice of the persons passing around, might not the colored boy, the accused, in fact any person with the command have entered Mrs. Egan’s tent and you fail to notice it? A. Well, I don’t think they could go into the tent because I was right in front of the tent or at the fire. They could have passed in and I not see them, not taking any particular notice. I didn’t see him there only the one time while I was around.

Cross examination ended and re-examination by accused begun:

Q. When you say that you did not notice everyone passing and repassing you on this evening, do you mean that the accused, Captain French, could have been near you and you not notice him, or do you refer to soldiers or other unofficial persons?

A. I referred to soldiers.

Q. Was there more than one colored person along with the command, and would you not notice and be more likely to remember the fact of seeing the boy Jones from the fact that he was an exception to the rest in respect to color?

A. I think I’d have noticed him if he’d been there.

Q. Did you leave the ambulance to get your meals that evening?

A. Yes sir. I got my meals before the train came, in at all. I went right in front of where the ambulance was and cooked it there. The testimony of the witness was read over to him and he desired to correct his answer to the question by the Judge Advocate: “Did you have a tent in the camp referred to?” to I didn’t have no tent for myself at all. With this correction he pronounced it correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged.

Private Julius Gilbert, Company “E” 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence, having been called before the Court and being duly sworn by the judge Advocate, testified as follows to questions by the accused:

Q. State your name, rank, company and regiment.

A. Julius Gilbert, Private, “E” Company, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Do you know the accused?

A. Yes. Captain French, Commanding Company “M” 7th Cavalry.

Q. On what duty were you about the 19th of October last?

A. I was out on Heart River. I was working for Mrs De Rudio.

Q. Do you know a colored boy named Frank Jones, alias Cuff?

A. I do.

Q. Who did he work for at this time?

A. He worked for Mrs. De Rudio.

Q. How was he engaged from the time you went into camp until you went to bed that evening?

A. He was cook for Mrs. De Rudio all the evening when I seen him.

Q. What time did you go to bed and where did you sleep that night? A. I slept in the laundress’ ambulance. I went to bed about 10 o’clock.

Q. What place did you leave when you went to the ambulance to go to bed?

A. I left Mrs. De Rudio’s tent. I was cutting wood around there.

Q. Where was the boy Cuff at the time you left Mrs. De Rudio’s tent?

A. He was sitting by the fire in front of her tent.

Q. How long was the boy Cuff out of your sight from the time you went into camp until you left Mrs. De Rudio’s tent to go to bed?

A. I couldn’t say exactly sir. Not a great while long enough for me to go down to the wagon and get a roll of blankets.

Q. Where was the boy Cuff when you left to go and get the blankets, and where was he when you returned and how long were you gone for them?

A. When I left he was cooking supper. I was gone about ten or fifteen minutes. When I returned he was still at work.

Q. About what time was this when you went for the blankets?

A. ‘Twas right after a little after dark.

Q. With the exception of the time which you say you went for the blankets was the boy Cuff within your sight from the time you went into camp until you went to bed?

A. No. I could not say. He was around there. I think he was.

Q. State what you mean by saying he was around there. State what your opportunities were for seeing him during the evening.

A. He was working around the fire and in Mrs. De Rudio’s tent. I didn’t leave the fire until I went to bed and he was around there every few minutes.

Q. Were you sent for on this evening? If so, who came for you?

The Judge Advocate objects to the first part of the question as it does not call for the best evidence on that point. The accused replied he had no remark to make.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided not to sustain the objection of the Judge Advocate. The Court was re-opened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court. The witness was recalled before the Court, the question was repeated and the witness answered:

A. No sir. Not that I know of. I don’t recollect.

Q. Did you tell Cuff where you were going to sleep this night?

A. No sir.

Direct examination ended. Cross examination by the Judge Advocate begun.

Q. About what hour of the clock was it when you went, a little after dusk, to get your blankets on this evening?

A. Nearly six o’clock.

Q. Do you swear positively that Frank Jones did not leave the immediate vicinity of the place where you left him when you went to get your blankets, a little after dusk and till the time you returned there?

A. To my best knowledge he didn’t.

Cross examination ended.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him, he pronounced it correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance before the Court.

Private John M. Marshall, Company “H” 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence, having been called before the Court and being duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows to questions by the accused:

Q. State your name, rank, company and regiment.

A. John M. Marshall, Private, Company “H” 7th Cavalry.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Yes. Captain French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Do you know a colored boy named Frank Jones, otherwise called Cuff?

A. Yes.

Q. How long have you known him?

A. Since 1875.

Q. Do you know who he works for now?

A. I believe he works for Lieutenant De Rudio,

Q. Have you the means of knowing the general character of Frank Jones for truth and veracity in the community where he resides and has resided?

A. Yes.

Q. What is it, good or bad?

A. It’s bad.

Q. From such knowledge as you have of his character for truth and veracity would you believe him on his oath?

A. No sir.

Direct examination ended. Cross examination begun by Judge Advocate.

Q. What was your opportunity for knowing the colored boy, Frank Jones?

A. First, I see him down in New Orleans. We brought him up with us from New Orleans, and he stuck to the company for a good while and then he went over to work for Col. Benteen, and my wife was living then, and she was working for him too, and she used to make pies once in awhile to sell to the boys, and Cuff used to peddle them. He used to get away with right smart of the money too, and swear he didn’t. He used to say that he didn’t, but then I kept books and knew that he did.

Q. How long did he work for Col. Benteen?

A. I don’t know. I can’t say. I guess he was there a year.

Q. Is your testimony just given that you would not believe him on oath, based on this pie transaction, or is it based on prevailing reports unfavorable to the general reputation of Frank Jones, alias Cuff?

A. It is based on what I know about him. I know he’ll lie for a quarter.

Q. Then it is not on his general reputation?

A. I believe it is by what I’ve heard. I‘ve never had any dealings with him, only that.

Q. State what you have heard about Frank Jones.

A. Well, I’ve heard lots of the boys in the quarters accusing him of lying.

Q. Who have you heard accusing him of lying?

A. Oh, well. I couldn’t say in that particular. There are so many of them.

Q. Give us the names of some of them.

A. Well, I never took much notice of them.

Q. Your opinion is not based on the general reputation then so much as your individual experience and knowledge of him, is it?

A. Well, I should take him myself to be a common liar from what I’ve heard of him.

Q. You don’t know who circulated these unfavorable reports about Frank Jones?

A. No sir.

Q. Nor when you first heard them?

A. I first found him out myself and I never took any stock in him after that.

Cross examination ended and re-examination by the accused begun.

Q. How long did this arrangement with Cuff, or Frank Jones, in the pie business last?

A. Well, three or four months, I guess. I couldn’t say exactly.

Q. How long did you continue to employ Jones in selling pies after you found him to be a thief and liar?

A. Well, I guess a couple of months.

Q. Why did you continue to employ him after you found him to be a thief and liar?

A. Well, because I was too lazy to peddle them myself, and it didn’t amount to much only a quarter or so, that’s all.

Q. Then Frank Jones didn’t pocket very much after all, did he?

A. Well, I guess he pocketed right smart take it altogether. Twenty-five cents out of a dozen runs up in the long run.

Q. When you said it did not amount to much only a quarter or so at a time, do you mean that he only took one quarter or more?

A. Well, sometimes two or three quarters, but not every time. That’s what the pies was a piece.

The testimony of the witness was read over to him and he pronounced it correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance upon the Court.

The Court at 1:45 p.m. took a recess for fifteen minutes. The recess having expired the Court re-assembled, the members and Judge Advocate as also the accused and his counsel present.

Private David McWilliams, Company “A”, 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence having been called before the Court and being duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows to questions from the accused:

Q. State your name, rank, company and regiment.

A. David McWilliams, Private, Company “A”, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Captain French, Company “M” 7th Cavalry.

Q. Are you acquainted with a colored boy named Frank Jones, otherwise Cuff?

A. Yes.

Q. How long have you known him? State where and when.

A. In 1875. He was in New Orleans. He came to the company then.

Q. When did you see him last?

A. I see him here a few days ago.

Q. How long have you been in “A” Company and what company did you serve in before you were in “A” Company?

A. I served five years in “A” Company then five years in “H” Company 7th Cavalry, and re-enlisted in “A” Company.

Q. What company were you in when you knew the colored boy in New Orleans?

A. “H” Company.

Q. Who was Captain of “H” Company then and since?

A. Col. Benteen.

Q. Did the colored boy accompany your company from New Orleans to this Department? If so, in what capacity?

A. He came on as a servant. I believe so. I don’t know that he came with the company. I was on furlough when the company left. I remained there in New Orleans.

Q. How long was he with the company to your personal knowledge?

A. It must have been about two (2) years or two years and a half, somewheres about that, sir. That was while I was in the company.

Q. Do you know where he is or what he is doing now?

A. He is a servant to Lieutenant De Rudio out at the Hills.

Q. Are you acquainted with the general reputation of Frank Jones, alias Cuff, for truth and veracity in the community where he resides and has resided?

A. Yes.

Q. What is it, good or bad?

A. Bad.

Q. From the knowledge that you have concerning his reputation for truth and veracity would you believe him upon oath?

A. No sir.

Direct examination ended and cross examination by Judge Advocate begun.

Q. Is your testimony based on your own opinion of the said Frank Jones, alias Cuff?

A. Yes.

Cross examination closed and re-examination by the accused begun.

Q. Is your opinion in your last answer based upon what you know about him or what others say about him? That is, Frank Jones, alias Cuff.

A. It is based - I am confident what I have said about him. It is based on what I know about him.

Q. Do you mean by your last answer that your opinion of Frank Jones is based on personal dealing or knowledge of him, or his general reputation in the regiment among those who know him?

The Judge Advocate objects to the question for the reason that the question attempts to re-examine on particulars which is the privilege of the Judge Advocate in the instance as the defence has brought the witness to attempt to impeach the witness Frank Jones, and failing to elicit the answer he desired to his first question asking for an explanation of his answer on cross examination he now attempts to make good the failure of this witness’ answer by instructing him as to what he desires the witness to say.

The accused objects to the Judge Advocate arguing his case, and also to assuming what the accused is trying to do or what he has failed in doing, as being to say the least premature. The accused also asks the question in order that the witness may explicitly inform the Court upon what he founds his opinion as regards the credibility of Frank Jones inasmuch as the prosecution have drawn the matter out.

The Judge Advocate replied that he had nothing to say in reply.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided to sustain the objection of the Judge Advocate. The Court was reopened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court. The witness was recalled.

Q. Upon what do you base your opinion of Frank Jones?

A. To general reports and what I have seen of him myself and known of him while in the company with him. That’s all.

Q. From whom have you heard those general reports?

A. From the companies.

Q. Give the names of the persons from whom you have heard these reports.

A. From a great many men of the companies.

Q. What were the names of the men?

A. I know of one instance of his making a false report to Mrs. Mathey Captain Mathey’s lady - of Captain Mathey’s being wounded. Those men are not in the company now.

Q. Can you give the names of the persons from whom you have heard these reports?

A. From Corporal Dry of “H” Company. He’s not in the company now. There was James Curley, “H” Company. He’s discharged. I don’t recollect them now at the present time.

The testimony of the witness, having been read over to him, he pronounced it correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance upon the Court.

Sergeant Charles White, Company “M” 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence, previously sworn in this case, having been recalled before the Court, further testified to questions by the accused.

Q. Do you know a colored boy named Frank Jones?

A. Yes.

Q. How long have you known him?

A. I have known him since the spring of 1875.

Q. Have you seen him lately? State where.

A. I seen him here and at Camp Ruhlen.

Q. Have you the means of knowing the general reputation of Frank Jones, alias Cuff, for truth and veracity?

A. Yes.

Q. What is it? Good or bad?

A. Bad.

Q. From the knowledge that you have of his reputation for truth and veracity would you believe him upon his oath?

A. I would not.

Direct examination ended and cross examination by the Judge Advocate begun.

Q. Is your testimony based on your opinion of the character of Frank Jones?

A. Yes sir.

Cross examination ended and re-examination by the accused begun.

Q. What is that opinion founded on?

A. On the fact that I caught him in lies myself.

Q. Anything else?

A. No sir.

Q. Have you heard others say anything about his character for truth and veracity?

The Judge Advocate objects to any further questions upon this point as it is a settled rule of practice that the party re-examining has the right to ask all questions which may be proper to draw forth an explanation of the sense and meaning of the expressions used by the witness on cross examination, if they be in themselves doubtful. The Judge Advocate submits the question and answer on cross examination and the questions of the accused on re-examination and asks for the decision of the Court as to how long this line of re-examination shall be continued.

The accused replied: It is respectfully submitted to the Court by the accused that the witness is misled by the first question of the Judge Advocate when asked about his opinion of Frank Jones. This will be clearly seen by reference to his direct examination, and therefore the accused asks the further explanatory question.

The Judge Advocate replied he had nothing to say.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation the Court decided that the objection be not sustained. The Court was re-opened and the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

Q. Have you heard others say anything about his character for truth and veracity?

A. Yes I have.

Q. What do others say about it?

A. Whenever a lie is told, the general remark is that “Cuff has told it. I bet that Cuff has told it.” among the men.

Q. What do others say about his reputation for truth and veracity?

A. They say that he is a liar and they wouldn’t believe him on oath. Re-examination by the Court.

Q. You state in your testimony that others say that they would not believe him, Frank Jones, alias Cuff, under oath. State who you have heard this from.

Objected to by a member on the ground that the witness has testified only to the general character of the man, Cuff, and that it would be manifestly improper to require him to go into such minute particulars. The law only requires that his character for veracity in the community where he resides need only be given.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided that the objection be not sustained. The Court was re-opened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court. The witness was recalled before the Court and answered:

A. I heard it from Sergeant Windoff [sic], Company “H” 7th Cavalry, and a man by the name of McLaughlin, belongs to “G” Company. I don’t know his first name. I don’t recall of anyone else particularly.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him, he pronounced it correctly recorded and was discharged from further attendance upon the Court.

Private Charles A. Gray, Company “C” 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence, having been called before the Court and being duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, testified as follows to questions by the accused.

Q. State your name, rank, company and regiment.

A. Charles A. Gray, Private, Company “C” 7th U. S. Cavalry.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Do you know a colored boy named Frank Jones sometimes called Cuff?

A. I do.

Q. How long have you known him?

A. Probably about a year and a half or two years.

Q. Are you acquainted with the general reputation of Frank Jones, alias Cuff, for truth and veracity in the community where he has resided?

A. Yes.

Q. What is it? Good or bad?

A. Very bad.

Cross examination by the Judge Advocate.

Q. You state this as your own personal opinion of him, do you?

A. No sir. As the opinion of the men of the command, more particularly of the men of the company where he has been stopping with.

Q. Where has he been stopping mostly?

A. “H” Company.

Q. How long in the year and a half that you have testified to having known him, have you seen the men of “H” Company?

A. Only since “H” Company has been at the post, sir. I have seen the men of “H” Company several times at Rice when I have been on detail or pass.

Q. When did “H” Company come to this post?

A. The company came here sometime in June last.

Q. Were you here in June last?

A. I was.

Q. Was Frank Jones here at the time?

A. He was.

Q. Did you hear reports about the character of Frank Jones then?

A. No sir. Not at that particular time.

Q. At what particular time?

A. I have heard most of the reports in fact all of the reports since the company has been stationed here for winter quarters.

Q. This winter do you mean?

A. Yes. I would further state that these reports refer to him since he has been with the regiment.

Q. About what date did you hear these reports circulated this winter?

A. I wouldn’t be positive as to dates, but I‘ve heard them most any time since the company has been at the post.

Q. Before or after Frank Jones left this post?

A. After he left it.

Q. How long after he left it?

A. I don’t know the date that he left the post. I was not here at that time.

Q. When did you return to the post?

A. About two weeks before the companies arrived in from the field.

Q. When was that?

A. November the 20th.

Q. You heard these reports chiefly about that time or afterwards?

A. Yes sir.

Q. From whom did you hear them?

A. The men generally of “H” Company. I can’t mention anyone individually.

Q. Can’t you give any names?

A. No sir.

Q. When was the very last time you heard these reports?

A. Within the last week.

Q. From whom?

A. It was just merely general talk among the men in the quarters where I happened to be at the time.

Q. You formed your opinion then from this general talk did you?

A. I did.

Q. And that is the only ground you have for your testimony just given?

A. Yes.

Cross examination closed and re-examination by the accused begun.

Q. What did the men of “H” Company generally say about Frank Jones at the time you refer to in your cross examination?

A. They said that ever since he had come from the South with the company he had kept the company in hot water by telling lies to the officers about the men and that they were glad he was no longer with the company.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to him, he pronounced it correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance before the Court.

The accused asks for an adjournment of his case until Friday the 31st for the reason that his counsel will be necessarily absent for that length of time and he further states that it will not delay the conclusion of his case as many of his witnesses will not be here until after said date and that the record of the Court is also about two days behind.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided to grant the request of the accused. The Court was re-opened, the accused and his counsel present. The Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

The Court at 4:00 o’clock p.m. adjourned to meet at 11:00 o’clock tomorrow the 29th instant to take up the case of the United States against 1st Lieutenant Nelson Bronson, 6th Infantry.

J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Infantry J. A. G. C. M.

FIFTEENTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 31, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment of the 28th instant at 10:40 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain William A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 12.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

[Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry, not listed present or absent. -JMC] The accused and his counsel also present. The reading of the proceedings of the previous day was on motion dispensed with.

Mrs. Fanny James, Laundress, Company “E” 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence having been called before the Court and having been duly sworn by the Judge Advocate testified as follows to questions from the accused.

Q. State your name, occupation and station.

A. Fanny James, Laundress, Company ”E” 7th Cavalry, Fort Meade, D.T.

Q. Do you know the accused? State who he is.

A. Yes.

Q. State who he is.

A. Captain French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Did you accompany a detachment of recruits for the 7th Cavalry from this post to Camp Ruhlen in the month of October last.

A. Yes.

Q. What kind of a conveyance did you have on the march and who occupied it with you?

A. An ambulance. Mrs. Egan.

Q. Where did you camp the first night out from this post?

A. Heart River.

Q. Did you see the accused at the camp on Heart River? If so, state where and under what circumstances.

A. I seen him at Heart River about seven yards away from the ambulance and he was sober.

Q. Who was with the accused at the time you saw him near the ambulance?

A. Sergeant Cunningham was taking something to him in a small tea cup, but I didn’t see what it was. I didn’t see it poured out and he drank it whatever it was.

Q. How long did the accused remain at or near the ambulance?

A. Very few minutes.

Q. What did the accused do after taking something from the tea cup?

A. He had an “A” tent taken down and a wall tent put up for the laundresses.

Q. Who was in the ambulance at the time the accused took the tea cup from Sergeant Cunningham?

A. Mrs. Egan.

Q. What was the condition of Mrs. Egan as to sobriety at the time referred to in your testimony?

A. She was sober.

Q. Who occupied the wall tent of which you speak at the camp on Heart River?

A. Mrs. Egan.

Q. Did you occupy the wall tent any portion of the time at this camp? If so, state how long.

A. About four hours, from six o’clock until ten.

Q. Did you leave this tent that evening? If so, state about what time you think it was when you left it.

A. About ten o’clock.

Q. Why did you leave the wall tent?

A. Mrs. Egan and me had some little disturbance about fixing the beds in the tent.

Q. Did you see the accused about the time you had the disturbance? If so, state what occurred.

A. Yes. I seen him, and he come up and told Mrs. Egan that if she didn’t stop cursing he would have to put her out of camp.

Q. Where were you and Mrs. Egan at the time the accused told Mrs. Egan that if she didn’t stop her cursing he would put her out of camp?

A. He was standing by the ambulance.

Q. What time was it when you had this trouble with Mrs. Egan and when the accused told her he would put her out of camp if she did not behave?

A. I couldn’t exactly tell but I think it was half past seven in the evening.

Q. Did you go to the wall tent soon after it was put up.

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you and Mrs. Egan in company all the time from the time of your arrival in camp until you left the tent that night?

A. Yes.

Q. What persons came to or entered this wall tent on the evening in question while you remained in the tent?

A. A man of “L” Company and Gilbert and the driver.

Q. Did the accused enter this tent while you occupied it that evening?

A. No sir. He did not.

Q. Do you know a colored boy, Frank Jones, sometimes called Cuff?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see him at the camp on Heart River?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Was he at or did he enter the wall tent on the evening in question while you were in it?

A. No sir.

Q. What kind of drinking vessels did you and Mrs. Egan use at this camp?

A. Tea cups.

Q. Did you or Mrs. Egan have a tin cup at this camp in use or otherwise?

A. Yes, but not in use.

Q. State where it was.

A. It was in the basket packed full of pickles.

Q. Did you in company with Mrs. Egan and the accused ride in an ambulance to Cedar River on this same march on or about October 24th last?

A. Yes.

Q. What kind of a day was it?

A. It was a very pleasant day.

Q. Did you hear the accused complain of illness while riding that day?

A. Yes sir.

Q. State what you saw the accused do and what he said, if anything, after arriving at Cedar River.

A. I seen him drink three small drinks of Bitters.

Q. State where this was.

A. At Cedar River, D. T.

Q. Was it in a saloon or outdoors?

A. In a saloon.

Q. How long did the accused remain there and did you remain there until the accused left?

A. He remained there till his company or the detachment came up.

Q. Who else was present in the saloon when the accused drank the three drinks of Bitters?

A. Harvey and McCann, Mrs. Egan and myself.

Q. What was the condition of the accused at this time and place as to sobriety?

A. He was sober as far as I could judge.

Q. How did the accused walk when he left the saloon?

A. He walked very straight. He only limped a little.

Q. You say that the accused complained while riding in the ambulance to Cedar River. What did he complain of?

A. Of cramps in his stomach and his leg.

Direct examination ended. Cross examination by Judge Advocate began.

Q. Was any liquor carried on this march by Mrs. Egan?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who drank of the liquor on the march or upon and after your arrival at Heart River.

A. The men of the company and the driver.

Q. Anybody else?

A. Not that I remember.

Q. Did you or Mrs. Egan have any small glasses?

A. No sir.

Q. When was the “A” tent which was put up for you and Mrs. Egan put up?

A. Just a few minutes before the captain came. I couldn’t tell exactly when it was put up.

Q. About what hour in the evening?

A. About six o’clock.

Q. Did you and Mrs. Egan occupy the tent?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you have your luggage put in it?

A. Not in the “A” tent.

Q. Did Mrs. Egan, move into the wall tent before you?

A. No sir.

Q. During the time you occupied the wall tent did you remain in the tent all the time from six o’clock to 10 o’clock p.m. without leaving it at all?

A. Without leaving it any further than the door.

Q. Have you stated all the persons who came to or entered the wall tent during this time?

A. Yes.

Q. When was the “A” tent taken down?

A. Right after it was put up.

Q. What was done with it?

A. I couldn’t tell.

The testimony of the witness having been read over to her, she pronounced it correctly recorded and was thereupon discharged from further attendance before the Court.

At 12:15 p.m. the Court took a recess for fifteen minutes. The recess having expired the Court re-assembled, present all the members, the Judge Advocate, the accused and his counsel also present.

The accused here submitted the commission issued to 2nd Lieutenant Frank H. Edmunds, 1st Infantry, to take, and the deposition of Mrs. Eliza De Rudio, Fort Meade, D. T., made on the 28th day of January 1879, which was read to the Court and is attached to the Record marked “M.”

The accused Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, a witness for the defence, having been duly sworn by the Judge Advocate testified as follows, to questions by his counsel.

Q. State your name, rank, regiment and station.

A. Thomas H. French, Captain, 7th Cavalry, Fort Meade, formerly Camp Ruhlen, Dakota Territory.

Q. Captain French, you have heard the testimony in this case. Please state to the Court the circumstances of your march from Camp Sturgis to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., on or about August the 29th 1878.

A. On the morning of the 29th of August 1878, in obedience to orders from General Sturgis, I moved out at ten o’clock in command of my Company “M” 7th Cavalry. I went a few hundred yards and found that the other Company “E” 7th Cavalry, part of my command, was not en route as I had ordered it to be, I sent back and it soon followed me. I went about four miles on the road. I was not drunk, nor under the influence of liquor, nor suffering from the effects of liquor. The day was intensely hot, one of the hottest of the season. One week before that day I had been very badly almost fatally hurt returning from a scout in command of two companies in leading ray horse across a creek. The horse broke through the brush and into the mud up to his belly. Before I could get out of the way he rose, struck me and knocked me down, then he jumped on me. One hoof struck me behind the left temple and above the ear making a bad cut. The soft ground into which my head was driven was all that saved my life. I suffered from it for a long time afterwards. On this day that I was speaking of, the 29th of August, while we were about halfway I felt overcome by the intense heat, my head pained me. I was dizzy and although it was a very bright day, at times everything looked black in front of me. I was afraid of sunstroke or something like it. However, I remained with the command till we reached the valley of Bear Butte Creek and in sight of Camp Ruhlen, now Fort Meade. I thought it was about a mile off, but I found afterwards that it was about two miles. I told the 1st Sergeant that I was ill and that I must go ahead and get into shade, but that I would find out where the camp was to be that he was to send a man to report to me and I would have everything ready. I rode on at a canter, reached the camp, inquired for Major Lazelle. He was pointed out to me some three hundred yards away from the creek or away from his tent. I went up and spoke to him, ascertained that he was Major Lazelle. I was not acquainted with him at all. Dismounted, told him who I was and reported that my command was approaching, that it would be there perhaps in an hour. He said that he hadn’t precisely selected a site for the camp yet, but that it would be somewhere near where we then were. I then proceeded to unsaddle my horse and unbridle him and turned him loose as I always do with that horse. He offered to have a man to come and hold him for me, but there was no man near and I told him that it wasn’t necessary, that I knew the horse and would find him near there when I wanted him. I then told him that I had been quite unwell latter part of the march and asked permission to be excused until the command came up or until he required me. I went to a grassy ravine near there and found a good sized tree and sat down in its shade. After about fifteen minutes I laid down and went to sleep. About three quarters of an hour, I judge, I woke and waited for the coming of the command. Presently a man came and informed me that the troops had arrived. I went down then, found Major Lazelle, received his instructions and obeyed them properly. All the orders which he directed me to give to the troops were given properly as I received them, and I saw them obeyed.

On the 19th or 20th day of September I received a short leave of absence to go east. I returned to this post, Fort Lincoln, about the 4th of October 1878. I remained here until the 18th of October under orders. During that time I did not touch one drop of intoxicating liquor of any kind or nature whatever until the afternoon before starting when I drank some. More perhaps that I ought to have drank, but I stopped before I had gone too far knowing that I had to be up early in the morning and start on the same day. On that following day I drank nothing whatever of an alcoholic nature. About two o ‘clock in the afternoon the recruits being ready I began the march. I went to Little Heart River with the command, selected a camping place, picketed out the horses and waited for the train. I was feeling quite unwell all the afternoon. I designated, laid off the line for the tents, showed where everything was to be in the camp and how it was to be and then I sent for Sergeant Cunningham, acting First Sergeant of the detachment. I gave him such further instructions relative to bringing in the herd where the picket line should be placed and the tying of the horses. Then I added that I was not at all well and would ride for a few hours. He asked me in a respectful and sober like manner if I didn’t think that a glass of spirits would help me? I told him that I believed that it would, but that I never carried anything of the kind in the field, and had none. He said he thought he could get me a little if I d come with him. He took me to an ambulance. I, being some little distance from it, he going close up. In this ambulance were two women neither of whom I had ever seen before nor did I know that they were to accompany my command until that minute. They were sent along at the last moment and no provision had been made for them. The Sergeant spoke to one of these women. I didn’t hear what he said, but a few seconds afterwards he brought me a tea cup, a white cup, containing about a third of a gill of a fluid which I don’t know now what it was, it was so vile. I think it was intended though for whiskey. I drank part of it before I discovered its nature, emptied out what little was left, handed back the cup, said I was much obliged and walked away. The Sergeant followed at some little distance behind. Whether or not the woman gave him anything to drink I don’t Know if she did. I neither saw her give it nor him take it nor do I know whether or not one of the women was under the influence of liquor but I had no reason to believe that such was the case at the time. I only saw these women for a second. They were back in the ambulance. I only saw them as they leaned forward once. A few minutes afterwards I noticed that the men were putting up an “A” tent which was a common tent for these people. Besides the two women was a girl about ten years old, so I thought I’d give them a wall tent which was being erected for the detachment cook tent, which change I did make and I saw to the putting up of the wall tent myself, the recruits not knowing how to put one up.

The women were some fifteen or twenty yards from there all the time that I was there. This was something before dark. I don’t know exactly how long. You could see plainly in every direction and after a while about twenty minutes after that, and walking along the picket line interrogating the sentinels, I heard in the direction of the laundresses’ tent pretty near together, vile talking in a woman’s voice. I went over and it seems that Mrs. Egan was abusive to Mrs. James. I told Mrs. Egan she must stop that at once, that I would have nothing of that kind in the camp. That didn’t stop her, so I told her if she didn’t instantly cease that noise that I’d have her expelled from the camp. She then stopped. This happened near the ambulance some little distance from the camp. I then mounted my horse and rode away and was absent little more, perhaps a little less, than two hours. Returning, having my horse cared for, I went to my tent and went to bed and went to sleep and slept till morning. The next day I wished to be absent for six or seven or eight hours and was so. I was Commanding Officer and had a right to give myself that permission. In the afternoon I started slowly to catch the command preferring to ride the greater part of the night even rather than to ride my horse rapidly at the beginning of the march. He was very fat. I rode that afternoon, all that night, except about an hour, and the rests which I took periodically without overtaking the command, when I reached a place called Chantepete Station. I didn’t deem it wise to take my horse any further at that time, so I remained there until the stage came, from about two o’clock in the afternoon until about nine in the morning. In the stage was Mr. N. P. Clark of the Northwestern Company who directed the station keeper to take care of my horse and send him forward to my station by the next train which was done. I went from the station to the camp in the stage, reaching the camp about half an hour after the troops did. I was not drunk nor affected by liquor, nor under the influence of liquor on reaching there and I had no kind of stimulant of any sort with me. I lay down about nine o’clock with Lieutenant Spillman. We slept together. About midnight I was taken with violent cramps in the stomach and in the left side and they continued at intervals until morning so that I had to sit up in a chair nearly all night. In the morning I told Lieutenant Spillman that I was very sick. He advised me to ride in the ambulance as it was a very cold, windy day. He arranged a place for me on the front seat with the driver. It was a low seat which doubled my knees almost up to my chin. I told the driver to move on to Cedar Creek; I wanted to get near some fire, which he did rather rapidly. The pains continued all the way in my stomach and side. There was no surgeon with the command and no medicines. Had While I was sick I did not regard myself as on duty at all. I did not give a single order of any nature, even with respect to places of encampment, to Lieutenant Spillman nor to any member of the command. On reaching this place of Cedar Creek I got out of the ambulance and my left leg was bent and I could barely straighten it from the position in which I’d been riding. I was shot during the Rebellion on the side of the left knee, the ball glanced around beneath, severing the cords and nerves, and in recovering my heel was drawn up several inches, or rather my toes were drawn down several inches, and notwithstanding several surgical operations, I have never been fully relieved for that reason. I have not been able to dance in fourteen years, I went into Mr. Allen’s place at Cedar Creek in advance of the others and I told him that I was rather badly used up, I told him that in addition to being sick my leg pained me terribly. I asked him what he had for sale there. He said he had whiskey, brandy, rum, gin and East India Bitters. I asked him to let m e look at a bottle of bitters and then I told him to open it. I took a glass of it. The glass was small and made thick so as to hold as small an amount as possible. I told him to leave it on the counter and told him to let any of these people that came in the ambulance to help themselves if they wished to. I had to go to the rear then and several times afterwards while there. On returning to the ranch I judged that these people had accepted my invitation as the bottle was about half gone. I remained there excepting when I had occasionally had to go out, until the column came up about two hours and a half. In the meantime I drank I don’t know how many it may have been - four or five of these little glasses - perhaps a third of a gill. I walked out the door to go to camp feeling a little better than I had been but not well yet. Just outside the door I saw Corporal McCann a little way from the door. My foot was very sore from the effect of this wound in the knee and its cramped position in which I’d been riding and I asked him to let me take his arm as I was quite lame. He didn’t take my arm at all. I went to the place where our tent would be on its arrival and procured some buffalo robes and a blanket, maybe two blankets, and sat down on the ground and covered myself with them waiting for the train. After a little while I lay down and slept a few minutes at a time, now and then, until the tent was up. I went into the tent and lay down on my bed. That night at about ten o’clock the cramps in my stomach and side became worse than ever and I told Lieutenant Spillman that I must have something to ease me for I could not stand it, but he persuaded me not to go out. I remained for perhaps an hour or hour and a half longer. I started to go out of the tent intending to go back to this place about four hundred yards off intending to procure a bottle of the same bitters which had given me temporary relief before, and to take it with me. Lieutenant Spillman again persuaded me not to go saying that perhaps I would feel easier presently. I remained for perhaps another hour with no relief when he said he would give me something that would relieve me and he did. He gave me some alcoholic liquor of some kind, but I don’t remember what it was. The next morning I felt better and on the following day I was able to mount my horse and to march with the command in to Camp Ruhlen.

At Cedar Creek I was sick and had not drank enough nor one tenth enough to make me drunk, even of this liquor which was probably not more than half as strong as whiskey or brandy. When at times I have been under the influence of liquor, however little, my memory is always confused as to things transpiring at the time, but with respect to these matters my head is perfectly clear, as much so as ever it was in my life.

On arriving at Camp Ruhlen I was assigned to the command not only of that detachment but the detachments from all the other companies then absent. That on or about the afternoon of the second day after my arrival, the evening of the 31st. I began to drink again but slightly and continued to do so until the evening of the sixth. I drank mostly lager bier and usually eating such kinds of hot peppery meats as I could find at the trader’s store. I desired nothing that they could furnish me at the restaurant and didn’t go there from about the 1st day of November until about the 16th excepting once which was on the 10th. I had not drank enough to unfit me for any duty whatever and performed all my duties, Officer of the Day included. On the afternoon of the 6th of November I received a detail as Officer of the Day for the following day which was one day earlier than I expected owing perhaps I expect to a detachment. I went to my tent at about 8 o’clock the evening of the 6th, found my man there waiting for me. I had been drinking considerable beer that afternoon, but was not unfitted to do anything that I was required to do. I was capable in mind and body. I asked him to sit up with me all night. I was determined to break off altogether then and there from drinking any kind of alcoholic liquor. I gave him some instructions relative to my bath and clothing in the morning, went to bed and slept irregularly until near daylight, then slept soundly until it was time for me to get up. I arose, bathed, dressed and by that time the call for guard-mounting had gone. I went to guard-mounting, went through the ceremony properly, then accompanied by the old Officer of the Day went to the post of the guard which was about half a mile further than it was when I was on before, it having been changed from tents to the new guard-house. I received the new guard, again counted the prisoners, gave such instructions to the Sergeant of the Guard as were necessary, and returned with Lieutenant Edmunds as old Officer of the Day to report to the Commanding Officer. In returning, Lieutenant Edmunds walked very rapidly so much so that I had to ask him not to go so fast, that I was getting palpitation of the heart and I added in explanation that I’d been living partly or mostly on stimulants and that abstinence from them had weakened me. We walked more slowly and went to the Commanding Officer’s office and I reported properly.

The Commanding Officer gave me such instructions as he desired to and I was about to withdraw to execute his orders when he said to stop a minute, and picked up an estimate for clothing which morning. He called my attention to the item of overcoats on the estimate and asked me how it came to be so small. I told him I needed no more than the number required for my belief is that an estimate of clothing for a specified time should be for the amount which will probably be needed in that time and not the greatest amount that might be obtained. He said: “Didn’t you get my order for a year’s estimate of clothing?” I replied I had received it. He said: “When I give an order I wish it obeyed.” I don’t believe he used the words “for fun” at all. It doesn’t sound like him. I explained to him that all my old men had overcoats in their chests in the storehouse there and that the recruits had all brought overcoats with them and that I needed no more than the number put down on the estimate. He looked at me steadily in the eye for a few seconds and suddenly directed all the enlisted men to leave the office when he said: “Captain French, have you not been drinking?” He didn’t accuse me of it, he asked me the question. I replied frankly and at once that I had, but omitted to say when and what I had been drinking. I replied to the question as it was put to me. He added very sharply: “You appeared to have been drinking when you first reported here and also at Muster.” I made no answer to that because I was asked nothing and I knew he was mistaken. He continued saying this must stop, I won’t have it. Then his manner seemed to change and in a very kindly manner said to me: “Don’t you see that you are ruining yourself and your reputation?” I told him that at times the infirmity mastered me, that if I had a chance - I asked him to give me a chance that without help I was afraid of myself. He said: “Maybe you don’t try hard enough.” I told him that on one occasion when quite ill and the desire for stimulants on me all the time I had been able to break it off by going to the Commanding Officer and telling him my situation and asking him for a seven day’s leave of absence which I received, that I had secluded myself for that time and at its expiration I was well, but that I was not ill now but weak and I thought that four (4) days would be sufficient to cure me, and forever. He said: “Very well Captain. I will relieve you as Officer of the Day and you can go to your tent. I asked him if in arrest. He said: “No, take your four (4) days. I’ll help you.” I went to my tent and remained there during that time. On the fifth day I felt better than for some time and had conquered all desire and had lost the necessity for strong drink. On the morning of the fifth day which was Sunday, I went out to inspect my company but before the line was formed an orderly came and told me that there would be no inspection on account of the weather. I returned to my tent, took off my belt, sat down and to wait to the proper time to go to the office and report myself for duty to the Commanding Officer. About ten (10) minutes after I had gone to my tent the Adjutant came there and placed me in close arrest. I was very much surprised at that because I believed and still believe that the Commanding Officer intended - from the Commanding Officer’s language and his actions that he intended that in case I recovered in that specified time and showed perfect control in the future that the past would be past, so I asked Lieutenant Edmunds if he knew why it was that I was placed in arrest. He replied that it was something that Mrs. De Rudio had reported concerning the march from this point to Camp Ruhlen. He didn’t say to whom she had reported it, whether to her husband or to the Commanding Officer. I asked Lieutenant Edmunds if I had the usual privileges of an officer in close arrest. He said he didn’t know but I think he said he would find out. He appeared so indifferent about it that I think I said: “No matter, don’t trouble yourself about it.” or something of that kind. I don’t remember the precise words. Nevertheless, I waited until about noon - that was about three (3) hours - and I was not forbidden to leave my tent for necessary purposes which implied the permission to the officer.

About one o’clock of that day I felt like eating something other than ordinary food and such as I had almost exclusively eaten for the past ten (10) days, knowing perfectly well that nine tenths of my meals had been taken at the trader’s store since my arrival at Camp Ruhlen. I had not nor have I now the slightest doubt of my perfect right to go there. A meal, I believe, is defined to be a sufficiency of food to satisfy one’s appetite. If a can of turkey, a couple of glasses of beer and a handful of crackers are sufficient to satisfy my appetite for a day, then I regard that a meal just as much as a dinner with many courses. I went to the trader’s office about one o’clock that day. The day I was put in close arrest, it was as brilliant a day as ever was. The route from my tent to the trader’s store lay in full sight of every person in the camp. I made no attempt whatever at concealment. I found the trader in his office and I said: “Fanshaw, I suppose you know that I am in close arrest.” He said that he had heard so. I said that there is only one purpose that would justify me in coming here and that is for something to eat. I added: “Nearly all that I’ve eaten in this camp has been here and I have a right to take my meals where I think proper.” I said: “Do you know of any objection?” He said that he knew of none. I said: “Then give me a can of fresh oysters and as quick as you can.” He brought them to me. I don’t believe that I was in the office more than four or five minutes. In going out of the door I remembered that t had enemies on the lookout for me. I said to Mr. Fanshaw: “If anyone asks you the purpose of my visit here, just tell them the truth - that I came for something to eat.” The words, mess, mess house or messing were neither of them used by either of us in that conversation. There was no such thing as an officer’s mess at Camp Ruhlen. I mean by that a general mess, and don’t refer to married people.

There was a restaurant there where many of the officers boarded. It was kept by civilians on their own responsibility. Passersby could stop there and get whatever could be furnished at any time. The quartermaster’s clerks, many of his mechanics, all of the trader’s employees, the trader’s servants - three of them - eat there. It was no more an officer’s mess than any restaurant in a town where an officer happens to eat.

After speaking to Mr. Fanshaw as before related I left him and went straight to my tent, not having been absent therefrom including the walk both ways more than fifteen minutes. I had opened the can and eaten some of the oysters when the officer of the day came and made me a prisoner under guard.

Q. Calling your attention to your testimony in relation to your march from Sturgis to Ruhlen, you say you were not suffering from the effects of liquor. State the reason why.

A. Because I drank none.

Q. Did you enter the tent of the laundresses at your camp on the Little Heart River in October last?

A. I did not. Not even when I was helping to put it up.

Q. Did you meet anyone on your march from Sturgis to Ruhlen?

A. I met a person who I took to be an officer because he bowed to me. I had never seen him before and didn’t recognize him afterwards. I paid very little attention to him.

Q. How long have you been an officer of the army?

A. Since the 18th of May, 1864.

Q. When you told the commanding officer that you had been drinking, to what time did you refer?

A. The afternoon of the previous day.

Q. Did you drink any intoxicating liquor from the evening or afternoon of 6th of November up to the time you reported as Officer of the Day on the 7th?

A. No.

Direct examination ended. Cross examination declined by the Judge Advocate.

The accused respectfully states to the Court that he reserves the right of examining Lieutenant De Rudio as a witness to contradict certain testimony given by Frank Jones, to which the Judge Advocate acceded.

The accused objects to any admissions by the Court of his personal or general character for gallantry for the reason that he fears to trust his memory as to what particular officers may have witnessed and therefore requests the Court to bring the witnesses before the Court so that the accused may be relieved from the scruples which he has in relation to admissions.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided not to grant the request of the request of the accused that the Court bring the witnesses before the Court. The Court was re-opened, the accused and the counsel present and the Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

The accused not being prepared to go on with his defence on the following day, February 1st, 1879, at 4:05 o’clock p.m., the Court adjourned to meet at 10:30 o’clock a.m. on Monday the 3rd of February 1879.

J. S. POLAND

Captain, 6th Infantry J. A. G. C. M. (See Exhibit “N” for explanation of failure to meet February 3rd.)

SIXTEENTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. February 11, 1879 The Court met at 11:30 o’clock a.m. this day.

Present

1. Lieutenant Colonel C. C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 2. 3. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry 4. 5. Captain W. A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 6. 7. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 8. 9. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 10. 11. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 12. 13. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 14.

Absent

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

The Judge Advocate read to the Court the following Special Orders, viz:

• 1st SPECIAL ORDERS ) Headquarters Department of Dakota No. 11 ) St. Paul, Minn. February 1, 1879

- EXTRACT -

1. Colonel Samuel D. Sturgis, 7th Cavalry, Major J. G. Tilford, 7th Cavalry, Captain E. D. Baker, Quartermaster Department, Captain Stephen Baker, 6th Infantry and 1st Lieutenant Josiah Chance, 17th Infantry, are hereby detailed as members of the General Court Martial, instituted by paragraph 2, Special Orders No. 145, and paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, Special Orders No. 154 of 1878 from these Headquarters.

By Command of Brevet Major General Gibbon

Signed: GEO. D. RUGGLES Assistant Adjutant

• 2nd - SPECIAL ORDERS ) Headquarters Department of Dakota No. 12 ) St. Paul, Minn. February 1, 1879 1. Paragraphs 2 and 3, Special Orders No. 153 and paragraphs 2 and 3 Special Orders No. 154, of 1878, Special Orders Nos. 2 and 5, paragraphs 1 and 3, Special Orders No. 7 and paragraph 1 Special Orders No. 11, current series, from these Headquarters, are hereby revoked.

By Command of Brevet Major General Gibbon Signed: GEO. D. RUGGLES Assistant Adjutant • and telegrams which are hereto attached marked “N” and “O.” • The Court at 11:35 a.m. took a recess to await the arrival of the accused and his counsel who appeared before the Court at 12 o’clock noon.

The accused submits. The accused has reason to believe that it appears by the records of this Court that he was placed in charge of a guard or sentinel at some time since the meeting of this Court and in this connection he respectfully submits that if such is the case, that it should be stricken from the record of this Court as being no part of the proceedings in this case and can only work injury to him when brought before the reviewing authority. He also respectfully represents that this Court has no jurisdiction of his person only when he is at or in its presence and that any attempt to exercise authority over him or cause any change of his status when not before it is without precedent or authority of law.

To which the Judge Advocate replied that he had no remarks to make.

The Court directs the preparation of its record.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided that no change should be made in the record of the Court. The Court was re-opened, the accused and his counsel present; the Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court. The accused respectfully asks that so much of the record as states that he was placed under charge of a guard be read if it appears on said record. He nor his counsel has not yet seen or heard of it and only conjectures that such is the case.

The Judge Advocate replies that whatever part of the record that shows what is above claimed if such fact is shown at all, is part of the record of the Court in closed session and at this stage of the case cannot be communicated to any party except the reviewing authority. The accused replies that there is no part of the record of this trial that he is not entitled to know and he now calls for the reading of the said record so far as it relates to his being placed under charge of a guard during this trial.

And he further asserts that the Judge Advocate’s position is untenable, and is wholly without authority of law or precedent.

And the accused further objects to the record showing anything prejudicial to him without his having an opportunity to meet and answer it, otherwise this Court is entertaining matter against him which is wholly and entirely ex parte.

The Judge Advocate replies that the accused is entitled to a fair copy of the proceedings in open Court relating to his case during the progress of his trial and to a full copy of the proceedings after his trial is concluded and he is not until the conclusion of his trial entitled to any portion of the record of the Court in closed session otherwise exception would be made whenever the Court was cleared and the accused would be permitted to remain in the Court when cleared.

The accused further submits - If the Court please, the accused does not seek to know the details of the Court’s deliberations in closed session nor the vote or opinion of any member, but he does insist on his clear and unqualified right to know at any time what the record shows.

The Judge Advocate declines to make any further reply, that the time of the Court may not be taken up by repeated arguments after rejoinder is allowed.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided that as no part of the record states that he was placed in charge of a guard, it cannot therefore be read and the accused’s request cannot be granted.

The accused objects to proceeding further with his case before this Court for the reason that it is not legally constituted as it appears by its record that it is not the Court convened by Special Orders No. 145, Headquarters, Department of Dakota, dated December 9, 1878, but is in effect a Court called into existence by Colonel John Gibbon, 7th U. S. Infantry.

This officer is not authorized to convene a General Court Martial as appears by the 72nd Article of War, which limits such authority to General Officers.

If it is claimed that Colonel Gibbon was in command according to his Brevet rank, it is respectfully submitted that there is no such rank in the United States Army at this time as it was clearly the intention of Congress to abolish Brevet rank and such rank was abolished by Act of July 15th, 1870 (See Revised Statutes) Section 1212, and Circular from A. G. 0. September 28th, 1870, prohibiting the issuance of orders by command of Brevet rank.

And it is further submitted that even if there is Brevet rank in the Army at present it cannot confer authority to convene a General Court Martial. The 72nd Article of War must be strictly construed and the designation General Officer in this Statute means a General Officer of the line of the Army and negates all other constructions of this Article.

To which the Judge Advocate replies that the United States Statutes, both directly and indirectly authorize and provide for the exercise of command by officers holding commissions in the Army at large, other than by virtue of their commissions in any special department or corps. See Section 7, Act March 3, 1869, Chapter 124. Special assignment, to command of this Department, of Colonel John Gibbon, 7th Infantry, by virtue of his commission of Major General, United States Army, was made by the President last year, 1878. Such act gives with the limitations imposed by Congress as to additional pay and allowances, vitality to the commission in the United States Army at large and constitutes under the statute actual rank of Major General. That it was not the intention of Congress to abolish rank in the Army at large is evident from the fact that they did not resort in their legislation on the subject to the natural dicta which they would have used had such been the intention, namely that Brevet rank shall be and is hereby abolished in the Army of United States, but on contrary a series years or parts legislated the subject, avoiding any action which would clearly and certainly abolish it.

The Court was cleared and closed and after due deliberation decided not to sustain the objection. The Court was re-opened, the accused and his counsel present and the Judge Advocate announced the decision of the Court.

The accused desired to add to his testimony: “That I have never before been before a Court Martial until this occasion as an accused.” The accused having no further testimony to offer, then submitted the documents which are hereto appended marked “P” “Q” “R” “S” “T” which were read to the Court by the Judge Advocate. The accused then requested that his counsel read his defence, a written statement which was done and is hereto appended marked “U.”

The defence here closed and the Judge Advocate submitted in writing his remarks which are hereto appended marked “V.”

The Court was then cleared and closed for deliberation and having maturely considered the evidence adduced finds the accused, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, as follows:

Of the 1st Specification 1st Charge - GUILTY

Of the 2nd Specification 1st Charge - GUILTY

Of the 3rd Specification 1st Charge - GUILTY

Of the 4th Specification 1st Charge - NOT GUILTY

Of the 1st Charge - GUILTY

The 2nd Charge and its Specification - Withdrawn

Of the Specification of the 3rd Charge - NOT GUILTY

Of the 3rd Charge - NOT GUILTY

Of the 1st Specification 4th Charge - NOT GUILTY

Of the 2nd Specification 4th Charge - NOT GUILTY

Of the 3rd Specification 4th Charge - Guilty except the words “so” and “that it became necessary for an enlisted man to support him to his tent in the presence of his command” and of the excepted words not guilty.

Of the 4th Charge - Guilty and the Court does therefore sentence him, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, to be dismissed from the service of the United States.

C. C. GILBERT Lieutenant Colonel, 7th Infantry President J. S. POLAND

Captain, 6th Infantry

Judge Advocate

The Court then at 5:15 o’clock p.m. adjourned to meet tomorrow the 12th instant at 11 o’clock a.m.

J. S. POLAND CAPTAIN, 6th Infantry J. A. G. C. M.

SEVENTEENTH DAY

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. February 12, 1879 The Court met pursuant to adjournment at 11 o’clock a.m.

Present

1. Colonel S. D. Sturgis, 7th Cavalry 2. 3. Lieutenant Colonel C. C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry 4. 5. Captain E. P. Pearson, 17th Infantry . 6. 7. Captain William A. Elderkin, Subsistence Department 8. 9. Captain Louis H. Sanger, 17th Infantry 10. 11. Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry 12. 13. Captain Henry Jackson, 7th Cavalry 14. 15. Captain John S. Poland, 6th Infantry, Judge Advocate 16.

Absent

Major J. G. Tilford, 7th Cavalry

Captain E. D. Baker, Quartermaster Department

Captain Stephen Baker, 6th Infantry

1st Lieutenant Josiah Chance, 17th Infantry

Which absent members not having been sworn as members of the Court in the case of the United States against Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, were not notified to attend for the hearing of the reading of the record of the Court in said case.

Captain Cyrus S. Roberts, 17th Infantry, sick.

Colonel S. D. Sturgis, 7th Cavalry, member of the General Court Martial presented himself to take his seat, and then requested to be excused from sitting as a member in the case now under consideration as it 1$ now almost closed, and to explain his absence from the meeting of the Court on yesterday, viz. that he had not been duly notified of the time for meeting of the Court.

Colonel S. D. Sturgis, 7th Cavalry, was then excused from sitting on the case of Captain T. H. French, 7th Cavalry, and withdrew.

The Judge Advocate stated to the Court that as the additional members named in Special Orders No. 11, Headquarters, Department of Dakota, which was received February 2nd, 1879, were not sworn in the pending case of the United States against Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, he did not notify them to meet when he received the telegram dated Headquarters Department of Dakota, February 10th, 1879, hereto attached marked (Apparently lost and not in the files at the National Archives - Editor) as there was no business February 11, 1879, for the Court as constituted under the Special Orders Nos. 145 and 154 series of 1878, and No. 11 current series, which statement was made to account for their absence at yesterday’s meeting. The Court then heard the reading of the proceedings not previously read and the same having been approved the Court at 12:55 o’clock a.m. adjourned to meet tomorrow the 13th instant at 11 o’clock a.m.

C. C. GILBERT Lieutenant Colonel, 7th Infantry President J. S. POLAND

Captain, 6th Infantry

Judge Advocate

End formal proceedings of the court martial.

Begin attachments. === Headquarters Department of Dakota St. Paul, Minn. February 26, 1879

The foregoing proceedings, findings and sentence are approved, and the record is respectfully forwarded for the action of the President.

I have felt great doubt as to what is my duty, in view of the recommendation to mercy which has been signed by all the members of the Court save one. I have known Captain French for many years, and, notwithstanding the unfortunate habits into which he has fallen, I have still high respect and regard for him. But for his habits, he would be a most valuable officer. He has excellent capacity and chivalric courage. There is no stain upon his moral character, except this one of intemperance. If he can keep the pledge which he has given, he will be an ornament to the army - an officer whom the service cannot afford to lose. My doubt is whether he has the power, even with the best intentions, to adhere to his resolution.

On the Whole, however, I am inclined to think that it would be best to give him this one opportunity for reformation, and I therefore join in the recommendation to mercy.

Alfred Terry Brigadier General USA COMMANDING Headquarters Department of Dakota St. Paul, Minn. March 14, 1879 The proceedings and findings of the General Court Martial in the foregoing case of Captain French, 7th Cavalry, and approved, and the record is respectfully forwarded to the Hon. Sec. of War for the action of the President. Attention is respectfully invited to the endorsement of General Terry hereon.

WILLIAM T. SHERMAN General

Executive Mansion March 22, 1879

These proceedings, findings and sentence of the General Court Martial in the case of Captain Thomas H. French, Seventh Cavalry, are approved.

On the recommendation of the Department Commander and of a majority of the Court, the sentence is commuted to suspension from rank on half pay for one year.

R. B. HAYES

EXHIBIT “A”

General Court Martial Rooms Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 10, 1879

TO THE Commanding Officer

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T.

Sir:

I am directed by the General Court Martial to inform you that it is now in session awaiting the presence of Captain Thomas H. French, 7th U. S. Cavalry, ordered to be arraigned and tried before it, and respectfully request you to have the said Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, brought before the Court for trial.

Your Obdt Servant

J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Inf. J. A. G. C. M.

1st Indorsement

Headquarters

Fort A. Lincoln, D. T.

January 10, 1879

Respectfully referred to the Post Surgeon. It appears that Capt. French is too sick to obey the summons to appear before the General Court Martial convened for his trial. You will examine him and report his condition.

Col. S. D. Sturgis

2nd Indorsement

Fort A. Lincoln, D. T.

January 10, 1879

Respectfully returned to Post Headquarters with report that I have examined Capt. French and consider him too sick to attend to any official duties whatever. In my opinion he will be able to attend to official business in two days.

M. D. WOLVERTON = EXHIBIT “B” Capt. J. S. Poland Fort Yates, D. T. 6th Infantry January 6th, 1879 Judge Advocate Sir:

I have to report that owing to sickness, having been confined to my room for a month at post, I will be unable to be present at Fort Lincoln, D. T., on the 9th of January 1879 as a member of the General Court Martial convened per General Order No. 145. The Post Surgeon informs me that he will send you the usual medical certificate.

Your obdt. Svt. C. S. ROBERTS Capt. 17th Infantry = EXHIBIT “C” Telegram Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 13th, 1879

Adjutant General Ruggles:

I have withdrawn second charge and its specification against French. Evidence shows horse alleged as lost now in French’s company. Violation of 15th Article cannot be sustained. Approval asked to put on records.

POLAND Judge Advocate

EXHIBIT “D”

Headquarters Department of Dakota St. Paul, Minn. January 14th, 1879 Captain Poland, Judge Advocate, Fort Lincoln:

Your action in withdrawing second (2) charge and its specification against Captain French is approved by Department Commander.

Ruggles Assistant Adjutant General

EXHIBIT “E”

Headquarters Fort A. Lincoln January 17, 1879

This certificate, having been referred to me by the General Court Martial now sitting for the trial of Captain French. It is respectfully returned to Assistant Surgeon Taylor for a definite statement of the nature and probable causes of Captain French’s illness.

S. D. STURGIS Colonel, 7th Cavalry

2nd Indorsement === January 17th 1879

Respectfully returned with the information Captain French is suffering from a nervous depression produced by a too continued and injudicious use of stimulants. If he can be kept from the use of these he will probably be able to appear on the 20th instant.

BLAIR D. TAYLOR Assistant Surgeon, U.S.A.

3rd Indorsement === Headquarters Fort A. Lincoln January 17, 1879

Respectfully returned to the Judge Advocate G. C. M. I know of no method of carrying out the condition referred to is Asst. Surgeon Taylor’s report.

S. D. STURGIS Col., 7th Cavalry

Respectfully furnished for the information of the General Court Martial now in session.

S. D. STURGIS Col., 7th Cavalry

EXHIBIT “F”

Fort A. Lincoln, D. T. January 17th, 1879

Commanding Officer

Fort A. Lincoln, D. T.

Sir:

In reply to your communication dated January 17, inst., I have the honor to state that I believe the illness of Capt. French on the 10th inst. was caused by recent excessive indulgence in alcoholic liquors; and in reply to a question as to whether or not he had been “drinking” he said “Yes,” and was “trying to recover from it.”

Very Respectfully

M. D. WOLVERTON Surgeon, U. S. A. Post Surgeon

EXHIBIT “G”

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T. January 20, 1879

President, General Court Martial

Sir: - I have the honor to state that Capt. T. H. French is still unable to appear before the Court in consequence of the continuance of the same condition mentioned in ray last communication on the same subject. It will probably be several days yet before his physical and mental condition will be sufficiently good to enable him to appear continuously. I will notify the Court at once of his restoration to health.

I am very respectfully,

BLAIR D. TAYLOR Asst. Surgeon U.S.A. Attending Surgeon

EXHIBIT “H”

Fort A. Lincoln, D. T. January 18, 1879

Capt. J. S. Poland, 6th Infantry

Judge Advocate General Court Martial

Sir: - I have the honor to report that Captain J. P. Schindel, 6th Infantry, is sick. He will probably be able for duty in one or two days.

Very respectfully,

M. D. WOLVERTON Surgeon U.S.A. Post Surgeon

EXHIBIT “I”

Headquarters, Fort A. Lincoln, D. T. October 14, 1878 SPECIAL ORDER)

No. 238 )

Capt. Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, having reported at these Headquarters in compliance with paragraph 2, S. 0. Ill, current series Headquarters Department Dakota, will proceed to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., ill charge of such enlisted men, horses and public property that may be at this post belonging to Companies “E” and “M” 7th Cavalry. The Quartermaster Department will furnish such necessary transportation as Capt. French may require.

By Order Of Major Crofton H. P. Walker 2nd Lieut., l7th Infantry There is no exhibit “J.”

EXHIBIT “K”

Telegram.

St. Paul, Minn.

January 21st, 1879

To: Captain Poland, Ft. A. Lincoln

General Court of which you are Judge Advocate is authorized to sit without regard to hours.

By Command General Gibbon RUGGLES Assistant Adjutant General

EXHIBIT “L”

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T.

January 24, 1879

To: Commanding Officer

Fort Meade, D. T. via Sioux City, Iowa

Court directs you to sent Private Julius Gilbert, Company E, Seventh Cavalry, before it as witness.

POLAND Judge Advocate

EXHIBIT “M”

COMMISSION:

United States )

vs. )

Thomas H. French )

Captain, 7th Cavalry )

Before a General Court Martial convened per Special Order Nos. 145 and 154, Headquarters Department of Dakota, Series 1878.

The materiality of the witness having been duly presented to the Court it, is ordered that this Commission be directed to Lieutenant Frank H. Edmunds, 1st Infantry, to examine under oath upon the following interrogatories Mrs. Lieutenant C. C. De Rudio, 7th Cavalry, a witness on behalf of the defence in the above entitled case at Camp Ruhlen, otherwise called Fort Meade, as soon as practicable after this date.

Q. What is your name?

Q. Do you know the accused?

Q. Have you at any time since the 19th day of October 1878, had any conversation with one Frank Jones (colored), a servant in your employ relative to the conduct of Capt. Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, during a march of a detachment of the 7th Cavalry from Fort A, Lincoln to Camp Ruhlen, D. T. in the month of October 1878, and if you answer yes, state where and when and what conversation passed between you and said Frank Jones?

Q. Have you at any time since the 19th day of October 1878, been present at any conversation when the said Frank Jones gave and/or pretended to give an account of any portion of the said Capt. Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, conduct while on said march from Fort A, Lincoln to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., and if you answer yes, repeat the account which the said Frank Jones gave and state when and where and to whom it was given?

Q. Did you on or about October 28th, 1878, at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., inform Lieut. Baldwin D. Spillman, 7th Cavalry, that the said Frank Jones had told you what he knew about Capt. Thomas H. French’s conduct on said march from Fort A. Lincoln to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., and particularly what he, the said Jones, knew about said French drinking liquor in a tent with a laundress while on said march and if you answer yes, state fully all the conversation which took place between you and the said Lieut. Spillman at that time touching on what the said Jones had told you that he knew concerning the conduct of the said Capt. Thomas H. French on said march?

The Prosecution does not desire to cross examine the witness. The foregoing interrogatories allowed.

Fort Abraham Lincoln, D. T.

January 24, 1879

By Order of C. C. GILBERT Lieut. Col., 7th Infantry President, G. C. M. RETURN TO COMMISSION

United States )

vs. )

Captain Thomas H . French )

Fort Meade, D. T. )

Deposition of witness as set forth in the order of the Court taken before me, 2nd Lieutenant Frank H. Edmunds, 1st Infantry, for the case, and at the place above stated on the 28th day of January in the year 1879 between the hours of 12 noon and 1 p.m. o’clock, and at Fort Meade, D. T. pursuant to the annexed notice, to be read in evidence on behalf of the defence in the case of the United States against Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, before the General Court Martial convened at Fort Abraham Lincoln, D.T. pursuant to Special Orders Nos. 145 and 154, Series of 1878, dated from Headquarters Department of Dakota.

Mistress Eliza De Rudio, a witness for the defence being duly sworn, testified as follows:

Q. What is your name?

A. Eliza De Rudio.

Q. Do you know the accused, and if so, state who he is?

A. Yes. Captain French, 7th Cavalry.

Q. Have you at any time since the 19th day of October 1878, had any conversation with one Frank Jones (colored), a servant in your employ, relative to the conduct of Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, during a march of a detachment of the 7th Cavalry from Fort A. Lincoln to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., in the month of October 1878, and if you answer yes, state where and when and what conversation passed between you and said Frank Jones?

A. Yes. On the 18th or 19th day of October, 1878, the night of the day we left Fort Lincoln, D. T., at the Little Heart River, Dakota Territory. There was a man back of my tent drunk, and a Sergeant of “D” Company, 7th Cavalry, was going to tie him up. I told somebody to go and find Captain French, and Frank Jones said there was no use going for him as he was in the ambulance drinking with Mrs. Egan. That is all he said that I can remember as there was so much confusion at the time.

Q. Have you at any time since the 19th day of October 1878, been present at any conversation when the said Frank Jones gave, or pretended to give, an account of any position of the said Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, conduct while on said march from Fort A. Lincoln to Camp Ruhlen, D.T., and if you answer yes, repeat the account which the said Frank Jones gave, and state when, where and to whom it was given.

A. No. I have not.

Q. Did you, on about October 28, 1878, at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., inform Lieut. Baldwin D. Spillman, 7th Cavalry, that the said Frank Jones told you what he knew about Captain Thomas H. French’s conduct on said march from Fort A. Lincoln to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., and particularly what he, the said Jones, knew about said French drinking liquor in a tent with a laundress while on said march, and if you answer yes, state fully all the conversation which took place between you and the said Lieut. Spillman at that time touching what the said Jones had told you that he knew concerning the conduct of the said Captain Thomas H. French on said march?

A. Yes. I remember having a conversation with Lieut. Spillman about Captain French’s conduct on the night of the 18th or 19th day of October 1878, and told him what Frank Jones had said: “There is no use going for him as he was in the ambulance drinking with Mrs. Egan.” What farther conversation we had I do not particularly remember.

(signed) Eliza de Rudio

I, Frank H. Edmunds, 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Infantry, do hereby certify that Mrs. Eliza De Rudio was by me duly sworn to testify to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and that the deposition by her subscribed as above set forth, was reduced to writing by myself in the presence of the witness, and was subscribed by said witness in my presence and was taken at the time and place in the annexed notice specified.

FRANK H. EDMUNDS 2nd Lieut., 1st Infantry Post Adjutant Fort Meade, D. T.

January 28, 1879

EXHIBIT “N”

Telegram St. Paul, Minn. February 1, 1879

TO: Poland, Captain Judge Advocate, General Court Martial Fort A. Lincoln, D. T.

The Court Martial of which you are Judge Advocate will at once suspend all action in the cases of Captain French and Lieutenant Bronson. The members, accused parties and witnesses will all remain at Fort Lincoln till further orders.

By Command of General Gibbon RUGGLES Assistant Adjutant General = EXHIBIT “0” Telegram Headquarters Department of Dakota St. Paul, Minn. February 10, 1879 TO: Captain Poland

Judge Advocate General Court Martial Fort Lincoln, D. T.

Special orders number twelve, current series, these headquarters, is revoked. The General Court Martial for trial Captain French and Lieutenant Bronson will proceed with its business. Acknowledge.

By Command General Terry RUGGLES Assistant Adjutant General

EXHIBIT “P”

Headquarters Army of the Potomac October 8, 1864 SPECIAL ORDERS)

No. 272 ) Extract

…Upon the recommendation of the Medical Director of this Army, leave of absence for thirty days is granted to the following named officers, on account of wounds received in battle, viz:

2nd Lt. F. H. French

10th U. S. Infantry s

By Command Of Major General Meade S. WILLIAMS Assistant Adjutant General

EXHIBIT “Q”

WAR DEPARTMENT Washington, December 2, 1864 Thomas H. French Sir:

You are hereby informed that the President of the United States has appointed you for gallant services in the operations on the Weldon railroad, Va., a Captain by brevet in the service of the United States, to rank as such from the eighteenth day of August, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four. Should the Senate at their next session advise and consent thereto, you will be commissioned accordingly.

Immediately on receipt hereof, please to communicate to this Department, through the Adjutant General of the Army, your acceptance or non-acceptance; and, with your letter of acceptance, return the Oath herewith enclosed, properly filled up, subscribed and attested, and report your age, birthplace, and the state of which you were a permanent resident.

E. M. STANTON Secretary of War

EXHIBIT “R”

WAR DEPARTMENT Washington, November 8, 1866 Captain Thomas H. French

Sir:

You are hereby informed that the President of the United States has appointed you Captain in the Forty-fourth Regiment of Infantry (V.R.C.) in the service of the United States, to rank as such from the twenty-eighth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six.

Should the Senate, at their next session, advise and consent thereto, you will be commissioned accordingly.

Immediately on receipt hereof, please to communicate to this Department through the Adjutant General of the Army your acceptance or non-acceptance; and, with your letter of acceptance, return the Oath herewith enclosed, properly filled up, subscribed and attested and report your age, birthplace and the state of which you were a permanent resident.

You will report in person on or about the 30th instant to the Board in session at Chicago, 111., and of which Colonel Sidney Burbank, 2nd U. S. Infantry, is President, and so soon as notified by the President of the Examining Board that you have passed a satisfactory examination you will proceed, without delay, to join your regiment in Washington, D. C.

EDWIN M. STANTON Secretary of War

EXHIBIT “S”

Headquarters of the Army Adjutant General’s Office Washington January 6, 1879 Capt. Thomas H. French

7th Cavalry

Fort Meade, Deadwood, Dakota

Sir:

I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 18th ultimo, requesting certain information and copies of certain papers, to be presented at your trial before a General Court Martial.

The request that you be furnished a statement showing that you commanded the 10th Infantry in the battles of August 18, 19 and 21, 1864, under General Warren, cannot be furnished, as the records show that you commanded only Company “A” of that regiment, Capt. R. H. Hall and 1st Lieut. Adolph Luning having had command of the regiment. Your brevet of Captain, Aug. 18, 1864, was granted on the recommendation of Brevet Brigadier General Fred Winthrop, Brigadier General R. B. Ayres and Major General G. K. Warren, for gallant services during the operations on the Weldon Railroad.

Copies of Special Orders No. 272, Oct. 8, 1864, from Headquarters Army of the Potomac, and No. 296, November 29, 1864, from Headquarters Department of Washington, granting you leave of absence on account of wounds, are herewith transmitted — also official extracts from a copy of the report by Lieut. Colonel Geo. A. Custer, 7th Cavalry, of the battle of the Yellowstone in Aug. 1873. The extracts contain all that is said concerning you in the report.

It does not appear that any report was ever received at this office from Colonel S. D. Sturgis, 7th Cavalry, showing that you were wounded in action with Nez Perces [sic] Indians at Canon creek, Montana, but the Return of the Department of Dakota for September 1877, shows that you were wounded in that battle September 13, 1877.

Very respectfully, E. D. TOWNSEND Adjutant General

EXHIBIT “T”

Extracts from report by Lieutenant Colonel Geo. A. Custer, 7th Cavalry, of battle of August 11, 1873, with Indians on the Yellowstone River, Montana. Headquarters Battalion 7th Cavalry

Pompey’s Pillar Yellowstone River, Montana August 15, 1873

X X X X

Captain French commanding the right wing, was directed to watch the parties crossing below.

X X X X

Captain French, who was engaged with the Indians who were attacking us from below, succeeded by a shot from his rifle in shooting a warrior from his saddle.

X X X X

Believing the proper time had arrived to assume the offensive, orders to this effect were accordingly sent to Colonel Hart and Captain French, the two wing commanders.

X X X X

The appearance of the main command in sight, down the valley, at this moment, enabled me to relieve Captain French’s command below us, and he was ordered to join in the pursuit.

X X X X

Before closing this report I desire to bear testimony to the good conduct of every man connected with my command, including officers, men and scouts. The command as previously stated consisted of eight troops of the 7th Cavalry. Where all did so well no special mention can be made.

X X X X

Two of the squadrons were under the command of Captain V. K. Hart, the remaining two were commanded by Captain T. H. French.

Respectfully submitted,

G. A. CUSTER Lieut. Colonel, 7th Cavalry Brevet Major Gen’l U.S.A. Commanding Official:

JAMES B FRY

Asst. Adj. Gen’l.

Rdqrs. Mil. Div. Mo.

Chicago, Sept 11, 1873

EXHIBIT “U”

Summary by Attorney for Capt. French, with Capt. French giving summary.

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Court. In commenting on the evidence in this case, I desire to call your attention to the contradictory testimony of the two first witnesses for the prosecution, contradictory in the sense that the language and deportment of the accused is strongly in contrast with his assumed condition founded upon were impressions of the witnesses. Major Lazelle, to whom accused was an entire stranger up to the 29th of August last, testifies that the accused was drunk when he reported to him on that day. Now let us look at the character of this witness’ testimony. Here are some of the circumstances upon which this witness founds his opinion, that the accused took a seat rather abruptly and complained of feeling unwell, and he thinks he asked him for a drink of water, that he dismounted slowly, that his gait was unsteady but he did not stagger and finally closes this part of his testimony by saying he is not certain and did not pay much attention to it. In reply to a question of the accused he says that I approached him properly and dismounted and reported my command as approaching, and witness closes this answer in a vague and uncertain manner touching other matters alleged to have occurred at this time by saying it might have taken place, maybe it did, I do not remember and though this witness swears that one of the indications of accused’s condition was his unsteadiness, says that being in the saddle a few hours affects the witness in the same way. He also testifies that he saw accused pacing off the interval between the companies and that it was done in a satisfactory manner.

The next witness for the prosecution, Lt. Edmunds, has a better memory of facts than his chief, however much he may lack, as an expert as to drunkenness. And it is noticeable how this witness corroborates the position of the defence in relation to material facts and conversation, which took place at the Commanding Officer’s office on the 7th of November last, and suggesting the fact that of the two, the accused is much the most clear and correct and that the Commanding Officer was either then confused or has become so since as to what took place in relation to the requisition referred to in his testimony. But to return to the testimony of Lieut. Edmunds. He says he had an impression, an instantaneous one, but that is explained by the fact that the plate had already been prepared by previous prudence and forecast, so that this travelling photographer was not obliged to stop or converse with the candidate, but with a polite good morning transferred my liniments to his gallery. Can anything be more startling than the testimony of this young man without any previous acquaintance with the accused, with a mind already biased, he meets him on a sultry day in August without stopping or having any opportunity to observe his condition, he comes into court and testified positively I was drunk, and although the law allows all men to be judges of the fact of drunkenness, I ask the court to take into consideration the weight of testimony, coming from a man so inexperienced as this witness, and whose means of judging were so limited.

Gentlemen, these two witnesses are all that the prosecution bring to support the charge of drunkenness on the 29th of August last and how does this testimony compare with the testimony of 1st Sergeant White, Corporal Bendewald [sic] [sic] and Lieut. Mann? The latter from personal acquaintance and association perfectly competent to understand what the condition of the accused was on that date and he testifies to his competency and sobriety on this occasion. What must be thought of Major Lazelle’s and Lieut. Edmund’s testimony? The only reasonable conclusion is that neither of the witnesses for the prosecution are competent judges in drunkenness in others, especially when afforded no greater opportunities for observation than they have had of the accused.

This specification must fall for want of evidence to support it. The two next specifications to the charge allege drunkenness on or about October 23rd and 24th, 1878.

The prosecution utterly failed to establish by any witness that the accused was drunk on either of the days alleged. But it is in evidence that accused, being unwell, occupied an ambulance and proceeded in advance of the command to the station at Cedar River. That on his arrival there he purchased a bottle of bitters, though all kinds of spirituous liquors were for sale there, that he complained while riding in the ambulance, and after his arrival, to the proprietor Allen and in the hearing of Corporal McCann, Harvey and Mrs. James of illness, that he frequently visited the rear while waiting for the command to come up. In answer to a question by the Court, Lieut. Spillman, a witness for the prosecution, stated that in the evening at Cedar River that he did not think that the accused was capable of performing his duties as Commanding Officer of the detachment, but his testimony is, that on that occasion, I was ill, maybe under the influence of liquor. Upon this subject I wish to remark that inasmuch as it is in evidence that there was no medical officer with the command, I assumed the functions of one in connection with that of Commanding Officer, and virtually placed myself on sick report. I agree with Lieut. Spillman that I was not at that time capable of assuming and discharging the duties of Commanding Officer of the detachment, but gentlemen, remember that I was not on duty and did not exercise any command, and all the circumstances are consistent with the state of facts, and I may have erred in treating myself for cramps and diarrhea.

Can you doubt my right as Commanding Officer, in the absence of a medical officer, to exercise the discretion which I assumed? I cannot suppose that you will. To whom was I to apply, or whom was I to consult? These are questions for the Court to answer, as fact and custom may indicate.

And now let us look at the evidence in support of the last specification to this charge, and like the first, the only witnesses called to sustain it are Major Lazelle and his Adjutant. If I was drunk on the morning of the 7th of November last, when the commanding officer turned the enlisted men out of his office, why were not the enlisted men subpoenaed as witnesses of the fact of drunkenness? Why were not the enlisted men - members of the guard - whom I received that morning brought here? These are significant questions, and are explained in this way. No one noticed anything improper in ray conduct or appearance on this occasion, but owing to the inability of Major Lazelle to understand a plain, common sense proposition in relation to my requisition for clothing he concluded that I had I been drinking.

Compare my cross examination of Major Lazelle, the answers he gave, with the narrative of Lieut. Edmunds of the conversation between myself and the Commanding Officer. He, the Commanding Officer, does not recollect the conversation, but tells you generally of his impressions. Though what little he does remember, taken with what his Adjutant supplies, completely vindicates me, as to what took place # there, and the intelligent manner in which I discussed the question of the sufficiency of my requisition. I submit that the Court cannot but contrast the substantial agreement between the Adjutant and myself on this occasion, with the confused and partial statement of Major Lazelle. The fact is that Major Lazelle seemed to be unable to comprehend the reasons which I gave for the small number of overcoats, though I conversed in language carefully set forth by his Adjutant and used by me in the cross examination of Major Lazelle. The Commanding Officer thought proper to lecture me on this morning and asked me if I had not been drinking, to which I answered, yes, referring to the day before and not thinking that he charged me with intoxication, as he did not at the time. It is not improbable that this charge or specification, as well as the first, were thrown in without usual consideration after Lieut. De Rudio with the aid of “Cuff” worked up the complaint referred to in his testimony.

Lieut. Edmunds testifies that accused received the guard properly, reported properly, and that his answers were responsive to all questions propounded to him by the Commanding Officer. How repugnant to the idea, that at this time I was under the influence of liquor. Both witnesses testify that I was drunk, and then go to work to prove me sober, and have succeeded, I believe, to the satisfaction of the Court.

To support the charge of breach of arrest, we have the testimony of Lieut. Edmunds. The facts are admitted that I went to the Post Trader’s on the 11th of November last. The conclusion of law that that constituted a breach of arrest I emphatically deny, and also deny, as I did in the course of the examination of Lieut. Edmunds, his competency to testify to such conclusion, it being a matter solely for the Court to decide. And I here call the attention of the Court to what I consider a grave error and a great hardship to me, in allowing a witness to testify to a conclusion of law. A breach of arrest as defined by Judge Holt - see Holt’s Digest, page 34 - must be something in the nature of deliberate contempt of the authority placing the person in arrest. Does the evidence disclose any such intent on the part of the accused? On the contrary, he went out of his tent at midday in sight of all the garrison, went to the trader’s store where he was wont to go. And what did he do? Did he stay there unnecessarily? Was he engaged in any improper or doubtful occupation? Let the witnesses Fanshaw, Benderwald [sic] and Latimer answer. He went there to get such food as he deemed necessary, and who had a right to proscribe what he should or should not eat?

The Commanding Officer might have proscribed a place where the accused should procure his meals, but in the absence of such proscription was there not a discretion left to the accused to procure his meals where he pleased? He was not bound by the understanding of Lieut. Edmunds as to where he should get his meals; that is neither evidence or orders. The idea of what this young man understood or did not understand cannot in anyway bind the accused. If Major Lazelle intended to limit accused to the restaurant, why did he not take the precaution to so order it? Instead of that he committed a gross outrage, an offence whose record would compare favorably with his by putting a sentinel over him, simply because that officer in the exercise of a discretion, which he believed and still believes he had. He went where he could procure such food as he desired. Is there anything in the nature of a wanton or willful breach of arrest in this matter? Did he not say to Fanshaw in good faith, “If anyone asks you why I was here, tell them the truth, that I came for something to eat.”

On the cross examination of Major Lazelle the question was asked by accused was there not an expressed or implied authority for accused to go and get his meals? And this witness, in his usual clearness, answers that he didn’t say anything about it. The accused dropped him and now appeals to the Court, and asks it, composed as it is of officers to take judicial cognizance of the fact that when an officer is placed in close arrest, and no specific place designated where he shall take his meals, that it is not intended thereby to deprive him of the right of procuring necessary food, and the discretion to get it where he pleases, providing it is not unreasonably distant from his place of arrest or confinement. There was no intention to do an unlawful act when I went to the trader’s store for something to eat. Every presumption is against it. I knew well what my status was, and also the gravity of the offence of breach of arrest. Is it supposable for a moment that with such knowledge I would deliberately place myself at this disadvantage? There is no element in my conduct on this occasion that will support the presumption or charge. And the evidence of the witness Edmunds that I did commit such breach is utterly incompetent, and should have no weight, and would be stricken from the record of any civil court as usurping the functions of the Court and that it attempts to settle questions that are exclusively for the Court.

The material allegations of the 1st specification to the 4th charge is that I told the trader, Fanshaw, that if any questions were asked concerning my visits to the store to say that I was messing at the store. This specification is not proved. The evidence of Fanshaw is that Capt. French stated to him that he came there for something to eat, and told him if any questions were asked about his visit that I could state so, and further states that I took something to eat there frequently previous to the 11th of November. Whether I visited regularly or irregularly any place for my meals cannot have any bearing on this case. I am not here on trial for irregularity in taking my meals nor is there any rule of law so absurd as to attempt to prescribe what a meal is constituted of. Webster defines a meal to be a portion of food taken at one time, a part, a portion, a fragment, and as bearing on this question which seems to be treated with an importance disproportionate to its value. The witness, Bendewald [sic] [sic], seems to be in accord with the authority cites as to the definition of the word meal. This witness guided by common sense, when asked what a meal consisted of, gave substantially the same definition as Webster.

But, gentlemen, in considering this matter you will be guided by what you think the intentions of the accused were at the time he visited the store of the trader. Does the evidence disclose any criminal intent on my part? If it is wanting in this, there cannot be a conviction on this specification.

The gist of the 2nd specification to this charge is that I repeatedly drank liquor with a certain Mrs. Egan, a laundress of my command, and that said laundress was at the time under the influence of liquor. What evidence have the prosecution produced to sustain this specification? All that there is in proof is that I received from the hand of Sergeant Cunningham, acting First Sergeant of the detachment, one glass of liquor procured from the ambulance. There is no evidence that I drank with this woman on this occasion. And though the prosecution failed to show that even Mrs. Egan was at this time under the influence of liquor, which, if the prosecution had, would not have had any bearing on this specification inasmuch as it was in proof that I did not drink with this person either actually or constructively.

The prosecution fail to show even that I drank from the same cup, as alleged, with the said Mrs. Egan at all at this time, or from the same cup at any other time. And it is further alleged that I entered the tent of one Mrs. Egan and there drank intoxicating liquor with her, and in her presence, and to sustain this specification they have the evidence of Jones, the colored boy.

I believe that there is evidence to show that this witness’ testimony is utterly worthless on this point. First, for the reason that his character is shown to be bad for truth and veracity by the witnesses, White, Gray and others, called to impeach him, and if they were not sufficient the deposition of Mrs. De Rudio is conclusive, wherein she flatly contradicts him, wherein he testified that he had never conversed with anyone except Major Lazelle in relation to what took place on the march from Fort A. Lincoln to Camp Ruhlen in October last. And further, Mrs. De Rudio testifies that Jones only mentioned the fact of accused being down at the ambulance with the laundresses, and not mentioning anything about the scene in the tent as testified to by him. The Court will take into consideration the fact that it is in evidence before them that the De Rudio family are at the bottom of these charges, and that there must be some motive other than zeal for the service, actuating them, that this ignorant colored boy was in the service of this family. And taking into consideration the proven fact that he perjured himself on the witness stand, is it saying too much to assert that these charges were conceived in malice and carried forward by the prostitution of this ignorant servant? I think that this conclusion is not inconsistent with the proofs in the case. This witness Jones is wanting in a knowledge of the religious and legal obligations of an oath, and with a full view of his character as disclosed by the evidence of his incapacity and corruptness, can the Court attach any weight to his testimony?

The witness Gilbert testifies that the witness Jones was with him or in his view from the time the command went into camp until 10 o’clock that night with the exception of about 15 minutes when the witness went to get a roll of blankets.

Mrs. James testifies that she was in or near this tent from the time it was put up until 10 o’clock in the evening of the 19th of October, and neither Capt. French or the witness Jones came into the tent. There is nothing to corroborate the testimony of Jones and without it he must be branded as a perjured tool of those who instigated this prosecution.

The 3rd specification of the 4th charge is that I became so drunk at Cedar Creek in the presence of two laundresses as to be unable to walk without assistance.

The prosecution has failed to present to the Court one scintilla of evidence in support of this specification. No one, not even the man who accompanied the accused to camp on this occasion, testified that I needed or asked his assistance in going to camp, but it is in evidence that I had wounds which disabled me to the extent that when riding in a cramped position, as I did the day I rode to Cedar Creek, or River, the effect was to make me limp and suffer bodily pain from this source.

Lieut. Spillman testifies on this occasion he believed me to be unfit to perform my duty as Commanding Officer of the detachment. On this evening, gentlemen, the evidence of the same officer shows that I was ill at this time, and the Court is in possession of the facts surrounding me on this occasion, where I drank, what I drank, and how much I drank. I was not on duty at this time and the evidence of the citizen Allen, the laundress, Mrs. James, Corporal McCann and the driver Harvey, are all to the effect that at no time during my stay at the saloon at Cedar River, or when I left with Corporal McCann was I under the influence of liquor. And the Court will remember that Lieut. Spillman gave me some stimulant on this night believing that I needed it. In fact, I was to all intents and purposes, under medical treatment, though the treatment was administered by myself and Lieut. Spillman.

End summary by Captain French.

Attachment

Gentlemen of the General Court Martial General Court Martial Rooms And the Reviewing Authority Fort A. Lincoln, D. T. February 11, 1879 Gentlemen:

Having had due time for seclusion and reflection, and having wholly quit the use of stimulants, I solemnly promise to wholly abstain while in the military service of the United States, from alcoholic fluids of all kinds and natures whatsoever, for the faithful performance of which I pledge my sacred honor as an officer.

Very respectfully, T. H. FRENCH Captain, 7th Cavalry

EXHIBIT “V”

Summary by the Judge Advocate

The Judge Advocate desires to call the attention of the Court to the evidence of Gilbert, one of the witnesses brought to impeach the testimony of Frank Jones, colored witness for the prosecution. Gilbert swears positively he was absent after his blankets for fifteen minutes and that on that time Jones could not have left the fire where he, Gilbert, left Jones without his, Gilbert’s knowledge.

Mrs. Fanny James, a witness for the defence, testifies that Mrs. Egan was in the ambulance when Sergeant Cunningham got the drinks of liquor in the two small glasses. The accused swore there were two women in the ambulance. Mrs. James swore she was in the wall tent until ten o’clock, then she had a disturbance with Mrs. Egan and left the tent. She saw the accused at this time. Afterwards she said it was about half past seven. The accused swore he left camp at about six o’clock that evening. Mrs. James swore she saw the accused at six o’clock when the tent was put up. So that by her testimony the accused was at or near the tent at six o’clock, half past seven o’clock and ten o’clock. How reliable her testimony from memory is shown by her answer as compared with other testimony to the question in reference to the day the accused rode in the ambulance to Cedar River. What kind of a day was it? It was a very pleasant day. The testimony of this witness as also that of those brought to impeach the character of Frank Jones, demands careful scrutiny. Mere personal opinions are not evidence of general character, especially when such opinions are based on transactions between the parties. The time when one hears rumors, is fairly entitled to consideration lest they be mostly heard after it is known the party about whom they are circulated has become a witness. I refer to group testimony. I ask the Court to reread the deposition of Mrs. De Rudio. It being unnecessary to comment on the value of negative as compared with positive testimony, the Judge Advocate submits the case with these few remarks to the final determination of the Court.

J. S. POLAND Captain, 6th Infantry Judge Advocate

END EXHIBITS

Attachment #1

Adjutant General Townsend New York City Washington 46 West 14th St. February 12, 1879

Dear General:

I have to request the leniency of the President of the U. S. and the Chief of the War Department for my nephew, Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th Cavalry, who has got into a bad scrape.

He was severely wounded in the war of the rebellion and he has behaved well in one or more affairs with the hostile Indians.

He is a good son and a good brother.

Very respectfully yours,

MARTIN BURKE Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. A. Retired

Attachment #2

The Judge Advocate General Fort A. Lincoln, D. T. U. S. Army February 19, 1879 Washington Sir:

I have the honor to enclose copies of Par. 2, Special Orders No. 145 of 1878, of Special Orders No. 154, 1878, of Special Orders No. 11 of 1879, and of Extract of Special Orders No. 12 of 1879 (all these orders already included in this transcription on other pages - Editor), all from Headquarters Department of Dakota. I have not been furnished with a copy of the telegram which revoked the revocation contained in Special Orders No. 12 of 1879, but one must be attached to the record as the Court concluded my trial on the 11th instant.

I ask that these orders may be retained and examined in your office in connection with the record of proceedings in my case, should the latter be forwarded to Washington, especially in regard to the following points:

1. Special Order No. 11, January 30th 1879, which adds five members to the detail cannot be attached to the record, because it was not presented nor read to the Court, and I was kept in ignorance of its existence until after the conclusion of the trial.

2. No one of these additional members was present before, nor was any one of them excused from attendance by the Court, this notwithstanding the fact that all were at or near this post during the trial.

3. That the Judge Advocate, having failed to take any notice whatever of that order, cannot have accounted for the absence of these duly appointed members on the record.

4. That the absence of these members - all of whom have known me well for many years, and who all know perfectly well whatever good qualities I may possess - was a great injustice to me - I mean concerning a recommendation to clemency in case of conviction.

5. That, even if it had been used, Special Orders No. 11 is inoperative. This order nearly doubles the detail (Captain Roberts being absent), and I was entitled to have thirteen members, unless no others could be detailed without manifest injury to the service. No such averment is made in Special Orders No. 11. I also call attention to Circular, A. G. 0., September 23, 1870.

Since writing the above I have received a copy of Special Orders No. 16, 1879, Headquarters, Department of Dakota, which is enclosed.

I am very respectfully Your obedient servant,

T. H. FRENCH Captain, 7th Cavalry

Attachment #3

To the Headquarters Judge Advocate General, Department of Dakota U. S. Army, St. Paul, Minn. Washington, D. C. February 26, 1879 General:

I have the honor to inform you that the record of trial in the case of Captain Thomas H. French, 7th U. S. Cavalry, was this day forwarded to your address, by registered mail.

Very respectfully Your obedient servant, ALFRED H. TERRY Brigadier General, U. S. A. Commanding  

PUBLISHED FINDINGS:

GENERAL COURT MARTIAL ) HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Orders No. 19 ) Adjutant General Office

Washington, March 26, 1879

I. Before a General Court Martial which convened at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, January 13, 1879, pursuant to Special Orders No. 145, dated December 9, and No. 154, dated December 31 1879, Headquarters Department of Dakota, St. Paul, Minnesota, and of which Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Gilbert, 7th Infantry, is President, was arraigned and tried -

Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry

CHARGE I - “Violation of the 38th Article of War.”

Specification 1st - “In this: that he, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th U. S. Cavalry, being on duty in command of his company in the field, marching from Camp J. G. Sturgis, Dakota, to Camp Ruhlen, Dakota, and under orders to report with his company to the commanding officer of Camp Ruhlen, D. T., was on his arrival at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., drunk, on or about the 29th of August, 1878.” Specification 2nd - “In this: that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th Cavalry, being on duty in the field, conducting a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry and a wagon train from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., was drunk. This at or near Cedar River station, on the Bismarck road to Deadwood, D .T., on the 24th day of October, 1878.” Specification 3rd - “In this: that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, being on duty in the field, conducting a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry and a wagon train from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., was drunk. This on the Bismarck road to Deadwood, D. T., on or about the 23rd day of October, 1878, and at a point about ninety miles from Bismarck, D. T.” Specification 4th - “In this: that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, while on duty as officer of the day at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., was drunk. This on or about the 7th day of November, 1878.”

CHARGE II - “Violation of the 15th Article of War.”

Specification - “In this: that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, being on duty in the field, conducting a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry and a wagon train from Fort A, Lincoln, D. T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., did, at or near Heart River, D. T., about twenty miles from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T. , on or about the 20th day of October, 1878 , leave his said command without official reason or necessity, taking with him one horse belonging to the United States, and, after an absence of two days without authority from his command, did return to it by stage on the Bismarck and Deadwood road, about ninety miles from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., without the said horse, he, Captain French being unable to state where the said horse then was, it being then lost to the service of the United States through the said Captain French’s willful misconduct and neglect. This at or near the places on or about the dates above specified.”

CHARGE III - “Breach of arrest, in violation of the 65th Article of War.”

Specification - “In this: that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, having been placed in close arrest by his commanding officer, Major H. M. Lazelle, 1st U. S. Infantry, did willfully and knowingly violate such arrest by visiting without permission the trader’s store of the camp. This at Camp Ruhlen, D. T., on or about the 11th day of November, 1878.”

CHARGE IV - “Conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.”

Specification 1st - “In this: that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, having been placed in close arrest by his commanding officer, Major H. M. Lazelle, 1st U. S. Infantry, and having knowingly violated such arrest by visiting the store of the post trader, did there ask Mr. W. S. Fanshaw to say, if any questions were asked concerning his, Captain French’s visit to the trader’s store, that he, Captain French, was messing at the store, which was not the fact, as at the time he, the said Captain French, was messing at the officers’ mess of the camp. This at or near Camp Ruhlen, D. T., on or about the 11th day of November, 1878.” Specification 2nd - “In this: that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, being on duty in the field, conducting a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry and a wagon train from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., did go to an ambulance containing two laundresses of his command, and there repeatedly drink whiskey or other intoxicating liquor with one of them (a Mrs. Egan) out of the same cup, she, the said Mrs. Egan, being under the influence of liquor at the time. This in the presence of the driver of the ambulance, an enlisted man; and the said Captain Thomas H. French did afterwards, on the same day, enter the tent of the said Mrs. Egan, and there drink intoxicating liquor with her, or in her presence. All this at or near and in the presence of the camp of a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, on the Bismarck road, near Heart River, and on or about the 19th day of October, 1878.” Specification 3rd - “In this: that Captain Thomas H. French, of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, being on duty in the field, conducting a detachment of the 7th U. S. Cavalry and a wagon train from Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., to Camp Ruhlen, D. T., did get into an ambulance containing two laundresses, and, leaving his command, drive on eighteen miles, or thereabouts, to a ranch at or near Cedar River on the Bismarck road, and there, in the presence of the driver, an enlisted man, and in the company of one or both of the laundresses aforesaid, get so drunk that it became necessary for an enlisted man to support him to his tent in the presence of his command. This on or about the 24th day of October, 1878.” To which charges and specifications the accused, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th U. S. Cavalry, pleaded “Not Guilty.”

Finding

The Court, having maturely considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, as follows:

Charge I

Of the 1st specification, “Guilty.”

Of the 2nd specification, “Guilty.”

Of the 3rd Specification, “Not Guilty.”

Of the 4th specification, “Guilty.”

Of the Charge, “Guilty.”

Charge II

And its specification withdrawn.

Charge III

Of the specification, “Not Guilty.”

Of the Charge, “Not Guilty.”

Charge IV

Of the 1st specification, “Not Guilty.”

Of the 2nd specification, “Not Guilty.”

Of the 3rd Specification, “Guilty, except the words ‘so’ and ‘that it became necessary for an enlisted man to support him to his tent in the presence of his command,’ and of the excepted words Not Guilty.”

Of the Charge, “Guilty.”

Sentence

And the Court does therefore sentence him, Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, “To be dismissed from the service of the United States.”

II. The record of the proceedings of the General Court Martial in the foregoing case of Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, having been forwarded to the Secretary of War and by him submitted to the President of the United States for his action, the following are his orders thereon, viz:

Executive Mansion March 22, 1879 These proceedings, findings, and sentence of the General Court Martial in the case of Captain Thomas H. French, 7th Cavalry, are approved.

On the recommendation of the Department Commander and of a majority of the Court, the sentence is commuted “to suspension from rank” on half-pay for one year.”

R. B. Hayes III. By direction of the Secretary of War, the sentence is mitigated in the case of Captain Thomas H. French,

7th Cavalry, will take effect April 15, 1879.

BY COMMAND OF GENERAL SHERMAN: E. D. TOWNSEND Adjutant General GENERAL COURT MARTIAL ) HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY ORDERS No. 17 ) Adjutant General’s Office Washington, March 12, 1880

By direction of the Secretary of War, the unexecuted portion of the sentence of a General Court Martial, promulgated on General Court Martial Orders No. 19, March 26, 1879, from this office, in the case of Captain

Thomas H. French, U. S. Army, retired, is remitted.

BY COMMAND OF GENERAL SHERMAN: E. D. TOWNSEND Adjutant General

History


QR Code
QR Code court_martial_thomas_french (generated for current page)
 

Advertise with Anonymous Ads