Benson Williams September 20, 1863. Provenance: The book plate on the front endpapers is that of Edward M. Edward Matthews Crane (1922 - 2011) was an American publishing consultant and former president of the book publisher D. Van Nostrand Company (the firm that published the book in 1862).
Crane was a bibliophile who collected sporting and horse-related books. Very scarce copy of the first edition owned and signed by a Civil War officer whose court martial was the subject of a letter by President Lincoln (see below).Kenner Garrard September 21, 1827? May 15, 1879 was a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. A member of one of Ohio's most prominent military families, he performed well at the Battle of Gettysburg, and then led a cavalry division in the army of Major General William T. Sherman during the Atlanta Campaign. He developed a reputation for personal bravery and was cited for gallantry at the Battle of Nashville as an infantry division commander.
Garrard was born at his paternal grandfather's home in Bourbon County, Kentucky, while his mother was visiting there. His grandfather, James Garrard, was the second Governor of Kentucky. He was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and received a private education. He was the brother of fellow future Civil War generals Jeptha Garrard and Israel Garrard.
A first cousin, Theophilus T. Garrard, also became a Union general. Kenner Garrard briefly attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but withdrew in his sophomore year after accepting an appointment to the United States Military Academy. He graduated eighth in the Class of 1851 and was appointed a brevet second lieutenant in the 4th U. He soon transferred to the 1st U.In 1855, Garrard was transferred to the 2nd U. Cavalry as an adjutant to Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston and Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee, both future generals in the Confederate States Army. He was stationed in a variety of posts in the Southwest frontier, including in the New Mexico Territory. When the Civil War erupted in 1861, Garrard, by then a captain, was on duty in an outpost in Texas. As a loyal Unionist, he was imprisoned by Confederate authorities following the surrender of U.
He was allowed to travel back to the North. He made his way to Washington, D. In December 1861, he was appointed as Commandant of the U. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
After being formally exchanged on August 27, 1862, Garrard was appointed colonel of the 146th New York Infantry in the Army of the Potomac and took part in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, where he succeeded Brig. Weed (who was killed on Little Round Top) in the command of the 3rd Brigade of Maj. In December 1863 he was nominated for promotion to brigadier general with an effective date of July 23, 1863, commemorating the end of the pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. He was appointed as the major of the 3rd U.Cavalry in the regular army in November 1863, while continuing to hold the rank of brigadier general in the volunteer army. In December 1863, he was made Chief of the Cavalry Bureau in Washington, but was the next month, at his own request, relieved from that duty to take command of the 2nd Division of Cavalry in the Army of the Cumberland, and transferred to the Western Theater. Garrard took part in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign as a cavalry division commander, but failed to impress his superiors. Returning to the infantry, he participated in the Battle of Nashville, where he and his division performed well. Thomas cited Garrard for gallant conduct at Nashville. As a result, he was appointed a brevet major general of volunteers and brevet brigadier general in the regular army for his battlefield performance. He also received the brevet rank of major general in the regular army as of March 13, 1865, as part of the mass brevet appointments at the end of the war.
He ended the war in Alabama and was instrumental in the capture of Montgomery. Garrard remained in the regular army after the war ended as commander of the District of Mobile, but resigned on November 9, 1866. He devoted the rest of his life to civic affairs and historical studies. He served as Director of the Cincinnati Music Festival for several years.
He wrote: Nolan's System for Training Cavalry Horses (1862). He died in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the age of fifty-one and was interred in Spring Grove Cemetery. ----- Wikipedia The original owner of the book, whose signature appears in the front endpaper was John Benson Williams. Williams was born in Michigan in 1838.
He entered the US Military Academy at West Point in 1856 and graduated in May of 1861. In 1862 he was a 1st lieutenant with Third Infantry Division where he led Company G.
After the Battle of Gaines Mills (June 27, 1862) he was charged with Violation of the Fifty-second Article of War, which provided: Any officer or soldier who shall misbehave himself before the enemy, run away, or shamefully abandon any fort, post, or guard which he or they may be commanded to defend, or speak words inducing others to do the like, or shall cast away his arms or ammunition, or who shall quit his post or colors to plunder and pillage, every such offended, being duly convicted thereof, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a general court martial. At the trial he was exonerated of that severe charge but was found guilty of being absent without leave. A fuller account if the incident, taken from the online history of the Third Infantry, is cited below . Although there is some information elsewhere that he was dismissed from his service in February 1863, this is doubtful since by the end of the war he attained the rank of Major. Williams who had been married in Washington, D.
On 08 February 1862 to Kate Elizabeth Atkinson moved with his family to Quebec, Canada. He was recorded in the 1881 Quebec census as residing in Quebec. He worked there as a civil engineer and died in Quebec in 1903.
One of the consequences of Williams? 1862 court martial was a letter written by President Lincoln on March 18, 1863 and addressed to the Judge Advocate General, Joseph Holt. Lincoln requests his Judge Advocate General to investigate the "Strong Mitigating Circumstances" surrounding the court-martial of a member of the West Point Class of 1861. John Benson [Williams], of the 3rd regular infantry, has been sentenced by a Military Commission, to be dismissed the service. I have some reason to believe there are strong mitigating circumstances in his case, which the Commission perhaps, did not deem competent for them to consider, I will thank you to procure the record, examine it and report it to me.
" Holt forwarded Lincoln's letter to the Adjutant General, noting that "No record or report in regard to [the Williams case] has been received at this office. After studying the record, Holt made a lengthy report to Secretary of War Stanton, March 30, 1863, which survives in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Holt dismissed the "mitigating circumstances" referenced by Lincoln - Williams's supposedly "severe sickness" - and concluded that It is evident that Lieut. [He] has shown himself disqualified for the profession of arms." On April 8th, Stanton, in turn forwarded Holt's deposition to the President, "as requested by his note on the 18th Ulto. Lincoln ended the matter with his own terse endorsement on April 11th: I decline to interfere in Behalf of Lieut. Although referred to in Basler's note regarding Lincoln's endorsement, the letter does not appear in "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln". The Lincoln letter was recently auctioned by Sotheby's and it is currently being offered for sale elsewhere on the internet [Houle Rare Books].
NOTES  150 Years Ago in the Third Infantry Compiled by Greg Kostka Edited by Darrell Cochran July 7, 1862 Pursuant to Special Order No. 58 from the Headquarters of Sykes Division, a General Court Martial convenes in the camp of the First Brigade of the division for the trial of several Regular officers who face charges for misconduct during the Battle of Gaines Mill or the subsequent retreat. Lieutenant Colonel William Chapman of the Third Infantry, who commands the brigade, serves as president. First Lieutenant John Benson Williams of the Third Infantry is the fifth officer to be arraigned and tried before the court. Lieutenant Williams is charged with "Violation of the Fifty-second Article of War", which provided: Any officer or soldier who shall misbehave himself before the enemy, run away, or shamefully abandon any fort, post, or guard which he or they may be commanded to defend, or speak words inducing others to do the like, or shall cast away his arms or ammunition, or who shall quit his post or colors to plunder and pillage, every such offended, being duly convicted thereof, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a general court martial.
In his after-action report regarding the Battle of Gaines Mill, Captain Thomas Walker of the Third Infantry reported that at about 5 p. " on June 27th, he discovered that "Lieutenant Williams, commanding Company G was unaccountably missing, and that Sergt.
William Hessian, of the same company, had assumed command. This report becomes the basis for the specification supporting the severe charge against Lieutenant Williams, in that Williams did without authority, leave his Company and Regiment, while under fire of the enemy, about 5 O'Clock P. Williams argues in his defense that, although he did indeed leave the regiment and without explicit authorization, he left only because he was extremely ill. It is a difficult position for the officers of the tribunal since Lieutenant Williams is one of their own, not only a Regular officer, but a graduate of the Military Academy, West Point Class of May 1861.
The key finding of fact during the trial turns on the time of Williams' departure and what was happening on the battlefield at that time. The court decides that, since there was a brief lull in the fight in front of the Third Infantry about 5 p. Williams didn't technically leave "while under fire of the enemy". They drop that part of the specification and find him not guilty of a violation of the Fifty-second Article of War, even though that article refers to "misbehavior before the enemy", not just "misbehavior while under fire". Instead the court finds Williams guilty of the lesser offense of "absence without leave".Still, the sentence against Lieutenant Williams is not without its severity. He is to be reprimanded in orders by the General commanding the Division. The reprimand is issued by General Sykes in General Order No. 32, dated July 13th, and is reprinted here in its entirety: No more painful task can devolve upon the Commanding General than the necessity of carrying out the sentence prescribed.
To be brought to trial for'Violation of the Fifty-second Article of War', should be the cause of lasting mortification to a military man. Williams though freed from the imputation conveyed in that article, was found'Guilty' of absence without leave - and this, while his Company and Regiment was face to face with the foe. He may well remember the leniency of a Court Martial which subjects him to a reprimand.
During an Engagement, no contingency, but wounds, disability, or orders from competent authority can arise to separate any officer from his command. In the case of Lieut. Williams, neither of these necessities appear, and his own experience as a soldier taught him that his proper and only place was at the head of his men.
Sykes ends the reprimand by releasing Williams from arrest and returning him to duty. He resumes command of Company G. OR I 11(2):3651; National Archives, Prologue Magazine, Vol 27, No.
3 (1995); GCM M1105, KK700 (Davidson); E1101 RG391 (Williams) August 7, 1862 First Lieutenant Charles Hazlett of the Fifth Artillery submits a request to the Adjutant General of the Army of the Potomac seeking the assignment of First Lieutenant John Benson Williams of the Third Infantry to temporary duty with Battery D of the Fifth Artillery. Lieutenant Hazlett was a West Point classmate of Williams.
Hazlett commands the battery and is one of only two officers currently present with the battery, but he notes in his application that it is made at the request of Lieutenant Williams. Given his trial and conviction for misconduct during the Battle of Gaines Mill, it is not surprising that Lieutenant Williams would prefer new surroundings.
General George Sykes, commanding the Second Division, quickly puts an end to the matter: Lt Williams is, and has been, in command of his company for many months. His services there are much more needed they they can be with any battery in a subordinate position. (E1101 RG 391) August 30, 1862 - The Battle of Second Bull Run Report of Captain John D. Infantry I have the honor to report that on the 30th of August this regiment arrived on the old battle-field of Bull Run at about 7 o'clock a. A short time after the brigade was formed in line of battle in front of the Dogan house, and the regiment ordered forward as skirmishers, with orders to occupy the crest of the hill in our front, our left resting on the Alexandria and Warrenton turnpike.
We remained in this position about three hours, when I received orders to advance the line, which was promptly done. To effect this it was necessary to drive the enemy from some houses in front of our left. This was gallantly done by three companies, under the command of Lieutenant Sheridan, with loss of 2 men killed and 3 wounded. Our line of skirmishers then connected with those of the Pennsylvania Reserves (the Bucktails) on our left and General Butterfield's on our right.
At about 4.30 p. The attack was made by our troops on the right, and a short time after a movement was observed on our left among the skirmishers of the Pennsylvania Reserves, which ended in their retiring entirely from their position. This was immediately reported to General Sykes, who directed me to occupy the same ground with my skirmishers, which was accordingly done. The skirmishers of the Third Infantry then occupied all the open ground in front, extending from wood to wood. The left of our line of skirmishers was hotly pressed at this time, but the line was held until the movement on our right commenced.
I then assembled the skirmishers on the right of the turnpike and retired by it, having directed the skirmishers on the left of it to join me. This they were unable to do, but under Lieutenant Sheridan they assembled on Colonel Warren's brigade, and were with them in the fierce engagement which they had on the left.
With all the men of my regiment I could get together I joined the brigade, which I found formed in front of the Henry and Robinson houses. Shortly after we were ordered forward to engage the enemy, who were pressing our left. We had a short and close conflict at this point, and were finally forced to retire, which we did in good order.
Subsequently we moved to Centreville, arriving at 1 o'clock in the night. Lieutenant Sheridan's conduct came under my own observation, and was all that could be desired.He mentions with praise the conduct of Lieutenants Whitney and Eckert, the former wounded and the latter contused. Lieutenant Penrose was active and energetic. Sergeant Torpy, of Company H, with 10 men of that company, held one of the houses occupied by us against a vastly superior force, and only retired when half his men were wounded and the house surrounded. He was subsequently wounded and left on the field. Stanley Mourton, of Company H; Hopkins, of Company I; Litzinger, of Company K; Smith, of Company B; Hessian, of Company G; Coady, of Company F; Schafer, of Company E; Morris, of Company C; Hanley, of Company D, and Sergeants Flynn, Ackland, and Scully, of the regiment, are mentioned as having been distinguished for coolness and bravery during the entire contest.
Lieutenant Devoe, adjutant of the regiment, rendered me important service during the action, and behaved with the same indifference to danger which has distinguished him on former occasions. Our entire loss was 3 killed, 15 wounded, and 25 missing, many of whom were no doubt killed. The following officers were present in the action: Capt. Walker, acting field officer; Capt. Davies, Sixteenth Infantry, commanding Company D, Third Infantry; Acting Assistant Surgeon Hall, Second Lieut.
Frederick Devoe, adjutant of the regiment; First Lieut. Sheridan, commanding Company H; First Lient. Penrose, commanding Company B; First Lieut. Parker, commanding Company E; First Lieut.Williams, commanding Company G; First Lient. Page, commanding Company I; First Lient. Eckert, commanding Company C, contused; Second Lieut. Henry Asbury, commanding Company F; Second Lieut. John Whitney, commanding Company K, wounded; Second Lieut. Benson Williams entered the United States Military Academy in the year of 1856, graduating in May, 1861. He was stricken with paralysis on October 7 and died October 10, 1903.
[Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, Annual Reunion, June 14th 1904 Booklet]. Covers have soiling and fading, loss of gilt, bumped and worn corners, 0.3 inch wide piece of fabric missing from bottom of spine. Internal rear joint is weak but holding. Text and plates are complete with no tears and no loose pages but there are light dampstains on many pages affecting text and illustrations.
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