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Personal Sammelband of Army Court Martial Reports - Assembled and bound by John - 1838. 
Various locations, 1838-1852. 1/2 leather. This collection of 86 General Orders reports the results of important courts-martial conducted within the United States Army between 1838 and 1852. Each report ranges in size from one to 28 pages. All are in nice shape. The half-leather binding has been sympathetically rebacked. John Fitzgelrald Lee’s bookplate is inside the front cover. His penciled binding instructions are on a flyleaf, and two blanks have pencil notes identifying additional trial reports Lee wanted to include in the volume. Many of the reports are signed in ink by Roger Jones, the Adjutant General of the Army from 1825 to 1852, and six are signed by Samuel Cooper, who became the highest ranking Confederate general during the American Civil War. This volume was Lee’s personal reference collection of court martial reports, and no doubt many of them are of trials in which he participated including the famous 1848 mutiny court-martial of John Fremont (for declaring himself the Governor of California) where Lee served as the prosecuting attorney. Other important trials include the court-martial of Captain Seth Thorton after his unit of dragoons was captured by the Mexican Army sparking the Mexican-American War. The trials involved all of the major Army regiments and departments and were held throughout the country—including Florida (during the Seminole War), Texas (before statehood), Western territories, California—and in Mexico. In addition to suspensions and dismissals from service, suspensions of pay and rank, and confinement, more severe sentences (death by hanging and firing squad, branding, lashes with a cat-o-nine tails, etc.) were imposed upon enlisted soldiers for desertion, attempted murder, and murder. Many of the officers who were tried in these courts-martial went on to fame or notoriety including: Braxton Bragg, Don Carlos Buell, Ambrose Burnside, James Carleton, Rene DeRussy, William Harney, Nathaniel Lyon, Samuel Ringgold, James Ripley, Fayette Robinson, Alexander Shiras, and Charles S. Tripler. This reference collection of important court martial records collected by the military’s principal 19th century legal officer provides incredible window into rough-and-tumble, yet surprisingly refined, military life in antebellum America. (Short summaries of each court-martial will be provided with purchase.) The original office of the Judge Advocate of the Army was abolished in 1802 and the entire Judge Advocate General’s Corps was eliminated in 1821. After that time, line officers were detailed to serve as trial attorneys for courts-martial. Although Lee, a cousin of Robert E. Lee, was a graduate of West Point and an artillery officer, he had long hoped to become a lawyer and was frequently detailed to serve as a trial attorney at posts throughout the country. When the service decided to re-establish the position of Judge Advocate of the Army in 1849, Lee was the obvious choice. He served in the position until 1862 when the position was once more abolished. Just before his appointment as the Judge Advocate General, Lee served as an ordnance officer at the St. Louis Arsenal. His son, John Fitzgerald Lee, Jr. practiced law in the St. Louis after graduating from the University of Virginia and served as the president of the St. Louis Bar Association, president of the David Rankin School of Mechanical Trades, director of the St. Louis Public Library, and a member of the Washington University Board of Directors. In his later years, the senior Lee lived with his son in St. Louis where he died in 1884 and was buried in Cavalry Cemetery.
[Bookseller: Read 'Em Again Books, ABAA]
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