James Edwin (“Ed”) Humes, my great-great-uncle, served in the Missouri State Guard in the first year of the Civil War, then (like most of the Guard) transferred to the Confederate army. He was a sergeant in the 2nd Missouri Infantry until Vicksburg; after that he appears to have returned to Virginia, where he joined the 1st Missouri Cavalry company, the only Missouri unit in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

This document records the court martial that considered charges of stealing a gun, brought against Ed and William B. Dudley in 1862. The charges were dropped.

These pages are found in the Compiled Service Record of William B. Dudley, Private, Co. D, 2nd Missouri Infantry, CSA. The pages there are out of order. numbers in angle brackets below represent the current order of the pages; numbers in round brackets are the original page numbers in the upper margin.


<p.2>

Court Room June 30 1862
The Court met persuant to adjournment. Present:
Col. J.W. Portis, president
Lt. Col. A.S. Holland
Lt. Col. Alex. Greene
Lt. Col. Jas Gordon
Major H. Yates
Capt. W.W. Weir
Capt. W.E.Tunner
Capt. J.C. Mitchell
Capt. C.F. Rogers
Capt. J.H. Fields
Lt. W. P. Evans Judge advocate

The Court being called to order by the president the judge advocate presented and read the following Charge and specifications against Sergt J.E. Humes of Co. D, 2d Mo Reg.

Charge

Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline

1st Specification, in this, that he Sergt J.E. Humes of the 2d Mo Reg Co. D. as returning to duty June 13 1862, at guard post No 1, took a gun from a Stack of guns and when ordered to halt by the Sentinel on guard refused to do so; And when the guard took hold of the gun said Sergt. Humes kept the <p.3> (2) gun by force.

2d Specification. in this, that the said Sergt J.E. Humes, 2d Mo. Reg. Co. D. on the 14th of June 1862, before the Provost Marshalls door in Columbus, Miss., Claimed the gun taken from W.B. Dudley at the Depot on the night of June 13 1862, as his, which is the property of T.J. Hines, private in 29th Miss. Reg. Co K.

(signed) J.C. Cummings
Camp Bluett Hospital

And upon the same being heard and understood by the Court, the judge advocate announced that from the Synopsis of the testimony furnished him by the prosecution, and from having conversed with a portion of the witnesses, he did not think, the said prosecution could be sustained by the evidence, to him submitted. And knowing of no further testimony to sustain the charge and specifications he respectfully recommended to the Court that the same be dismissed. And by request of the Court then made he proceed [sic] to read the Synopsis of the testimony submitted to him by <p.4> (3) the prosecution in the following words and figures. Viz:

M.C.Sidebottom, 2d Mo Reg Co D.
States as follows:
We were ordered up to head quarters and after remaining there some time, Sergt Humes said I left my gun at the tent, I will go and get it. I went with him to the tent and he got the gun out of said tent. The gun had been in the tent Several days. I didn’t know where he got it, the reg he is with is not armed with the kind of gun he had. He brought Said gun up to head quarters, but having other baggage to Carry he gave the gun to Wm Dudley to carry. I marched in the same file with said Humes, and did not see him take a gun on the way. I heard the sentinel say halt to some one but did not know who he addressed.

R.P. Shaw 30th Miss Reg. Co E.
States as follows:
The evening as I left the Camps we were sitting near head quarters and one of the Soldiers near me <p.1> (4)
had an old flint lock muscet. He said that may not the gun be brought here and he intended to have his gun before he left or one as good. about a half a mile from Camp one of the Soldiers had a gun with a bayonet on it he Stopped and knocked it off.

J.O. Alexander 19th S.C. Reg. Co C.
States as following.
About 10 minutes before the squad of men returning to duty passed guard post No 1 I saw the gun that was taken away in the Stack. it was an Enfield Rifle. I Saw Saw [sic] Humes Claim the gun before the Provost-Marshalls office the following day.

J.E. Fordell 18th Tex. Reg Co D
States the following-
I was on guard post No 1 when the Squad passed returning to duty. A man about the Center of the Squad with a flintlock gun on his shoulder reached out and took a gun off of the store of guns, and I ordered him to halt which he refused to do, I then followed <8> (5) him and caught hold of the gun, but he wrenched it from me and carried it away with him. I do not know the man.

N.H. Husband, 19th S.C. Reg Co E.
States as follows:
I saw the gun in the Stack about ten minutes before the squad of men passed through the lines, I was one of the guards, and went to supper and when I returned the gun was gone. I had tried myself to knock the bayonet off the gun and couldn’t get it off.

G.N. Farris, 30th Miss Reg Co A.
States as follows:
I was in the Squad that was leaving and saw a man that had a gun on his Shoulder take a gun out of a stack of guns Near guard post No 1 and hand it to a man in front of him with a white Shirt on no coat. The man he handed it to tried to get me to carry it for him after carrying the gun about a half mile I saw a man trying to knock the bayonet off of said gun I do not know either of the men.

<p.9>
(6)

Private Hines 29th Miss Reg
States as follows:
Before the Provost Marshall on the morning of – Inst Sergt Humes Claimed my gun as his.

Sergt T.N. Tindale 18th Tex Reg.
States as follows:
I was Sergt of the guard when one gun was taken

This was all the testimony. The folling [sic] is evidence for the defence as Stated to the judge advocate by the \following/ witnesses who were subpoenad on behalf of the defence.

B.W. Campbell 18 Ark Reg
States, I was in the Squad that was going off and heard a man on my right say, that I am going to get my gun and he Stepped out of ranks and got a gun, the guard ordered him to halt I do not know whether he halted or not, I know this was not Sergt Humes.

Capt Webb
States, He was officer of the day on the occasion spoken of Sergt Humes being an <p.10> (7) acquaintance of his, walked with him from head quarters some distance beyonnd [sic] guard post No 1, and knows that he took no gun from off the stack of guns near guard post No 1 at that time.

These were all the witnesses with whom the judge advocate conversed in reference to the case.

All of which being heard and understood by the court it was ordered that the recommendation of the judge advocate be adopted, and that the charge and specifications be dismissed for want of sufficient testimony to sustain them.

The Charge and Specification
preferred against W.B. Dudley
Private Co D 2d Mo Reg
in the following words and figures Viz,

Charge

Conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline.

Specification, in this, that he private N Dudley of 2d Mo Reg Co D <p.7> (8) between guard post No 1 and the Commissary house June 13th 1862 received the gun which Sergt Humes took from guard post No 1, and carried it to the depot, thereby aiding and abetting Sergt Humes in conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline

By order of J.C. Cummings
Surgeon, Bluetts Hospital

And the said charge and specification being heard and understood by the Court, and the Court being advised by the Judge advocate that inasmuch as the charge against the principal had not been sustained by the evidence, that it would be improper to proceed with the charge against the accessory, and recommended that the said charge & specifications be dismissed. Which being understood by the Court, the recommendation of the judge advocate was by them adopted, and the case dismissed from further consideration.

John W. Portis Col. Com
42 Regt. Ala Vol President
of Court
W.P.Evans
Judge Advocate

<p.5> [back of following page]
D20
June 30, 1862
H29
W.B. Dudley Priv
and J.C. [sic] Humes
Sergt. Co. D 2d Mo. Regt.

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The Proceedings

How errors so derogatory to the intelligence of the Judge Advocate, and of the Court, and so numerous, could have been committed, it is difficult to conceive.

Such ignorance is disgraceful \inexcusable/, and adds to the evils, Courts Martial are intended to correct.

When the evidence is not sufficient to substantiate the charges or the charges are defective, it is the duty of the Judge Advocate not to present the case; having done so, the court can only act on the evidence itself, and not on the mere statement of an irresponsible person.

Braxton Bragg
Genl Cmdg.
[pencil note:] Need not be published. PWJ[?]