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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: Century-Old Disservice Gets Honorable Revision

It is always a gfood idea to carefully read the supporting documents.
The following are quotes from the decision of the Army Baroad for the Correction of Military Records to grant Chaplain Henry V. Plummer a posthumous honorable discharge:

",,,,the evidence is not there to prove that the chaplain was treated unfairly or unjustly in the preferral or the investigation of charges, the court-martial proceedings, conviction, review of the proceedings, or his ultimate dismissal from the Army. There is no error in this case of an injustice done to the chaplain. The preeponderance of evidence does not support counsel's [the lawyers who filed the Plummer peition with the board] contention of injustice."

But..... and here comes the "Nevertheless":

"...the Chplain's service to his country during the Civil War abd, his faithful and honorable servcice during his ten years with the 9th Cavalry appeared not to have been taken in account, nor his particular station throughout his service with the 9th--a black chaplain socially rejected by his fellow officers."

and

"The Chaplain's good post service conduct is shown by comments in the numerous appeals on hius behalf, and support for him continued throughout his lefe. His patriotism and love of country are reflected by his appeals to serve his country during the war with Spain in l898, to serve in one of the "immune" regiments, and to serve in the Philippines after the war."

So, the army board concluded:

"Therefore, giving due consideration to the chaplain's service to his country,....it would be altogether fitting to remove the stigma connecterd with his dismissal from the service."

"Thus, it would be appropriate and just to correct the chaplain's records to show that he was honorably discharged from the Army on November l0, l894, as [and the following in caps are mine, not the army board's for emphasis] A MATTER OF EQUITY."

But then comes the final "however" which reads:

"There is, however, no error or injustice in this case with reference to the record of trial by court-martial. Consequently, the reguest [made in the peition for an honorable discharge submitted to the army baord]to remove the record of trial by court-martial from official military records is not granted."

Clearly the army board split the baby of this one. Seems to me that only a herd of lawyers and politicans could have come up with a policy that allows the army board to rule that a soldier was fairly charged, tried, covicted and dismissed and that this record must stand--but yet a posthumous honorable discharge is permissible and approved as a matter of "equity."

Three cheers for the passage of time and a change of venue.

Messages In This Thread

Century-Old Disservice Gets Honorable Revision
Re: Century-Old Disservice Gets Honorable Revision

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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