Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1, 1863 (Saturday): Polk and Hindman Charged

General Leonidas K. Polk

RICHMOND, October 1, 1863.
Near Chattanooga, Tenn.:
     Your dispatch, stating you had suspended Generals Polk and Hindman from command, received. I am directed to inform you that the power of a commanding general in such cases is limited to arrest and to the furnishing charges in order to trial, and that suspension from command as above be considered punishment without trial.

      S. COOPER,
      Adjutant and Inspector General.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 30, Part 2, Page 60.

Bragg had sent Polk and Hindman away from their commands on September 29 for failing to be prompt in attacking as ordered at Chickamauga.  In the end, nothing would come of the charges.  Polk and Hindman would be sent to other commands.  In February the unpopular Bragg would be relieved.  Long since he had lost the confidence of the generals in his army.  An interesting point of military justice presents itself here.  Often senior officers were placed in arrest by their commanders (Stonewall Jackson, for one, was a frequent practicioner of this method).  But they were not sent away from their commands, and seldom did the cases ever come to courts martial.


  1. It is now 19 October. It this site no longer going to be updated?

  2. Thanks, got behind for a variety of reasons and I am now in the process of catching up. Going to see this through until the end!