“A Case of Murder”
Perhaps the most unpleasant duty for Grant is selection of a list of officers available for the court martial of one Col. Michael K. Lawler, commander of the 18th
Within three days, the soldiers selected a jury of 12 men, tried the accused murderer, and hanged him. It was a kangaroo court and a hanging jury, and the whole thing smelled very bad to Grant’s superior, the fussy commander of the department of the
Now Halleck wants to try Lawler. But Lawler will beat the court martial and go on to great success in the war, eventually winning the brevet (honorary) rank of major general. And so justice, or at least the finer points of it, will give way to the pressures of war.
It was not the first time in this war nor will it be the last.