Getting Away With Murder - Jefferson C. Davis kills "Bull" Nelson

5fish

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Hummm… You have a general punching a governor... the snips come from @Jim Klag link above...

When the news of Nelson’s death reached some Ohio and Indiana regiments who disliked Nelson, the men cheered and threw their hats in the air. But Kentuckians were outraged at what many onlookers considered cold-blooded murder; some of them called for the immediate execution of Davis. Later in the day, Gen. Jerry Boyle confronted Governor Morton in front of Galt House and called him a murderer. The two men exchanged punches before bystanders separated them.

Lincoln stands silent... Its murder he should have order a court-martial.

At a cabinet meeting a few days later, a majority felt that Davis should be court-martialed—which was hardly a surprising recommendation. But Secretary of War Stanton stonily dismissed the suggestion. The president apparently said nothing. His close friendship with General Nelson’s brother makes his silence doubly baffling. There would seem to be only one explanation: War and politics had created an explosive situation that left Abraham Lincoln with no alternative but agonized silence.

The writer goes off the deep end...

Although few Civil War battles led to a successful pursuit, by either side, this time Lincoln was implacable. He removed Buell and replaced him with Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans. Ten days later, he also fired General McClellan, supposedly for permitting Robert E. Lee to withdraw his army to Virginia without pursuit and attack after his repulse at Antietam. The fact that Buell and McClellan had kept Maryland and Kentucky in the Union was brushed aside as irrelevant.

To the Union Army high command, the message was unmistakable. Henceforth, the Radical Republicans were in control of the war, and any general who did not satisfy them was in trouble. In this atmosphere, all talk of a court-martial for Jefferson C. Davis vanished. He was released and allowed to resume his rank and duty as a brigadier general.

It gets better...

Nelson’s murder was passed to the civil authorities in Louisville. A grand jury indicted Davis for manslaughter but his Radical Republican friends saw to it that he had the best legal counsel available. James Speed, who would become the president’s attorney general in late 1864, took the case. (His brother, Joshua, had been Lincoln’s closest friend in Springfield.) Speed and Thomas Gibson repeatedly asked for postponements until in May of 1864 the indictment was “stricken from the docket.”


Davis only got to keep his head but never a promotion or command...

Jefferson C. Davis spent the rest of the war leading a division in the Western army. General Rosecrans recommended promoting him to major general, but was ignored.

He stayed in the army for the rest of his life, for many years as colonel of the 23rd infantry. But Davis never became a Regular Army general, and rarely commanded troops again. He was sent all over—as far away as California and Alaska—on trivial assignments, including three years as a recruiting officer in New York City. Friends noticed he was frequently depressed. In the end, he appears to have realized he had committed a crime that most of his fellow officers found impossible to forgive.

My point is the article implies a conspiracy by the radicals of taking over the army but the main cog gets anything out of the deal. The article implies the radicals used the event to get the control of the army again doubtful.

I think they were worried that the radicals may cause Lincoln trouble if he moved against Morton or Davis in their war efforts.

The day after Nelson’s murder, Governor Morton left for Washington, D.C., where he had several meetings with President Lincoln and with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, an old friend. Morton did his utmost to convince the president that Nelson’s slaps had warranted Davis’s reaction, failing to mention that Davis had first flipped a hotel card into Nelson’s face.

Meanwhile, Morton was busy in Congress and elsewhere, telling everyone that the Emancipation Proclamation was crucial to winning the war. He made a speech on its behalf that won cheers from his listeners. One newspaper reported that some Washington admirers had “serenaded” Morton to express their enthusiasm. Morton was making it clear to Lincoln that the president needed his political support.
 

diane

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An interesting thing about William Nelson - his uncle was Alexander Doniphan, the lawyer/soldier/frontiersman who saved Mormor leader Joseph Smith from being executed without a trial and figured prominently in the Mormon Wars fighting against the same man - he has quite an illustrious legacy in Western history. The Toughest Man South of the Picket Wire was based on him - Tom Doniphon/John Wayne in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

Nelson was one of those commanders killed so early in the war he didn't have time to prove whether he was going to be good or not. He was at least as tough as his uncle, very much a bull and, no, not liked by his men. At that time in the war, most officers were elected by their men...Nelson might not have won! He'd started his career as a sailor, Annapolis graduate, and had a great deal of experience in a different area commanding a different type. How he came to be killed - he called Jefferson C Davis a puppy! Well...them's fightin' words. Davis got a gun and shot Nelson knowing he was wounded and unarmed, but also that he wasn't going to kill him any other way. As noted, the remarkable Gov Morton put in a good word for Davis, Lincoln needed officers and there it went. Apparently, at the time, killing someone who insulted you in this manner was not considered cowardly, as long as family honor was cleared!

My main problem, of several, with Jefferson C Davis comes many years after the Civil War - he came to California and finished the Modoc War...and the Modocs!
 

diane

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Isn't that a fine old classic? Lee Marvin was just the epitome of evil, too! (And, rumored to have the name Lee because he was kin to Robert!)
 

rittmeister

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Isn't that a fine old classic? Lee Marvin was just the epitome of evil, too! (And, rumored to have the name Lee because he was kin to Robert!)
the duke should have shot him, too
 

O' Be Joyful

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Isn't that a fine old classic? Lee Marvin was just the epitome of evil, too! (And, rumored to have the name Lee because he was kin to Robert!)
I visited his grave in Arlington, and took a moment when I was there. But he always claimed that he was never proud of being shot in the ass and always claimed the Purple-Heart missed... :D

I also visited Joe Louis and Sir Arthur Dill, and also others.

Remember The Maine!!!
 

rittmeister

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I visited his grave in Arlington, and took a moment when I was there. But he always claimed that he was never proud of being shot in the ass and always claimed the Purple-Heart missed... :D

I also visited Joe Louis and Sir Arthur Dill, and also others.

Remember The Maine!!!
joe louis was in the maine?
 

diane

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I visited his grave in Arlington, and took a moment when I was there. But he always claimed that he was never proud of being shot in the ass and always claimed the Purple-Heart missed... :D

I also visited Joe Louis and Sir Arthur Dill, and also others.

Remember The Maine!!!
Now that's interesting. I knew he was a Marine but didn't know he'd been buried in Arlington. Right in his kinsman's former front yard! Have a cousin on my dad's side is buried there. He got a Medal of Honor...posthumously. Threw himself on a grenade - Korean war - which didn't help him any but twelve other guys came home.
 

O' Be Joyful

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Now that's interesting. I knew he was a Marine but didn't know he'd been buried in Arlington. Right in his kinsman's former front yard! Have a cousin on my dad's side is buried there. He got a Medal of Honor...posthumously. Threw himself on a grenade - Korean war - which didn't help him any but twelve other guys came home.
I can not "like" that post, but I believe you know why.
 

O' Be Joyful

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Now that's interesting. I knew he was a Marine but didn't know he'd been buried in Arlington. Right in his kinsman's former front yard! Have a cousin on my dad's side is buried there. He got a Medal of Honor...posthumously. Threw himself on a grenade - Korean war - which didn't help him any but twelve other guys came home.
Lee Marvin was born on February 19, 1924, he served with the Marine Corps during World War II in the Pacific and was awarded a Purple Heart for a wound that he received there.
On his return, he became a movie actor and starred in a number of motion pictures until his death in Arizona on August 29, 1987.




Lee Marvin did enlist in the U.S. Marines, saw action as Private First Class in the Pacific during World War II, and was wounded (in the buttocks) by fire which severed his sciatic nerve. However, this injury occurred during the battle for Saipan in June 1944, not the battle for Iwo Jima, which took place several months later, in February 1945. (Marvin also did receive a Purple Heart, and he is indeed buried at Arlington National Cemetery.)


http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/lmarvin.htm
 
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