In the end, I think that Whittaker had no direct knowledge of Reno's conduct that he could testify to. He had done enough investigating to suggest in his letter to Corlett that Girard and Dr. Porter be called as witnessses to a possible Congressional investigation.
I went over the first day's proceedings. Since Whittaker had made accusations against Reno, Lee asked that court to decide whether Whittaker "shall be notified to be present and invited to suggest the names of any witnesses in the case, or to suggest any other evidence that will throw light on this investigation." The Court decided that Whittaker should be subpoenaed on that basis. Apparently he was not specifically subpoenaed as a witness.
Whittaker would have been useless as a witness. His "evidence" would be based on hearsay. He was not at the LBH and he could add nothing to the proceedings.
In addition Whittaker tried to get info out of Weir, but Weir refused. Whittaker also supposedly spoke to Frett & Churchill prior to the COI. I don't think he would be able to use their statements as a witness, so he may have "coached" them in what to say regarding Reno's behavior.
From an article written by one Robert Newton Price and appearing in the Philadelphia Times, March 13, 1879:
"CUSTER AND RENO"
"... [Whittaker] announced, or caused to be announced, that he had in his possession an affidavit of his ghostly ally's [CPT Weir], setting forth that Custer was overwhelmed because of the treachery and cowardice of Reno and Benteen.... On invitation to produce the potent paper he declined. Two reasons effectively influenced its suppression; the first and merely nominal one was, that Weir had never made the affidavit alleged; the second and material drawback was the presence of Captain Charles Braden, late of the Seventh.... This gentleman was in Chicago to testify that he had been a guest at the same hotel in New York with Weir... and that Weir had frequently complained that Whittaker was constantly pestering him to sign a paper which stated that Reno failed to assist Custer when he could have done it, and was therefore responsible for the massacre. He further expressed not only his intention of not doing it, but expressed his opinion of the self-sacrificing patriot who made the proposal in the strongest language and most emphatic eloquence of a trooper."
Well, perhaps it was a Frigian slip or a spinickerism. "Quart" was actually what I typed; "youse" was something I wrote in longhand a long time ago while at work. The latter comes I suppose from the fact that to a New Yorker "use" and the plural for "you" are homonyms.
If Reno had left things alone and stayed clear of the bottle, he would have died when he did as a Lt. Col. of Cavalry. His actions had been critized in print. No one in the Army was coming after him for what he did at the LBH. If you're looking for justice the last place to go is to any kind of court, you might get even more of it than you think you deserve.
Post by benteeneast on Jun 5, 2008 19:24:27 GMT -5
I downloaded it for free and it does have the court information at the end of the dictionary
A military dictionary and gazetteer: Comprising ancient and modern military technical terms, historical accounts of all North American Indians, as well ... also gives valuable geographical information by Thomas Wilhelm (Unknown Binding - 1881) 1 Used & new from $125.00
Post by benteeneast on Jun 5, 2008 19:43:33 GMT -5
You need to find someone with high speed. I downloaded it for free. Page 655 in the Articles of War discusses the court of Inquiry. I states that the officer must request it. It describes duties and authorities. I have it as a PDF file but I don't know how to copy one page and paste it.
PM me and I will copy it to a CD and send it to you.
Thank you. Let's hold of for a few weeks until something developes on the computer front.
I have the 1861 Regulations and Articles of War. A. V. Kautz in one of his books has a section on courst of inquiry so I know that in 1865 they were conducted under the 91st and 92nd Articles of War. They don't really mention rules of evidence. They may have been absolutely the same as for a court-martial, but I don't know.
John Ford's "Sergeant Rutledge" notwithstanding there appears to have been no "Manual of Courts-Martial" at the time.
It appears to me from the Rules of War section that a Court of Inquiry was the forum where an officer could clear his name or not. It was initiated by the officer and it looks like the procedures were similar to a court martial. So I think it is not like a Grand Jury which was my original thoughts.
So the real question is did the Army and not Reno hand select the Recorder and Judges with some prejudice. The could have guessed that 7th would in most part stick together or court martial would have been initiated all ready. Did the Army screen the witnesses called by the Recorder?