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THE COURT-MARTIAL OF LT. COL. CHARLES T. TROWBRIDGE
by Cheryl Trowbridge-Miller

"Going through  the military file of Charles T. Trowbridge, I read that he'd been court martialed - twice! What? Our beloved colonel? The story gets better. It seems that the father of a confederate soldier wrote a letter to President Johnson and to a Brigadier General stating that the colonel had ordered the execution of his son, but that the son had committed no crime. The son had been on a train and there was a "colored" man on the train, so the son ordered the man off the train as there were "ladies on the train." The "colored" man, a soldier in the regiment of the colonel, refused to exit the train, so the son was forced to stab him. Then, in the goodness of his heart, he allowed more colored men to get on the train to remove their friend. BUT NO - they removed the son and took him to the colonel, told the colonel the story and inquired as to what they might do.

Colonel Trowbridge ordered the man tied to a tree, had his men line up, then shouted "Fire!" 'Nough said.   The father goes on to write that failure to court martial and indict the colonel for murder would bring nothing but "dishonor to the South."  He is fully acquitted in the first court martial which thoroughly upsets the Brigadier General and he orders that there be a second court martial and a murder trial. All the while they actually have the colonel locked in a prison. He is acquitted a second time AND the jury finds that the colonels military title should be restored, and that he must be given back payment for all the while that he had been stripped from his command.  

The official record of the Brigadier General states that he finds it incredulous and insane that the colonel has been acquitted twice, and he goes on to say that he'd order a third hearing if he thought he could find a jury to convict him, after all there were "ladies on the train", but feared he'd be unable to. He writes, "I am FORCED to release... and to pay ..."

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