To the third specification to the THIRD CHARGE, Not guilty.
To the fourth specification to the THIRD CHARGE, Guilty.
To the THIRD CHARGE, Not guilty.
FINDING AND SENTENCE.
The court finds the accused as follows:
Of the specification to the FIRST CHARGE, Guilty.
Of the FIRST CHARGES, Guilty.
Of the first specification to the SECOND CHARGE, Not guilty.
Of the second specification to the SECOND CHARGE, Guilty.
Of the SECOND CHARGE.-The court being of the opinion that the defendant is guilty of conduct unbecoming "an officer," but being unprepared to say that his conduct is unbecoming "a gentleman," find him Not guilty of the charge as laid, but find him Guilty of conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline.
Of the first specification to the THIRD CHARGE, Guilty.
Of the second specification to the THIRD CHARGE, Guilty.
Of the third specification to the THIRD CHARGE, Not guilty.
Of the fourth specification to the THIRD CHARGE, Confirms his plea and finds him Guilty.
Of the THIRD CHARGE, Guilty.
And does therefore sentence him, Colonel J. B. Turchin, Nineteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, to be dismissed the service of the United States.
II. The proceeding of the court are approved, and in pursuance of its sentence Colonel J. B. Turchin, of the Nineteenth Illinois Regiment, ceases to be in the service of the United States.*
Six members of the court have recommended the prisoner to clemency, on the ground that "the offense was committed under exciting circumstances, and was one rather of omission than of commission." The general commanding has left constrained nevertheless to carry the sentence into effect.
Colonel Turchin was tried for the disorderly conduct of his command at and in the vicinity of Athens, and the sentence of the court rests on that matter alone, but on the question of clemency it is proper to look beyond the record of the court. It is fact of sufficient notoriety that similar disorders, though not to the same extent, have marked the course of Colonel Turchin's command wherever it has gone. The question is not whether private property may be used for the public service, for that is proper whenever the public interest demand it. It should then be done by authority and in an orderly way. The wanton and lawless indulgence of individuals in acts of plunder and outrage is a different matter, tending to the demoralization of the troops and the destruction of their efficiency. Such conduct does not mean vigorous warfare; it meas disgrace and disaster, and is punished with the disorders were committed were precisely those which demanded the strictest observance of discipline. The command was supposed to be in the presence of an enemy that might take advantage of any confusion in its ranks. Every man should have been at his post instead of roaming over the town and country to load himself with useless plunder. In point of fact the criminality is not so much that good order was violated
*On August 5, 1862, Colonel Turching was appointed brigadier-general Unites States Volunteers. He accepted commission September 1, 1862, and remained in service till October 4, 1864.