Pickett Pickett - after his charge

W. Richardson

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Jun 29, 2011
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Mt. Gilead, North Carolina
He executed Union prisoners of war. That's a war crime in anyone's book.


No he executed Confederate Deserters,.....Strange, in a forum on Sherman many said there was no such thing as a war crime at that time..........The old double standard rears it's head again. I suppose once again it depends on how one's wishes to interpret it.

Respectfully,

William
 
D

Deleted member 8452

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No he executed Confederate Deserters,.....Strange, in a forum on Sherman many said there was no such thing as a war crime at that time..........The old double standard rears it's head again. I suppose once again it depends on how one's wishes to interpret it.

Respectfully,

William
Good Point Mr. Richardson,

Had they not been identified as former confederate soldiers by the men they were captured by, they most likely would of not been hanged.
 

KeyserSoze

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Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Location
Kansas City
No he executed Confederate Deserters,.....Strange, in a forum on Sherman many said there was no such thing as a war crime at that time..........The old double standard rears it's head again. I suppose once again it depends on how one's wishes to interpret it.

Respectfully,

William

And it's the Southern side who argue that the Union's actions were nothing but. But let's get back to your point; murdering the POWs was OK because they were deserters. Well thousands of Southerners, officer and enlisted, left the Army and went to the Confederacy at the start of the rebellion. Would the Union have been in the right if they executed any of those they had gotten their hands on as deserters?
 
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Deleted member 8452

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And it's the Southern side who argue that the Union's actions were nothing but. But let's get back to your point; murdering the POWs was OK because they were deserters. Well thousands of Southerners, officer and enlisted, left the Army and went to the Confederacy at the start of the rebellion. Would the Union have been in the right if they executed any of those they had gotten their hands on as deserters?

Only 26 enlisted men of the Regular U.S. Army deserted and joined the Confederate Army when the civil war broke out.
 
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Joined
Jun 20, 2012
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Pacific Northwest
He executed Union prisoners of war. That's a war crime in anyone's book.
Mmm...not quite that simple. These men had deserted their own army and were now captured bearing arms in the uniform of another. Most countries would consider that a capital offense- including the United States. This is from the Lieber Code:

48. Deserters from the American Army, having entered the service of the enemy, suffer death if they fall again into the hands of the United States, whether by capture or being delivered up to the American Army; and if a deserter from the enemy, having taken service in the Army of the United States, is captured by the enemy, and punished by them with death or otherwise, it is not a breach against the law and usages of war, requiring redress or retaliation.
(Italics are mine)
 
D

Deleted member 8452

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Mmm...not quite that simple. These men had deserted their own army and were now captured bearing arms in the uniform of another. Most countries would consider that a capital offense- including the United States. This is from the Lieber Code:

48. Deserters from the American Army, having entered the service of the enemy, suffer death if they fall again into the hands of the United States, whether by capture or being delivered up to the American Army; and if a deserter from the enemy, having taken service in the Army of the United States, is captured by the enemy, and punished by them with death or otherwise, it is not a breach against the law and usages of war, requiring redress or retaliation.
(Italics are mine)

Thanks for sharing that well sourced information.
 
D

Deleted member 8452

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So it would be OK if the Union had hung them for desertion?

As Shadow stated above, the official U.S. Army laws punish desertion of soldiers by death, so technically yes if the Union army recaptured one of these 26 men and found out about their previous service, they may have decided to execute the soldiers for deserting.
 
Joined
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Location
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So it would be OK if the Union had hung them for desertion?
Well, according to the Lieber Code it would've been.
I readily concede that it wasn't in place at the beginning of the war, wasn't binding, and wasn't readily followed at all times- but it's useful as an insight into the mentality during the time. Even in 1861, it was recognized that taking up arms against your nation/state/comrades was not to be tolerated.
 
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