Clipped From Pensacola News Journal

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 - TRIAL OF MAd I i fHANCOCK Officer Stationed at...
TRIAL OF MAd I i fHANCOCK Officer Stationed at Fort i v Barrancas Being Tried At Atlanta Major W F JSancockstatiQned at Fort Barancas where he > wasattach ed to the coast artillery Js being If tried before a court martial at Atlanta Atlanta on a serious chaJge as will be seen by the following from the mornIng mornIng edition of the Atlanta Journal of yesterday The courtmratlal now engaged In trying Major W F Hancock coast ar tiliery corps U SA on a charge of having broken his pledge to abstain from drinking whisky was fesumed at3 oclock Monday afternoon after a forenoon session devoted to the preliminaries of the hearing Following several unsuccessful efforts efforts of the majors counsel to throw out the case on technical grounds the defendant pleaded not guilty both to the specification that is the formal arraignmentand also to the charge Itself It was soon evident from the tactics of his counsel that he intended to fight the case in every detail I The first witness to testify Monday atfernoon w Major George F barney barney I a member of the artillery cojjs j now stationed at Sandy Hook near I New York city Major Barney tested tested that in March and April 1906 he was in command at iort Casey Washington state near Port Townsend Townsend I The accused he said was then there in the rank of captain and from midnight March 26 1906 until the morning of March 28th was absent absent from the fort without leave of absence j On Captain Hancocks return said the witness he the witness warned him to abstain from drinking and endeavored endeavored to secure 4a pledge of abstinence 4 stinence from him Captain Hancock is reported to have replied that he would think it over Again on The morning of April 11th the witnesss testimony continued Captain Hancock was absent without leave of absence Major Barney then preferred charges he said and on the next day had Captain Captain Hancock arrested at the officers mess These charges were absence without leave At this juncture the judge advocate read a paper purporting to oe the original pledge abstinence signed by Captain Hancock Major Barney resuming his testimony testimony declared that it was upon the strength of this pledge that Captain Hancock was released at the particular particular time under discUS iion and the charges against him dismissed This agreement he said was made upon the recommendation and consent of the general commanding the department department of Columbia the department in which Captain Hancock is all ged to have committed the offense of being absent without leave In concluding his testimony Major Uarhey said that Captain Hancock so long as he remained under Irs command kept his pledge Lieutenant Gordon N KImball counsel for Major Hancock explained his first alleged absence from the fort on the ground that the major had gone to a nearby station to send a telegram to Washington concerning i certain stes thai ha yfa to take to secure a promotlttij A plea of onJlf S91c Ion the first mpve injthe def R3e prepared hj counsel for Major fWi F Hancock coast artillery corps on trial before a general ocuftmsttlalvio army officers officers at headquarters department of the Gulf Monday was overruled by thecourtot thirteen officer after two recesses had been taken for its consideration and the court adjourned adjourned to reconvene at2 oclock Monday afternoon for a continuance of the hearing i shortly after non ¼ the court was formed he regular order of procedure jniliaary ou being followed the recorder being sworn the charge read and the officers ofthe couj and the jqdge advocate being 8Wi > tn to sCcrecyas to votes and findings The breaking of a pledge signed to his commanding officer at Fort Casey Wash c to abstain from Intoxicating drink during a period 2 years from April 221096 is embodied in the charge of conduct unbecoming an officer officer and a gentleman In violation of I the sixtyfirst leofwarf whl h Major Hancock will be called upon I to face The specification which reproduces a copy of the pledge signed Tjjr Mk jor Hancock alleges that the major broke his word by again Indulging in intoxicating drink on several occasions occasions while on duty at Forts Dade and DeSoto Fla and in the city of Tampa The charge is preferred by Lieutenant Colonel H E Robinson of the Twentysecond infantry in his Capacity Capacity as adjutant general department department of the gulf It is set furth In the spceificatMn that Major Hancock was threatened with disciplinary measures by his commanding officer at Fort Casey Wash for continued drunkenness and neglect of duty while the major then a captain was on duty at that fort With his corps Notwithstanding these warnings says the specification Major then captain Hancock again was drunk and absent from duty and was placed under arrest his commanding officer officer The latter acting on recommendation recommendation of the commanding general de department of Columbia received the pledge of Major Hancock to abstain from liquor for two years and the latter was released from arrest Major Hancock In full uniform but without sIdearms stood before the court while the charge and specifications specifications against im were being read by Colonel Lewis E Goodier judge advocate advocate general A plea of nonjurisdiction was the reply which counsel for Major Hancock Hancock Li ut Gordon N Kimball of the ch cavalry filed before the court Lleut Klmtoall formerly a memuer of the bar sudan officer who has achieved a reputation in army circles circles for his effective work before courtsmartial contended that the court before him was convened without without authority in that the order under which it assembled had been signed with the name of the commanding general departmetn of the gulf while that officer was detailed on other duty The judge advocate general argued that the defense was introducing no proof to show that the commanding general had not been present in the department when the order was signed signed In further argument he advanced advanced that It did not lie with the I court to go behind or inquire Into the act of the authority which convened convened it and that if such plea were I made at all it would be more ad missable later on the accomplished action of the court i Colonel Goodier read a letter of the war department showing that the commanding general while detailed on other duty was under direction direction of the acting secretary of war to retain his command of the department department Lieutenant Kimball replied I

Clipped from
  1. Pensacola News Journal,
  2. 22 Jan 1908, Wed,
  3. Page 2

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