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I have compiled a great deal of fascinating info on this subject and will take you directly to the sources. This occurred 97 years ago.
Basically what happened was, after a conflict with local police, a group of black Army soldiers from Camp Logan in Houston mutinied and rioted in the streets, taking over Houston and killing a great number of people on August 23, 1917. Martial law was declared and after three separate court-martials, the perpetrators were brought to justice. On December 10, 1917, thirteen of the soldiers were given the death penalty. They were hanged, then their bodies were thrown into a pit and burned. No media was allowed at the executions. There were in total three separate court-martials for a variety of the soldiers involved in the mutiny and murders. Aside from the thirteen executed, 41 others were sentenced to life in prison; five were acquitted, and several others were sentenced to years of hard labor.
Why haven't the majority of Americans have ever heard about U.S. soldiers attacking an American city? I guess the politically correct establishment 'information-controllers', who otherwise tend to act as race baiters at every opportunity, didn't find it relevent.
Here we begin:
ALSO: Letters of a Freemason WWI Soldier To His Zionist Mother concerning "a certain prophecy about the Jews" & "the new order that will be ushered in by and thru the Jews in their home- land - Palestine." Fascinating reading from a historical perspective, regardless of one's personal opinions.
HOUSTON AND ITS HISTORY
On August 17, three companies of Illinois Guard infantry arrived in Houston, to find a Negro battalion of Twenty-Fourth Infantry regulars on duty at the camp. Trouble between local police and Negro soldiers culminated in a riot on August 23 (see Points of Interest, Memorial Park), Houstonians immediately found their city under martial law, with Brig. Gen. John A. Hulen in command; order and civil authority were restored on August 27. Thirteen Negro participants in the riot later were hanged at Fort Sam Houston.
...Memorial Park occupies the main acreage of former Camp Logan, where 25,000 men were trained for World War duty. On the evening of August 23, 1917, approximately 100 private and non-commissioned officers of a battalion of Negro troops mutinied and rioted. They had been stationed near the camp to guard construction while the training post was being prepared for its white occupants. Ironically, the outbreak occurred on the very evening the local Chamber of Commerce had prepared a watermelon feast and picnic for the Negro soldiers. Before the insurrection was quelled, 17 people had been killed and 22 others injured. Four Houston police officers were among the dead.
The battalion of black soldiers was stationed in Houston to guard the construction of Camp Logan.
Wikipedia, "Houston Riot (1917)".
Tyer, B. "Their First 100 Years", Houston Press, Aug. 30, 2001.
1917 riot documentary ("Mutiny on the Bayou") .
This 16 page newspaper has one column headlines on the front page: "13 NEGROES HANGED", "Houston Riot Executions", "Infantrymen Pay Death Penalty for Mutiny--Only Officers Present".
"Of the 63 men tried by the same court martial, 41 were sentenced to life imprisonment, one man was sentenced to dishonrable discharge from the army, forgeiture of all pay and allowances, and to be confined to hard labor for two and a half years... Five were acquitted. The negro soldiers who paid the death penalty were: Sergeant William C. Nesbitt; Corporals Larson J Brown, James Wheatley, Jesse Moore and Charles W. Baltimore; Privates William Brackenridge, Thomas C. Hawkins, Carlos Snodgrass, Ira B. Davis, James Divine, Frank Johnson, Rosley W. Young, Pat Macwhorter...
Other news and advertisements of the day. Light browning, little margin wear and tear, otherwise good.
Wikipedia notes: The condemned soldiers (one sergeant, four corporals, and eight privates) were transferred to a barracks on December 10. Later, that evening, motor trucks carried new lumber for scaffolds to some bathhouses built for the soldiers at Camp Travis near a swimming pool in the Salado Creek. The designated place of execution was a few hundred yards away. Army engineers completed their grim work by the light of bonfires. The thirteen troops were awakened and brought to the place of execution at five in the morning. They were hanged, simultaneously, one minute before sunrise, at seven seventeen. The scaffolds were then disassembled and every piece was carried back to Fort Sam Houston. The New York Times, impressed by the clean-up operations, observed the place of execution and place of burial were "indistinguishable." Only army officers and County Sheriff John Tobin had witnessed the affair.
Haynes notes General Ruckman "announced the verdicts and executions" at nine o’clock in the morning to a small group of "surprised and highly annoyed" newspapermen. Most of them had been fooled by a rumor that the hangings would take place at Camp Stanley, thirty miles north of San Antonio (p. 7). Professor Haynes writes that the rumor was "obviously planted by military authorities" and concludes that, while it was "ostensibly designed for security purposes," it was also "calculated" to "infuriate" black Americans and "to please" white citizens (pp. 7, 273).
Ruckman told reporters that he had personally approved the death sentences and announced that forty-one men were given life sentences and four others received sentences of two and a half years or less. He also informed newspapermen that it was he who has selected the time and place for the hangings (p. 7). Weiner’s 1989 law review articles point out that what Ruckman had done in the first court martial was "entirely legal" and "in complete conformity" with the 1916 Articles of War. Indeed this conclusion was generally reported in the nation’s newspapers.
Category: The 20th Century
http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/17461-camp-logan-riotmutiny-of-1917/page-2Footote: United States v Sergeant William C. Nesbit et al RG 153 FRC 2129-60 Houston Post December 4, 1917. 'a manual for courts martialed corrected to April 15, 1917 1820185 M.M. Hoffman court martial conversion, Catholic World CLXXII October 1950 45-51.
Posted by user 'CampLogan1917'
"my interest is in raising the consciousness about the Riot or Mutiny that took place surrounding the incident that took place starting at Camp Logan and spreading out onto the streets of Houston.
The real intent is to get the photos that exist but are not readily available during the riot, the rioters, the victims, the courts martial(s), the sentencing, the stockade where the condemned were held, the transportation to the execution site, the execution site, the execution itself, the dead soldiers, graves and location of the graves.
After all there are photos of the execution of the conspirators in the Abraham Lincoln assassination surely there must be photos of this incident and all that I have outlined above. I believe there has been a lid placed over this incident that is keeping the inflammatory photos away from the public eye. The reason I say this is because I have seen a number of the photos I have mentioned but they have been part of private collections and commercial video enterprises.
This incident is something that involved the U.S. government, the U.S. military and a municipality in the State of Texas and it's hard for me to believe that these documents and or photos are not available somewhere to be viewed by U.S. citizens. Again, I would encourage anyone that has photos of any and all the steps I enumerated above to please post them on this thread for all of us to see.
Posted Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 1:42 PM
Since I am having such a difficult time coming up with photos of the events surrounding this incident then let me start by painting some "images of the mind" with some of the most grizzly images like the actual execution of the Rioters or Mutineers. The authoritative book on the topic is called, "A NIGHT OF VIOLENCE: The Houston Riot of 1917" by Robert V. Haynes. He starts off the book with the 1st chapter titled, "The Execution" which is just what it says the execution of the 1st round of Rioters and Mutineers that have been found guilty by courts martial at Fort Sam Houston. The book is very hard to find and when you do find a copy of it it is usually in excess of $100 and more than likely $200 or $300 for 1 copy. So, here goes the 1st 7 pages of the book decribing the execution.
Posted Friday, November 14, 2008 at 4:17 PM
There were three courts-martial associated with the, "Camp Logan Mutiny and Riot of 1917." They were referred to as the:
Nesbit Court Martial (The 1st court martial) Nov. 1, 1917 - Dec. 10, 1917
Washington Court Martial (2nd court martial) Dec. 17, 1917 - Jan. 2, 1918
Tillman Court Martial (3rd court martial) Feb. 18, 1918 - Mar. 27, 1918
The names of the courts-martial derived from the name of one of the defendants in each of the three courts-martial. If anyone was wondering about the finer points of law that the courts-martial adhered to it can be found in the following. http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/manual-1917.pdf A Manual For Courts-Martial: Corrected To April 15, 1917
Each of these courts-martial was governed by, "A Manual For Courts-Martial: Corrected To April 15, 1917" dictating the formalization of the UCMJ or Uniform Code of Military Justice in the military arena at that point in time.
Reply by 'FilioScotia' Posted Friday, November 14, 2008 at 6:04 PM
The Uniform Code of Military Justice -- UCMJ -- didn't exist in 1917. Each military branch had its own law code, and they were not uniform. There were differences.
General Eisenhower got first hand experience with all that during WWII when he became Supreme Allied Commander of the Invasion of Europe before and after D-Day. The various codes were similar, but not identical or uniform, and Eisenhower's Judge-Advocate General staff -- JAG -- was continually frustrated by the differences in the codes when prosecuting soldiers, sailors or marines. The Air Force was still part of the Army at that time. Soldiers had to be prosecuted under the Army code, sailors and marines under the Navy code, etc.
Eisenhower vowed to do something about that when he could find the time, and that time came after the war when he led development of the modern UCMJ, to put all the military branches under the same set of laws and punishments. Congress approved the UCMJ in May of 1950 and it went into effect a year later in May of 1951.
Posted Saturday, November 15, 2008 at 9:25 PM
Promptly at ten o'clock on Thursday morning, November 1, 1917, the court-martial of Sergeant William A. Nesbit and sixty-two other members of the Third Battalion, Twenty-fourth Infantry, convened in Gift Memorial Chapel at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Despite the strong objections of many local citizens who thought it inappropriate to try "the Houston rioters" in the beautiful new chapel, the trial took place there primarily because it was the only building large enough to accommodate a court -martial of that size and with that much public interest. This is the Gift Memorial Chapel at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas as it stands today some 91 years after the Above mentioned court-martial.
Fort Sam Houston, Gift Chapel, Wilson Street, between Hancock & Connell Roads, San Antonio Roman Catholic Chapel West Side
My grandfather was stationed at Fort Sam Houston from March 1818 to May 1919 in the 14th Cavalry Regt, Troop F. I remember him telling me he had the sad duty of escorting condemned Negro prisoners as part of his time there. DOing research today I think this must have been for the third trial--so-called Tillman trial--of the Houston rioters. I found a letter in the University of Michigan Clements Library from Alfred Schaller, 14th Cavalry Regt., Troop F, written Sept. 30, 1918: "I did not see those Negroes as it was dark when they went by in the auto, and I could not see the scaffold as the bushes hid it, but I could hear everything." I am looking for a newspaper account of that third execution (Tillman trial) that I think took place on Sept., 16, 1918.
[BEST info here:]http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/17461-camp-logan-riotmutiny-of-1917/
Posted Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 12:04 PM
There is an incident that happened in Houston, Texas at an Army Camp called Camp Logan which is now the site of Memorial Park and a residential neighborhood. This incident has forever after been referred to as the "Mutiny of 1917" and at the heart of it was Houston's Jim Crow laws of the times. I have no judgment about what happened, who was involved and what its outcome was. My interest is to tell the story with the help of so many intelligent, well informed and resourceful people on this site that are as good at researching all topics "Houston" as any university research group and I feel sure we will come up with all the facts.
My motivation for starting this thread is that when I started doing research on this topic and incident it was very hard for me to find information and photographs surrounding this important piece of Houston history. I have still not located any photographs related to this topic. So, I hope many of you fine contributors on this great website will help me flesh out the facts of the "Mutiny of 1917" and come up with some pertinent photographs. Sincerely, CampLogan1917
...I did my 8th grade history fair project on the Camp Logan riots... I know I had pictures of the camp, and newspaper articles about the riots. I distinctly remember going to the Julia Ideson Building to do some of the research. Might be a good place to start.
...I have an article my Dad sent me from the Brenham Banner Press in August 2004. It tells about the "Mutiny of 1917", but no photos were in the article. I remember from years past seeing pictures involving the hangings, but have no idea anymore where...sorry
...I believe someone involved with the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum wrote a book about it. If you call or visit the museum here in Houston, they could probably give you a ton of info. There was a one-hour special on one of the local networks (2 or 11) about it maybe two years ago. They might have a DVD of it. http://www.buffalosoldiermuseum.com/
...There are two published books that address the Camp Logan incident in some detail. Robert Haynes' book, "Night of Violence," is a history of the Camp Logan mutiny. Garna Christian has an excellebt chapter on the mutiny in his book, "Black Soldiers in Jim Crow Texas." This is a well-documented incident widely known by anyone who who knows Houston history or the history of African Americans in Texas. I lives for a time on East Cowan Street, just east of Memorial Park when I was a child. We found spoons and medical equipment in the neighborhood anytime we dug more than a few inches in the soil. (That was many years ago).
...My grandmother, who was 18 or 19 at the time of the incident, told the story to us grandkids when we were young teenagers. Her family lived north of downtown, near were the Southern Pacific Hospital was built. They heard the commotion from their house but did not actually witness the riot. She told the story as it was told to her from people who "claimed" to haved witnessed it. I do remeber her using the "N" word several times in her story to emphasize the point. This incident was "The Story" of her times. I guess we all have such incidents that mark our era. The "Moody Park Riot" comes to mind for me. Although the facts seem to be getting cloudier as the years go by.
...In doing internet searches on this topic, I suggest you try the term "1917 riot" alone, and in combination with "Houston", and in combination with "Logan". You'll find there is actually a lot of information available on the internet. http://houstorian.wordpress.com/2006/12/17/1917-riot/ This page links to a few of the better sources (including the first chapter of the Haines book and a website for a documentary regarding the riot), as does this page. I especially like this hand-drawn map and the site's related information - there are photos incorporated if you go through it. I've also found a lot of information in newspapers from the time period. For additional photos, you can start with the HAIF Camp Logan Pictures thread. There are also a lot of Camp Logan photos on the Houston History site if you dig around. I think I might have seen a photo of one of the hangings once, but can't recall where. Someone else may be able to give you a link. I believe the hangings were at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, and so you might use those terms in your searches. Good luck with your research - it is a fascinating topic.
I was doing some research on a place in Houston called the Camp Logan Sandwich Shop that use to be on W. Dallas near downtown that does no longer seem to be in business. I did a Google search on "Camp Logan Sandwich Shop" and this article in the New York Times what some would consider the venerable "old" New York Times was the 1st thing that popped up. I read the article but it wasn't really about the Camp Logan "Mutiny of 1917" It was a story about the two black men that went on trial for beating the white truck driver during the "Rodney King Riots" in Los Angeles in 1993.
There was a slight reference to the Camp Logan Sandwich Shop with even a slighter reference to the Camp Logan "Mutiny of 1917". And, what caused me to include this in this thread is the fact that all the facts that the New ork Times listed about the "Mutiny of 1917" were wrong including even the war that was associated with it. The actual Camp Logan "Mutiny of 1917" happened duing WWI and the New York Times referred to a "WWII race riot". If you want to read the whole opriginal article it is located at:
This is one of the reasons I started this thread because contrary to some of the contributors to this thread the facts in this incident are not generally known. They maybe known by a few but the vast majority do not know the facts and teaching the facts to the younger generations that are coming up is important. I have underlined the pertinent pasages I referred to in the acticle below. Thanks for your indulgence.
Aftershocks of Verdicts Rumble Across the Nation
By PETER APPLEBOME, Published: October 22, 1993
Houston, The Unknown City 1836-1946 By Marguerite Johnston
I guess I'm not going to get any help with the heavy lifting today so here goes. Hopefully somebody will come along and get inspired with me and help.
In the spring of 1917, shortly after the United States declared war on Germany, the U.S. Army ordered the construction of Camp Logan, to facilitate the training of American soldiers. The black 24th Infantry Company was ordered, on July 27, 1917, to guard the construction of the site. The company was stationed in the state of Illinois; a majority of the men had been born & raised in the south & were familiar with segregation, but as army servicemen, many figured, inequality wouldn't be an issue. From the very onset, the black soldiers faced racial discrimination when they received passes to go into Houston. The established elite of the city, & those sworn to protect it-the police & other public officials-viewed the presence of black soldiers as a threat to racial harmony. A large majority of white Houstonians feared that if the black soldiers were shown the same respect as white soldiers, black Houstonians would expect & demand similar treatment. Feeling unsupported, the black soldiers were willing to abide by the legal restrictions imposed by segregated practices, but they resented the manner in which the laws were enforced. They disliked having to stand in the rear of streetcars when vacant seats were available in the "white" section & resented the racial slurs hurled at them by white laborers at Camp Logan. Some police officers regularly harassed African Americans, both soldiers & civilians alike. Most black Houstonians concealed their hostility & endured the abuse, but a number of black soldiers openly expressed their resentment. When ways to keep the enlisted men at the camp were attempted, the blacks disliked this exchange of their freedom for racial peace. The signs of discord were evident for the world to see, but the white officers & city officials did nothing to stop or even impede the pending eruption of violence. The crosswalk in the picture marks the former main entrance to camp.
Camp Logan Riot/Mutiny of 1917 http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/17461-camp-logan-riotmutiny-of-1917/page-2
On August 23, 1917, two white policemen arrested a black soldier for interfering with their arrest of a black woman. When a black MP inquired about the soldier's arrest, words were exchanged, & one of the policemen struck the MP. The MP fled; & while fleeing, the MP was fired upon. The MP was pursued into an unoccupied house, where he was arrested & brought to police headquarters. Despite a quick & unhindered release, a rumor rapidly reached Camp Logan that the MP had been shot & killed. After several minutes of mounting tension, the rumor mill brought word to camp that the MP was in fact alive but being held unlawfully. After intense debate, a group of soldiers conclude to march onto the police station in Fourth Ward & secure the MP's release. If the police could assault model soldiers like the military police, they reasoned, none of them were safe from abuse. Realizing something foul was afoot, the white officers of the company ordered the collection of all rifles & loose ammunition. During this process, word of an approaching white mob struck fear into the hearts of the men. In a wild scurry to defend themselves, the soldiers rushed into the supply tents, grabbed rifles & ammunition, & then embarked on a two-hour march into the city, hoping to curb the mob. The white officers found it impossible to restore order. Over a 100 armed soldiers marched into the Fourth Ward, where they encountered the mob: members of which consisted of Klansmen & supporters, police officers, & members of Houston's elite white class, who saw armed blacks as a threat to their ruling order. There was an intense exchange of fire, lasting for several minutes, which resulted in the death of many people. The structure in the picture was the last remains from Camp Logan but it is gone, too, now.
http://www.houstontx.gov/abouthouston/exploringmemorial.html (Picture only)Wikipedia - The Houston Riot of 1917, or Camp Logan Riot, was a mutiny by 156 African American soldiers of the Third Battalion of the all-black Twenty-fourth United States Infantry. It occupied most of one night, and resulted in the deaths of four soldiers and sixteen civilians. The rioting soldiers were tried at three courts-martial. A total of nineteen would be executed, and forty-one were given life sentences.
To guard the Camp Logan construction site, the Army on July 27, 1917, ordered the Third Battalion of the Twenty-fourth United States Infantry Regiment to travel to Houston by train from their camp at Columbus, New Mexico, accompanied by seven white commissioned officers.
Around noon August 23, 1917, two Houston police officers stormed into the home of an African American woman, allegedly looking for someone in the neighborhood, after firing a warning shot outside. They physically assaulted her, then dragged her partially clad into the street, all in view of her five small children. The woman began screaming, demanding to know why she was being arrested, and a crowd began to gather. A soldier from the 24th Infantry stepped forward to ask what was going on. The police officers promptly beat him to the ground and arrested him as well.
Later that afternoon, Corporal Charles Baltimore went to the Houston police station to investigate the arrest, as well as beating of another black soldier, and also to attempt to gain the release of the soldier. An argument began which led to violence, and Corporal Baltimore was beaten, shot at, and himself arrested by the police.
Later, rumors that Baltimore had been killed provoked intense feelings of anger and frustration among the troops. The unrest among the soldiers continued to build during the early evening, and when Sergeant Vida Henry of I Company reported the situation to Major Kneeland S. Snow, the commandant, Snow ordered Henry to collect the rifles and ammunition from the men.
The Camp Logan riot began the evening of August 23, when 156 angry soldiers ignored their officers' orders, stole weapons from the camp depot and marched on the city of Houston. They were met outside the city by the police and a mob of armed citizens, frightened by the reports of a mutiny. A virtual race riot began, which left 20 people dead - four soldiers, four policemen, and 12 civilians. Order was restored the next day, and the War Department disarmed the soldiers. The Third Battalion was sent by rail back to New Mexico.
Aulbach - The acts of violence took place in two locations along Buffalo Bayou. The first was the suburban residential community of Brunner, located on the north side of Buffalo Bayou and centered at the intersection of Washington Avenue and the modern Shepherd Drive. The second scene of rioting took place on the south side of Buffalo Bayou along San Felipe Road, now known as West Dallas Avenue, in a residential area of the Fourth Ward known as the San Felipe District.
....E. A. Thompson was among the first to be killed by the rioters, presumably near Washington Avenue. Adam R. Carstens, a 48 year old house painter with a large family, was shot and killed near Parker Street and Center Street. M. D. Everton, a member of Company H, 5th Texas Infantry, was found dead near Carstens. He had been shot in the liver and in the right shoulder, and he had been bayoneted in the abdomen.
Two maps of mob killings: Must See!
Wikipedia - The condemned soldiers (one sergeant, four corporals, and eight privates) were transferred to a barracks on December 10. That evening, motor trucks carried new lumber for scaffolds to some bathhouses built for the soldiers at Camp Travis near a swimming pool in the Salado Creek. The designated place of execution was several hundred yards away. Army engineers completed their work by the light of bonfires. The thirteen condemned men were awakened at five in the morning and brought to the gallows. They were hanged simultaneously, at 7.17am, one minute before sunrise. The scaffolds were disassembled and every piece returned to Fort Sam Houston. The New York Times, impressed by the clean-up operations, observed the place of execution and place of burial were "indistinguishable." Only army officers and County Sheriff John Tobin had been allowed to witness the execution.
The area where Camp Logan was located is called now Memorial Park. It is bordered by highways I-10 and I-610. http://www.houstontx.gov/abouthouston/images/memorialparkmap.gif
Finding remnants of Camp Logan is not hard, thanks to a map drawn by Paul B. Hendrickson, a soldier stationed there whose extensive letters home shed light on life at the camp.
...There has been talk of the Memorial Park Arboretum cleaning up the area and turning it into an interpretive walk with informational signs detailing the history of the park and camp, which was the site of one of Houston's worst race riots during its construction and the location of a deadly Spanish flu outbreak in 1918. It's a project Aulbach supports, if it ever gets off the ground. "You can't really do history until you get out and see it," he said. See video of the trek below.
See also: https://www.facebook.com/houstonhorsecavalry
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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, TargetLiberty.com, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, SaveTheMales.ca, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com, BeforeItsNews.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.
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