Findings of the Miles Court of Inquiry

29 10 2008

Findings of Court of Inquiry on conduct of Col. Dixon S. Miles, Second U. S. Infantry, Commanding Fifth Division, at Battle of Bull Run

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp. 438-439

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 42.

HDQRS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Washington, November 6, 1861

A court of inquiry, instituted by Special Orders, No. 67, of August 10, 1861 [following] from headquarters Department Northeastern Virginia,. upon the application of Col. D. S. Miles, Second Infantry, to examine into certain allegations made against him as stated in his letter to the assistant adjutant-general at the headquarters of said department, dated July 26, 1861, did, after mature deliberation upon the testimony adduced, agree upon the following

STATEMENT OF FACTS.

1. That Col. I. B. Richardson was justified in applying the term drunkenness to Col. D. S. Miles’ condition about 7 o’clock p.m. on the 21st July last.

2. That the evidence is clear that Colonel Miles had been ill for several days before July 21 last – was ill on that day; that the surgeon had prescribed medicines for him, and on the day of the battle had prescribed for him small quantities of brandy.

The court, however, considers his illness as a very slight extenuation of the guilt attached to his condition about 7 p.m. on July 21 last.

OPINION.

The court is of opinion that evidence cannot now be found sufficient to convict Colonel Miles of drunkenness before a court-martial; that a proper court could only be organized in this Army with the greatest inconvenience at present, and that it will not be for the interests of the service to convene a court in this case.

The court is therefore of opinion that no further proceedings in the case are necessary.

II. The proceedings of the court of inquiry in the case of Col. D. S. Miles, Second Infantry, have been laid before the major-general commanding, and are confirmed.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General

—–

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 67.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT N. E. VIRGINIA,

Arlington, August 10, 1861

Upon the application of Col. D. S. Miles, Second Infantry, a court of inquiry is hereby instituted to examine into certain allegations made against him, as stated in his letter to the assistant adjutant-general, headquarters Department N. E. Virginia, dated July 26, 1861.

The court will meet at 12 m., on Monday, the 12th instant, or as soon thereafter as practicable, in Alexandria, Va., and will report the facts and give its opinion in the case.

Detail for the court.

Brig. Gen. W. B. Franklin, U.S. Volunteers.

Col. John Sedgwick, First Cavalry.

Capt. Truman Seymour, First Artillery.

The junior member will record the proceedings.

By command of Brigadier-General McDowell:

JAMES B. FRY,

Assistant  Adjutant-General

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3 responses

29 10 2008
Done, but Not Done-Done « Bull Runnings

[...] OK, I’ve posted my last Bull Run after action report (OR).  #62 was the last Union report – #63 is actually the findings of the Dixon Miles court of inquiry.  [...]

31 10 2008
Don

Harry,

The very same Miles who featured in the Harpers Ferry debacle during the Antietam campaign, where I recall a vague allegation of possible drunkeness as well. Very interesting, thanks.

19 12 2010
russ harbaugh

found this site chasing co.h 4th va. cavalry. way to go!!!
Dixon Miles was spared another court of inquiry and probable cashiering by a burst fired after he agreed to surrender Harpers Ferry. Not much to recommend in this fellow personally or in his martial skills. ” Shanks ” Evans comes to mind as one who might have given Miles some pointers as to blending maintenance drinking and military endeavors. methinks Evans would have offered a better defense of Harpers Ferry, although he had problems with Hood and a couple of others along the way. the officers detailed for the court are interesting… all prominent.

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