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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 57: the ram Stonewall. (search)
a court of officers who are sworn to do their whole duty in the premises. It would seem to be an attempt to deprive them of that discretionary power which is generally a beneficent feature in a military court-martial. It also detracts from that dignity which properly belongs to such a body, holding, as it does, the power even of life and death. The following is an extract from the Department's letter, returning the record to the court for revision: Navy Department, Washington, December 1, 1865. Sir — The record of the proceedings of the court of which you are President, in the case of Commodore Thomas T. Craven, is herewith returned for a revision of the finding, which, in the opinion of the Department, is in conflict with law, and, if approved, would tend to render the provisions of law, which the accused is charged with violating, a dead letter. Having received this letter, the court proceeded to revise its action upon the charge and specifications, and, after more m