Warren, Lockhart Viola [Griffin, John S. (1816-1898)]. [United States. Army. Dragoons]. Dragoons on Trial Los Angeles, 1847. Los Angeles: Dawson's Book Shop, 1965. 78 pp. Octavo. 9-1/2" x 6". Blue cloth, gilt stamped spine and boards. Famous California Trials 7. Colophon 250 copies printed by Richard J. Hoffman California State College at Los Angeles, 1965. A fine copy. $25. * Colonel Mason, in command of the Tenth Military District, embracing California, introduced special military commissions to try crimes that did not come under the jurisdiction of the regular courts martial. The first use made of such commissions provides the theme of this little book. Two dragoon privates and the Negro servant of one of their officers were charged with stealing about $640.00 from an officer's trunk. Altogether the proceedings extended from August 20 to December 14. Mason probably found it easier to command the Tenth Military District than to act in an appellate capacity concerning the sordid derelections of two privates and a servant. The record shows painstaking attention on his part. In his endeavor to guide the commission it seems surprising that he was able to forward copies of the Missouri and Texas statutes as well as excerpts from Blackstone's Commentaries. Somehow he had unearthed these in end-of-the-world Monterey to reinforce his decided disapproval of some of the commission's findings. While the least culpable of the defendants lay chained to a log in the guardhouse, awaiting Colonel Mason's action on his sentence, he and three other soldiers were killed by a freak accident. Six more were severely injured and four others slightly hurt. Southern California Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 1 (MARCH 1966), pp. 89-90.
Book number 72599