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btfire
02-25-2009, 03:04 PM
In my continuing mission to dredge up as much primary source material from South Carolina as possible, today I give you the transcripts of a court martial.

In March of 1863, Gen. N.G. Evans placed several charges, to include cowardice and mutiny, against Col. F.W. McMaster of the Seventeenth SCVI. The linked pdf file contains the full version of the transcripts, as published by Col. McMaster following the trial.

This court martial was one of many problems that Gen. Evans faced while in command of his brigade. The previous Col. of the 17th, J.H. Means, former Governor of SC and killed at 2nd Manassas , had also worked against the general in relation to his reported drinking problems. Means and McMaster, well to do South Carolinians, were of the temperance type, and in due course, objected to Evans moral behavior. Evans reported drinking would lead to his own arrest and court martials in 1863 and early 1864. He would quickly arrest McMaster upon his aquittal from the trial you are about to read, but Gen. Beauregard and Longstreet had the charges dismissed. Gen. Evans, also, would never have any charges stick, but yet the problems he faced would result in his command begin scattered from Wilmington to Savannah upon their return from Jackson, MS.

Now, I hope you enjoy, the Court Martial of F.W. McMaster (http://www.trampbrigade.com/researchpages/McMaster.pdf)