Court Martial


Joseph Smith Fanning


Natchez, Mississippi, August-10th, 1864

11 O’clock A.M.

The Court met pursuant-to the foregoing order,


Lieut-Col. Richard Ritter----------------------------28th Ills. Infantry

Maj. M. Weinfiele----------------------------------4th Ills. Cavalry

Capt John M. Griffin--------------------------------28th Ills. Cavalry

Capt E. Hurt----------------------------------------28th Ills. Cavalry

Capt Adam Kemper--------------------------------6th U.S.©Artillery

Capt Schuyler Marvin-------------------------------58th U.S©Infantry

Capt Daniel E. O’Neil-------------------------------71st U.S.©Infantry

Capt J.E. Hitt Judge Advocate--Absent-------------4th Ills Cavalry

Lieut-Col. John Phillips---------Excused------------64th U.S.©Infantry


The Court then preceded to the trial of Private Joseph S. Fanning Company “F” 4th Regiment Illinois Cavalry. Who was called before the Court and having heard the order of appointing the Court-roll was asked if he had any objection to any member’s names in the order to which he replied in the negative.

The Court then in his presence was duly sworn by the Judge Advocate and the Judge Advocate was duly sworn by the presiding Officer of the Court.

The accused Private Joseph S. Fanning Company “F” 4th Regt Ills Cavalry, was arraigned on the following charges and Specifications as follows

Charge and Specification against Joseph S. Fanning Private 4th Regt Cav Illinois, Volunteer.

Charge: Absence without leave.

Specification in this that the said Joseph S. Fanning Private Co, “F” 4th Regt Cav, Ills. Vols did receive at Natchez, Miss, on the 16th day of March 1864 a furlough by order of Major Gen McPherson for (30) thirty days. That the said Joseph S. Fanning left camp by virtue of said furlough on the 21st day of March 1864, and did again rejoin his Company or Regiment until the 1st day of July 1864, remaining absent without leave from the13th day of April 1864, until the 1st day of July 1864 aforesaid. All this at Natchez Mississippi, A.F.Search, Capt 4th Regt; Cav, Ills, Vols, Commanding Co. “F”.

To which Charges and Specifications the accused pleaded as follows

To the Specifications--------------------------Not Guilty

To the charges--------------------------------Not Guilty

Capt A. J. Search a witness for the purpose citation was duly sworn

Question: by Judge Advocate: State your name, Rank, Company and Regiment.

Ans: Anthony F Search, Capt. Company “F” 4th Regiment Illinois Cavalry, Volunteers

Ques: Do you know the Prisoner, if so state his Name, Rank Company and Regiment?

Ans: I do, Joseph S. Fanning Private, Company “F” 4th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry Volunteers.

Ques: Do you know anything of the charges and Specifications against the prisoner, if so state all you know of them?

Ans: I do, He received a furlough on sick leave-of 20 days, some time in April. (Within twenty days after the date of the furlough) I received a certificate from two Physicians-in Ford county Ills certified to by the clerk of the county court, that the said Physicians were regularly authorized Physicians-Certifying that the prisoner was not able for duty-and not able to travel.

Ques: When did the prisoner return to his Company and Regiment?

Ans: On the 1st day of July 1864.

Ques: What-reason, if any did he give for his absence without leave?

Ans: That he was not able to travel and brought a certificate from two Physicians of Toxin. Ford County, Illinois, dated June 22nd 1864-and certified to by the Clerk of the County Court of said County-that they were practicing Physicians in good standing to the effect, that said Joseph S. Fanning has been sick under their care since June 2nd 1864-and that he was not able to do duty or travel previous to this date June 22nd, 1864.

They’re being no further evidence the Court was cleared for deliberation and having mutually considered the evidence adduced fine the prisoner Joseph S. Fanning Private, Company “F”, 4th Regiment, Illinois, Cavalry, Volunteers as follows.

Of the Specification-------------------------Not Guilty

Of the charge-------------------------------Not Guilty

And the Court do therefore honorably acquit the Prisoner. Private Joseph S. Fanning Company “F”, 4th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Volunteers and restore him to duty and full pay.