By 1806, judge advocates were introduced as a mandatory aspect of courts-martial. Sort of. And only on the prosecution side. Sort of. Military defendants were, though, allowed to hire a civilian lawyer to represent them. Not really. But when they could, the lawyer usually wasn’t allowed to speak. . . .
The Continental Congress enacted the first Articles of War under fire. British troops occupied Boston. The British Navy blockaded Boston Harbor. The “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” was fired at Lexington. Neighboring colonies sent militia to assist the Massachusetts response. The Siege of Boston was underway. The colonies were at war with Great Britain.
To understand courts-martial at the time of the Founding, one must also understand the military (or organized violence more broadly) of the same period and the greater society within which it existed. And to do that, one must forget all you know of the modern military and instead imagine a completely foreign idea.
Established in 2013, this online journal “is the leading source of knowledge about the American Revolution and Founding.” Nearly every day, I receive an email containing a series of well-written and insightful articles written by experts in the field. And it is FREE. In addition to the free online magazine, the journal produces annual hardcover volumes and oversees a book series focused on microhistories “about unknown or lesser-known topics,” as well as an insightful and informative podcast.
I’m excited to add this journal to the Selected Journals list and encourage you to check it out!