Civil War Heroes and Deep State Traitors

In recent years, I had the honor and privilege of assisting New Jersey native Frank White in getting the Army to reopen the case for consideration of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his great, great grandfather, Civil War Union Army private David Dunnels White.  The small role I played in Frank's many-years-long, almost epic struggle with the Army was a gratifyingly upbeat change of pace from my usual investigations, which lately have focused on some of the most venal, seditious characters in our nation's history: Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Bruce Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and the rest of their little band of conspirators who sought to throw a presidential election and then paralyze the victorious candidate's presidency.  What a contrast Private White offers to those miscreants.

Pvt. David White of the Massachusetts 37th Regiment of the Union Army captured Robert E. Lee's son, Major Gen. G.W. Custis Lee, at the vicious Battle of Sailor's Creek on April 6, 1865.  It was the last major battle of the war before Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox and was marked by bayoneting and hand-to-hand combat.  Pvt. White's lieutenant was shot by one of M.G. Lee's men in the effort to capture him, the bullet traveling through his body and exiting his groin.  Miraculously for that era, the lieutenant survived his injury.  Pvt. White then pursued Lee behind enemy lines and captured him.  

White subdued Lee and confiscated his sword, revolver, and personal effects.  Lee demanded to be taken into custody by a higher-ranking soldier than a lowly private, so White handed Lee off to the custody of a Union officer.  In the subsequent confusion of the long battle's aftermath, it's believed that Lee momentarily escaped and was shortly recaptured by Cpl. Harris Hawthorn.  But White's initial capture of M.G. Lee effectively ended Lee's command and, per Rep. Leonard Lance (N.J.), "was a turning point in the Civil War in that it proved to be a deeply personal psychological blow to Robert E. Lee," who surrendered three days later.

Initially, a Medal of Honor for G.W. Custis Lee's capture was awarded to Cpl. Hawthorn, not Pvt. White.  However, evidence unearthed in the 153 years since, largely by Frank, showed that Hawthorn merely recaptured Lee in the chaos.  Frank believes that Lee likely attempted an escape but was stopped by Hawthorn.  Men of White's own regiment, upon reading of the award to Hawthorn, filed a protest in 1897 with the War Department that the Medal of Honor should have gone to Pvt. White.  After an investigation in 1897, then-secretary of war Russell Alger demanded that Hawthorn return the medal.  Hawthorn refused, and Alger lacked the authority to rescind it.  Ultimately, the government ruled that year that the capture didn't merit the award.  A subsequent investigation in 1916 by the legally authorized Medal of Honor Review Board determined that the capture of Lee did in fact warrant the award, allowing Hawthorn's medal to stand, but the Army did not consider the totality of the evidence surrounding the capture showing that it should have gone to Pvt. White.

Historians believed that Frank's evidence was credible and urged him to present it to the Army to press the case that the Medal of Honor should have gone to David White.  Frank even published a book in 2008, Sailor's Creek: Major General G.W. Custis Lee, Captured with Controversy, documenting all his evidence and pressing the case for David White.  Frank's congressman, Leonard Lance, even introduced legislation in 2016 to get David White recognized with the MoH, saying, "I have reviewed the materials presented by the White Family, and I am convinced that [the case] has merit."  (The bill didn't pass.)

In August 2014, Frank presented a nomination package for the MoH for David to the Senior Army Decorations Board (SADB) that he had prepared with the assistance of a contractor whom the Army had assigned to Frank.  That contractor apparently gave Frank bad advice when he told him not to include any information about Cpl. Hawthorn or why the award should not have gone to Hawthorn.  As a result, the secretary of the Army declined to award the MoH to Pvt. White, citing material supporting the Hawthorn award in a letter dated March 8, 2016, which had already been called into question.  Frank then got a group of U.S. senators and representatives to submit a letter to defense secretary Ash Carter to get the Defense Department's inspector general to administratively investigate the handling of the David White MoH review process and irregularities in it.

Frank reached out to Judicial Watch for assistance in June 2016.  I ended up making five records requests, filing appeals, and getting advice from Judicial Watch lawyer Michael Bekesha.  After innumerable telephone and email exchanges with officials in the Army and Department of Defense over nearly two years, we've received about 220 pages of records.

While our work on David White's case continues, we recently received wonderful news.  On August 24, 2017, DoD's inspector general recommended to the acting secretary of the Army that the David White MoH nomination be reopened for consideration, based on the evidence produced by Frank and records we obtained that showed "material error" in the previous consideration of David's case.  On March 7, 2018, the Senior Army Decorations Board held its hearing to reconsider David White's new Medal of Honor petition case.

As Frank said to me recently: "JW was instrumental in getting the Army to take an unprecedented step with the DDW MoH case, of getting it remanded back to the SADB."

As I reflected on this little success, I considered all the work we have done in recent years to expose Hillary Clinton's corruption: her truly despicable behavior in using a personal server to traffic highly classified national security information and to sell access to the State Department via the Clinton Foundation, the even more despicable behavior of top officials in the FBI and Justice Department to whitewash Mrs. Clinton's crimes in both those cases, and the still more stunning corruption exposed about the grand conspiracy to subvert the 2016 presidential election.

The one event that unites us as a nation and gives expression to our common desire for the direction of our country is the election of the president of the United States.  Any conspiracy to thwart that expression, particularly one using the surveillance powers of our government and our courts, should be treated as the gravest of crimes.  It is an act of treachery that is as offensive to the memory of the millions of men and women, like David White, who have fought to preserve our republic, as any imaginable.

William F. Marshall has been an intelligence analyst and investigator in the government, private, and non-profit sectors for over 30 years.  Presently, he is a senior investigator for Judicial Watch, Inc.  (The views expressed are the author's alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch.)