Articles of War (1912-1920)
The Articles of War was enacted on June 4, 1920 and remained in effect through World War II until the Uniform Code of Military Justice came into effect in 1951.
House and Senate Hearings and Committee Reports
This unique, two-volume work consists of House and Senate hearings and committee reports from the 62nd through 66th Congresses (1912-1920), compiled and bound under the auspices of the Judge Advocate General’s Office.
Revision of the Articles of War, 1912-1920: Volumes 1 and 2
The text of The Articles of War (approved June 4, 1920) appears in Volume 2 (PDF page 39).
Comparison of Proposed New Articles of War with the Present Article of War and Other Related Statutes
This publication opens with a letter of transmittal from then Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, dated April 19, 1912 and addressed to the Honorable James Hay, Chairman of the Military Committee of the House of Representatives. In his letter, Secretary Stimson explains the urgent need for change in the more than one-hundred-year-old Articles of War. He asks that the proposed revision be approved and promptly enacted into law at the present session of Congress. This letter of transmittal is accompanied by a letter from Judge Advocate General Enoch H. Crowder to Secretary Stimson, dated April 12, 1912. In this letter, General Crowder presents his case for the attached revision and also provides an historical overview of the current Articles of War. The full text of this document — a reprint of House bill number 23628 (62nd Congress), Being a Project for the Revision of the Articles of War — appears in parallel columns, with the old and newly revised articles appearing side by side.
Revision of the Articles of War: Hearing before the Committee on Military Affairs
2nd Session on H. R. 23628, Being a Project for the Revision of the Articles of War, May 1912
The first letter is from then Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, dated April 19, 1912 and addressed to the Honorable James Hay, Chairman of the Military Committee of the House of Representatives. The second letter is from Judge Advocate General Enoch H. Crowder to Secretary Stimson, dated April 12, 1912. The full text of the Committee hearings follows the letters of transmittal.
Three appendixes are included:
- Appendix A: [Extract of report of Judge Advocate General on military prison]
- Appendix B: [Extract from a report of the Inspector General of the Army giving the recent inspection by him of the detention barracks of the British Army]
- Appendix C: [Table comparing American Articles of War of 1874 with earlier similar American, British and Swedish documents]
Revision of the Articles of War, Senate Report No. 229 to Accompany S. 1032
This report was submitted by the Committee on Military Affairs, Chairman George E. Chamberlain, recommending that the bill be passed as amended. An appendix with related documents is included.
Revision of the Articles of War: Hearing before a Subcommittee of the Committee of Military Affairs
On an Act to Amend Section 1342 and Chapter 6, Title XIV of the Revised Statutes... (June 29 and 30, 1916)
The Hon. William Gordon (chairman) presided over the subcommittee meeting. Part one of this document contains statements of Brig. Gen. Enoch H. Crowder, Judge Advocate General, and Hon. Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War. In addition to all questions and answers, the proposed code and existing code appear side by side in parallel columns, with comments and relevant memoranda following. Part two contains a “Letter from the Secretary of War to Hon. William Gordon, House of Representatives” dated July 6, 1916, in which Secretary Baker supplements his statement before the Subcommittee.
Military Justice during the War. A letter from the Judge Advocate General of the Army to the Secretary of War in reply to a request for information
This document is comprised of two letters. The first is from Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, dated March 1, 1919 and addressed to Major General Enoch H. Crowder, Judge Advocate General. In his letter, Secretary Baker expresses concern over recent harsh criticisms of the U.S. system of military justice and requests that General Crowder answer these criticisms by providing “a concise survey of the entire field” so as to restore the confidence of all those concerned. General Crowder’s reply, dated March 10, 1919, follows. After introductory remarks on “prior efforts to revise the Articles of War” and the extent of his own “personal responsibility for the administration of military justice” during the previous two years, General Crowder presents detailed information on three individual cases, addresses at length the general defects that allegedly exist in military justice, and concludes with recommendations.
Proceedings and Report of Special War Department Board on Courts- Martial and Their Procedure
In May 1919, the War Department convened a board of officers in order to consider all recommendations looking to the improvement of the system of military justice, and to recommend to the War Department any changes in the Articles of War and administration of military justice in the Army that the board members believed to be necessary. The board of officers consisted of Maj. Gen. Francis J. Kernan, United States Army, Maj. Gen. John F. O’Ryan, New York National Guard, and Lt. Col. Hugh W. Ogden, judge advocate. Lt. Col. F. M. Barrows served as board recorder. The board invited all officers in command who currently exercised general court-martial jurisdiction, or who had exercised it, as well as all judge advocates, to make recommendations regarding the improvement of the system of military justice. Their report and recommendations, Proceedings and Report of Special War Department Board on Courts-Martial and Their Procedure, was issued on July 17, 1919.
Congressional Record: Senate Proceedings and Debates of the 66th Congress, 1st Session
Selected pages from these proceedings include discussion of the courts martial process as well as the hearings held on that topic. Key letters that were submitted for the record are also included. Participants include Hon. George E. Chamberlain, Judge Advocate General Enoch H. Crowder, Gen. Samuel T. Ansell, and Senators Frank Brandegee, Gilbert Hitchcock, Irvine Lenroot, George Norris, James Reed, James Wadsworth, and James Watson.
Establishment of Military Justice. Hearings on S. 64 "A Bill to Establish Military Justice"
Proposed Amendments of the Articles of War
Establishment of military justice hearings before a subcommitee of the Commitee on Military Affairs, United States Senate, Sixty-sixth Congress, first session, on S. 64, a bill to establish military justice.
- Aug. 2, 1919
- Aug. 25, 1919
- Aug. 26, 1919
- Aug. 27, 1919
- Aug. 29, 1919
- Sept. 2, 1919
- Sept. 3, 1919
- Sept. 23, 1919
- Sept. 24, 1919
- Sept. 25, 1919
- Sept. 26, 1919
- Sept. 27, 1919
- Oct. 23, 1919
- Oct. 24, 1919
- Oct. 25, 1919
- Oct. 28, 1919
- Oct. 29, 1919
- Nov. 3, 1919
- Nov. 8, 1919
- Appendix - Report of the Inspector General to Secretary of War Investigation of Controversies Pertaining to the Office of the Judge Advocate General (1919)