President Trump has formally been asked to issue a posthumous Presidential pardon to the 19 African American soldiers who were hanged at Ft. Sam Houston 100 years ago, on what most historians agree were racially biased charges stemming from the Houston riots a year earlier, News Radio 1200 WOAI reprots.
Actor and Silver Star recipient James McEachin will lead the effort to find justice for men who were part of the African American 24th Infantry Regiment, several members of which rioted in Houston after witnessing a police officer abusing a Black woman. But the men who were hanged in San Antonio were not believed to have been involved in any way in the rioting, in fact, the drum-head court martial meted out at Ft. Sam so enraged many in the Army that it led direction to the creation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
"We are honored and humbled by Ambassador James McEachin's commitment to helping us gain the proper honor for the men of the US Army 24th Infantry Regiment Company K. As the author of Farewell to the Mockingbird, Mr. McEachin has in-depth knowledge ," says Pastor K.P. Tatum, Sr., executive producer of the Hang Before Dawn: Remembering the Souls of Hangman's Grove, a centennial commemoration on how the execution of the men of the US Army 24th change military law.
The Army recently recognized the 19 men who were hung on a makeshift gallows near what is now Perrin-Beitel Rd. in 1918, and plans are underway for a commemorative marker on the site.
The mass trial of a total of 63 Black soldiers was the largest murder trial in U.S. history.The attempt to receive a pardon for the men has been thwarted by a Justice Department policy of not issuing posthumous pardons. But the President does have that authority.
PHOTO COURTESY: PASTOR K.P. TATUM SR.