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On May 4 the President expressed in writing (Exhibit 126) his entire agree-
ment with the Secretary of War, and made mention of the latter's " very ful l
and convincing letter," and pardoned, unconditionally, the two soldiers con-
victed of sleeping on post (Exhibits 127 and 128) and commuted the sentence s
of the two convicted of disobedience of orders to confinement for three years .
(Exhibits 129 and 130. )
In Col. Davis's testimony before the Inspector General he made the followin g
positive and unequivocal statement (Exhibit 20, p . 16) :
" The next time I had any conversation with either of them about thi s
matter was along about the 10th of April, 1918 . I was in Gen . Ansell's roo m
for some other purpose and he came out of Gen. Crowder's room and sat down
at his desk and said to me, in words about as follows : ` What in the hell is
the matter ivith Gen . Crowder about those death cases?' I explained to hi m
that he had Col . Clark at work reviewing these cases, and he seemed ver y
anxious to be sure of his ground before making definite recommendations, an d
that Col. Clark had come to the conclusion that the sentences ought not to b e
executed . To this Gen . Ansell replied that he did not agree with Col . Clark ;
that he thought the sentences ought to be executed, and he further state d
that Gen . Crowder had directed him to make a review of the cases himself.
Those two events stand very clear in my mind, and there is no possible con-
fusion between then. "
Col . Clark, the officer who first stated the conviction that the death sen-
tences should not be carried into effect, and who, by direction of Gen . Crowder,
expressed his views in the form of a memorandum, testified in part as follows
(Exhibit 24, pp . 7 and 8) :
" I had talked with Col . Mayes and Gen . Ansell and had taken occasion,
although the cases were not then in my hands for review, to express the settle d
conviction that it would be a great mistake and an injustice to carry thes e
sentences into effect. At that time these officers did not agree with me bu t
were of the opinion that the views of Gen . Pershing with respect to the pro-
priety and the expediency of carrying these sentences into effect should b e
followed . While these cases were under consideration in the office, and befor e
the records came to me from Gen . Crowder for review, as I have just stated,
I discussed them with Gen . Ansell and other officers on more than one occasion ,
and Gen . Ansell had stated to me, during those discussions, that he though t
the sentences should be carried into effect . * * *
" Some time after the records in the death cases from France came to m e
from Gen . Crowder for further study, Col . Davis informed me of a conver-
sation which he had just had ; I mean by that a conversation he had shortl y
before he spoke to inc about it . Col . Davis stated in substance that Gen .
Ansell had used some profanely forcible language in connection with thes e
cases. I would not undertake to give the language of the conversation bu t
my recollection of its effect or substance is that he objected to or resented
the fact that the sentences were not being promptly carried into effect in ac-
cordance with the recommendations contained in Maj . Rand's reviews, instead
of which they had been returned to me for further study and report by
Gen . Crowder . "
In this connection Col . Mayes states (Exhibit 30, p. 5) :
" Gen . Ansell was not there when those reviews carne in and I passed those
records to Gen . Crowder concurring in the reviews. The reviews, I think,
recommended the execution of the death penalty . I concurred in that view.
Then, when Gen . Ansell came back, Gen . Crowder asked him to review it.
Gen . Ansell read the reviews and did not concur . * * * Gen . Ansell an d
I were in the same office and when these cases were turned over to him t o
read, he immediately took the view that he afterwards maintained . I do not
believe that there was any change in his views . That idea may have grown
up from the fact that they were sent to Gen . Crowder by me, concurring i n
the imposition of those death sentences . Ansell and I differed on those case s
and I am sure that Ansell was not here when they were passed to Gen.
Crowder. * * * I have held to the view that where a soldier was foun d
sleeping on sentry duty in the front line he should receive the most sever e
penalty authorized for that offense, which is death unless there was some ver y
mitigating explanation of his conduct . I have held to this view because a
sentinel in such position holds the lives of his comrades in his hands . Havin g
stated my opinions I will say that I do not remember of Gen . Ansell ever
disagreeing from that view . His disagreement on the four cases from Franc e
was upon the sufficiency of those cases and not upon the principle. I can not