The Blackstone of Military Law: Colonel William Winthrop

The Blackstone of Military Law: Colonel William Winthrop

by Joshua E. Kastenberg


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The Blackstone of Military Law: Colonel William Winthrop by Joshua E. Kastenberg

Colonel William Winthrop singularly was the most influential person in developing the military law of the United States. A half century ago, the Supreme Court tendered to Winthrop the title, "The Blackstone of Military Law," meaning simply that his influence outshone all others. He has been cited over 20 times by the highest court and well over a 1,000 times by other federal courts, state courts, and legal texts. In this, he surpasses most other legal scholars, save Joseph Story, John Marshall, or Felix Frankfurter. But while biographies of each of these Supreme Court Justices have been written, there has been none to date on Winthrop. The Blackstone of Military Law: Colonel William Winthrop is the first biography on this important figure in military and legal history. Written in both a chronological and thematic format, author Joshua E. Kastenberg begins with Winthrop's legal training, his involvement in abolitionism, his military experiences during the Civil War, and his long tenure as a judge advocate. This biography provides the necessary context to fully appreciate Winthrop's work, its meaning, and its continued relevance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810861770
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 04/23/2009
Series: Historical Dictionaries of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations Series
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Joshua E. Kastenberg is an active duty officer in the United States Air Force, assigned to the Judge Advocate General's Corps. He has served as a legal advisor to a number of commands, including combatant commands and forward deployed operations.

Table of Contents

Preface v

Acknowledgments ix

1 A Privileged Lineage 1

2 From Youth to Yale: The Making of a Legal Mind 17

3 Bostonian Lawyer with Stirrings of Abolitionism 39

4 Frontier Lawyer in the Minnesota Territory 53

5 The Winthrop Brothers Go to War 69

6 A Sharpshooter on the Peninsula Campaign 85

7 From Second Manassas to Fredericksburg: "I Had Some Pretty Close Escapes" 109

8 Civil War Judge Advocate 131

9 Professionalizing a "Constitutional Army" in a Time of Uncertainty: 1865-1895 167

10 Professionalizing the Practice of Military Law: Winthrop's Influence Cemented 211

11 Marriage and Field Service under the Command of John M. Schofield 265

12 West Point Professor to the End of a Career 285

13 Epilogue: Retirement and Death 303

Bibliography 321

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