Sunday, August 20, 2017

The ugly history of Camp Logan: Century-old mutiny at Houston military site was rooted in racism, buried for years

Via 4 Branch

The full caption for this item is as follows: Largest Murder Trial in the History of the United States. Scene during Court Martial of 64 members of the 24th Infantry United States of America on trial for mutiny and murder of 17 people at Houston, Texas August 23, 1917. Trial held in Gift Chapel Fort Sam Houston. The Houston Riot of 1917, or Camp Logan Riot, was a mutiny by 156 African American soldiers of the Third Battalion of the all-black Twenty-fourth United States Infantry. It occupied most of one night, and resulted in the deaths of four soldiers and sixteen civilians. The rioting soldiers were tried at three courts-martial. A total of nineteen would be executed, and forty-one were given life sentences. Photo: Buyenlarge, Getty Images / Archive Photos

Around 2 a.m. on a sticky August night in 1917, a 35-year old Army sergeant named Vida Henry sat exhausted and bleeding by the Southern Pacific railroad tracks just west of downtown Houston. As he watched his men slowly melt into the darkness, the first steps of a long trudge toward a dubious future, there was only one task remaining.

For the previous five hours, Henry had led the soldiers of I  Company on a march through town with a single objective - retribution. Now it was done. Houston stood awash in blood and fear, with more than two dozen bodies in the streets, the morgue and local hospitals.

None of this was imaginable a month earlier when the Third Battalion of the 24th Infantry rolled into the city. But Henry watched it build day by day, the anger that finally boiled over on a rainy Thursday afternoon. His African-American soldiers absorbed the abusive treatment by white citizens, especially &the police, until the moment they decided not to. He saw the fury in their eyes as they raised their rifles.


  1. Although the author of the news article failed to make the distinction, it was the 24th Infantry Regiment, and not the 24th Infantry Division, which was guilty of the riot.

    For soldiers who served in the 24th Infantry Division, that is a VERY important distinction!

    1. Thanks John and I hadn't heard of this incidence before.