Houston Matters

What it took to get the Camp Logan soldiers’ convictions overturned

A researcher from South Texas College of Law Houston talks about the work she and other students did to help bring justice to Black soldiers convicted in connection with the 1917 Houston Riots.


Camp Logan Court Martial
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration/Wikipedia Commons
The court martial of 64 members of the 24th Infantry on trial for mutiny and murder of 17 people in Houston on Aug. 23, 1917 during the Houston Riots.


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We learned last week the U.S. Army was officially recognizing the overturned convictions of 110 Black soldiers stationed at Camp Logan here in Houston in 1917.

As first reported in the Houston Chronicle, the move set aside the convictions of all soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, U.S. 24th Infantry Regiment, including 19 who were executed at Fort Sam Houston on mutiny, murder, and assault convictions following the 1917 Houston Riots.

The riots came on the heels of months of racial tension between members of the 24th and the Houston community and police.

But what did it take to get these convictions overturned?

Patricia Ortiz/Houston Public Media
The presentation of flags at the Buffalo Soldier Museum. 110 officers were pardoned and honorably discharged after the Houston Riots.

In the audio above, we learn about some of the research and groundwork it took from two guests: Ashley Cromika is a Houston attorney who researched the cases of the soldiers while a student at South Texas College of Law Houston; and Catherine Greene Burnett is vice president and associate dean for clinical studies who oversaw some of the research at the law school.

Cromika was one of several students who dug into the stories of some of the Camp Logan soldiers while she was involved in the school’s Actual Innocence clinic. She pored over some 2,500 pages of transcripts from their courts martial.

“And [I] just kind of got a sense that something wasn’t right, and that we had the ability to try to work towards getting justice for these men who were treated so poorly,” she said.

Catherine Greene Burnett and Ashley Cromika
Michael Hagerty/Houston Public Media
Catherine Greene Burnett of South Texas College of Law Houston and attorney Ashley Cromika, who was among the law students who researched the cases of the Camp Logan soldiers convicted for their involvement in the 1917 Houston Riots.
Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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