In 1914, Major Benjamin Koehler faced a court martial on Plum Island, off the eastern end of the North Fork coast of Long Island. A number of men under his command at the island’s Fort Terry had accused this career officer of immoral conduct. The resulting trial and verdict, after an initial flurry of notice in the press, is largely forgotten now.
Marian Lindberg, a lawyer with the Nature Conservancy and a former journalist, has gone to great lengths to retrieve Major Koehler’s ordeal from obscurity. Her book, Scandal on Plum Island: A Commander Becomes the Accused (East End Press), uncovers the possible motives for the court martial as well as the social and political climate surrounding it. [Read more…] about Scandal on Plum Island: A Commander Accused