Historian Seeks Records Fix For Soldier Wrongly Executed
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Research into the execution of a New York soldier during the War of 1812 has led to an upstate congressman introducing legislation that would make it easier to correct military records when a serious error or injustice is discovered decades or even centuries later.
East Greenbush town historian Roberta Reno says she learned that Pvt. Samuel Helms was wrongly executed for desertion at an encampment in Rensselaer, across the Hudson River from Albany.
She determined he was illegally put on trial, but when she tried to correct his military record she was told she couldn't because she wasn't a family member and failed to locate any of his descendants.
A bill introduced this week by Congressman Paul Tonko, an Albany-area Democrat, would allow military records to be updated or corrected to fix historical errors.