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In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this twenty-fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
This proclamation was accompanied by orders from the War Department appointing a Provost Marshal-General, whose head-quarters were to be at Washington, with special provostmarshals, one or more, in each State, charged with the duty of arresting deserters and disloyal persons, and of inquiring into treasonable practices throughout the country. They were authorized to call upon either the civil or military authority for aid in the discharge of their duties, and were required to report to the Department at Washington. The creation of this new Department had been made necessary by the increased activity of the enemies of the Government throughout the North, and by the degree of success which had attended their efforts. Prompted partly by merely political and partisan motives, but in many instances by thorough sympathy with the secession movement, active political leaders had set in vigorous motion very extensive machinery for the advancement of their designs. "Peace meetings" were held in every section of the Northern States, at which the action of the Government was, most vehemently assailed, the objects of the war were misrepresented, and its prosecution denounced, and special efforts made to prevent enlistments, to promote desertions, and in every way to cripple the Government in its efforts to subdue the rebellion by force of arms. The vigorous action of the Government, however, in arresting men conspicuous in these disloyal practices, had created a salutary re
action in the public mind, and had so far relieved the Administration from apprehension as to warrant the promulgation of the following order:
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 1862. Ordered-1. That all persons now in military custody, who have been arrested for discouraging volunteer enlistments, opposing the draft, or for otherwise giving aid and comfort to the enemy, in States where the draft has been made, or the quota of volunteers and militia has been furnished, shall be discharged from further military restraint.
2. The persons who, by the authority of the military commander or governor in rebel States, have been arrested and sent from such State for disloyalty or hostility to the Government of the United States, and are now in military custody, may also be discharged upon giving their parole to do no act of hostility against the Government of the United States, nor render aid to its enemies. But all such persons shall remain subject to military surveillance and liable to arrest on breach of their parole. And if any such persons shall prefer to leave the loyal States on condition of their not returning again during the war, or until special leave for that purpose be obtained from the President, then such person shall, at his option, be released and depart from the United States, or be conveyed beyond the military lines of the United States forces.
3. This order shall not operate to discharge any person who has been in arms against the Government, or by force and arms has resisted or attempted to resist the draft, nor relieve any person from liability to trial and punishment by civil tribunals, or by court-martial or military commission, who may be amenable to such tribunals for offences committed.
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.
During the succeeding winter, while Congress was in session, public sentiment was comparatively at rest on this subject. Congress had enacted a law, sanctioning the action of the President in suspending the writ of habeas corpus, and clothing him with full authority to check and punish all attempts to defeat the efforts of the Government in the prosecution of the war. After the adjournment, however, when the political activity of the country was transferred from the
Capital to the people in their respective localities, the party agitation was revived, and public meetings were again held to denounce the conduct of the Government, and to protest against the farther prosecution of the war. One of the most active of these advocates of peace with the rebel Confederacy was Hon. C. L. Vallandigham, a member of Congress from Ohio, who had steadily opposed all measures for the prosecution of the war throughout the session. After the adjournment he made a political canvass of his district, and in a speech at Mount Vernon, on the 1st of May, he denounced the Government at Washington as aiming, in the conduct of the war, not to restore the Union, but to crush out liberty and establish a despotism. He declared that the war was waged for the freedom of the blacks and the enslaving of the whitesthat the Government could have had peace long before if it had desired it—that the mediation of France ought to have been accepted, and that the Government had deliberately rejected propositions by which the Southern States could have been brought back to the Union. He also denounced an order, No. 38, issued by General Burnside, in command of the Department, forbidding certain disloyal practices, and giving notice that persons declaring sympathy for the enemy would be arrested for trial, proclaimed his intention to disobey it, and called on the people who heard him to resist and defeat its execution.
For this speech Mr. Vallandigham was arrested, by order of General Burnside, on the 4th of May, and ordered for trial before a court-martial at Cincinnati. On the 5th, he applied, through his counsel, Senator Pugh, to the Circuit Court of the United States for a writ of habeas corpus. In reply to this application, a letter was read from General Burnside, setting forth the considerations which had led him to make the arrest, and Vallandigham's counsel was then heard in a very long argument on the case. Judge Stewart pronounced his decision,
refusing the writ, on the ground that the action of General Burnside was necessary for the public safety. "The legality
of the arrest," said the judge, depends upon the extent of the necessity for making it, and that was to be determined by the military commander." And he adds:
Men should know and lay the truth to heart, that there is a course of conduct not involving overt treason, and not therefore subject to punishment as such, which, nevertheless, implies moral guilt, and a gross offence against the country. Those who live under the protection and enjoy the blessings of our benignant Government, must learn that they cannot stab its vitals with impunity. If they cherish hatred and hostility to it, and desire its subversion, let them withdraw from its jurisdiction, and seek the fellowship and protection of those with whom they are in sympathy. If they remain with us, while they are not of us, they must be subject to such a course of dealing as the great law of self-preservation prescribes and will enforce. And let them not complain if the stringent doctrine of military necessity should find them to be the legitimate subjects of its action. I have no fear that the recognition of this doctrine will lead to an arbitrary invasion of the personal security, or personal liberty, of the citizen. It is rare indeed that a charge of disloyalty will be made on insufficient grounds. But if there should be an occasional mistake, such an occurrence is not to be put in competition with the preservation of the nation; and I confess I am but little moved by the eloquent appeals of those who, while they indignantly denounce violation of personal liberty, look with no horror upon a despotism as unmitigated as the world has ever witnessed.
The military commission, before which Vallandigham was ordered for trial, met on the 6th, found him guilty of the principal offences charged, and sentenced him to be placed in close confinement in some fortress of the United States, to be designated by the commanding officer of that Department. Major-General Burnside approved the sentence, and designated Fort Warren, in Boston harbor, as the place of confinement. The President modified this sentence by directing that, instead of being imprisoned, Mr. Vallandigham should be sent within the rebel lines, and should not return to the United
States until after the termination of the war. This sentence was at once carried into execution.
The arrest, trial, and sentence of Mr. Vallandigham created a good deal of excitement throughout the country. The opponents of the Administration treated it as a case of martyrdom, and held public meetings for the purpose of denouncing the action of the Government as tyrannical and highly dangerous to the public liberties. One of the earliest of these demonstrations was held at Albany, on the 16th of May, at which Hon. Erastus Corning presided, and to which Governor Seymour addressed a letter, expressing in the strongest terms his condemnation of the course pursued by the Government. "If this proceeding," said he, speaking of the arrest of Vallandigham, "is approved by the Government, and sanctioned by the people, it is not merely a step towards revolution,—it is revolution. It will not only lead to military despotism,-it establishes military despotism. In this aspect it must be accepted, or in this aspect rejected. this country now wait with the deepest of the Administration upon these acts. generous support in the conduct of the war, we pause to see what kind of a government it is for which we are asked to pour out our blood and our treasure. The action of the Administration will determine, in the minds of more than onehalf of the people of the loyal States, whether this war is waged to put down rebellion at the South, or destroy free institutions at the North." The resolutions which were adopted at this meeting pledged the Democratic party of the State to the preservation of the Union, but condemned in strong terms the whole system of arbitrary arrests, and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.
*The people of anxiety the decision Having given it a
A copy of these resolutions was forwarded by the presiding officer to President LINCOLN, who sent the following letter in reply: