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Decision of the Supreme Court of Tennessee that the Confederacy was de jure as well as de facto-opinion of Judge Turney.

The following decision is worthy of a place in our records not only because of the importance of the principles involved, but also on account of the ability with which the learned jurist maintains his positions. It will not detract from the value of the decision, in the eyes of any right-thinking man, if we add that Judge Turney was a skillful and gallant Confederate soldier, and was desperately wounded at Fredericksburg:


The bank of Tennessee v. Wm. B. Cummings, Adm'r.

Statement.-It appears of record that in the Autumn of 1861, Plumley, defendant's intestate, petitioned the Branch Bank of Tennessee at Sparta to discount his note for $500,--alleging that he had contracted with the Nitre and Mining Bureau at Nashville to make and furnish saltpetre to “The Confederate States of America.” At that time, the Bank was discounting but little:--but, because of the purpose for which the loan was designed, it was allowed. The money was faithfully appropriated to the design for which it was granted; and, by reason of the loan, Plumley was enabled to make and ship large quantities of saltpetre to Richmond and other points, which was used by the Confederate authorities in the manufacture of gunpowder. Suit was instituted on the note, and the defence relied on was, that the money was loaned and borrowed with the intent of aiding the Confederate States in the war then flagrant with the United States.

1. Governmental Law-The Confederate States of America-A Government de jure.-The Government of “The Confederate States of America” was organized and called into real active existence in the most solumn and formal mode; and was an integral, independent government, complete in its several departments — was clothed with all the powers and discharged all the functions incident to a Sovereign State. In common with its constituent members, it had the power, and exercised it, of making laws for its own government and that of its citizens.

2. Same.-Allegiance-juris et de jure.-Obedience to its authority in civil and local matters was not only a necessity, but a duty. Cited: Thorrington v. Smith, 8 Wallace, 12-13; Vattel, 97.

3. International Law.-Belligerent Rights.-Gunpowder.-The use of gunpowder is a belligerent right of primal importance:--the right to use carries with it the right to purchase or manufacture, and in the manufacture the right to the means requisite for its achievement. Case cited: Smith v. Brazleton, 1 Heis., 46.

4. State.-Right.-A State having a right may employ the means necessary for its perfection and enjoyment, and to this end may engage its citizens, or they may voluntarily contribute to it.

5. Case at Bar.-In the present case the contract was freely and voluntarily entered into, and was, therefore, legal and binding.

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