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Forest hall military prison, at Georgetown This was one of the military prisons utilized by the provost-marshal. The activities of these officials first brought to the consciousness of the non-combatant citizen the fact that a state of war actually existed. As a result of the widespread suspicion and broadcast accusations that persons not in sympathy with the Federal Government were spies, the arrest of hundreds in and about Washington and in the other larger cities of the Union States was ordered without warrants on a simple order from the State or War Department, but chiefly the former. President Lincoln had claimed the right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. Commanders of such prisons as the above were instructed to refuse to allow themselves to be served with writs; or either to decline to appear or to appear and courteously refuse to carry out the instruction of the court.

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Abraham Lincoln (1)
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