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John minor Botts and his family—1863 A peaceful scene for Culpeper County, Virginia, whose fair acres were ploughed with shot and shell, and whose soil was reddened with the blood of its sons, during the year 1863. The firm chin and close-set mouth of John Minor Botts stamp him a man of determination. He disbelieved in the right of secession and loudly proclaimed his disbelief until he landed in a Richmond jail. When he was finally convinced that he would not be allowed to attack the Confederacy, verbally or otherwise, in the city of Richmond, he betook himself and his family to Culpeper County, where he talked pretty much as he pleased. Even in Richmond his detention was only temporary. Though it was evident that under war conditions many sudden arrests must be made, a resolution authorizing the President to suspend the writ of habeas corpus was not passed until February 27, 1862. It was a month after this when John Minor Botts was arrested. The President's authority to suspend the writ was extended on October 13, 1862, to February 12, 1863. The writ was not again suspended until February, 1864, when Congress suspended it in the case of prisoners whose arrest was authorized by the President or the Secretary of War. This act expired on the 2d of August, 1864, and was never renewed, even at the President's request, so jealous of personal liberty were the Southerners.

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