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[210] were less frequent in the Confederate than in the United States. President Davis did not assume the right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, and this privilege was grudgingly granted him by the Confederate Congress for limited periods only and with important limitations.

In the beginning the larger number of arrests was made under what was known as the ‘Alien Enemies Act.’ This act of the Confederate Congress approved by the President, August 8, 1861, provided that ‘all natives, citizens or denizens, or subjects of the hostile Nation or Government . . . shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained or secured, and removed as alien enemies.’ The President of the Confederacy was authorized to issue a proclamation to carry this act into effect. Accordingly, all residents of other States adhering to the Union were ordered to depart within forty days, subject only to the provision that they should not be allowed to cross the lines at such times and places as would result in their giving information to the Federals.

A commission consisting of two citizens, John Randolph Tucker and James Lyon, was appointed on August 30th, on the suggestion of General J. H. Winder, who wrote to the Secretary of War on the 26th of August that he believed that many prisoners who had been arrested should be discharged. The commissioners at once entered on their work and a general jail delivery ensued. Military officers were also instructed to obey the writs of habeas corpus, and if the judge ordered the discharge of the prisoner, to obey, though they might then appeal to the Confederate district judge.

The attitude of the officers of the Government was not in accord with that in operation in Washington, for on January 5, 1862, Secretary Benjamin wrote to General J. E. Johnston protesting against his sending prisoners arrested on suspicion to Richmond. ‘They come here without definite charges against them, without any proof or witnesses, and I am utterly powerless to hold them for you.’ Secretary Seddon further

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