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[393] made by a direct interference with the elections. An election was to be held in the state for members of the legislature and members of Congress on November 3, 1863. The commanding general, on October 27th issued an order to all marshals and military officers to cause their direct interference with the voters. The governor (Bradford) applied to the President of the United States to have the order revoked, and protested against any person who offered to vote being put to any test not found in the laws of Maryland. President Lincoln declined to interfere with the order, except in one less important point. The governor issued a proclamation on the day preceding the election, which the military commander endeavored to suppress, and issued an order charging that the tendency of the proclamation was to invite and suggest disturbance. One or more regiments of soldiers were sent out and distributed among several of the counties to attend the places of election, in defiance of the known laws of the state prohibiting their presence. Military officers and provost marshals were ordered to arrest voters guilty, in their opinion, of certain offenses, and to menace judges of election with the power of the army in case this order was not respected.

But perhaps the forcible language of the governor to the legislature will furnish the most undeniable statement of the facts. He says:

On Monday evening preceding the election I issued a proclamation giving the judges of election the assurance of the protection of the State to the extent of its ability. Before the following morning, orders were sent to the Eastern Shore, directing its circulation to be suppressed; the public papers were forbidden to publish it, and an embargo laid on all steamers in port trading with that part of the State, lest they might carry it.

The abuses commenced even before the opening of the polls. On the day preceding the election, the officer in command of the regiment which had been distributed among the counties of the Eastren Shore, and who had himself landed in Kent County, commenced his operations by arresting and sending across the bay some ten or more of the most estimable and distinguished of its citizens, including several of the most steadfast and most uncompromising loyalists of the Shore. The jail of the county was entered, the jailer seized, imprisoned, and afterward sent to Baltimore, and prisoners confined therein under indictment set at liberty. The commanding officer gave the first clew to the kind of disloyalty against which he considered himself as particularly commissioned, by printing and publishing a proclamation in which, referring to the election to take place on the next day, he invited all the truly loyal to avail themselves of that opportunity and establish their loyalty, ‘by giving a full and ardent support to the whole Government ticket, upon the platform adopted by the Union League Convention,’ declaring that ‘none other is recognized by the Federal authorities as loyal or worthy of the support of any one who desires the peace and restoration of the Union.’

This Government ticket was in several, if not all, of those counties designated

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