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[416] people was entirely disregarded, and the operation of the institutions which had been established for the protection of their rights was suspended, or nullified, by a military force of the government of the United States. Only such events, therefore, can be stated as serve to show how universal and how complete was the work done by the United States government to secure a recognition of its supremacy, over not only acts but even words, from every citizen. All were its subjects; the ‘loyal’ as some were called, were its friends, and could be trusted; the ‘disloyal’ were its disaffected subjects, and must be watched by spies and informers, and, if necessary, put in prison to secure their passive submission.

A military domination was established in all of the Northern states, under the pretext of securing the arrest of deserters from the army. This was accomplished on September 24, 1862, by the appointment of a provost marshal general of the War Department at Washington, and in each state one or more special provost marshals, who were required to report to and receive instructions from the provost marshal general. It was made the duty of the special marshals—

To arrest all deserters, whether regulars, volunteers, or militia, and send them to the nearest military commander or military post, where they can be cared for and sent to their respective regiments; to arrest, upon the warrant of the Judge Advocate, all disloyal persons subject to arrest under the orders of the War Department; to inquire into and report treasonable practices, seize stolen or embezzled property of the Government, detect spies of the enemy, and perform such other duties as may be enjoined on them by the War Dpartment.

To enable these marshals to perform their duties efficiently, they were authorized to call on any available military force within their respective districts, or else to employ the assistance of citizens, constables, sheriffs, or police officers, so far as might be necessary. No trial was allowed to any person thus arrested except before a military commission consisting of military officers designated for the purpose; the prosecutor was the judge advocate, and the punishments were exemplary, unusual, and too often such as were unknown to the laws. The state governments within whose domains the courts were open, the civil institutions in quiet operation, and the transactions of peaceful life uniform and constant, were powerless to protect their citizens in their unalienable rights of freedom of speech and personal liberty, and the mandates of their courts were treated with contempt. In utter disregard of the principles of civil liberty a military control was established in every Northern state, the declarations of rights in their constitutions were violated, their laws nullified, and the authority of their

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September 24th, 1862 AD (1)
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