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[421] 1863, in the arrest, trial, and banishment of Clement L. Vallandigham. On April 13th Major General Ambrose E. Burnside, commanding the Department, issued an order, declaring—
That, hereafter, all persons found within our lines who commit acts for the benefit of the enemies of our country will be tried as spies or traitors, and, if convicted, will suffer death. [The different classes of persons were then named in the order.] The habit of declaring sympathies for the enemy will no longer be tolerated in this department. Persons committing such offenses will be at once arrested, with a view to being tried as above stated, or sent beyond our lines into the lines of their friends. It must be distinctly understood that treason, expressed or implied, will not be tolerated in this department.

Vallandigham commented upon this order on May 1st, at a public meeting of citizens. Three days afterwards a body of soldiers was sent by railroad from Cincinnati to Dayton, who, with violence, broke into his residence at three o'clock in the morning, seized, and hurried him to the cars before a rescue could be made, and departed for Cincinnati, where he was confined in a military prison. He was brought to trial before a military commission on May 6th. The specification made against him in the charge was that ‘he addressed a large meeting of citizens at Mount Vernon, and did utter sentiments in words, or in effect, as follows: declaring the present war “a wicked, cruel, and unnecessary war” ; “a war not being waged for the preservation of the Union” ; “a war for the purpose of crushing out liberty and creating a despotism” ; ‘a war for the freedom of the blacks and the enslavement of the whites’; stating that, “if the Administration had so wished, the war could have been honorably terminated months ago” ; characterizing the military order “as a base usurpation of arbitrary authority” ; declaring “that he was at all times and upon all occasions resolved to do what he could to defeat the attempts now made to build up a monarchy upon the ruins of our free government.” ’

He was adjudged as guilty, and sentenced to confinement in Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, during the war. This sentence was changed by President Lincoln to banishment to the Confederate States. This military usurpation was spoken of by Governor Seymour of New York in a letter written at the time, in these words:

The transaction involved a series of offenses against our most sacred rights. It interfered with the freedom of speech; it violated our rights to be secure in our homes against unreasonable searches and seizures; it pronouncd sentence without a trial, save one which was a mockery, which insulted as well as wronged. The perpetrators now seek to impose punishment, not for an offense against law, but for a disergard of an invalid order, put forth in utter violation of the principles of civil liberty. If this proceeding is approved by the Government and sanctioned

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