This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 property of persons of that class were involved. An election of state officers and a so-called legislature were held. The latter convened on October 25th. The thirteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibiting slavery was ratified. On November 29th the provisional governor retired, and the so-called governor-elect (Orr) was inaugurated. The work of the legislature was very complete. The courts were open to all persons, with equal civil rights, without distinction of color, and Major General Sickles, commander of the Military Department of North Carolina and South Carolina, ordered all civil and criminal cases to be tried before them in which the parties were civilians. Previous to this order, and after the cessation of hostilities, provost marshals and military courts were detailed for duty all over the state. These officers knew only the law martial, and generally very little of that; they took jurisdiction of all cases, both civil and criminal, occasioning great annoyance, expense, and vexation, deciding as their prejudice, caprice, or ignorance suggested. After the completion of the socalled state government, however, the vacancies on the bench were filled, and the courts opened throughout the state. Still the people were made to feel that the military hand was over all. A case occurred in the court in Charleston, before Judge A. P. Aldrich, in which a white man was indicted for petty larceny, tried, and found guilty. The punishment prescribed by the law of the state for this offense was whipping. To this punishment the offender was sentenced. On the next day an armed soldier came to the courthouse inquiring for the judge, who was absent. To an inquiry of the sheriff as to his business, he replied that he was ordered to require the judge to report at General Bennet's headquarters, who was the military commander of the district. On the next day another soldier in full uniform came to the lodgings of the judge with a note from the general requesting the former to report at headquarters. The reply of the judge was: ‘As I have no business with you, I decline to report. If you have business with me, it will give me great pleasure to receive you.’ On the next day an adjutant appeared saying: ‘The general is very much engaged, and asks you to come to his office. I will wait your convenience.’ ‘I see I am under arrest,’ replied the judge. ‘I will go now.’ The adjutant, in full uniform, escorted him through the most public parts of the city to headquarters, and, entering the office, announced him. The general was sitting, with his cap on, and writing. After some
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.