not concern him. He refused even to consider the question whether injustice had or had not been done, or whether the operation of a law was not relatively unjust to some as compared to others.
When to such natural character and habits of thought are added the stern necessities of war as viewed by a commander and many other officers, what possible chance of justice can be left to an unfortunate
It is true that even if the life of an innocent man may have been sacrificed under the stern necessities of discipline, that is no more than thousands of his fellow-soldiers have suffered because of the crimes and follies of politicians who brought on the war. But that is no reason why his memory as well as those of his comrades should not be finally honored, if it can be proved that, after all, he also was innocent and brave.
In my opinion, no government can be regarded as just to its army unless it provides, under appropriate conditions, for the rehearing of cases that may be tried by court-martial in time of war. Perhaps it may most wisely be left for the President
and Congress to institute appropriate action in each individual case.
That is a matter for mature consideration.
My only desire is to suggest the necessity for some such action, whenever reasonable grounds for it may be presented.
I have no respect for the suggestions sometimes urged that labor and expense are sufficient grounds for failure to secure justice to every citizen or soldier of the republic, whether at home or abroad.
Soon after General Logan
's last election to the Senate, I had a very interesting and unreserved conversation with him, at his house in Chicago
, in respect to his action in the Porter
He spoke of it with evident candor, acknowledged that his view of the case was probably wrong, and as if to excuse his mistake, volunteered an explanation as to how he came to take that view of it.