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[508] of the United States do not require such ineffective mixture of civil and military methods. When the civil power ceases to be effective and the President is required to exercise his authority as commander-in-chief of the army, his acts become purely military, untrammeled by any civil authority whatever. This is perhaps one of the strongest and most valuable provisions of the Constitution and laws—one which, if generally known, is most likely to deter the lawless from any attempt to act in defiance of the judicial authority of the United States. The General Order No. 15, issued at the time herein referred to (May 25, 1894), was based upon the foregoing interpretation of the Constitution and laws.

Under the Constitution and existing statutes of the United States it is not proper to use the troops, either in large or small numbers, to ‘aid the United States marshals.’ When the civil officers, with their civil posse, are no longer able to enforce the laws, they stand aside, and the military power, under the orders of the commander-in-chief, steps in and overcomes the lawless resistance to authority. Then the civil officers resume their functions, to make arrests of individuals, hold them in custody, and deliver them to the courts for trial. It is not the duty of the troops in such cases to guard prisoners who are in the custody of civil officers; but it is the duty of the troops, if necessary, to repel by force of arms any unlawful attempt to rescue such prisoners. This distinction should be clearly understood by all army officers, and it is of universal application. Tle duty of the army is, when so ordered by the President, to overcome and suppress lawless resistance to civil authority. There military duty ends, and the civil officers resume their functions.

The distinction between the authority of the United States and that of the several States is so clearly defined that there can be no possible excuse for ignorance on that subject on the part of any officer of the army. But

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May 25th, 1894 AD (1)
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