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[64] the keeper of the Fort Monroe jail to deliver Mr. Davis up to the marshal of the District of Virginia on proper application.

While the Attorney-General saw no reasons why Mr. Davis should not be tried, he set forth many reasons why the court which was to try him could not sit, and why the court had not convened on the 6th of October, the day to which it adjourned and to which Mr. Davis' trial was postponed. Congress, he said, had, on the 22nd day of May, 1866, passed an act providing that the Circuit Court of the United States should be held at Richmond on the first Monday in May and the fourth Monday in November in each year. This, the Attorney-General held, abrogated the special term fixed for October. But on the 23d of July Congress passed an act to fix the number of judges of the Supreme Court and to change certain judicial circuits. Among those changed was that assigned to the Chief Justice, when Delaware was taken out and South Carolina substituted. This change, it was thought, would make a new allotment necessary, and as this could only be made by the Supreme Court, and not by it until it met, it was probable that the court in Richmond could not convene even in November; during all of which time and through all these contingencies Mr. Davis was to remain in a military jail.

Thus it appears that, despite the expressions of a desire to see justice done the prisoner, made by the only men who had the power to do justice, something always arose to prevent their carrying out their philanthrophic wishes. The historian of the future, with all the light which will then illumine his research, will tear away the flimsy veil and show that Mr. Davis was so long kept in confinement to gratify the personal bitterness of men who had once been his associaties, and well knew the dignity and purity of his character.

In investigating this whole subject it has been necessary to read many pages of the correspondence between the commanding officers of the Federal armies and the civil deparments, and especially between them and Judge Advocate-General Holt, and it gives pleasure and speaks well for human nature to note that whenever a gallant Union soldier had to deal with the matter of the treatment of a Confederate soldier or citizen, his tone was one of mercy, of justice, and of respect, without insult or harsh expressions, and with the utmost consideration for the defenceless, the weak, and the unfortunate. Every one knows this was characteristic of Grant, but the same may be well said of Sheridan, of Sherman, of Thomas, and of many others. The young Major-General who acted as jailor at Fortress


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