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[78] President Davis (which referred especially to Captain Beall's adventure), declaring that the Philo Parson's enterprise was a belligerent expedition, ordered and undertaken under the authority of the Confederate government, and for which that government assumed responsibility.‘July 10, 1865, Burley was brought to trial. Judge Fitch charged the jury’that a state of war had existed between the Federal government and the Confederate government, so called, and it made no difference whether the United States admitted it or not.‘He held that the prisoner and other persons connected with him in the capture of the boat,—acting for and under orders from the Confederate government, would not be amenable to civil tribunals for the offense—the charge was robbery. If the parties who took the boat and money belonging to Captain Atwood, intended to appropriate it to their own private use, then the prisoner would be guilty of the offense; but in carrying out the expedition the parties had the same right, in a military point of view, to take other articles of property, or even money, that they had to take the boat.’

The jury disagreed, standing six to six. Burley was returned to prison, but allowed to walk out of jail in broad day-light. The The case was nolle prossed by the prosecution.


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