the cause of their country in its hour of trial.
In performing this sacred duty they should not be deprived of a most precious privilege.
They have as much right to demand that their votes shall be counted in the choice of their rulers, as those citizens who remain at home; nay more, for they have sacrificed more for their country.’
Nevertheless, he was most anxious to avoid any use of the army for party purposes, or any political excitement within the lines.
‘I state these reasons in full,’ he continued, ‘for the unusual thing of allowing armies in the field to vote, that I may urge on the other hand that nothing more than the fullest exercise of this vote should be allowed; for anything not absolutely necessary to the exercise cannot but be dangerous to the liberties of the country.
The officers and soldiers have every means of understanding the questions before the country.
The newspapers are freely circulated, and so I believe are the documents prepared by both parties to set forth the merits and claims of their candidates.
Beyond this, nothing whatever should be allowed; no political meetings, no harangues from soldier or citizen, and no canvassing of camps or regiments for votes.
I see not why a single individual not belonging to the armies should be admitted into their lines to deliver tickets.
In my opinion, the tickets should be furnished by the chief provostmarshal of each army, by them to the provostmarshal or some other officer of each brigade or regiment, who shall, on the day of election, deliver tickets, irrespective of party, to whoever may call for them.
If, however, it shall be deemed expedient to admit citizens to deliver tickets, then it ’