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Treason Trials at Indianapolis
Court Room, Indianapolis, Indiana
September 23, 1864, 10 o'clock, A. M.

Defense Opening,   Judge Advocate Opening

Princeton Thesis examining the Milligan trial relative to military commissions

Call it Peace or Call it Treason: The Milligan Case and the Meaning of Loyalty in the Civil War

Elisheva R. Coleman, Princeton B.A. thesis in History, 2005

Harrison H. Dodd: Defense Opening
The Commission met persuant to adjournment.

All the members present. Also, the Judge Advocate, the acused, and his counsel.

The proceedings were read and approved.

The accused through his counsel, submitted the following brief in support of his plea to the jurisdiction of the Commission:

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Commission:

In support of his objection to the jurisdiction of the Commision to try him upon the charges preferred against him, the defendant respectfully submits the following considerations:

I. These charges involve capital and infamous crimes, and the Constitution of the United States expressly proves that "no person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service, in time of war or public danger." (Amend. Const. Art 5.) And again: "In all criminal cases the prisoner shall enjoy the right of a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where the crime shall have been committed," etc. (Amend. Const. Art 6.)

These provisions were adopted after the organization of the Government of the United States under the Constitution, and for the purpose of placing the trial by jury entirely beyond the power of Congress, and of all other branches of the Government. The Constitution, as originally adopted, contained the following provision on the subject: "The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachments, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the State where such crime shall have been committed." (Article 4, section 2) So jealous were the people of the right in question, that they required the amendment quoted, notwithstanding the original provision.

The defendant is a citizen of the United States, and of the State of Indiana, not in the land or naval forces, or in the militia in actual service. He is, therefore, not within the exception of Article 5 of amendments above cited. That exception does not affect his right any more than if it did not exist. These several right, it would seem that he ought to be protected from a trial not in conformity with them. It seems that he can not, in fairness, be tried without first being presented by a grand jury; or tried without a petit jury of the district wherein his alleged offenses were committed.

II. But it may be said that we are in a state of war; that the writ of habeas corpus is suspended; and the provisions in question are under similar suspension. But there is no provision for the suspension of any branch of the Constitution. The Constitution, indeed, authorizes the suspension of the habeas corpus act -- a law of the land, generally adopted in the States prior to the adoption of the Constitution. The right of trial by jury, however, is placed on a different and higher ground. It is secured by these several absolute provisions of the Constitution, against all chances, and under all circumstances. The fiat that suspends it must be potent enough to abolish every principle of the Constitution, and all those primordial rights that existed before the Constitution, and so far as human foresight could provide against their invasion, protected by plain constitutional provisions.

If it should be contended, then, that the power necessary for the suspension of the habveas corpus involves in its exercise the suspension of the right of trial by jury, he begs leave to say that, in his opinion, it can not for the following reasons:

1. The trial by jury is placed by the Constitution among the original reserved rights of the people, and must, in favor of natural liberty, be held safe as against the exercise of any doubtful power, upon the principle of construction applied to constitutions, that grants of power are to be construed strictly as against the power, and in favor of liberty.

2. But, being last in point of time, and of equal authority with the provision in relation to the suspensions of habeas corpus, the amendments must be held to restrain that provision so far as may be necessary to the perfect enjoyment of the rights asserted in the amendments.

3. Simply, however, because they are amendments to the Constitution, every thing contained in that instrument that may, in any view, be held to impair rights therein asserted, must give way to them. To that extent they change and modify the powers conferred on the Government, in the original instrument. The right of trial by jury in the cases referred to, can not be impaired, much less taken away, by a suspension of the habeas corpus, nor, indeed, by any order of the Executive, or law of Congress. To this effect see 2d Story on Const., section 1778 to 1795, inclusive.

III. But not only may this right of trial by jury be regarded as affirmatively asserted, and secured to the citizen, by the provisions of the Constitution, but any and every other mode of trial must be taken to be excluded and prohibited. Thus: "No person shall be held to answer for any capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless in case of presentment and indictment by grand jury," etc., clearly precludes the notion of any other form of trial. The old common law, and great statutes of England, brought over with them by the founders of the English colonies, and in force at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, excluded all other modes of trial of any citizen, not in the military service, and expressly that by military commission. Mr. Justice Story, as already cited, expressly appeals to and quotes Magna Charta upon this point, and in support of this position. The 39th chapter of that great act is as follows: "No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or disseized, or outlawed, or banished, or in any way destroyed; nor will we pass upon him, unless by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land." "The judgment of his peers, here alluded to," says Story, "is the trial by jury, who are called the peers of the party accused, being of the like condition, and equal." He also expressly says: "When our more immediate ancestors removed to America, they brought this great privilege with them, as their birthright and inheritance, as a part of that admirable common law, which had fenced round and interposed barriers on every side against the approaches of arbitrary power." (Section 1779.) But this denial of any other form of trial, and expecially that by military commission, was asserted in the "Petition of Right," passed in the third year of Charles I. It is therein enacted and established, "that no man, of what estate of condition that he be, should be put out of his land or tenement, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disherited, nor put to death, without due process of law;" and in speaking of the commissions aforesaid, the act employs the following terms: "Which commisions, and all others of like nature, are wholly and directly contrary to the said laws and statutes of the realm." Similar language was employed in the Bill of Rights, passed at the time of the revolution of 1688, and it may safely be stated that since that time no proceeding of this nature has taken place in England, against any person not a member of the army or navy, or in the militia in actual service. Indeed, a distinguished English Judge has said that "martial law, as of old, does not exist in England at all," and is contrary to the Constitution, and has been for a century exploded. (Grant vs. Goul, 2 H. Bl., 69; 1 Hale P.C., 364; Hale Com. Law C., 2, 36.) This, it has been remarked by a learned Judge, "is correct as to the community, both in war and peace."

IV. By an act of Congress, approved July 31, 1864 (Vol. 12, Statutes at large, p.2184), conspiracies are defined, and the mode of punishment prescribed, namely, by trial in the Circuit or District Courts of the United States, of the proper circuit or district. Can these parties be tried before any other tribunal? The defendant holds not. By the President's proclamation of September 24, 1862, suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, it was ordered, "That during the existing insurrection, and as a necessary measure for suppressing the same, all rebels and insurgents, their aiders and abettors, within the United States, shall be subject to martial law, and liable to trial and punishment by court-martial or military commission." Without stopping to inquire whether this proclamation was authorized, and if so, whether it embraced persons charged with committing a substantitive offense, within a State not in insurrection, and where the United States Courts were in the full exercise of their powers, the defendant claims that it has been superseded by the act of Congress of the 3d of March, 1863 (Vol. 12, Statutes at large, 755), relating to the writ of habeas corpus, and the President's proclamation based thereon, of September 15, 1863. The first section of the act of 1863, authorizes the President to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. The second requires the Secretaries of State and War to report to the Judges of the United States Circuit and District Courts the names of all persons held in military custody, by order of the President, in their respective districts, and if the grand juries of the proper districts fail to find bills, it is made the duty of the Judges to have all such persons discharged on taking the oath of allegiance and giving bond, if required. The third section provides that all persons so held and not reported, shall be entitled to a discharge in the same manner as is provided in the second section, after a failure on the part of the proper grand jury to indict them. Here are all the sections of this act which bear on the question, and it will be seen that while they contemplate and sanction military arrests, they do not countenance or authorize military trials. On the contrary, they fairly discountenance them.

The President's proclamation, based on this act, limits the suspension of habeas corpus to persons amenable to military law, or to the rules and articles of war. No order is contained in the proclamation in regard to trial, and the inference is irresistible that the proper courts are left to act under the rules of law upon that subject, and these are too well defined to require comment. Civil courts try offenses against the law committed by citizens -- military courts and commisions try such as are subject to the rules and articles of war, and the defendant claims that he does not fall within that class.

V. The recent act, giving military courts jurisdiction of offenses against the civil laws when committed by soldiers, excludes citizens, by its silence, from any such provision, and leaves them to be tried by the civil courts, for all such offenses. (Revised Reg., 1863, p.544.)

VI. The defendant further desires the Commission to consider this question, in determining that of jurisdiction, namely: Can the sentence of the Commission be pleaded in bar to a prosecution upon indictment for the offenses charged in the civil courts? It would seem not, in view of the recent legislation of Congress already cited. That legislation clearly gives the jurisdfiction of the case to the civil courts, and upon the failure to try or convict him, entitles him to be discharged, either upon terms, or absolutely.

In view of these considerations, the defendant respectfully submits that he is not triable by this Commission, not being within the jurisdiction, thereof, or of any other military tribunal whatever.

All of which is respectfully submitted,

Major Henry L. Burnett: Judge Advocate's Answer
The Judge Advocate, Major Burnett, then made the following reply:

To support the jurisdiction of the Commission appointed to try this case, I submit:

1. The proclamation of the President of the United States, published in General Orders No. 141, dated September 25, 1862.

2. The general principles of the laws of nations, and the laws and customs of war -- the military lex non scripts of every land.

The proclamation of the President is as follows:

War Department, Adjutant General's Office,
Washington, September 20, 1864.

General Orders No. 141.

The following proclamation by the President is published for the information and government of the army, and all concerned:

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation.
Whereas, It has become necessary to call into service not only volunteers, but also portions of the militia of the States by draft, in order to suppress the insurrection existing in the United States, and disloyal persons are not adequately restrained by the ordinary process of law from hindering this measure, and from giving aid and comfort in various ways to the insurrection; now, therefore, be it ordered,

First. That during the existing insurrection, and as a necessary measure for suppressing the same, all rebels and insurgents, their aiders and abettors, within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice, affording aid and comfort to rebels against the authority of the United States, shall be subject to martial-law, and liable to trial and punishment by courts-martial or military commission.

Second. That that writ of habeas corpus is suspended in respect to all persons arrested, or who are now or hereafter during the rebellion shall be imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, military prison or other place of confinement, or by any military authority, or by the sentence of any court-martial or military commission.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this, twenty-fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
By the President:
William H. Seward, Secretary of State.
By order of the Secretary of War:
L. THOMAS, Adjutant General.

In determining the action of the Commission, this is sufficient, but in support of the position held, I submit:

That it is an admitted principle in ethics, that self-preservation is the first law of nature; that self-preservation, or self-defense, is the right of every unity or community. This nation is engaged in suppressing a gigantic rebellion, to which end it has brought into the field a vast army. Every fiber of this great nation is quivering in its effort to sustain this army in its present vast proportions. That army being organized and put into the field, becomes a living, sentient, and, to a certain extent, independent body. A blow is sought to be struck at that body -- at that great army of the Republic -- to sever it, and render it powerless -- a blow all the more mischievous and malignant, because it is covert and concealed. To preserve itself, to maintain its integrity when it finds itself thus ssecretly attacked, it does not wholly fall back on its Government to protect it, but it protects itself by seizing the antagonistic force. It is one of the innate principles of every existing thing, that it is endowed with the right to meet and overcome the force that seeks to destroy it. Here, then, is a power being organized -- it is true, in a loyal State, but with the purpose of moving into a semi-disloyal State, a portion of which is occupied and held by forces seeking to destroy this army, and with the intent to co-operate with those forces to render powerless our army, and, if possible, to destroy it and the Government. This army, therefore, without waiting for its Government to move, through the slow machinery of civil law, against this military force that is being arrayed against it, seizes it, and says to it, "You are not meeting us in open battle, but you steal upon us in the night time, and attempt, assassin-like, to stab us in the back while we are facing the common enemy in the front. You are not fighting us according to the recognized military law of nations, but by the secret arts of the assassin. We, therefore, wheel upon you, and grapple you, from an instinct of self-preservation.

It is as though a stealthy foe should creep into a camp or garrison at night, and seek to ignite the magazine, and destroy the lives of the entire garrison. If caught, would that garrison hesitate to convene a court, and try the offender as a secret, military assassin? In like manner, when foes, cunningly avoiding all show of open hostility, secretly arm themselves, not as enemies particularly of the General Government, but as enemies of the military power of the Government, the military laws of the land give power to seize the persons of these secret foes, and hold them responsible for their acts to the common law military.

Take the case in hand, as it is claimed to be, that there was an organized, formidable conspiracy, military in its character, and created and held in existence for the purpose of aiding the enemies of the country and destroying the armies of the nation, numbering in the States of of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, as claimed by its leaders, one hundred thousand men, the avowed purpose of these conspirators being to release the rebel prisoners held in those States, numbering between forty and fifty thousand veteran soldiers, arm them with guns to be seized from the arsenals of these States, and then to move into Kentucky, seizing all the large cities by the way, take possession of the Louisville and Nashville road, and, intrenching at Nashville or Chattanooga, cut General Sherman's communications, thereby placing him between two large armies, severing him from his base of supplies, and thus effectually, as they thought, destroying this great South-western wing of our army -- this right arm of the Republic -- thereby giving to the rebels the power to dictate to the United States terms of peace and separation. It was a far-reaching, villainous scheme, and had in it many of the elements of success. The Government stood on the brink of a precipice. But the conspirators were foiled by the military power of the Government. Will it be said that when the military authorities discovered this plot, they should have waited for affidavits, for an arrest and hearing before a United States Commissioner, and then have released these conspirators upon bail, permitting them to again take the lead of their hosts to work out their schemes of treason against the Government? Such a course might have involved the destruction of the nation. Self-preservation demanded that these men should be seized by the military power. Foreseeing this danger, martial law had been declared by the President, and military courts given jurisdiction.

In support of the powers of the Government, in cases of insurrection, or in case of great public danger, to suspend the operations of the civil law, I cite the opinion of Chief Justice Taney, in a case before the Supreme Court, where the Government of the State had declared martial law in Rhode Island. In rendering an opinion on that case, he says: "Unquestionably a State may use its military power to put down an insurrection too strong to be controlled by the civil authority. The power is essential to the existence of every government -- essential to the preservation of order and free institutions, and is as necessary to the States of this Union as to any other government.


Without power to do this," he again says, "martial law and the military array of the Government would be mere parade, and rather encourage attack than repel it."

Justice Woodbury, dissenting, said that "a State could not declare martial law, inasmuch as the war power, of which it forms a part, was lodged exclusively in the General Government." Certainly no one will deny that if the Government of a State can declare martial law for suppressing an insurrection within that State, with much stronger reason can the General Government, when an insurrection exists against it, declare and enforce martial law, either in part or in whole.

The main question raised by the defense in their argument, is whether the legislative branch of this Government, or the President, has the power of suspending the writ of habeas corpus, and declaring martial law throughout the land. In reply to the argument of the counsel for the accused, I propose to cit a few quotations applicable to this case:

Martial law is the suspension, for the time being, of all constitutions and civil laws, the closing of common law courts, and the forcible inauguration of a new, temporary, arbitrary system of administering justice; and is only to be justified by the overwhelming necessities of the case.

I propose, first, to examine English authorities upon this subject; and then refer to American jurisprudence as to the right to proclaim martial law.

It may be premised that martial law in England as completely violates and suspends the Magna Charta as in this country it does our own Constitution.

Section 39 provides: "No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or disseized, or outlawed, or banished, or in any way destroyed; nor will we pass upon him, unless by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land."

The Mutiny Act of 1689, which has been re-enacted at every session of Parliament for more than one hundred and seventy years, contains the following declaration:

"Whereas, no man may be forejudged of life or limb, or subjected to any kind of judgment by martial law, or in any other manner than by the judgment of his peers, and according to the known and established laws of this realm," etc.

It is impossible to conceive of any doctrine more irradically graven upon the Constitution and civil polity of England, than this kind of habeas corpus, and exemption of the subject from the operation of martial law. But notwithstanding this clear provision of the Magna Charta,as often as it is necessary, martial law is proclaimed. In the riots of 1780, after the mob had insulted a majority of Parliament, and the residence of the Chief Justice, the King in council issued his proclamation:

"We have, therefore, issued the most direct and effectual orders to all our officers, by an immediate exertion of their utmost force, to suppress the same."

After which the Adjutant General issued orders to the army as follows:

"In obedience to an order of the King in council, the military are to act without awaiting the direction of the civil magnistrate, and to use force for dispersing the illegal and tumultuous assemblies of the people."

In subsequent debates in Parliament, the conduct of the King was approved. Lord Mansfield and Lord Thurlow claimed that it was not a perogative of the King to declare martial law, or to use the military to suppress riots; but they defended the act on the ground of necessity.

During the Irish rebellion in 1798, Lord Camden, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, proclaimed martial law, which existed a year without any legislative action, and after that the Irish Parliament sanctioned the act. In 1801, after the union, this subject was discussed, and a bill was introduced to continue martial law in Ireland. In this debate, both those who approved, and those who opposed the bill, conceded the right of the Executive Government to proclaim martial law when necessary.

Sheridan, opposing the bill, said:

"In case of rebellion or invasion, His Majesty has, by virtue of his perogative, a right to martial law."

Lord Castlereagh, in defense of the bill, said:

"I perfectly understand that the perogative of the crown authorizes those acting under its authority to exercise martial law. I maintain that it is a constitutional mode for the Executive Government to exercise martial law in the first instance, and to come to Parliament for indemnity afterward, and is preferable to applying to Parliament first.


"The only circumstance in mind is whether, if the necessity exists, this is the proper remedy? If it be so, we ought not to take alarm at a departure from principle, which is necessary for the preservation of the Constitution itself."

Sir L. Parsons, opposing the bill, said:

"He thought the measure unnecessary. The Executive Government could resort to martial law, if it was necessary to suppress rebellion."

Mr. Gray, who also opposed it, said:

It was better that the Executive Government should resort to what has bene called (he thought, not legally) its prerogative of proclaiming martial law. That was no perogative of the crown, but rather an act of power sanctioned by necessity, martial law being a suspension of the King's peace. But it was better that martial law should proceed from the Executive Government in urgent moments, than to be the work of the Legislature, on every slight pretense."

In the rebellion in Ceylon, in 1848, the Governor proclaimed martial law, and tried and executed many rebels. His conduct was severely criticised in England, upon the ground that it was unnecessary; and in an able review in the Quarterly, volume 83, page 127, it is said:

"We shall define martial law to be the law of necessity, or defense. The right which a Governor of a colony has to proclaim martial law over subjects, may be said to bear a close analogy to the right which an individual, in absence of legal protection, has to slay an assailant. In both cases, the evil must be grave. In both cases, all regular means of defense must be exhnausted, or beyond reach, before the aggrieved party resorts to extremities. In both cases, the burden of proof lies on him who has ventured on such an expedient, and, if he fails to vindicate himself, he is liable to severe punishment."

Hallem 1, Cont. Hist., p.240, says:

"There may, indeed, be times of pressing danger, when the conservation of all demands a sacrifice of the legal rights of a few; there may be circumstances that not only justify, but compel the temporary abandonment of constitutional forms. It has been usual for all governments, during an actual rebellion, to proclaim martial law, or the suspension of civil jurisdiction. And this anomaly, I must admit, is very far from being less indispensable at such unhappy seasons, in countries where the ordinary mode of trial is by jury, than where the right of decision rests in the Judge."

Coming now to our own country, the same doctrine is laid down even more explicitly, and by higher sanctions than in England. In the debate in Congress upon the subject of martial law proclaimed by General Jackson in New Orleans, Robert J. Walker, in the Senate, submitted a report upon this subject, in which he said:

"The law which justified this act, was the great law of necessity; it was the law of self-defense. This great law of necessity -- of defense of self, of home, and of country -- never was designed to be abrogated by any statue, or by any constituition."

Mr. Payne of Alabama, also speaking upon this subject, said:

"I shall not contend that the Constitution or laws of the United States, authorize the declaration of martial law by any authority whatever; on the contrary, it is unknown to the Constitution or laws."

And, commenting on the argument that if the Constitution did not authorize it, the General ought not to declare martial law, he says:

"Who could tolerate this idea? An Arnold might, but no patriotic American could. I may be asked, upon what principle a commander can declare martial law, when it is so evident that the Constitution or laws afford him no authority to do so? I answer, upon the principle of self-defense, which rises paramount to all written laws, and the justification of the officer who assumes the responsibility of acting on that principle, must rest upon the necessity of the case."

Mr. Livingston, in a written document submitted by General Jackson to the Court, gave his opinion as follows:

"On the nature and effect of the proclamation of martial law by Major General Jackson, my opinion is, that such proclamation is unknown to the Constitution and laws of the United States; that it is to be justified only by the necessities of the case," etc.

During the Dorr revolution in Rhode Island, when an attempt was made to array a military force against the old State Government, and supplant it with a more democratic form, the State Government proclaimed martial law throughout the State. A house was broken open to make an arrest without warrant, under martial law; and subsequently an action of trespass was commenced to try the legality of the act. It was taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, and is reported, Luther vs. Borden, 7 Howard, 1.

It is to be noticed that this case presented the precise question at issue now before this Court, for the determination of the highest Court in the land. The case was not the suspension of the habeas corpus, but it was for trespass, by breaking into houses without warrant, which was clearly illegal, unless the existence of martial law could be recognized as affording a defense.

Chief Justice Taney says:

"Unquestionably, a State may use its military power to put down an armed insurrection too strong to be controlled by the civil authority. The power is essential to the existence of every government, essential to the preservation of order and free institutions, and is as necessary to the States of this Union as to any other Government. The State, itself, must determine what degree of force the crisis demands; and if the Government of Rhode Island deemed the armed opposition so formidable and so ramified throughout the State as to require the use of its military force, and a declaration of martial law, we see no ground upon which this Court can question its authority. It was a state of war, and the established Government resorted to the rights and usages of war to maintain itself, and to overcome the unlawful opposition. And in that state of things, the officers engaged in its military service might lawfully arrest any one who, from the information before them, they had reasonable grounds to believe was engaged in the insurrection, and might order a house to be forcibly entered and searched, when there were reasonable grounds for supposing he might be there concealed. Without power to do this, martial law and the military array of the Government would be mere parade, and rather encourage attack than repel it."

Justice Woodbury dissented upon the ground that a State could not declare martial law, inasmuch as the war power, of which it formed a part, was lodged exclusively in the General Government.

The question, then, for this Commission to determine, is, whether, with this armed force threatening the life of the nation, the leaders here among you, secretly and covertly, as it is claimed -- for this is to be a matter of proof -- attempting to strike at your camps, destroy the military forces that are guarding them, release the rebel prisoners there confined, then to move into a State, partly occupied by rebels, seize your supplies and munitions of war at Louisville and other points throughout the country -- the question, I say, is, whether these men shall be dealt with by the civil or by the military law; whether in this crisis they shall be permitted to avail themselves of the slow process of civil justice, to be released upon bail, again to take the lead of these disloyal forces, and move again in their work of treason and anarcy -- or whether the Government shall use the power rightfully belonging to it for its self-preservation? I repeat the language I have quoted, and say, that only an Arnold would, in such a case, hesitate in the course he would recommend. No officer who is faithful to his trust, who respects his Government, who loves his home, and desires the peace and prosperity of the citizens of that home, would desire to wait till it was too late to save the Government, and, with it, all he holds dear. Seeing this necessity for action, the military arm of the Government moved. It seized this man, believed to be one of the leaders -- whether he be or not, will be a matter of proof before this Commission -- and of the power of this Commission to try him there can be no more doubt, than of the power of the Government to declare martial law. As to the question of the power of the Government to declare martial law throughout a part of the whole of this land, there can be no doubt, that having been decided by the mightiest tribunal of the land -- the Court of last resort. It only remains for this Commission to take up the facts of the case, and determine whether or not they are as presented in the charges and specifications.

In conclusion, I submit, that while the rights and liberties of the citizen are in all cases to be held most sacred and inviolate, we are not, in our admiration of that general principle, to lose sight of that highest and still more sacred duty of protecting the life and liberties of the millions who compose that nation. Let us not, in our attempt to protect the forms of the Constitution, sacrifice its life. What is that Constitution worth to this land if the nation, which is its life, be destroyed? Shall we, in our fear of interfering with the forms of that Constituition, hesitate to stop the wound that is bleeding its life away? There is something beyond the rights of a single individual -- something more sacred than his personal liberty, when that liberty can be shown to have been used to imperil the life of the nation -- and that is, the life and liberty of the millions of loyal citizens for whom this Government was established, and by whom, with God's help, it will ever be upheld.

The court-room was then cleared for deliberation. On being reopened, the Judge Advocate announced that the plea was overruled, and that the Commission would proceed to the trial of the accused.

The Commission adjourned, to meet on Tuesday, September 27, at 2 o'clock, P.M.

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