War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0057 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC. -UNION.

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this department has interfered with the civil authorities, with a view to set aside certain acts of this board and decide upon points of civil law, when the courts of the Commonwealth are open to decide upon all civil questions.

Resolved, Second that the committee, in conjunction with Governor Peirpoint, call upon His Excellency the President of the United States and on the honorable Secretary of War, and ask for the immediate removal of the commanding general of this department, and all other officers who have interfered with civil law; and also insist on a precise and exact adjustment of the boundaries between civil and military authorities.

Resolved, Third, that the committee be composed of his honor Daniel Collins, mayor of Portsmouth, his excellency Lieutenant-Governor L. C. P. Cowper, and James W. Brownley, H. D.

Adopted August 1, 1863.


I will for your further information advise you that General Getty issued an order on the 29th of July,of which I had no knowledge until the 2nd or 3rd of August, and which was as follows:



Portsmouth, Va., July 29, 1863.

The resolution adopted at a meeting of the common council of the city of Portsmouth held July 13, 1863, authorizing the mayor to "collect rents for all houses, stores, and all other property owned by persons who refuse to take the oath of allegiance," &c., is hereby suspended until the decision of the general commanding with reference to the same may be hand, and while such decision is pending the mayor and other authorities of the city of Portsmouth will refrain from all further action under and by virtue of said resolution.

By command of Brigadier-General Getty:


Major, and Provost-Marshal.

And which, when referred to me, met with my approval.

On the 11th instant, Governor Peirpoint called upon me, referred to the letter of the President, and we compared views in relation to our respective civil and military positions. He admitted there was no difference of opinion, and that the council had no authority under their charter to condemn property and collect the rents. He, however, finally insisted that I should adopt as my rule of conduct the policy of the resolutions, and confiscate the property of every person that would not at once take the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States and to the restored Government of Virginia. This I positively refused to do, which refusal, I regret to say, seemed to be received with an exhibition of much feeling, and in a very unfriendly manner.

The following is the order of Major-General Dix:



Fort Monroe, Va., June 16, 1863.

I. The people of the county of Norfolk and of the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth having held elections and chosen civil and judicial officers, with a view to the administration of civil and criminal law within those districts, it is hereby ordered that the authorities thus constituted be recognized and permitted to perform their functions, so far as may be compatible, with the enforcement of martial law, which has been established in accordance with the usages of war, and which is still continued throughout this military department.

II. The jurisdiction of Major John A. Bolles, as provost judge, defined in General Orders, Numbers 6, dated 27th of June, 1862, is hereby enlarged, so as to to include all military offenses not cognizable by courts-martial; but the provost court will not take cognizance of any capital offense, and an appeal may be taken in all cases to the commanding general of the department.

By command of Major-General Dix:


Assistant Adjutant-General.