HDQRS. 19TH A. C., DEPT. VA. AND N. C. Numbers 44.
Fort Monroe, Va., December 1, 1863.
A Military Commission, of not less than five commissioned officers, of and above the rank of captain, with a recorder and legal adviser, is constituted and appointed for the trial of all high crimes and misdemeanors, which by the laws of any State in the Union or the United States, or the laws martial, are punishable with death, or imprisonment for a long term of years.
The sentences of said Commission will be assimilated to those provided by such laws, due regard being had to the necessity of severity, and for prompt punishment incident to the crimes and disorders arising from a state of war.
The Commission will sit at all convenient hours for the dispatch of business; will be attended by the provost-marshal or his assistants. All its orders will be respected and obeyed, and its summonses complied with.
As the motives ofmen make so largely the element of the crimes cognizable by this Commission, the rules of evidence of the English common law may be so far relaxed as to allow the accused to be questioned in the presence of the Commission-always leaving it to his free choice to respond or not to the questions proposed.
The accusation will be substantially in the form used in courts-martial, excepting that it should fully set forth a description of the accused, with his residence and business; whether or not he has been a loyal citizen; his antecedents, character, and acts in that regard, so far as known, which portion of the accusation may be put in controversy at the trials, provided the accused be not a soldier of the United States.
All proceedings, findings, and sentences of this Commission are to be subjected to the approval of the commanding general, and will be carried into effect upon his order.
The following-named officers are detailed for and will constitute such Commission:
Colonel G. A. Stedman, Eleventh Connecticut Volunteers.
Colonel A. G. Draper, Second North Carolina.
Lieutenant Colonel J. G. Chambers, Twenty-third Massachusetts Volunteers.
Major William Grantman, Thirteenth New Hampshire Volunteers.
Captain W. H. Seipt, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Major Peter Haggerty, aide-de-camp, recorder and legal adviser. By command of Major General B. F. Butler:
R. S. DAVIS,
Major, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
December 2, 1863-10 a.m.
Commanding Officer Sixth Corps:
The major-general commanding directs me to say that as your troops are probably very much fatigued, your corps will remain here to-day and move to its former position near Welford's Ford to-morrow. You will send a force down to the ford (Germanna) to relieve