War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0571 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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bearing on the case in point. In this point of view I desire the instruction of the department, and would respectfully suggest whether justice to all parties would not best be subserved by turning these persons, with all the evidence, over to the authorities of the State of Pennsylvania to have tried by the courts of that State the questions that may arise, or whether I shall send these individuals to the Department at Washington, to be third by the military commission now sitting in Washington and trying analogous cases relating to New York soldiers. This proposition in not made with a view to avoid any duty which properly devolves on me, but with an earnest desire to have a proper and through investigation made, which, under the circumstances, I fear cannot be made by a commission organized in this army.


Major-General, Commanding.

WASHINGTON, November 9, 1864-9 p. m.

Major-General MEADE:

Your dispatch of this date, in reference to election frauds committed by McKibbin, Miles, and Carrigan, has been received this evening. The question of the liability to trial and punishment by military tribunal of persons guilty of such offenses has been fully considered by the Judge-Advocate-general and by the Department, and no doubt is entertained on the point. The Department approves your action in arresting McKibbin, Miles, and Carrigan. They can be tried with less difficulty here than in the field. You will cause them to be held in close custody until an officer can be sent with a guard to bring them here. If General Patrick is your provost-marshal-general the Department has not confidence in him; do not think that their safe keeping should be entirely left to him. Some vigilant officers, with a sufficient guard to prevent their escape and insure safe custody, should be placed over them until the arrived of an officer to take them in charge. If their custody is intrusted to your provost-marshal apprehension is entertained that they will escape. You are therefore requested to take proper precautions to guard against this contingency. An officers will be sent from here tomorrow to take them in charge. You will also arrest other persons who may be detected in perpetrating similar offenses and report them to this Department.


Secretary of War.


November 9, 1864-1.30 p. m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

Since my last dispatch I have been furnished with a copy of the State law of Pennsylvania, passed August 25, 1864, section 20 of which gives jurisdiction to the courts of the Commonwealth over all questions of fraud or illegality in relation to the voting of soldiers, and seems to meet the proposition I made that the individuals now in custody should be turned over to the Governor or other authority in that State. It may be well to add that Mr. Bonham, Republican agent, the complain ant in these cases, desires this course pursued.