HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Mobile, Ala., May 6, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Asst. Adjt. General, Military Division of West Mississippi:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that the detachment of infantry for duty at Citronelle left Whistler at 9.30 p.m. yesterday by rail, and that the detachment of cavalry and infantry for East Pascagoula marched from this point at 7.30 a.m. to-day.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
By F. W. EMERY,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
[General Granger being absent.]
HEADQUARTERS POST AND DISTRICT OF MOBILE, Mobile, Ala., May 6, 1865.
Chief of Staff:
In compliance with your request I have the honor to submit the following notes and suggestions in relation t the organization of the courts in the city and county of Mobile: Daily applications are made for the redress of wrongs and the enforcement of rights between the citizens; the care and custody of the estates: of accidents; the protection of the property of owners; the ownership and possession which occupy the time and attention of courts of law and equity are likely to be crowded upon the military authorities. War has suspended or destroyed the law of Alabama. The power and functions of her legislative, executive, and judicial departments have ceased to exist by reason of her attempted revolution. Military law alone exists within the State, and military authority only can grant the relief and remedies sought for by the citizens. The subject may be disposed of in either of the following ways:
First. The major-general commanding the army may refuse to entertain this class of cases and let the citizens wait till peace is established and civil institutions again have power to dispose of them.
Second. He may hear and decide these questions himself or direct some officer of his command to do so.
Third. He may create new courts or tribunals for the hearing and adjudication of all such matters.
Fourth. He may command the persons who lately exercised the powers and duties of judges to open their courts and to perform the duties properly belonging to them, subject to such limitations as he may prescribe.
I have no doubts as to his right to dispose of these matters in either of the ways mentioned. The choice in the modes is simply matter of discretion. There would seem to be serious practical difficulties in the way of each of these methods except the last. To refuse a hearing in case of wrong or injury produces discontent and begets disrespect and hatred toward the Government. To require any officer in the military service to hear and determine questions of this kind would occupy his whole time in duties not properly belonging to his position and profession. To appoint new tribunals or courts would cause much delay