War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0357 EARLY EVENTS IN MISSOURI, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

either supersede or interfere with the civil law of the realm and the military is in general subordinate to the latter. [Tyler on Military Law, 365.] The Articles of War do not provide for such a case for they are confined strictly to military matters even on a soldier himself, and cannot be exercised even against a soldier by an officer except in such matter and about which the officer has the right to order him. So zealous has been England in such cases that Governor Wall was executed in England after the lapse of twenty years for flogging [so that he died] a soldier for an offense not military, and by a pretended court - martial not full. If I have been guilty of the offense charged I have violated the law of this State, and am amenable to the judgment of the court which by the Constitution is appointed to take jurisdiction of my case. If I am cleared of this charge by this tribunal the acquittal here will the acquittal in bar of an indictment found by a grand jury of Pettis County.

Lastly the charge in substance is murder. Now by what standard can this tribunal determine the offense? By the law of this State murder is divided into two degress, and manslaughter into four. By the criminal court of the United States there is no division of murder or of manslaughter. Will this court make its standard the law of the United States? The United States cannot take jurisdiction of any homicide unless it be committed in a place over which it has exclusive jurisdiction such as forts, dockyards, arsenals or in the Indian country. Congress has no power to provide for a homicide committed in a State. The subject belongs make its standard the State? This tribunal is no State tribunal; it belongs to no department of power of this State. The State has no power to create this tribunal.

If I have in my comments upon the power and jurisdiction of tthe commission in any respect overstepped the limits accorded to me I crave the indulgence and pardon of the commission. The position in which I am placed is without precedent in this Republic; and I may without a blush acknowledge my embarrassment and inability to discuss satisafactorily the great principal involved in my case in the brief time allowed to me.

Respectfully submitted.




Sedalia, Mo., December 14, 1861.

Whereas, Ebenezer Magoffin, formerly a colonel in the Army of the Southern Confederacy, has given his parole of honor that he will not in any manner by word of deed aid, assist or give countenance to the enemies of the United States Government; and whereas, by order of Geneal Halleck said Med to remain at home or vicinity in the quiet unmolested pursuit of his usual peaceful occupations, I therefore order all officers and soldiers of the U. S. Army to give him protection, and by this safeguard he is protected in person and property so long as he remains in the quiet pursuit of his ordinary business in same manner as other loyal cotozens of the United States.

By order of Colonel F. Steele, commanding Fifth Division, Army of the West:


Lieutenant - Colonel, Quartemanster and Acting Aide - de - Camp.