War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0040 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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Santa Fe, N. Mex., August 8, 1861.

The writ of habeas corpus has been suspended in order to enable every commander to guard against the treasonable designs of persons disloyal of the Government of the United States, particularly agents and spies, persons engaged in furnishing information to or in other treasonable correspondence with the enemy or in inciting insurrection or rebellion.

Care will be taken to guard against any abuse of this power by unauthorized arrests or by any annoyances to peaceable and well-disposed citizens, and except in the case of overt acts arrests will only be made by the superior commander of every district, post or body of troops in the service of the United States, and only upon probable cause of suspicion of being dangerous to the public safety.

When arrests are made the person arrested will immediately be examined and if there be no ground for suspicion will be released; if otherwise held in confinement until his case is disposed of by the proper authorities. If there be evidence of treason or misprision of treason he will be turned over to the civil courts for trial.

In the execution of these duties the troops will at all times unite with and assist the civil authorities in maintaing order throughout the country.

By order of Colonel E. R. S. Canby:


Second Lieutenant, Fifth Infantry, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


Washington, August 9, 1861.

B. P. SNYDER, Manager, and

G. H. BURNS, Supervisor:

You will receive instructions relating to the conduct of Government telegraphing and the restrictions upon the business from Honorable Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War and general manager of military telegraphs.

You will not permit any telegram relating to late, present or contemplated movements of the Army or any part thereof to pass over the lines excepting official messages sent by military commanders. The former rule permitting such army information as appeared in the Washington papers to be telegraphed is rescinded.

You will require of every one in the employ of the company having access to messages to take the oath of allegiance and secrecy as per form furnished by Mr. Scott.

Great caution must be used in forwarding and receiving Government cipher and other messages. In all cases of the slightest doubt have the message repeated until its correctness is clear. If messages be sent in with illegible words return them for explanation.

You will not permit any one not directly and necessarily connected with the office to have access to messages or the operating room or its immediate vicinity unless duly authorized by the Government telegraph manager.

Any information you may obtain which appears of importance to Government is to be communicated directly to Mr. Scott.