who have been and who are now confined in the military prisons and camps of the United States outside of the limits of said State, together with a statement of the charges against them, by whom made and by whose order the arrests were made, I have the honor to submit the following report:
I was appointed to the command of this post on the 10th day of September last by order of Major-General Wallace, commanding U. S. forces in Northern Kentucky, and on the 15th day of the same month was ordered by General Wallace to examine all citizens now held as prisoners in the two cities under your (my) command and see that they have an impartial hearing. Also that the witnesses for the prosecution are present when such examination takes place, and make written report to these headquarters of cases, advising as to the disposition of each with a synopsis of the evidence. Under this order I without delay proceeded to investigate the cases of citizens held in military custody in the cities of Covington and Newport, Ky.
Before any of these investigations were concluded Major-General Wallace was relieved and Brigadier General A. J. Smith appointed to the command of the U. S. forces here, and a number of cases were submitted to the last-named officer for his final approval or disapproval. Major-General Granger was next placed in command of the Army of Kentucky and he instructed me to decide finally on all cases coming before me without referring the testimony or sentences to any higher authority. I have continued to do us up to the present time, and find on reference to the records of my office that I have examined and decided 241 cases, exclusive of the prisoners of war who have come before me. Of this number I have sent out of the State, to be confined at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, ten prisoners. Copies of the evidence in these cases both for and against the prisoners are appended* to this report.
It is but proper that I should have remark that several prisoners have been ordered to Camp Chase by officers exercising the authority in the interior of the State and have received transportation to that post from me. But I did not examine their cases and consequently can furnish no report in reference to them. Having thus briefly complied with the requirements of the Senate's resolutions as contained in your order I beg your indulgence while I submit a few remarks bearing upon the subject of the arrest and imprisonment of the citizens of Kentucky charged with disloyalty to the Government of the United States or with giving aid and comfort to its enemies. That the power to make such arrests and imprisonment has been too indiscriminately exercised cannot be doubted by any one who has investigated the subject, but justice compels me to say that the abuse of this power can rarely be traced to regular military officers acting under the authority of the United States. By far the larger number of arrests and imprisonments for alleged offense against the Government have been made by acting provost-marshal who although appointed by a military commander were themselves citizens. The will of these gentlemen was the law, and in many instances they appear to have exercised their official functions with but little regard for any rule of action either civil or military. Many of them kept no records, and instances are not rare where prisoners were confined by their order for months without the shadow of a written charge of any kind against them.
This exercise of power on the part of citizen provost-marshals applied to property as well as persons. Cases are known where the