War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0151 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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who had won large sums of Government money at play from Paymaster Cooke and take them to Cairo where other parties were already in arrest on same charges. Most of the persons have been arrested as ordered and arrangements entered into by them to refund the sums they had won, but the process is resisted in the cases of Philo O. Jones and August Olmstead, of Columbus, Ohio, George Gilbert, Cleveland, Ohio, and Samuel Smithers, of Cincinnati. Writs of habeas corpus have been issued in two of the cases. It was believed that nothing could be effected by civil suit, hence the action of the military authorities which has been perfectly successful in all but the cases referred to. Can the writ of habeas corpus be suspected in these cases? It is very important that it should be in order to secure to the United States a large amount of money and also by this example to show such men that they can be reached for defrauding the Government in gaining with disbursing officers. Action to-day is necessary as the writ in the case of the Columbus gamblers comes before the judge to-day.



WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 5, 1863.

Major-General WRIGHT, Cincinnati, Ohio:

The President directs that the writ of habeas corpus be suspended in the cases mentioned in your telegram and that you hold Jones, Olmstead, Gilbert and Smithers and the other gamblers arrested by you in secure military custody for trial and punishment before a military commission, and that in the meantime they be imprisoned at Cairo or such other military camp, fort or post as may keep them securely. A written order will be forwarded by mail.


Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS, Cincinnati, January 5, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

All the gamblers connected with Major Cooke so far as known, excepting those named in my dispatch of this morning, have been arrested and have paid over the amounts which they are charged to have won on the promise of Major McDowell, approved by Majors Larned and Coon, paymasters, and Major Rowley, provost-marshal at Cairo, that they should be released from further liability so far as Major McDowell could do it, and they were discharged accordingly. The proof against those parties rested solely on the statements of Major Cooke and their own admission and perhaps could not be legally proved against them. Shall they be again arrested? The amount thus recovered is over $121,000. The parties still to be arrested are asserted to have won $73,500. I think in view of the pledge given by Major McDowell, at which he believed he was doing the best and perhaps the only thing that could be done, that no further action against them should be taken. The rest will be arrested and held unless you direct a similar arrangement with them. Please answer to-night.