War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0574 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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seized your petitioner by overpowering numbers and thence carried him to the city of Cincinnati, in Hamilton County, in the State and southern district of Ohio, where they imprisoned him against his will in a building on Second or Columbia street, then used as a military prison. And your petitioner says that he has ever since been and now is detained in said city of Cincinnati under a military guard of which said Ambrose E. Burnside is commander.

Your petitioner alleges that he was thus violently seized in his own house in the nighttime without any warrant issued upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and in contempt of his rights as an American citizen. He says also that since his imprisonment as aforesaid a paper has been delivered to him (of which a true copy is herewith annexed)* purporting to contain a charge and a specification against him, signed by J. M. Cutts, captain and judge-advocate, on which charge and specification he has been arraigned against his will before a number of officers of the Army of the United States assembled in a room of the Saint Charles Exchange, on East Third street, in the city of Cincinnati, styling themselves a military commission and assuming to exercise judicial authority at the instigation of said Ambrose E. Burnside as major-general aforesaid. But your petitioner denies that he is subject to any such mode of arraignment or of trial and claims that all proceedings of that description are in his case forbidden by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Therefore and to the end that he may be relieved from manifest oppression under color of military authority and that he may be charged in due course of law in this court or some other with whatsoever crime is intended to be imputed by the charge and specification above mentioned your petitioner moves your honors to grant him a writ of habeas corpus directed to said Abrose E. Burnside and all persons assuming to act in obedience to his orders commanding him and them forthwith to bring the body of your petitioner before this court, together with the cause (if any) of his caption and detention. And your petitioner submits hereby to whatsoever the Constitution of the United States in this behalf may require.


By G. E. PUGH,

His Attorney.


George E. Pugh being duly sworn says that he makes this application for a writ of habeas corpus at the request of Clement L. Vallandigham, the petitioner above named, and that he believes the matters alleged in the foregoing petition to be true.


Sworn to before me and subscribed in my presence this 9th day of May, A. D. 1863.


Clerk Circuit Court United States, Southern District of Ohio.

CINCINNATI, OHIO, May 11, 1863.

The application on my behalf, on May 9, 1863, to the circuit court of the United States for a writ of habeas corpus to release me from illegal military custody was made by Honorable George E. Pugh at my express instance and request.


The court inquired if there was any one present representing the United States in this behalf, whereupon Flamen Ball, esq., district attorney of the United States, said that as he was the attorney of the United States in their legitimate legal business in this district he felt called upon to answer the inquiry of the court by saying he had no express authority to appear either for Major-General Burnside or the War Department; that he considered it would be indelicate in him to volunteer to act and he felt sure if he should do so all his acts might justly be held to be void. He declined appearing, but as amicus curiae suggested that in accordance with the practice of the court notice should be given to General Burnside that there might be a hearing on the application.

Mr. Pugh objected and insisted on the prompt issue of the writ and that the hearing could be had when the body of the prisoner should be brought into court.


*Omitted here; see p. 634.