War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0583 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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mischievous disloyalty not within the scope of the criminal laws of the land in custody under the military authority is to be set free by courts or judges on habeas corpus and that there is no power by which he may be temporarily placed where he cannot perpetrate mischief it requires no argument to prove that the most alarming conflicts must follow and the action of the Government be most seriously impaired. I dare not in my judicial position assume the fearful responsibility implied in the sanction of such a doctrine.

And here without subjecting myself of the charge of trenching upon the domain of political discussion I may be indulged in the remark that there is too much of the pestilential leaven of disloyalty in the community. There is a class of men in the loyal States who seem to have no just appreciation of the deep criminality of those who are in arms avowedly for the overthrow of the Government and the establishment of a Southern Confederacy. They have not I fear risen to any right estimate of their duties and obligations as American citizens to a Government which has strewn its blessings with a profuse hand and is felt only in the benefits it bestows. I may venture the assertion that the page of history will be searched in vain for an example of a rebellion so wholly destitute of excuse or vindication and so dark with crime as that which our bleeding country is now called upon to confront and for the suppression of which all her energies are demanded. Its cause is to be found in the unhallowed ambition of political aspirants and agitators who boldly avow as their aim not the establishment of a government for the better security of human rights but one in which all political power is to be concentrated in an odious and despotic oligarchy. It is indeed consolatory to know that in most sections of the North those who sympathize with the rebellion are not so numerous or formidable as the apprehensions of some would seem to indicate. It may be assumed I trust that in most of the Notable and unswerving patriotism is the rule and disloyalty and treason the exception. But there should be no division of sentiment upon this momentous question. Men should know and lay the truth to heart that there is a course of conduct not involving overt treason or any offense technically defined by statute, and not therefore subject to punishment as such, which nevertheless implies moral guilt and a gross offense against their country. Those who live under the protection and enjoy the blessings of our benignant Government must learn that they cannot stab its vitals with impunity. If they cherish hatred and hostility to it and desire its subversion let them withdraw from its jurisdiction and seek the fellowship and protection of those with whom they are in sympathy. If they remain with us while they are not of us they must be subject to such a course of dealing as the great law of self-preservation prescribes and will enforce. And let them not complain if the stringent doctrine of military necessity should find them to be the legitimate subjects of its action. I have no fears that the recognition of this doctrine will lead to an arbitrary invasion of the personal security or personal liberty of the citizen. It is rare indeed that a charge of disloyalty will be made upon insufficient grounds. But if there should be an occasional mistake such an occurrence is not to be put in completion with the preservation of the life of the nation. And I confess I am but little moved by the eloquent appeals of those who while they indignantly denounce violations of personal liberty look with no horror upon a despotism as unmitigated as the world has ever witnessed.

But I cannot pursue this subject further. I have been compelled by circumstances to present my views in the briefest way. I am aware