In your answer you say to us: "You claim that men may, if they choose, embarrass those whose duty it is to combat a giant rebellion and then be dealt with in terms as if there were no rebellion. " You will find yourself in fault if you will search our communication to you for any such idea. The undersigned believe that the Constitution and laws of the land properly administered furnish ample power to put down an insurrection without the assumption of powers not granted. And if existing legislation be inadequate it is the duty of Congress to consider what further legislation is necessary and to make suitable provision by law.
You claim that the military arrests made by your Administration are merely preventive remedies, "as injunctions to stay injury, or proceedings to keep the peace, and not for punishment. " The ordinary preventive remedies alluded to are authorized by established law, but the preventive proceedings you institute have their authority merely in the will of the Executive or that of officers subordinate to his authority. And in this proceeding a discretion seems to be exercised as to whether the prisoner shall be allowed a trial or even be permitted to know the nature of the complaint allegiant against him or the name of his accuser. If the proceedings be merely preventive, why not allow the prisoner the benefit of a bond to keep the peace? But if no offense has been committed, why was Mr. Vallandigham tried, convicted, and sentenced by a court-martial? And why the actual punishment by imprisonment or banishment without the opportunity of obtaining his liberty in the mode usual in preventive remedies, and yet say it is not for punishment?
You still place Mr. Vallandigham's conviction and banishment upon the ground that he had damaged the military service by discouraging enlistments and encouraging desertions, &c., and yet you have not even pretended to controvert our position that he was not charged with, tried, or convicted for any such offense before the court-martial.
In answer to our position that Mr. Vallandigham was entitled to a trial in the civil tribunals by virtue of the late acts of Congress you say: "I certainly do not know that Mr. Vallandigham has specifically and by direct language advised against enlistments and in favor of desertions and resistance to drafting," &c., and yet in a subsequent part of your answer, after speaking of certain disturbances which are alleged to have occurred in the resistance of the arrest of deserters and of the enrollment preparatory to the draft, and which you attribute mainly to the course Mr. Vallandigham has pursued, you say that he has made speeches against the war in the midst of resistance to it; that "he has never been known in any instance to counsel against such resistance," and that "it is next to impossible to repel the inference that he has counseled directly in favor of it. " Permit us to say that your information is most grievously at fault.
The undersigned have been in the habit of hearing Mr. Vallandigham speak before popular assemblages, and they appeal with confidence to every truthful person who has ever heard him for the accuracy of the declaration that he has never made a speech before the people of Ohio in which he has not counseled submission and obedience to the law as and the Constitution, and advised the peaceful remedies of the judicial tribunes and of the ballot box for the redress of grievances and for the evils which afflict our bleeding, suffering country. And were it not foreign to the purposes of this communication we would undertake to establish to the satisfaction of any candid person that the disturbances among the people to which you allude in opposition to the arrest of deserters and the draft have been occasioned mainly by