War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0015 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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of certain of Brigadier General R. H. Milroy, U. S. Army, which were forwarded by me to the President some weeks ago. In addition to the deposition of Job Parsons and myself I furnish you s cumulative evidence a copy of The Crisis, of date December 24, 1862, a newspaper published at Columbus, Ohio, in which the orders of Milroy are published as part of the history of the times.* I have not seen Adam Harper, who is the subject of this published order, but two of his sons, one of whom is my scout, have stated to me that their father was compelled to pay the assessment of $285 to save his life. The whole amount of money raised by these illegal assessments in the small county of Tucker, as near as I can ascertain it, is about $6,000.

Were I to report every case of outrage of this character which has come to my knowledge it would astound all Christian people who read it. Permit me, sir, to express the opinion that we have an effectual remedy for these crimes by the adoption of an inexorable rule of retaliation. The oppression of our people cannot be increased but I believe will be mitigated by the enforcement of the fullest measure of retaliation on these bloodthirsty savages.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.


Colonel, Commanding.

MADISON, WIS., January 13, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

On the 5th ultimo wright were served upon me, which were answered on the 16th to supreme court. The decision of the court was postponed to 30th; again postponed, and to-day announced as follows:

That General Orders, Numbers 141, September 25, 1862, is invalid; that the President has no right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus-that Congress alone can suspend the writ-nor to declare martial law over territory not actually the scene of war. To prevent, if possible, collision between United States and State authorities the attachment against General Elliot will not issue until the authorities at Washington can be informed of this decision.+


Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 14, 1863.

General R. E. LEE,


GENERAL: Your communication of the 10th instant, inclosing copies of two papers purporting to be signed by order of Brigadier General R. H. Milroy, in November last, is just received. Measures will be immediately taken to ascertain whether these papers are genuine, and, if so, General Milroy will be notified that his conduct in issuing them is disapproved. It is not alleged that any attempt has been made to execute them.

The Government of the United States has not only observed the modern laws and usages of war, but through the present rebellion has refrained from exercising the severer rights recognized by the


* For inclosure accompanying this letter, see Series II, Vol. V, pp. 809-811.

+ For reply, see Stanton to Elliott, January 15, Series II, Vol, p. 179, and for Salomon to Stanto, same subject, see ibid, p. 174.