that he has ordered the provost-marshals to furnish when they present a prisoner for custody.
There can be no obstacle, therefore, in my order to any arrest by provost-marshals who comply with the orders of their own chief. My order simply imposes the same obligations on my subordinate officers that he imposes upon his, neither more nor less than is required by the eightieth Article of War. The order in question never has obstructed and never will obstruct such arrests nor prevent the military force from keeping persons so arrested in custody.
For the protection of the military commander holding persons in custody, it is prescribed by the eightieth Article of War that he shall have a written statement of crime charged (not proved).
In my judgment, therefore, no modification of my order is necessary. It only requires provost-marshals to furnish the written statements which they are directed to furnish by the Provost-Marshal-General himself. My order simply enforces the execution of his orders as far as the military authorities are concerned.
I am a little surprised that after reading my order (36) Colonel Fry should state that it lays down the principle that "a prisoner charged with a high crime shall not be received by the proper custodians unless all the particulars connected with the offense can be presented in writing by the officer making the arrest, and presented, too, in proper shape for trial."
No such principle is laid down, nor are these words, nor anything approaching the substance of them, to be found in my order (36). I require full particulars, not of details, nor "in proper shape for trial," but such as can be presented in charges and specifications for trial; that is, such a paper as the officer receiving the prisoner can send with him when he is returned to his regiment, and such as will enable the commander of his company or regiment to make out charges against him.
The descriptive list ordered to be furnished by Colonel Fry covers the whole case, it only being necessary to add to it the date and place of arrest.
Colonel Fry also states that I condemn the provost-marshals in this State. No such thing can be found in my letter. I state a fact which is as well known to him probably as to me. These appointments of district provost-marshals are "political appointments;" that is, they have been given to persons on recommendation of senators and representatives for political services rendered and not for qualification for their duties. I simply stated that "their discretion and fidelity to their public trusts have not yet been proved and cannot be sufficiently known at Washington to be made the basis of decisions so important to the public welfare."
This remark is no "condemnation" of provost-marshals, nor does it apply to officers of that department any more in Wisconsin than to those of other States of this department.
Surely, the doubt expressed in this remark is natural enough and reasonable enough. There are very many trustworthy district provost-marshals in this department, but there are also some who are not trustworthy. If Colonel Fry knows who belong to the first class and who to the second, and regulates his action accordingly, there can be no difference of opinion between the military authorities and officers of the provost-marshal's department in this State.
The fact that this whole correspondence arose from a letter addressed directly to the Provost-Marshal-General by one of the district provost-marshals in this State without the knowledge or consent of the assist