prescribing that the decision of the Board should be final. But, notwithstanding this, certain judges assumed jurisdiction in cases of claims for exemption, both before and after the boards had given final decision on them, as required by the statute. According to the opinion of these judges there was practically no finality in the examination of drafted men unless they were all exempted by the boards. In one instance, during the daily examination of men, a judge ordered the records of the Board of Enrollment to be delivered to him in court. The order was not obeyed inasmuch as obedience to it would have been a violation of the law, and might have delayed for an indefinite period the business of the Board in that district.
In Pennsylvania an attempt was made to obstruct the draft by means of a bill in chancery; and an injunction was granted by a majority of the supreme court of that State, which, however, was not obeyed.
The action of the civil courts in the foregoing particulars threatened for a time, in several districts, to defeat, or at least to suspend, the business of raising troops and of arresting deserters, and either to thrown the officers of this Bureau into custody, or keep them so constantly before the courts at to prevent their attendance upon the duties for which they were appointed, and thus to defeat the raising of an army according to the law. These difficulties were subsequently terminated by the proclamation of the President, dated September 15, as follows:*
In accordance with the above proclamation I issued Circular Numbers 85.a It directed that if a writ of habeas corpus should, in violation of the aforesaid proclamation, be sued out and served upon any officer in the military service of the United States, commanding him to produce before any court or judge any person in his custody by authority of the President of the United States, belonging to any one of the classes specified in the President's proclamation, it should be tknown by his certificate, under oath, to whomsoever may issue or serve such writ of habeas corpus, that the person named in said writ "is detained by him as a prisoner under authority of the President of the United States."
Such return having been made, if any person serving, or attempting to serve, such writ, either by the command of any court or judge, or otherwise, and with or without process of law, should attempt to arrest the officer making such return and holding in custody such person, the said officer was thereby commanded to refuse submission and obedience to such arrest, and if there should be any attempt to take such person from the custody of such officer, or arrest such officer, he should resist such attempt, calling to his aid any force that might be necessary to maintain the authority of the United States and render such resistance effectual.
The time when drafted men might pay commutation or present substitutes.
Section 13 of the original enrollment act is as follows:
SEC.13. And be it further enacted, That any person drafted and notified to appear as aforesaid may, on or before the day fixed for his appearance, furnish an acceptable substitute to take his place in the draft; or he may pay to such person as the Secretary of War may authorize to receive it such sum, not exceeding three hundred dollars, as the Secretary may determine, for the procuration of
a See Appendix, Doc. 24, Art. 2.
*See Vol. III, this series, p. 817.