By Jonathan W. White
In the spring of 1861, Union army experts arrested Maryland farmer John Merryman on fees of treason opposed to the U.S. for burning railroad bridges round Baltimore with the intention to hinder northern infantrymen from attaining the capital. From his criminal phone at fortress McHenry, Merryman petitioned leader Justice of the best court docket Roger B. Taney for liberate via a writ of habeas corpus. Taney issued the writ, yet President Abraham Lincoln overlooked it. In mid-July Merryman was once published, in simple terms to be indicted for treason in a Baltimore federal court docket. His case, even though, by no means went to trial and federal prosecutors eventually pushed aside it in 1867.
In Abraham Lincoln and Treason within the Civil struggle, Jonathan White unearths how the arrest and prosecution of this little-known Baltimore farmer had a long-lasting effect at the Lincoln management and Congress as they struggled to enhance rules to accommodate either northern traitors and southern rebels. His paintings exposes a number of perennially arguable felony and constitutional concerns in American historical past, together with the character and volume of presidential warfare powers, the improvement of nationwide rules for facing disloyalty and treason, and the security of civil liberties in wartime.
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Extra info for Abraham Lincoln and treason in the Civil War : the trials of John Merryman
22 Cadwalader’s letter was the first time that Taney had heard of the sus- The Arrest and Incarceration of John Merryman | 31 pension of habeas corpus. As might be expected, he was indignant and he immediately ordered an attachment against Cadwalader for contempt. S. marshal went to Fort McHenry to deliver the attachment, but he was denied admittance to the fort, so he returned to the court with the attachment still in hand. Taney informed the marshal that he could summon a posse comitatus to aid in the seizure of General Cadwalader, but as the military force was vastly superior to any force the marshal might be able to muster, the chief justice released him from any further duties in the case.
Taney informed the marshal that he could summon a posse comitatus to aid in the seizure of General Cadwalader, but as the military force was vastly superior to any force the marshal might be able to muster, the chief justice released him from any further duties in the case. Taney stated that he had issued the attachment for contempt because the president did not possess the authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus (nor may he authorize a military commander to do so); furthermore, the military had no right to arrest and detain a civilian except when aiding the judicial authorities of the United States.
10 On April 27, the War Department divided the seat of war into three military districts. ” On May 21, Yohe ordered a subordinate to “be cautious in your movements and be well satisfied that the captain or any of them are spreading secession sentiments and using their influence in favor of the Southern Confederacy. By all means get the arms. . If you arrest the captain take him to General Cad- 28 | Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War walader’s department. Do not be precipitate. ”12 On May 22, Assistant Adjutant General Fitz-John Porter ordered Yohe to arrest “any armed bodies of men outside of Baltimore collected with hostile intent .
Abraham Lincoln and treason in the Civil War : the trials of John Merryman by Jonathan W. White