By Jonathan W. White
Within the spring of 1861, Union army professionals arrested Maryland farmer John Merryman on fees of treason opposed to the U.S. for burning railroad bridges round Baltimore for you to hinder northern squaddies from attaining the capital. From his legal mobilephone at fortress McHenry, Merryman petitioned leader Justice of the best court docket Roger B. Taney for unencumber via a writ of habeas corpus. Taney issued the writ, yet President Abraham Lincoln overlooked it. In mid-July Merryman used to be published, in basic terms to be indicted for treason in a Baltimore federal courtroom. His case, even if, by no means went to trial and federal prosecutors eventually disregarded it in 1867.In Abraham Lincoln and Treason within the Civil battle, Jonathan White finds how the arrest and prosecution of this little-known Baltimore farmer had an enduring effect at the Lincoln management and Congress as they struggled to increase regulations to accommodate either northern traitors and southern rebels. His paintings sheds major new mild on numerous perennially debatable criminal and constitutional concerns in American background, together with the character and quantity of presidential conflict powers, the advance of nationwide guidelines for facing disloyalty and treason, and the security of civil liberties in wartime.
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Additional info for Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War)
Butler encamped his troops on Federal Hill with his cannons facing the city. 37 On May 14, Butler ordered the arrest of Maryland legislator, secessionist, and inventor Ross Winans. “I . . ”38 Back in Washington, General Scott was furious at Butler’s actions. “Your hazardous occupation of Baltimore was made without my knowledge and of course without my approbation,” he wrote to Butler. ” 39 On May 15, Scott replaced Butler with General George Cadwalader, a Philadelphia lawyer and veteran of the Mexican War.
They arrested several prisoners during this time, including a Pennsylvania deserter and a Baltimore County Unionist. ” They kept him overnight at Hayfields before transporting him to the public jail at Towsontown. m. on April 24 to look for Lovell. ” Cockey and Gilmor then bound Lovell’s arms and forced him to walk three miles to Hayfields. Upon arriving they found Merryman and a dozen other members of the Horse Guards sitting in their uniforms. 31 It was an ironic moment that can be appreciated only in hindsight: John Merryman, as a militia officer, oversaw the arrest and detention of a Maryland civilian for speaking disloyally against the southern cause.
Next came the mayor. “In my speech,” recalled Mayor Brown, “I insisted on the maintenance of peace and order in the city. ” Brown’s speech was greeted with “groans and shouts of disapproval by part of the crowd, but I maintained my ground. ” The crowd then called for Governor Hicks. ” The governor declared his desire for preservation of the Union. The crowd reacted with vitriol toward the timid chief executive, who hastily added: “I bow in submission to the people. ” 15 Meanwhile, back in Washington, April 19 was a hectic day at the White House.