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vene the Legislature thereof at an earlier date than that fixed by law. U. S. GRANT,

A true copy:

R. C. DRUM, Assistant Adjutant General.

General.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., June 27, 1868.

Major General George G. Meade, Commanding Third Military Dis

trict:

Your proposition relative to employment of Counsel in the murder case, is approved. J. M. SCHOFIELD,

(Signed)

R. C. DRUM, Assistant Adjutant General.

A true copy:

Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., June 29, 1868.

Major General George G. Meade, Commanding Third Military District: To avoid any questions as to who shall exercise the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor, in the State of Georgia and Alabama, notice convening of the Legislatures of said States, under the Act of Congress passed June 25, 1868. You will appoint the Governor and Lieutenant Governor elect, of Georgia, Governor and Lieutenant Governor of said State, vice present incumbents removed; and the Governor and Lieutenant Governor elect, of Alabama, Governor and Lieutenant Governor of said State, vice present incumbents removed. These appointments and removals to take effect at the date of the convening of said Legislatures, respectively.

A true copy:

(Signed) U. S. GRANT,

R. C. DRUM, Assistant Adjutant General.

General.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD MILITARY DISTRICT,

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, June, 30, 1868. Hon. Secretary of War and General U. S. Grant, Washington, D. C. : When I left Washington, I was of the opinion that the trial of all civil prisoners might be, and should be left to the civil authorities on the admission of the State. Since my arrival, owing to the developments in the Ashburn murder case, the intense excitement produced by the same, and the false and malicious statements made for political purposes, I deem it most urgent that the trial should be carried on to the end by the military authorities. Colonel Schofield will apprise you of the character of the evidence, but every conceivable obstacle is being resorted to to produce delay, with the intention of taking the prisoners out of my hands by writ of habeas corpus so soon as the State is supposed to be admitted. I think, therefore, for the purposes of justice, some action should be had in Congress continuing the trial

of all cases by Military Commission pending at the time the State is admitted. Cannot this be done?

(Signed)

GEORGE G. MEADE,

Major General.

A true copy:

R. C. DRUM Assistant Adjutant General.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., July 1, 1868. Major General George G. Meade, Commanding Third Military District:

In the absence of General Grant, your dispatch of yesterday was to-day submitted to the Secretary of War, and it is his opinion that the suggested Congressional action cannot be had.

A true copy:

(Signed) JOHN A. RAWLINS,

R. Č. DRUM, Assistant Adjutant General.

Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD MILITARY DISTRICT,
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, July 6, 1868.

General U. S. Grant, Washington, D. C. :

Both Houses of the Legislature of this State organized on the 4th instant, by electing a President of the Senate and Speaker of the the House. Indications would seem to point to a Democratic majority in the lower House, and probable rejection of the Fourteenth Arti

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cle. When the Houses were organized, all members who had received the largest number of votes were allowed to qualify by taking the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the State, and no reference was made to the eligibility of members under the Fourteenth Article. is believed there are several in both Houses who are disqualified, but, of course, it is not to be expected that a Democratic majority will make any haste to unseat such. The question is, have I any authority in the premises? A legislative body is undoubtedly the judge of the qualifications of its own members; but has a Legislature convened under the Reconstruction Acts, and, therefore, provisional, under these Acts and the Act of June 25, until it has passed the Fourteenth Article, the right to pass the Fourteenth Article, or do any act beyond mere organization until it has purged itself of disqualified members, and can I, in view of the powers conferred by the Reconstruction acts, exercise any control over them in case of their failure so to do? An early reply to this telegram is requested.

A true copy:

(Signed)

GEORGE G. MEADE,
Major General.

R. C. DRUM, Assistant Adjutant General.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., July 7, 1868.

Major General George G. Meade, Commanding Third Military District: Your dispatch relative to the eligibility of members of the Georgia Legislature, and your authority touching the same, has been received and forwarded to General Grant for instructions.

It is clear to my mind, that under the Reconstruction Acts, includ

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ing the one passed June 25, 1868, that no person prohibited from holding office under the United States, or under any State, by section three (3) of the proposed Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, known as Article 14, unless relieved from such disability, is eligible to a seat in the Legislature, and is, therefore, not competent to take part in its deliberations, or to pass upon the ratification of said Amendment. Under ordinary circumstances, the Legislature itself would be the proper judge of the qualifications of its members, and bearing upon this latter point, I send you herewith copy of dispatch of Hon. J. F. Wilson, George S. Boutwell and others, to Governor Warmouth, of Louisiana. I also send one from General Grant to me, for General Buchanan, which most unmistakeably defines his views of the character of these Governments, and authority of the District Commanders. The Reconstruction Acts are required to be construed liberally, to the end that all the intents thereof, viz: the re-establishment of Civil Governments in the States lately in rebellion may be fully and perfectly carried out; and it would seem that persons ineligible to hold office under their provisions should not be permitted to defeat them.

(Signed) JOHN A. RAWLINS, Chief of Staff.

June 30, 1868.

To Governor Warmouth, New Orleans: We think that persons disqualified by the 14th Article of the amendment to the Constitution of the United States, are not eligible to your Legislature. This is to be determined by the respective Houses; but no oath can be imposed except the oath presented by the State Constitution.

(Signed) JOSEPH S. WILSON, Chairman Judiciary Committee. GEO. S. BOUTWELL,

J. F. FARNSWORTH

H. E. PAINE.

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Reconstruction Committee.

RELAY HOUSE, MARYLAND, June 30, 1868.

To General John A. Rawlins:

Instruct General Buchanan that the Government of Louisiana is provisional, and the Lieutenant Governor is bound by the decision of the District Commander, right or wrong, whilst it remains so. (Signed) U. S. GRANT,

A true copy:

(Signed)

General. JOHN A. RAWLINS, Chief of Staff.

R. C. DRUM, Assistant Adjutant General.

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 9, 1868.

Major General George G. Meade, Commanding Third Military District: In answer to dispatch of the 6th instant, the following has been received from General Grant:

To John A. Rawlins, Chief of Staff:

ST. LOUIS, MO., July 8, 1868.

No person unable to hold office under the 14th Article of the Constitutional Amendment, should be allowed to qualify. District Commanders are the Judges of the qualifications of civil officers, until all

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the requirements of the different Acts of Congress to complete Reconstruction of the seceded States, are fully complied with.

(Signed) U. S. GRANT,

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General. Chief of Staff.

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WASHINGTON, D. C., July 11, 1868.

Major General George G. Meade, Commanding Third Military District: The Secretary of War desires to know whether you can spare a Regiment of Infantry from your command.

A true copy:

(Signed) EDMUND SCHRIVER,

R. C. DRUM, Assistant Adjutant General.

Inspector General.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD MILITARY DISTRICT.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, July 11, 1868.

Edmund Schriver, Inspector General, War Department:

I would not recommend any reduction of the force in this District at the present moment. When Alabama and Georgia are admitted, and their civil governments peacefully inaugurated, there will be no objection to the withdrawal of a regiment of Infantry. (Signed) GEORGE G. MEADE,

A true copy:

R. C. DRUM, Assistant Adjutant General.

Major General.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD MILITARY DISTRICT,
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, July 16, 1868.

General Rawlins, Chief of Staff:
I am officially advised by the Commanding Officer, Sub-District of
Alabama, that the Legislature which convened on the 13th instant,
adopted on that day the Fourteenth Article Constitutional Amend-
ment, and otherwise complied with the requisitions of the Act of
June 25, 1868; and that on the 14th, the Governor elect was duly in-
augurated and installed in office.

A true copy:

(Signed)

GEORGE G. MEADE,

Major General.

R. C. DRUM, Assistant Adjutant General.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD MILITARY DISTRICT,
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, July 18, 1868.

General U. S. Grant, Washington, D. C.:
On the 8th instant, having been officially notified by the Provisional
Governor of Georgia that both Houses of the Legislature had reported
to him they were organized. and ready for any communication from
him, I instructed the Governor to communicate to both Houses that
until compliance was had with the laws of Congress, I considered
them as provisional, and subject to my control, and that I could not
consider either House legally organized until it had examined into and

decided on the eligibility of its members under the Fourteenth Article. On receipt of this communication, each House appointed a committee to investigate and report. In the Senate, a majority of the committee reported all eligible. One member of the minority reported two ineligible. Another member of the minority reported nine ineligible. The Senate, after hearing the report of the committee, and excluding the Senators reported against from voting, endorsed and adopted the report of the majority, declaring none ineligible. This action is today transmitted to me by the Provisional Governor, who adopts the extreme report of the minority, gives his judgment that the action of the majority of the committee and of the Senate is illegal, and that the nine members are ineligible; states, however, that he has official information that certain of these members have had their disability removed by Congress, and calls on me to overrule the decision of the Senate, and declare vacant the seats of those members reported against by one member of the minority, whose disabilities have not been removed. I am not disposed to alter the position I have assumed, that it is the prerogative of each House to judge of the facts and the law in the cases of members of their Houses. I consider I have performed my duty when I called their attention to the law, and required action to be taken under it. I do not feel myself competent to overrule the deliberate action of a legislative body, who report they have conformed to the rule I laid down for their guidance. If I was the sole and exclusive judge of the qualifications of members, I should have exercised my prerogative before allowing the Houses to organize. I construed the dispatch of Mr. Wilson to Governor Warmouth, prohibiting any oath but such as the Constitution prescribed, as prohibiting any test in advance of the House having control, and as leaving to each House the right to decide. My judgment, therefore, is to acquiesce in the decision of the Senate, and leave to Congress such action as may hereafter be deemed proper in case the Senate has failed to comply with the law. To adopt the course proposed by the Provisional Governor, and overrule the action of the Senate, will bring me in immediate conflict with the Legislature, and produce results which, in my judginent, will be worse than allowing a few doubtful members to retain seats under the vote of their own body. It is proper I should add, that there appears at present no doubt but that the Congressional acts will be complied with, even if members whose seats are questioned are left undisturbed. So far as I can ascertain, the trouble is a personal one, arising out of the contest for United States Senatorship. I should also add that the Senate, whose action is reported, has a decided Republican majority, and could have purged itself of such members as are clearly ineligible. What I desire to know is whether, in your judgment, my duty requires me to overrule the deliberate act of the Senate, and judge for myself on the qualifications of members. I have no doubt of my power in the premises, but do not feel that I am called on to do more than I have done.

(Signed)

GEORGE G. MEADE,
Major General.

A true copy:

R. C. DRUM, Assistant Adjutant General.

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