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tation, the Legislature and all the officers were only provisional, and subject to the paramount authority of the District Commander, and that in the exercise of this power I should consider all acts of the Legislature null and void, until satisfactory evidence was presented to me that each House had purged itself of ineligible members under the Fourteenth Article, provided there were any such in either House; and I desired the Provisional Governor to communicate these views to each House. On the receipt of this letter, each House at once ordered an investigating committee and enquired into the qualification of each member, and duly reported this fact through the Provisional Governor, stating at the same time that neither House had found any member ineligible.

The Provisional Governor, in transmitting these communications, expressed the opinion, founded on evidence presented to him, that several members in both Houses were ineligible, and called on me to exercise my power, and require said members to vacate their seats. On reflecting upon this subject, I could not see how I was to take the individual judgment of the Provisional Governor in the face of a solemn act of a parliamentary body, especially as, from the testimony presented, I did not, in several cases, agree with the judgment of the Provisional Governor. The question was simply whether, in the construction of a law and in considering the facts of individual cases, I should make myself the judge, or take the opinion of the Provisional Governor, in the face of the official information that a parliamentary body had gravely and formally, through a committee, examined, reported and acted on these cases. My judgment was decidedly that I had fulfilled my duty in compelling the Houses to take the action they had, and that having thus acted, I had neither authority, nor was it politic or expedient, to overrule their action, and set up my individual judgment in opposition. By an inspection of the telegram sent July 18, and the reply of the General-in-Chief, July 23, it will be seen that my views and actions were approved. I allude thus in extenso to this subject, because His Excellency, the Governor of Georgia, in a public speech recently delivered at Albion, New York, is pleased to attribute the failure of Georgia to be properly reconstructed, to my action in failing to purge the Legislature of his political opponents, he having advised me, when he urged such action, that his friends had been relieved of their disability by Congress.

The States being admitted to representation, the civil power vested in the Military Commander by the Reconstruction Acts ceased, and civil authority resumed its way. The inauguration of civil government was to me, personally, a source of great relief; charged as I had been with almost unlimited powers. Notwithstanding the utmost ef

fort on my part to abstain from all interference, except in cases, where in my judgment there was no alternative, I found myself the subject of virulent abuse, my motives impugned, and every imaginable mode of attack resorted to, that malice and partisan malignity could devise. Determined from the first, to ignore all partisan considerations, and to faithfully execute the laws, without reference to any personal or political considerations, I encountered, as was to be expected, the animosity of both sides, without having the benefit of the sympathy of either. I can, however, with just pride refer to my administration, as being free from any design to interfere with the rights or liberties of any individual, much less any portion of the people; and if in some instances, as in the prosecution of the assassins of the Honorable G. W. Ashburn, of Columbus, Georgia, there was, as I have freely admitted, arbitrary measures resorted to, which in a different condition of society, and under a well ordered government, might seem to deserve reprobation, I feel satisfied the evidence published in the Special Report made upon this subject, will fully convince any candid and impartial judge, that my course was imperatively urged upon me.

I encountered from the outset great embarrassment from the want of judgment and knowledge on the part of subordinate agents, and from the great desire of those expecting benefit from military intervention, that I should interpose my authority and set aside the civil power. Against these influences I opposed a steady resistance. Soon after assuming command, I issued an order both to civil and military officers, informing the first they would not be interfered with so long as they faithfully executed their duties; and enjoining on the latter to abstain from interfering with the civil powers, and in all cases to report to me and receive my decision before taking any action; as, on my construction of the law, in the military commander and in him alone, rested the authority to supersede the civil power. I beg leave to call attention to the report of the Acting Judge Advocate of the Department, herewith appended, from which it will be seen that during the whole period of my civil administration, extending over a space of eight months, there were tried by Military Commission in three (3) States of Georgia, Alabama and Florida only thirty-two (32) persons; of these but fifteen (15) were convicted; and of these fifteen (15) the sentence of four (4) were disapproved; of eight (8) others remitted; of two (2) referred to the President of the United States, and still awaiting action, leaving but one (1) person convicted and in confinement for violation of civil law and tried by Military Commission on the cessation of military authority. This simple statement of facts I deem a complete refutation of the charges that military power was so despotically and arbitrarily exercised.

As with regard to the rights of person, so also with those of property. It was my study and effort to zealously guard the rights of individuals, without reference to any consideration but that of justice and law so far as I could comprehend it. The adoption of the relief laws in the several States; the loose manner in which these laws were drawn by the several legislatures, involved an immense amount of business in receiving, examining into and deciding on the innumerable cases which were presented; one side always claiming military intervention for their protection. As far as it was possible to do so, these applicants were always referred to the Judiciary, whose duty it was to construe these laws, and it was only in cases where the courts could not act, or could not be referred to, or in cases where legislative action was necessary-in other words, cases where action on the part of the military commander seemed to be imperative, that I would take any action. And it is gratifying to be able to state that since the resumption of civil authority and the right of appeal given to the dissatisfied parties, I have had no call for any papers or evidence touching any of the few cases acted on.

The amount of labor performed in carrying out the civil and mili tary administration of my command, independent of what specially related to the Civil Bureau, during the period covered by this report, (from January 1st, to November 1st, 1868,) will be seen by reference to the accompanying statement of my Assistant Adjutant General, wherein is shown that there were five thousand four hundred and thirty-two (5432) letters received, and eighteen hundred and eightythree (1883) letters, and six thousand and eighty-four (6084) endorsements covering orders, instructions and decisions, sent from my Headquarters.

The States comprising the district having been admitted to representation, orders were issued declaring the cessation of all intervention on the part of military officers in civil affairs; and the troops that had suffered greatly in discipline by the manner in which they had been detached and scattered, were concentrated on railroad centres, from whence, in the event of their services being required, they could be promptly moved. This movement proved very distateful to the people and the civil authorities, who, having accustomed themselves to rely on the troops for maintaining order, were at first apprehensive of the consequences of their withdrawal.

Instructions were recieved from the President and Secretary of War confining the troops to the simple preservation of the peace, and and that only, after the civil authorities had exhausted all the means in their power, and called on the military through the proper channels. (See instructions contained in letters addressed to Brevet Major,

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General Buchanan and to myself, appended.) It now became my embarrassing duty to decline using the forces under my command, and to impress on all parties, the altered condition of affairs. Soon after announcing the position of the military, the outrage at Camilla, in Georgia, was committed, where as I have stated in a special report, the evidence would seemn to show, that the authors of the outrage were civil officers; who, under the guise of enforcing the law and suppressing disorder, had permitted a wanton sacrifice of life and blood. At the same time the report stated that the opposite parties, for the affair was a political onehad, by their want of judgment, and their insistance on abstract rights in the face of the remonstrances of the law officers, giving these officers the opportunity of acting as they did. Immediately on this outrage being reported, an officer was dispatched to the scene, who made a thorough investigation and report. I found from the report that the affair lasted but one day and that there was no occasion to employ troops for the preservation of order or the protection of the people. Being satisfied that the matter had been, and so far as the detection and punishment of the criminals was concerned, should continue to be, in the hands of the civil authorities, I transmitted the report of the investigation, together with the evidence collected, to his Excellency, the Governor of Georgia.

Early in August, by the order of the President of the United States, the Second and Third Military Districts were abolished and consolidated into the Department of the South, to the command of which, I was assigned. This added to my command the States of North and South Carolina, increasing greatly the duties, because in these States, particularly in South Carolina, military authority had, during reconstruction, almost entirely superseded the civil.

Soon after taking command of the Department of the South, I received communications from the Governors of North and South Carolina urging the use of the troops, in sustaining the Civil Governments in these States, and notifying me of their possessing satisfactory evidence, of armed bodies being organized for the purpose of overthrowing the government. I had previously received somewhat similar communications from the Governors of Georgia, Florida and Alabama. The sum and substance of these letters were an admission that the several State governments were powerless and unable to enforce the laws, without the aid and co-operation of the Military. I replied to these several applications, that I could find nothing in the existing laws or the instructions from superior authority, which would justify my answering their call; which virtually amounted to taking charge of the State governments,-employing the civil officers as agents of the

military; that my sole and exclusive duty was to preserve the peace, and that only, after it was evident that the civil power was unable so to do, and had called on me in the manner prescribed by law. These applications became so numerous and pressing, that in view of the approaching Presidential election, on which day, by the Act of Congress approved March 2, 1865, I deemed I was authorized to employ the military forces to preserve the peace, and to calm the apprehensions of the anxious, and make known my views to the evil disposed, I issued, early in October, an order distributing the troops in the several States in the Department, and gave in the order, not only instructions to the officers and men, but deemed it my duty to make an appeal to the people of the several States, urging calmness and abstinence from those political excitements, tending to riot and bloodshed. Although, particularly careful to require all intervention of the troops to be subordinate to, and in aid of, and co-operation with the civil authorities, this order was misconstrued and subjected to the most virulent criticism. I am gratified however, in being able to state that the effect of the order, and the movements made by virtue of it, were in the highest degree satisfactory. At the same time, I take this occasion to call the attention of the General-in-Chief, and through him, those having the power to act, to the anomalous condition of affairs existing in this Department, and the necessity, if it be deemed proper for the military to intervene in civil affairs; that more power be given to the Department Commander, than existing laws confer.

I beg leave to refer to the reports of the several heads of the Staff Departments at these Headquarters for the necessary information in relation to the position, condition and discipline of the troops. So soon as the approaching election is over, it is contemplated to re-concentrate the troops, and to require the strictest attention to be paid to the drill and discipline of the several commands.

I take this occasion to express to my several District Commanders, and to the officers of the Staff Departments, and to the officers and men of the several commands, my thanks for the prompt and efficient co-operation I have ever received at their hands. No army, in previous history, was ever called on to discharge such delicate and responsible duties, involving powers that, if abused, might have led to the most serious consequences; and yet the transition from military to civil power was so imperceptible as to have passed unnoticed but for the special means, by way of proclamations, orders, etc., to make it public. I do not mean to deny but that there were individual exceptions, and that in some cases, bad judgment, political bias, or personal feelings, may have influenced the course of some individual officer or soldier-this is no more than is to be expected from our

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