Today in History:

81 Series I Volume XX-II Serial 30 - Murfreesborough Part II


sent either to Vicksburg or Camp Chase. That persons included in this class should be promptly arrested I had no doubt; whether the United States should be subjected to the expense of sending them under guard to Louisville for examination and final decision depends on the proof brought against them. Again, what right had General Buell to expect that persons so arrested would be received by the rebel authorities at Vicksburg, and what propriety was there in sending men who had aided and abetted the invasion of a loyal State, and had thus been quilt of treason, back into the enemy's lines, where they would be free to continue their treasonable practices, instead of sending them to Camp Chase, where they would be powerless to harm the Union cause? I confess to having been unable to see either the right or propriety of such a course, and hence the third paragraph of my instructions to General Boyle.

The fourth paragraph was designed to cover cases which could not be brought under any general rule. They were left to his judgment, with, practically, an appeal to me; through, for obvious reasons, the right to such appeal was not stated.

I have already made this communication longer than I unrented, and will, therefore, be as brief as possible in what yet to say.

This is the first time I have undertaken a defense of my administration of the affairs of the Department of the Ohio. I have given to that administration my best energies, and have restricted myself wholly to the discharge of my duties, to the best of my abilities. Whether my course has met the approval of higher authorities is for them to decide. Certainly it has been according to my best judgment. I have not attempted to please the extremes of either party. I have heard them patiently when they have seen fit to offer their counsels, and have decided for myself. If my course does not meet approval, the higher authorities should either instruct me in that in which I have erred or replace me by some other officer better fitted to discharge the very perplexing duties of the department. I shall be content with either. I claim to have served faithfully, if not successfully, since the war began, and always in positions not of my own seeking. Till the war ends, I shall be governed by the same desire to do my best, and shall not by influenced in my course by any deputation of Western gentlemen who go to Washington to represent my policy and demand my removal without even asking what my policy was or seeking to ascertain whether their impressions were true or not.

It may be proper to remark that Kentucky is as much under a recognized State government as Ohio; that it is as much the duty of the civil authorities there to act in cases of treason and other crimes amenable to the civil law as in Ohio, and that the civil authorities could with the same propriety protest against any usurpation of the civil rights by the military in one State as in the other. There is an abundant military force in Kentucky to aid in carrying on the administration of the civil government, if such aid be needed, and it is always ready to respond to the calls that may be made upon it. This is, I believe, fully understood, and certainly no such call has been made vain. Either the State should be put under martial law, and thus turned over to the guardianship of the military authorities, or the rights of the government and the people should be respected. At this time the proclamation of martial law would not, in my judgment, be justified.

You will see that in administering the affairs of the department, so far as Kentucky is concerned, my position has been an embarrassing one. If I followed a rigid military policy I should necessarily interfere