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Senate Bill, No. 119--Secret.
A Bill to Suspend the Privilege
of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in Certain Cases:

Electronic Edition.

Confederate States of America. Congress. Senate.


Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services
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Text encoded by Patricia L. Walker and Natalia Smith
First edition, 1999
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Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
1999.

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Call number 173 Conf. (Rare Book Collection, UNC-CH)



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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998

LC Subject Headings:



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[SENATE BILL, No. 119--SECRET.]

        SENATE, November 28, 1864--Read first and second times and referred to the Committee on Judiciary with instructions to report the bill at as early a day as practicable. December 1, 1864.--Reported with amendments, and bill and amendments ordered to be printed, in confidence, for the use of the Senate.

[Mr. CAPERTON, by leave.]

A BILL
To suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in certain cases.

        1 Whereas, The Constitution of the Confederate States of
2 America provides, in article 1, section 9, paragraph 3, that "the
3 privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless,
4 when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may
5 require it;" and whereas, the power of suspending the privilege
6 of said writ, as recognized in said article 1, is vested solely
7 in the Congress, which is the exclusive judge of the necessity of
8 such suspension; and whereas, in the opinion of the Congress,
9 the public safety requires the suspension of said writ in the existing
10 case of the invasion of these States by the armies of the
11 United States; and whereas, the Prisident has asked for the
12 suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and informed Congress
13 of conditions of public danger which render the suspension of


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14 the writ a measure proper for the public defence against invasion
15 and insurrection; Now, therefore,

        1 SECTION 1. The Congress of the Confederate States of America
2 do enact, That during the present invasion of the Confederate
3 States, the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus be, and the same
4 is hereby, suspended; but such suspension shall apply only to the
5 cases of persons arrested or detained by order of the President,
6 Secretary of War or the General officer commanding the trans-Mississippi
7 military department, by the authority and under the
8 control of the President. It is hereby declared that the purpose
9 of Congress in the passage of this act is to provide more effectually
10 for the public safety by suspending the writ of habeas
11 corpus in the following cases, and no other:

        12 I. Of treason, or treasonable efforts or combinations to subvert
13 the Government of the Confederate States.

        14 II. Of conspiracies to overthrow the government, or conspiracies
15 to resist the lawful authority of the Confederate States.

        16 III. Of combining to assist the enemy, or of communicating
17 intelligence to the enemy, or giving him aid and comfort.

        18 IV. Of conspiracies, preparations and attempts to incite servile
19 insurrection.

        20 V. Of desertions or encouraging desertions, of harboring
21 deserters, and of attempts to avoid military service: Provided,
22 That in cases of palpable wrong and oppression by any subordinate


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23 officer upon any party who does not legally owe military
24 service, his superior officer shall grant prompt releif to the
25 oppressed party; and the subordinate shall be dismissed from
26 office.

        27 VI. Of spies and other emissaries of the emeny.

        28 VII. Of holding correspondence or intercourse with the
29 enemy, without necessity, and without the permission of the Confederate
30 States.

        31 VIII. Of unlawful trading with the enemy and other offences
32 against the laws of the Confederate States, enacted to promote
33 their success in the war.

        34 IX. Of conspiracies or attempts to liberate prisoners of war
35 held by the Confederate States.

        36 X. Of conspiracies or attempts or preparations to aid the
37 enemy.

        38 XI. Of persons advising or inciting others to abandon the
39 Confederate cause, or to resist the Confederate States, or to adhere
40 to the enemy.

        41 XII. Of unlawfully burning, destroying or injuring, or
42 attempting to burn, destroy or injure any bridge or railroad, or
43 telegraphic line of communication, or other property, with the
44 intent of aiding the enemy.

        45 XIII. Of treasonable designs to impair the military power of
46 the government by destroying or attempting to destroy the vessels,


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47 or arms, or munitions of war, or arsenals, foundries, workshops,
48 or other property of the Confederate States.

        1 SEC. 2. The President shall cause proper officers to investigate
2 the cases of all persons so arrested or detained, in order that
3 they may be discharged, if improperly detained, unless they can
4 be speedily tried in the due course of law.

        1 SEC. 3. That during the suspension aforesaid, no military or
2 other officer shall be compelled, in answer to any writ of habeas
3 corpus, to appear in person or to return the body of any person
4 or persons detained by him by the authority of the President,
5 Secretary of War, or the general officer commanding the trans-Mississippi
6 department; but upon the certificate, under oath, of
7 the officer having charge of any one so detained, that such person
8 is detained by him as a prisoner for any of the causes hereinbefore
9 specified, under the authority aforesaid, further proceedings
10 under the writ of habeas corpus shall immediately cease
11 and remain suspended so long as this act shall continue in
12 force.

        1 SEC. 4. This set shall continue in force for ninety days after
2 the next meeting of Congress, and no longer.


Page 5

AMENDMENTS
Proposed by the Committee on the Judiciary to the bill (S. 119) to
suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in certain cases:

        1 I. Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert:
2 That during the present invasion, the privilege of the writ of
3 habeas corpus be, and the same is hereby, suspended throughout
4 the Confederate States, in all cases where the person arrested
5 may be charged, under oath--

        6 I. With treason, or treasonable efforts or combinations to subvert
7 the Government of the Confederate States.

        8 II. With combining to assist the enemy, or with communicating
9 intelligence to the enemy, or giving him aid and comfort.

        10 III. With treasonable designs to impair the military power of the
11 Government by destroying, or attempting to destroy, the vessels,
12 or arms, or munitions of war, or arsenals, foundries, workshops,
13 or other property of the Confederate States.

        14 IV. With being a spy or other emissary of the enemy.

        15 V. With exciting, or attempting to excite, insurrection among
16 slaves, or promoting conspiracy among them, or enticing them
17 to join the enemy.

        18 VI. With burning, destroying, or injuring, or attempting to
19 burn, destroy, or injure any bridge or railroad, or telegraphic line
20 of communication, with the view of aiding the enemy.


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        21 VII. With exciting, or attempting to excite, mutiny among
22 the troops of the Confederate States.

        23 VIII. With harboring deserters or encouraging desertion.

        1 SEC. 2. That in all such cases of arrests, it shall be the duty
2 of the officer issuing the warrant or order to set forth in writing,
3 over his official signature, the cause of such arrest and imprisonment,
4 and shall cause a copy thereof to be forthwith forwarded to
5 the Secretary of War.

        1 SEC. 3. The oath required by this act shall be sufficient, when
2 founded on either the knowledge, information or belief of the
3 affiant, that the person charged is guilty of the act or offence
4 stated, and said oath may be administered, and the warrant or
5 order of arrest issued, by any judge or justice, or commissioner
6 of the Confederate States, or by any judge, justice of the peace,
7 judge of probate, or other judicial officer of any State of the Confederate
8 States; or by any judge of a military court, or by any
9 commissioned officer in the military service of the Confederate
10 States of, or above, the rank of major.

        1 SEC. 4. That in all cases, when it is practicable, the oath shall
2 be taken, and the warrant or order founded thereon, shall be
3 issued before the arrest shall be made; and when it is not practicable,
4 or the delay may increase the probabilities of escape, the
5 arrest may be first made; but in all such cases the oath shall be
6 taken, and the warrant or order, plainly setting forth the cause


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7 of arrest and detention, shall be issued within twenty-four hours
8 after the arrest shall have been made, and a copy of the affidavit
9 and of the order or warrant, within forty-eight hours after such
10 arrest, shall be furnished to the person arrested; and in case said
11 oath is not taken, nor said warrant or order issued and furnished,
12 as herein required, the party arrested shall not be denied
13 the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus by reason of the passage
14 of this act.

        1 SEC. 5. It shall be the duty of the President to appoint proper
2 officers as commissioners to investigate the cases of all persons
3 so arrested or detained, in order that they may be discharged, if
4 improperly detained, unless they can be speedily tried in the due
5 course of law. Said commissioners shall receive, each, a compensation
6 of two hundred and fifty dollars per month; and each
7 commissioner may appoint one clerk or assistant, who shall receive
8 a compensation of one hundred and fifty dollars per month,
9 and each commissioner and assistant shall receive twenty-five
10 cents for every mile actually and necessarily travelled in the
11 discharge of the duties required by this act.

        1 SEC. 6. During the suspension aforesaid, no military or other
2 officer shall be compelled, in answer to any writ of habeas corpus,
3 to appear in person, or to return the body of any person or persons
4 detained by him, according to the provisions of this act,
5 but upon the certificate, under oath, of the officer having charge


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6 of any one so detained, that such person is detained by him as a
7 prisoner for any of the causes hereinbefore specified, under the
8 authority herein specified, accompanied by a copy of the affidavit
9 and of the warrant or order of arrest, further proceedings
10 under the writ of habeas corpus shall immediately cease and remain
11 suspended so long as this act shall continue in force.

        1 SEC. 7. This act shall continue in force for ninety-days after
2 the next meeting of Congress, and no longer.

        3 II. Amend the preamble by striking out all after "whereas," in
4 line eight, and inserting, "the President has informed the Congress
5 of conditions of public danger, which, in the opinion of Congress,
6 render the suspension of the privilege of said writ a
7 measure proper for the public defence, and necessary to the public
8 safety; Now, therefore."

        9 III. Amend the title so that it will read, "A bill to suspend
10 the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in certain cases, and for
11 a limited period."