September 10, 1863, Jefferson City, Mo.,
W. M. Smallwood letter to Missouri Democrat Editors, “Judge Miller’s Decision”

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., September 10, 1863.

  Editors Missouri Democrat:

In your paper of the 9th instant I noticed, an editorial headed "The Enrolled Militia," and having reference to a habeas corpus case recently tried in this city. Having personally participated in the trial, I respectfully ask permission to correct misapprehensions you seem to be laboring under, and to state concisely the conclusions arrived at by his honor Judge Miller.

The issues raised in the pleading by the applicants for the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus were: First, the legality of the Enrolled Militia organizations of the State; second, the legality of the so-called provisional regiments of the Enrolled Missouri Militia, and, third, the legality of General Orders, No. 14, of the commander-in-chief, dated April 23, 1863 which required all persons liable to be detailed for active service, and desiring to obtain exemptions from military service under the act of the last General Assembly by the payment of a commutation tax, to make such payment before they were detailed for service. I desire to say that his honor Judge Miller affirmed each and every one of these propositions, declaring that the Enrolled Missouri Militia organization was legal and constitutional; that the provisional regiments were legal and constitutional, and that General Orders, No. 14, was a legal order, and must be obeyed.

Upon these findings the judge dismissed the petition for the writ, and remanded the prisoners to the military authorities, to be dealt with by the military tribunals.

You will please publish this note, and oblige, yours, &c.,



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