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J. Hubley Ashton to Darius H. Starbuck, 3 October 1866

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October 3, 1866. To D. H. Starbuck, U. S. Attorney, Salem, N. C. Sir: The war Department has been informed that a large number of late officers and soldiers of the United States Army have been indicted or sued in the State Courts within your District, for acts done in their military capacity, & in obedience to general or special military orders from their superior officers. It is particularly stated that a number of soldiers who were under the command of W. W. Rollins, late Major, 3d N. C. Mounted Infantry, in the raid of Maj-Gen. Stoneman into North Carolina in March & April 1865, have been indicted at "Madison Court," for acts done in obedience to orders. Mr. Rollins himself has also been indicted & held to bail to answer at the October term of the Court. You are hereby instructed (by request of the Secretary of War,) to appear for W. W. Rollins, & the other parties mentioned in the cases to which reference is made, & make the necessary defence therein. It is probable that these prosecutions are all removable under the Acts of March 3, 1863, and May 11, 1866, into the Circuit Court of the U. S. You will please consider that point, & if you find that they are removable you will take the necessary steps to have them transferred to the Federal jurisdiction. If you desire any information touching the orders under which the parties acted, you will address your communication to the Secretary of War. I enclose a certified copy of the Act of 1866. Very respectfully, &c J. Hubley Ashton, Assistant Attorney Gen'l.
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