Skip to main content

J. Hubley Ashton to John McAllister Schofield, 3 September 1868

Image 1

Image 2

September 3, 1868. Hon. J. M. Schofield, Secretary of War. Sir: I have the honor to enclose a copy of a telegram which was received at this office last evening, from the U. S. Marshal for the District of Kentucky, stating, as you will perceive, that, in the execution of civil process in revenue cases, in Larue, Nelson, and Marion counties, Kentucky, deputies of the Marshal were set upon and captured by armed men, and stating that Maj-Gen. Thomas is willing to give such assistance to the Marshal, in the execution of his process, as he can, with infantry, but that he has no mounted troops, necessary for the purpose desired. You have been advised by the Attorney General of his opinion that the law gives the Marshal power to command all necessary assistance in the execution of process within his District,— and that the military are not exempt from obligation to obey, in common with all, his summons, in case of necessity. This opinion was communicated to the United States Marshal for the Northern District of Florida, on the 20th ultimo, by the Attorney General. The Marshal for Kentucky does not present any question as to his authority to use the military as a posse nor does there seem to be any indisposition on the part of the commander of the military force in his district to allow the infantry troops to act as a posse for the Marshall in the service of process; but the difficulty seems to be that the kind of troops that are wanted for service are not under the control of Maj-Gen. Thomas. You may, perhaps, under these circumstances, deem it right to give some orders to Maj-Gen. Thomas which will insure that proper sort of troops are within call of the Marshal, when he finds it necessary to use a military posse in the execution of process. I should suppose that mounted infantry would be as serviceable as cavalry, in the cases stated by the Marshal; but the question is entirely one for you, whether you deem it proper to make any change in the character and disposition of the troops in the locality mentioned. I have advised the Marshal that the matter he presents is one of military cognizance, and that his communication has been referred to you for your consideration. I am, sir, very respectfully, Your obedient servant, J. Hubley Ashton, Acting Attorney General
Back to top