In Whitman's Hand

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Title: William M. Evarts to John McAllister Schofield, 24 November 1868

Date: November 24, 1868

Whitman Archive ID: nar.00700

Source: National Archives and Records Administration. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, John Schwaninger, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Kevin McMullen

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November 24, 1868.

Hon. John M. Schofield,

Secretary of War.


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 20th instant, enclosing a communication from Bvt. Maj. Gen. Gibbon, to Bvt. Brig. Gen. Geo. D. Ruggles, and endorsed by the Lieut. General commanding the Military Division of Missouri, respecting the alleged unfaithful discharge of his duty by the U. S. Commissioner at Cheyenne. I have the honor to say that the U. S. Commissioners are not subject to the jurisdiction of this office; they are appointed by the Courts of the United States, and are alone amenable to them in the discharge of their official duties. I beg to say, however, that the statement in the letter of Gen. Gibbon does not impress me as entirely conclusive in respect to the alleged improper conduct of the Commissioner. The U. S. Commissioner has no authority to hold any party accused of crime, without probable cause; and, for aught that appears in the letter to which I refer, there may not have been sufficient evidence to warrant the holding of the party on the charge of assault and battery, with intent to kill.

I may not understand the entire scope of the statement in the letter; but the above is the view of the case that occurred to me in reading it. I will transmit, however, this letter to the U. S. Judge, for his consideration.

I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully yours,

Wm. M. Evarts,

Attorney General.


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