In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Amos T. Akerman to John H. Wager, 6 December 1871

Date: December 6, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.02654

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, Melanie Krupa, and Nima Najafi Kianfar

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Dec. 6, 1871.

J. H. Wager, Esq.

Huntsville, Ala.


Your letter of the 27th ult. to Judge Swayne has been referred by him to me.

The position which I am obliged to take in regard to the Wesson case, is this: It is alleged that the indictment against him in the Alabama court is for an act properly done in the line of his military duty. If such be the case, it is proper that the U.S. Government should defend him, and I can direct the U.S. Dist Attorney to furnish the defence—but only upon the call of the War Department. It is for that Department to determine whether the act was properly done by Wesson in the line of his military duty.

Upon advice from that Department that such is the fact, and upon its request to furnish the proper professional assistance for his defence, I shall cheerfully give a direction accordingly. But the application to me must come from the Head of the Department to which the party requesting the assistance belonged.

Very respectfully,

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

Case of Wasson,


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