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AN ACT to authorize the President of the United States in certain cases to take possession

of railroad and telegraph lines, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States, when in his judgment the public safety may require it, be, and he is hereby authorized to take possession of any or all the telegraph lines in the United States, their offices and appurtenances; to take possession of any or all the railroad lines in the United States, their rolling stock, their offices, shops, buildings, and all their appendages and appurtenances; to prescribe rules and regulations for the holding, using, and maintaining of the aforesaid telegrapb and railroad lines, and to extend, repair, and complete the same, in the manner most conducive to the safety and interest of the Government; to place under military control all the officers, agents, and employes belonging to the telegraph and railroad lines thus taken possession of by the President, so that they shall be considered as a post road and a part of the military establishment of the United States, subject to all the restrictions imposed by the Rules and Articles of War.

SEC. 2.- And be it further enacted, That any attempt by any party or parties whomsoever, in any State or District in which the laws of the United States are opposed, or the execution thereof obstructed by insurgents and rebels against the United States, too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, to resist or interfere with the unrestrained use by Government of the property described in the preceding section, or any attempt to injure or destroy the property aforesaid, shall be punished as a military offence, by death, or such other penalty as a Court Martial may impose.

SEC. 3.-And be it further enacted, That three commissioners shall be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to assess and determine the damages suffered, or the compensation to which any railroad or telegraph company may be entitled by reason of the railroad or telegraph line being seized and used under the authority conferred by this act, and their award shall be submitted to Congress for their action.

Sec. 4.-And be it further enacted, That the transportation of troops, munitions of war, equipments, military property and stores, throughout the United States, shall be under the immediate control and supervision of the Secretary of War and such agents as he may appoint; and all rules, regulations, articles, usages, and laws in conflict with this provision are hereby annulled.

Sec. 5. - And be it further enacted, That the compensation of each of the commissioners aforesaid shall be eight dollars per day while in actual service; and that the provisions of this act, so far as it relates to the operating and using said railroads and telegraphs, shall not be in force any longer than is necessary for the suppression of this rebellion. Approved, January 31, 1862. BY COMMAND OF MAJOR GENERAL MCCLELLAN:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant General.

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, February 5, 1862. 1.—The following “General Orders,” No. 39, from the Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, is published from this Office, that the action on the recommendation therein contained in the case of Captain John R. Cutler, 33d New York Volunteers, may be recorded with the proceedings of the General Court Martial which tried him:

No. 39.

Washington, February 4, 1862.
I.-Before a General Court Martial, of which Brigadier General J. M.
BRANNAN, United States Volunteer Service, is President, convened at the
Camp of Smith's Division, by virtue of “Special Orders” No. 192, from
these Headquarters, of December 19, 1861, was arraigned and tried Cap-
tain John R. Cutler, 33d New York Volunteers, on the following charges
and specifications :

CHARGE I.—“Violation of the 15th Article of War." Specification—"In this; that the said Captain John R. Cutler, of the 33d Regiment New York State Volunteers, did at Camp Granger, District of Columbia, on or about the 1st of August, 1861, sign a false muster roll in which six of the men therein enumerated as present had previously deserted.”

CHARGE II.—“Violation of the 14th Article of War." Specification—“In this: that he, the said Captain John R. Cutler, of the 33d Regiment New York State Volunteers, did receive pay from Paymaster Banister for six men, they having previously deserted. This at Camp Lyon, Maryland, on or about the 12th day of August, 1861.”

CHARGE III.—“Violation of the 18th Article of War.” Specification —“In this: that the said Captain John R. Cutler, of the 33d Regiment New York State Volunteers, did, at Camp Griffin, Virginia, on or about the 12th of December, 1861, cause to be signed a false return relating to the desertions, discharges, deaths, &c., in his Company, when called upon for said return by order of the Colonel of his regiment.”

CHARGE IV.—“ Violation of the 14th Article of War." Specification—“In this; that the said Captain John R. Cutler, 33d New York Volunteers, did, on or about the 7th day of July, 1861, at Elmira, in the State of New York, procure James Hilbreth, of his Company, to personate Private Salsbury, (a deserter from his Company,) and to draw the pay of the said Salsbury, which pay the said Captain Cutler applied to his own use, giving the said Private Hildreth fifty cents for his services."

CHARGE V.—"Violation of the 31st Article of War.” Specification—"In this; that the said Captain John R. Cutler did purchase and cause to be sold to his Company a quantity of boots, gloves, and various other articles, at exorbitant prices, for his own private personal benefit. This at Camp Griffin, on or about the 1st day of November, 1861."

CHARGE VI.-—" Disobedience of orders.Specification —"In this; that the said Captain John R. Cutler, of 33d Regiment New York State Volunteers, did, on or about the 15th day of September, 1861, take from a house on Mackell Hill, two blankets, and one lady's plaid cloak. This is a violation of General Orders.”

To all of which charges and specifications the accused pleaded “Not Guilty."

After mature deliberation on the testimony adduced, the Court finds the prisoner as follows:

Of the Specification to the 1st Charge, “Not Guilty."
Of the 1st Charge, “Not Guilty."
of the Specification of the 2d Charge, “Guilty."
of the 20 Charge, "Guilty."

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Of the Specification of the 3d Charge, "Not Guilty."
Of the 311 Charge, “Not Guilty.”
Of the Specification of the 4th Charge, “ Guilty.”
Of the 4th Charge, “Guilty.”
Of the Specification of the 5th Charge, “Not Guilty.”
Of the 5th Charge “Not Guilty.”
Of the Specification of the 6th Charge, “Not Guilty.”
Of the 6th Charge, “Not Guilty."

And does therefore sentence him, the said Captain John R. Cutler, 33d Regiment New York Volunteers, “ To be cashiered."

II.—The Major General Commanding, upon reviewing the proceedings in this case, is led to remark upon the very objectionable mode of framing charges which has been adopted by the reporting officer. Instead of stating the offence of which the accused is supposed to be guilty, the charge in three instances is "Violation of Article of War.” In this manner Captain Cutler is charged with violating the 14th, the 15th, the 18th, and the 31st Articles of War. He is acquitted of violating the 15th, 18th, and the 31st, but found guilty of violating the 14th Article on two occasions. The specifications being, 1st, that he received pay for six men who had deserted, and, 2d, that he procured Private James Hildreth to personate a deserter from his (Captain Cutler's) Company and draw pay in his name, which pay, it is alleged, Captain Cutler and Hildreth divided among themselves in very unequal proportions. The evidence is very plain that Captain Cutler was guilty of the offences charged in these specifications; but, on turning to the 14th Article of War, it will be seen that the offence furnished by that section is the signing of a false certificate relating to the absence of either officer or private soldier, or relative to his or their pay, and although the infamous conduct described in the specifications quoted is unbecoming an officer and a gentleman," and therefore punished by the 83d Article of War, it cannot be said to be a violation of Article 14th, which refers to an entirely different matter.

Most of the Articles of War simply ascertain the punishment of the military crime described in them. They declare, for example, that whoever “shall make a false muster of man or horse," (Article 15,) "shall be cashiered.” Some few of them do in terms forbid the doing of the act against which the punishment is denounced, but this is not the case generally; and, in every instance, the emphatic part of the article is the declaration that the person so offending shall be punished in the manner and degree designated by the statute. then, that it is improper to describe a military offence as the violation of an Article of War. An Article of War is more distinctly violated when a Court fails to annex the statutory penalty to a military crime, than by the crime itself. Instead, therefore, of charging upon an Officer or a Private, a violation of any Article of War, the reporting officer should name the offence, which is punished by the article, and proceed to specify, with the addition of time and place, the circumstances in which the offence consists. A person can only be guilty of a charge by being guilty of the matter stated in the specifications of the charge. There must be such a correspondence between the two, that to have been guilty of the one draws with it the necessary consequence that the accused is guilty of the other. Whenever these conditions do not obtain, the record is defective. In the present case, the dishonoring acts of which Captain Cutler is found guilty, are not punishable by the 14th Article of War, and their commission cannot, by any indulgence towards an inaccurate mode of framing charges, be considered a violation of that article. But, it does not follow, that the 33d Regiment New York Volunteers, is to be longer disabled by continuing to number among its Captains such delinquents as John R. Cutler. His guilt was demonstrated by the trial; no interpretation can be given to the testimony by which this conclusion can be avoided; indeed, the most convincing evidence

It is clear,


it may be almost called an admission—of the guilt of the accused is to be found in his attempt to show that the general sentiment of the officers of his regiment justified them in procuring the personation of deserters absent from the regiment before the paymaster, the drawing of pay in their name, and the appropriation of this pay to the use of the officer continuing and executing the scandalous roguery? The effrontery of such an attempt is almost incredible, but unhap

! pily the proof of it is to be found in this record.

The sentence of the General Court Martial in the foregoing case of Captain John R. Cutler, 33d New York Volunteers, cannot, therefore, be carried into effect; but justice to the military service requires that this officer should no longer remain upon the rolls of the Army. It is, therefore, respectfully recommended to the President of the United States that this officer be stricken from the rolls,

III.—The General Court Martial of which Brigadier General J. M. Brannan is President, is dissolved.

IV.--In compliance with the recommendation in the foregoing order, the PRESIDENT directs that the name of Captain John R. Cutler, 33d New York Yolunteers, be stricken from the rolls of the Army. BY COMMAND OF MAJOR GENERAL MCCLELLAN:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant General


No. 12.

Washington, Fehruary 6, 1862. The following orders are from the War Department:

The Department has been so frequently embarrassed by the action of General Officers of the Volunteer service, in appointing or giving acting appointments to persons to serve upon their staff, that it becomes necessary to issue a general notice to all whom it may concern, that no such appointments can be, or will be, recognized by the Government.

The President, alone, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, has power to make any appointment in the army. To no General has he delegated any portion of this power. From the War Department, through the Adjutant General of the army, all notices of appointment issue, and none others are valid.

The Assistant Adjutant General of every Division; the Assistant Adjutant General, Assistant Quartermaster, Commissary of Subsistence, Surgeon, and Paymaster of each Brigade of Volunteers, will be regularly assigned to it from the Headquarters of the Army. Pending such regular assignment, the officer commanding the Brigade or Division is at liberty to detail for temporary duty, in any or each of these several capacities, soine officer of his command. But he is not authorized, and hereby is expressly forbidden, to put any civilian, or person not amenable to the Articles of War, on such duty. Any future transgression of this rule will be treated as a disobedience of orders, and dealt with accordingly.

The utmost which is conceded by law and regulation, to any general officer, is the power to select, among the officers of his command, the regularly authorized Aides-de-Camp, to whose services he is entitled, in numbers not to exceed, and of grade no higher, than are designated in section 3 of the Act approved July 29, 1861.

But as to the additional Aides-de-Camp authorized by the Act approved August 5, 1861, to Major Generals of the regular Army, when“ commanding for ces of the United States in the field,the case is different. Though the power to recommend such Aides-de-Camp for appointment, is reserved to these Major Generals, the power of appointing them, when recommended, is exclusively vested in the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, to be ex

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ercised or not, at his discretion, and until regularly appointed by the President, therefore, no officer or civilian, recommended for such appointment, can be placed on duty, or can lawfully exercise any of the functions pertaining to the office.

As a matter of indulgence, and in consideration of the intimate relations, which ought to, and must necessarily subsist, between a general officer and his chief of staff, the general officers of volunteers have been allowed to recommend, for appointment, their Assistant Adjutants General. But in this case, as in the others, they will not be permitted to place any one on duty, until after he shall have been regularly commissioned or appointed by the President of the United States.

This order establishes no new regulation, but is meant to call attention to longexisting regulations, that have been too frequently violated or overlooked, and to put an end to a great abuse. BY COMMAND OF MAJOR GENERAL MCCLELLAN..

L. THOMAS, Adjutant General.

No. 13.

Washington, February 11, 1862. The enormous waste, by the officers to whose care they are sent, of the blank forms issued from this office, calls for some prompt correction. With this view, the following regulations have been adopted, and will be strictly enforced :

I.-Hereafter all requisitions for books or blanks, supplied from this office, must be addressed, through Regimental and Brigade Headquarters in each Division, to the Assistant Adjutant General at Division Headquarters, who will, himself, from time to time, make general requisitions on this office for the supply of his Division.

II.—Every Commanding officer of a Company will, henceforth, keep a regular account of all books and blanks received and expended by him for the use of his company and make a quarterly return of the same to the Adjutant of his Regiment. These returns will be consolidated with those of the Regimental Headquarters, and forwarded in this shape by the Adjutant, through Brigade Headquarters, to those of the Division. The Assistant Adjutant General at Division Headquarters will make similar returns to this office of the books and blanks received by him for distribution to his Division.

III.-Where troops are not brigaded, as sometimes happens with the Cavalry and Artillery, requisitions for books and blanks will be made upon the chiefs of their respective arms in the Army to which they are attached, and returns of the same will be made to these officers as though to Division Headquarters ; and the Chiefs of Cavalry and Artillery, in such cases, will make requisitions for the books and blanks needed for their commands, and make returns of the same to this office, as prescribed in paragi aph II. of this order.

IV.—The above regulations are meant to apply to regulars as well as to volunteers.

V.–Officers on the Recruiting Service, whether of the regular army or the volunteers, will make requisitions for, and quarterly returns of, the books and blanks required by them, on and to their respective Superintendents; and the latter will be governed, in their turn, by what is laid down in paragraph IIL for the Chiefs of Cavalry and Artillery.

VI.–For the regiments of volunteers organizing or organized, in the several States, and which are still under the direction of their Governors, application

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