May 6, 1865: Executive Order Establishes Military Commission to Try Conspirators

Lincoln Miliary Tribunal

 

 

One hundred and fifty-seven years ago an executive order establishing the military commission to try the accused Lincoln conspirators was issued.  There was some newspaper opposition to not according the alleged conspirators a civil trial, but by and large a military tribunal met with approval throughout the North.  As Commander-in-Chief in time of war it was argued that the murder of Lincoln was a military offense.  Additionally it was pointed out that passions were running so high in the weeks after the assassination that empaneling an unbiased civil jury would have been impossible.   Since the Confederacy was defeated, I can see little justification for trying civilians before a military tribunal in time of peace.  Edward Bates, former Attorney General under Lincoln, and Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, criticized the use of a military tribunal instead having the accused conspirators tried in a civilian court.   Here is the text of the order: (more…)

Published in: on May 6, 2022 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on May 6, 1865: Executive Order Establishes Military Commission to Try Conspirators  
Tags: ,