Civil Liberties

Date Event
Virginia Republican arrested for circulating anti-southern literature
John Merryman arrested in Maryland
Chief Justice Taney finds against martial law and orders the release of John Merryman
Philadelphia man arrested on a charge of inciting riot then freed on First Amendment grounds
Federal troops arrest Baltimore's four Police Commissioners in pre-dawn raids on their homes
Slave owning Philadelphian Pierce Butler, former husband of Fanny Kemble, arrested for treason
Editor of a Southern-leaning newspaper tarred and feathered in Haverhill, Massachusetts
- Federal troops in Maryland swoop to arrest pro-secession legislators, officials, and newspaper editors
In New York City, prominent Catholic editor James A. McMaster arrested and his journal suspended
U.S. Post Office excludes "disloyal" Louisville newspaper from its mails and post offices
In Baltimore, a hotel suspected of being a Confederate mail station is raided and seized
In Paducah, Kentucky, Union officers clash over the treatment of a local secessionist
Former Iowa Senator George W. Jones arrested in New York and imprisoned for suspected disloyalty
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee finds the evidence insufficient to expel Indiana Senator Jesse Bright
St. Louis southern sympathizer contests local tax to help refugees and lands in jail, with his lawyer
Massachusetts court orders six men to trial for the August tarring and feathering of a Haverhill editor
The U.S. Senate votes to expel Indiana Senator Jesse Bright as a Southern sympathizer
Brigadier General Charles Pomeroy Stone, USA, arrested in his Washington hotel room and imprisoned
The United States reclassifies convicted Confederate privateers as prisoners of war
The War Department takes over all telegraph communication in the United States
Jefferson Davis declares martial law in and around the Virginia towns of Norfolk and Portsmouth
Jefferson Davis declares martial law in the Richmond area and also bans the production of spirits
In Richmond, former Constitutional Unionist congressman John Minor Botts is arrested in dawn raid
President Lincoln names Andrew Johnson the military governor of Tennessee
Senator Lazarus Powell survives a U.S. Senate vote to expel him for "seducing citizens into rebellion and treason"
Tennessee military governor Andrew Johnson removes the entire Nashville city council
Friends of imprisoned Brigadier General Charles Stone seek aid from the Massachusetts Legislature
In Philadelphia, former Secretary of War Cameron arrested and sued for false imprisonment
Supreme Court Justice John Catron returns to Nashville to reconvene the U.S. District Court there
A congressional committee reports that Senator Benjamin Stark of Oregon is a southern sympathizer
In a defiant New Orleans, a mob tears down a Union flag hoisted over the U.S. Mint
Major General Benjamin Butler begins his notorious eight months as military governor of New Orleans
In Cincinnati District Court, Justice Swayne quashes an indictment for treason on constitutional grounds
U.S. Navy gunboats demand the surrender of Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez, Mississippi surrenders to U.S. Navy gunboats
Former Whig congressman Edward Stanly appointed military governor of eastern North Carolina
In Eastern Maryland, Judge Richard Bennett is pistol-whipped and arrested in his own courtroom
In Union occupied New Orleans, William B. Mumford goes on trial for pulling down an American flag
In Union occupied New Orleans, William B. Mumford is hanged for treason
New York Herald correspondent tried for espionage
Before a massive crowd in Ohio, Congressman Vallandigham denounces the war and President Lincoln
In the early morning hours, soldiers arrest Ohio Congressman C. L. Vallandigham at his home in Dayton
Large and angry crowds gather in Cincinnati, Ohio to protest the arrest of Congressman Vallandigham
- A Military Commission tries Clement Vallandigham in Cincinnati for "disloyal sentiments and opinions"
Congressman Clement Vallandigham applies for a writ of "Habeus Corpus" in a Cincinnati court
Congressman Clement Vallandigham denied a writ of "Habeas Corpus" in a Cincinnati court
In Ohio, General Burnside executes two Confederate officers arrested in Kentucky for spying
In Albany, New York, soldiers attack a public meeting protesting the arrest of Clement Vallandigham
President Lincoln banishes Congressman Clement Vallandigham to the Confederacy
Indiana's Democrats hold a mass meeting at their convention in Indianapolis
In Tennessee, exiled U.S. Congressman Clement Vallandigham is delivered to the Confederate lines
Philadelphia Democrats hold a mass protest meeting in Independence Square
Regional army commander Ambrose Burnside orders the closing of the Chicago Times for disloyalty
The Illinois State Legislature strongly protests the military shutdown of the Chicago Times
In Lancaster, Ohio, Governor Tod appears in court on charges of kidnapping and illegal imprisonment
Opponents of the war hold a Peace Convention at the Cooper Union in New York City
In Illinois, the Chicago Times reopens after its brief military shutdown
New York City's editors meet to condemn infringements of the free press
Federal draft official shot dead from ambush in Sullivan County, Indiana
The military draft lottery resumes in New York City, more than a month after the Draft Riots
More than a thousand names are drawn in the resumed Draft Lottery in New York's Sixteenth Ward
In Congress, Representative Harris of Maryland is immediately censured for disloyal comments in debate
In Congress, Representative Long of Ohio is censured for suggesting the recognition of the Confederacy
In Maryland, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney dies in office
Date Title
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “An Outrage Upon the Liberty of the Press,” January 9, 1860
Abraham Lincoln to Winfield Scott, April 25, 1861
New York Times, “Civil and Martial Law at Baltimore,” May 30, 1861
New York Times, “The Habeas Corpus Case,” June 4, 1861
Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Treason in Illinois,” June 7, 1861
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “Revival of the Sedition Law,” June 13, 1861
(Concord) New Hampshire Statesman, “The Patriot and the Merryman Case,” June 15, 1861
Chicago (IL) Tribune, “No Lynchings,” June 21, 1861
New York Times, “Arrest of Marshal Kane,” June 28, 1861
Worthington G. Snethen to Winfield Scott, June 29, 1861
Marriot Boswell to William H. Seward, July 1, 1861
Charles B. Calvert to Abraham Lincoln, July 10, 1861
Newark (OH) Advocate, “The Threats and Pressure Under which the President Acts,” July 12, 1861
New York Times, “How to Treat the Vallandighams,” July 13, 1861
(Concord) New Hampshire Statesman, “Democratic Brutality,” July 27, 1861
Raleigh (NC) Register, “Arrest of a Traitor,” August 14, 1861
Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Secession Organs in the North,” August 20, 1861
Amasa Converse to Abraham Lincoln, August 28, 1861
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “The Final Blow to Liberty,” October 31, 1861
Gen. John Dix to the U.S. Marshals in Maryland, Instructions on the upcoming State Elections, November 1, 1861
President Jefferson Davis, Message to the Confederate Congress, November 18, 1861
Brigadier-General Charles F. Smith, General Orders No. 36, Paducah, Kentucky, November 27, 1861
Claiborne Fox Jackson to the Soldiers and Fellow-Citizens of Missouri, December 13, 1861
Secretary William H. Seward to General Andrew Porter, Arrest Order for George Wallace Jones, December 19, 1861
Major-General Henry Wager Halleck, General Order 32, Department of Missouri, December 22, 1861
Colonel James A. Garfield to the Citizens of the Big Sandy Valley, Kentucky, January 16, 1862
Major-General Henry W. Halleck to the Citizens of St. Louis, Missouri, January 26, 1862
Mayor John T. Monroe to Flag-Officer David Farragut
Abraham Lincoln to Hannibal Hamlin, April 28, 1862
Major General Benjamin F. Butler, Proclamation to the Citizens of New Orleans, May 1, 1862
Major General Benjamin F. Butler, General Order Number 28, May 15, 1862
Order of the President to Major-General Burnside, May 19, 1863
New York Herald, “Demand for the Release of Hon. Clement L. Vallandigham,” May 24, 1863
Abraham Lincoln to Erastus Corning and others, June 12, 1863
New York Times, “The Military and the Civil Power,” June 13, 1863
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