Military Law

October 17, 1866


Though there have been some indications that civil law is governing the South, there are many indications that military law still reigns supreme in the South. The Dispatch says it is shameful that this is the case in the United States.


Military Law. Some of our contemporaries argue that the military have been subordinated to the civil power. We thought so twice--namely, upon the appearance of each of the President's peace proclamations. But the fact that Admiral Semmes is not allowed to qualify as Judge of the Probate Court of Mobile is sufficient evidence that we of the South are governed by the military. It is a shameful state of things in a professedly free country--in a country of law and order, as we claim that ours is--yet it is none the less true that it exists. It is absurd to pretend that civil authority is paramount so long as the military are allowed thus to trample upon the rights of our people, or, indeed, to interfere in any manner except as called upon by our civil rulers themselves.
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Nat Berry




“Military Law,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed June 1, 2023,