THE RIGHTS OF CITIZENS
On motion of Mr. Baldwin, of Virginia, the rules were suspended to enable him to offer the
Resolved, That the President be respectfully requested to inform this House - 1st. Whether
Hyde, a citizen of Augusta county, Virginia, who, on
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the 20th day of the present month, was arrested in the city of Richmond and confined in a
prison known as "Castle Thunder," was so arrested and imprisoned by the military
authority of the Confederate States, and if so, by what officer and under what order - 2d.
For what offence the said Charles K. Hyde has been seized, searched and deprived of
liberty; upon whose oath or affirmation he was charged; by what warrant or other process
he was taken and under what law - 3d. Whether the said Charles K. Hyde has been examined
or tried for the offence charged against him, and if so, in what court or before what
tribunal and with what result - 4th. Whether the said Charles K. Hyde belongs to the land
or naval forces of the Confederate States, or is liable to military duty under any law
Resolved, also, That the President be requested to communicate to this House copies of any
orders or any other papers relating to the case of the said Charles K. Hyde, with a
statement of any testimony taken in the case.
Mr. Swan, of Tennessee, was opposed to the adoption of the resolutions. If the person had
been improperly arrested, the writ of habeas corpus was not now suspended, and he had his
remedy before the courts of the country. The action proposed would embarrass the House on
a matter in regard to which but few felt any interest.
Mr. Baldwin had no disposition to trifle with the time of the House; but desired to call
the attention of members to the fact that one of the most respectable citizens of his
district was arrested here on Saturday last by Baltimore Plug Uglies, thrust into Castle
Thunder, and placed in a room with the notorious traitor Rucker, for no other offence than
endeavouring to procure a substitute for the son of one of his neighbours. He wanted to
know if the President of the Confederate States claimed authority either for himself or
officers of his creation, to make laws and execute them without respect to the rights of
citizens. This was the subject of inquiry, and had it not been such an aggravated case he
would not have brought it to the attention of the House.
The resolutions were agreed to - yeas, 58; nays, 13.
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