James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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    Congress showed great confidence in the President and went far toward meeting his wishes. As one of its members afterwards wrote, it was during this session only “a giant committee of ways and means.” But it hesitated in regard to two of his dictatorial acts: the call for three years’ volunteers and the increase of the regular army and navy by proclamation; and his order to Scott, the Commanding General of the Army, authorizing him personally or by deputy, to suspend, if necessary for the public safety, the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus at any point on any military line between Philadelphia and Washington. 1 A rider to the bill, raising the pay of private soldiers passed on the last day of the session [August 6], legalized the proclamation increasing the army and navy; but senators differed so widely as to suspension of the writ of habeas corpus that they were unable to agree upon any action. Some senators thought that an act of Congress was necessary to suspend the writ and in this belief were sustained by a decision of Chief Justice Marshall, the opinions of Story and Taney and English precedents for two centuries. Others agreeing that the Constitution vested this power in Congress alone were nevertheless willing to make legal and valid the President’s orders for the suspension of the writ. Still other senators did not care to take any action whatever; believing that the President, as commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, had complete power to suspend the habeas corpus, they did not wish to bring this power in question by an act of confirmation.  3   Encouraged by the attitude of the President and Congress, the country soon recovered from the dismay caused by the defeat at Bull Run. A second uprising took place. Men
Note 1. There was also another order authorizing the suspension of the writ in Florida. Lincoln, C. W., II, 39, 45; Globe, 393. [back]