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 Lambdin Purdy Milligan

Lambdin Purdy Milligan

Birth
Belmont County, Ohio, USA
Death 21 Dec 1899 (aged 87)
Huntington, Huntington County, Indiana, USA
Burial Huntington, Huntington County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 10789999 · View Source
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Attorney, Alleged Civil War Conspirator. He left home when a teenager to take up law and was admitted to the bar on October 27, 1835. Moving to Huntington, Indiana, his practice specialized in representing small railroad companies. When the Civil War broke out, he was outspoken in his opposition to the Union cause. He opposed what he regarded as the excesses of the Lincoln administration and its supporters in Indiana, most notably those of Governor Oliver P. Morton. Federal authorities were convinced that he was a leader of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a "Copperhead" secret society that sympathized with the Southern cause and attempted to sabotage Northern war efforts. He was arrested on October 5, 1864 by order of General Alvin P. Hovey and was tried by a military tribunal for what was referred to as the Northwestern Conspiracy. It was alleged that he and four fellow conspirators plotted to steal weapons, invade Union prisoner of war camps, arm Confederate prisoners, and effect prison revolts throughout POW camps in the North. The five men were found guilty by the military tribunal on December 10, 1864 and they were sentenced to hang on May 19, 1865. Two days before the hanging, the five men had their sentences reduced to life imprisonment by President Andrew Johnson. After the war, in a landmark case before the United States Supreme Court known as ex parte Milligan, the court ruled that he and his compatriots be releases from custody on December 17, 1866. The court reasoned that the use of military tribunals to try civilians when civil courts are still operating is unconstitutional. While the Supreme Court claimed that the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was a legitimate presidential power, it declared that citizens could only be held, not tried, and certainly not executed by order of military tribunals. When he returned home to Huntington after his imprisonment, Milligan brought suit against General Hovey for conspirary, false imprisonment, and libel. He won the case but was awarded a settlement of only five dollars. The jury agreed with Hovey's defense councellor, future President Benjamin Harrison, that his actions prolonged the war. He continued to practice law until his death.

Bio by: Thomas Fisher



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Pat Sproat
  • Added: 15 Apr 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10789999
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lambdin Purdy Milligan (24 Mar 1812–21 Dec 1899), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10789999, citing Mount Hope Cemetery, Huntington, Huntington County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .