Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Compiled and Published under Authority of the War Department.




Stephen Spaveldiunghiem Care
Cathos, casting


The subjoined letters, whilst they show the authori.y by which this compilation is offered to the army indicate the plan on which it was originally designed w be executed. It was soon perceived however, frora the mingled character of the legislation, that the arrangement suggested could not be adhered to—a single act often embracing provisions under each of the several heads of division. This indeed, the compiler, from an acquaintance with the few acts which has previously come under his observation, was already aware of and ought to have borne in mind; but at the moment of the suggestion, he was rather looking to what should be, than to what was, the actual state of things.

It was not without reluctance that he undertook the task, of pronouncing upon the repeal of the several laws: First, from a doubt of his ability—amidst a press of current duties which more than shared his attention, to decide accurately upon so many nice and difficult points; and secondly, from a conyiction, that the question of repeal is purely a judicial one, belonging to the competent tribunals to determine. It is, indeed, a right which they cannot surrender; one which no other power can legally exercise. With these impressions, the notes of the compiler have been made, and though they may be found. expressed in terms somewhat positive, they should only be regarded as references, or passing admonitions, emanating from authority too humble to be taken as conclu. sive,



« PreviousContinue »