From the Richmond Dispatch, 8/2/1864, p.1, c 6
The Ogden Habeas Corpus Case. – In the Confederate States District Court yesterday Hon. James Lyons delivered his argument in the case of R. D’Orsey Ogden, acting manager of the Richmond Theatre, who sues out for exemption from military service on the ground of his being a British subject. The honorable gentleman occupied the attention of the Court for upwards of three hours, during which time he quoted largely from authorities in favor of his client’s claims for exemption, on the ground that he was an undomiciled foreigner. – Among a number of affidavits which were read was one from Mrs. Elizabeth Magill, the proprietress of the theatre and employer of the petitioner, who stated that in 1861, when Mr. Ogden came to this city, he, orally as well as by certificates, claimed to be a British subject, and was then on his way to his native country; that having just at the time lost her manager, she tendered him the situation, which he accepted, but not before first ascertaining from the British and French consuls stationed here that he could not be forced into the Confederate service. Being a foreigner by birth, and never having taken the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, he occupied the same status as an alien enemy, and he (Mr. L.) should like to know what nation ever had forced into its service a man who was avowed inimical to its success. Granting that Ogden had ever taken the oath of citizenship in Alabama, (which he very much doubted,) it was at a time when the State was one of the United States, and therefore by being a citizen of Lincoln’s dominion he was as much a foreigner as if he had never left his native country. If the opposite ground was taken, it would be just as well to say that Abe Lincoln would constitute himself a Confederate citizen if he were to come to Richmond and remain a single day. Mr. Lyons, in submitting the case to the Judge, based his application for the discharge of his client, firstly, upon the ground that he had never been domiciled at all, and secondly, that if he had been, his domicile never extended to the Confederate States.
We do not pretend to give anything like a report of Mr. Lyons’s speech, but merely design to set forth what were its most striking points. At the conclusion, Judge Halyburton was placed in possession of all the papers which had been used by the counsel for the petitioner, as well as the government’s prosecutor; whereupon his Honor intimated that in consideration of the near approach to the end of the July term of his court, he did not think it probable he would be able to render his decision before the next term, which would meet on the 10th day of August. If, however, he should conclude to so earlier, due notice would be given to all parties concerned.
The court then adjourned till 11 o’clock this morning.