From the Richmond Dispatch, 8/12/1864, p.1, c. 6
Interesting Habeas Corpus Decision. – The decision in the case of R. D’Orsey Ogden was delivered yesterday by Judge Halyburton to a large audience, attracted by the importance of the rule to be established. It is sufficient to say that the decision was able and comprehensive, answering clearly all the points made in the case. Ogden was enrolled as a conscript, and the application was for a discharge, on the ground that he was an Englishman, even should he have acquired a domicile. The Judge cited the acts of congress, and proceeded to say, that all the legislation of Congress, the language “all residents of the Confederate States not legally exempted” is used and the question arises are domiciled foreigners so exempt? The Courts of the Confederate States, as well as the several States, have almost universally decided that domiciled foreigners were liable, and the practice of the War Department is governed by those decisions. It is evident Congress intended the act of April 21, 1864, to include all residents, except temporary sojourners, and international laws cannot alter that intention. It is admitted that Ogden is an Englishman by birth; at least not positively denied; and our first enquiry is as to whether he is domiciled. (Here copious definitions of domicile are cited.) Such questions are difficult of decision. Here, the petitioner came to America with his parents when he was eight years old. They resided in St. Louis some eight or nine years; when they removed to Iowa; the petitioner, separating from his parents, travelled as an actor. It is shown that the father became the owner of real estate in Iowa, and the probabilities are that he was naturalized; certainly domiciled. Unless the petitioner shows otherwise, the residence of a party is prima facie domiciliation. Such has been the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the infant status follows that of the father. – It is shown in the evidence that the petitioner went to Mobile to fill a professional engagement, where he resided some time, and was married; that he visited his father in Iowa, and after visiting various cities in the Confederate States professionally, returned to Mobile, where he remained until 1861 voting there; the petitioner says, while drunk. Why did he vote? Probably he thought himself entitled to vote because of long residence. Surely his vote would not have been received if he had been so drunk as not to know what he was doing. The Judge thought he was domiciled in Alabama and liable to conscription. While he may not be a naturalized citizen, he is, nevertheless, domiciled, and his expressions of intention to return to England do not rebut the domicile arising from long residence. Whether he be a subject of England or the United States, he is domiciled here, and is therefore remanded into the custody of the enrolling officer.
At his point, Mr. James Lyons obtained the ear of the Court, calling the attention of the Judge to a provision of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain, which the counsel had thought sufficient to meet the case. The Judge consented that a re-hearing might be had on that point on Saturday next, as he had not considered the treaty referred to in making up his decision. Whereupon the rule remanding Ogden is suspended until the hearing of the point made.