From the Richmond Dispatch, 8/22/1864, p.1, c. 6
Important Habeas Corpus Case. – A. J. Camp of Amherst, Virginia, came before Judge Meredith’s Court on Friday, the 19th instant, on a writ of habeas corpus, directed to General Epps Hunton. The petitioner was represented by Mr. John M. Speed, of Lynchburg, and Messrs. Nance & Williams, of this city; the counsel for the Government, Colonel Thomas P. August, of the Conscript Bureau, and Mr. James Neeson.
The petitioner based his claim for exemption on the fact of having been recently, and while in service, elected as a Justice of the Peace, and under the conscript law and the resolutions of the Legislature, entitled to a discharge. The only testimony offered was the certificate of his election by the County Court and the recommendation of the Governor for his exemption. The counsel for the Government made strenuous exertions to defeat this claim, as it would set a precedent for other cases of a similar character. They claimed that after a man has once got into the service, there was no human power, except that which put him there, that could take him out, contending also, that exemption and discharge were not synonymous terms; that Congress had made provision for exempting certain parties, but none for discharging them. After elaborate arguments by counsel on both sides, the Judge decided that the party was entitled to his release, and accordingly, discharged him. The counsel for the Government entered a bill of exception, intending to take the case up to the Court of Appeals, and let this court decide all others of a similar character which may arise.