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The Maryland Constitution of 1864
Volume 667, Page 95   View pdf image (33K)
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443]           The Maryland Constitution of 1864.              97

Randall in their favor. Governor Bradford gave his de-
cision on the numerous questions raised as to their
legality, in a lengthy opinion, dated October 28, 1864, and
published simultaneously with his proclamation declaring
the final result of the total vote on the Constitution. The
objections raised by Mr. Schley were mainly on the ground
of technicalities, as to requiring the oath of the soldiers
who voted, as to the paper on which the ballots were
printed, as to counting the votes of certain companies not
attached to any regiment, etc.

Out of the total of 3186 votes cast by the soldiers, 285
votes "for," and 5 "against" the Constitution were re-
jected, and 2633 votes "for" and 263 "against" it were ac-
cepted. Adding these latter numbers to the vote of the
state, it made a total of 30,174 for the Constitution, and
29,799 against it, leaving the small majority of 375 in its
favor, an exceedingly close result in a total vote of nearly
60,000. On October 29, 1864, Governor Bradford issued
his proclamation declaring the new Constitution adopted,
and causing it to go into effect on November 1, 1864.

It should be observed that the overwhelming prepon-
derance of the favorable vote on the part of the soldiers
does not necessarily presuppose fraud or unfairness on
the part of either the civil or military authorities. Men
thrown together in the camp, or standing side by side on
the field of battle would naturally be largely of one mind
on political matters. This was seen in the case of the
votes of the soldiers of various other states at this period.
Also, men who were offering their lives in defense of their
principles would not be apt, from motives of legal expe-
diency, to hesitate in regard to measures considered as
calculated to advance their cause.12

We thus come to the end of the movement which

12 The War Department issued at Washington on Oct. 1, 1864,
"General Order, No. 263," intended to insure, as far as possible,
freedom and fairness in the vote of the soldiers of the various


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The Maryland Constitution of 1864
Volume 667, Page 95   View pdf image (33K)
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