A famous Indiana Civil War trial that remains particularly relevant is being re-enacted on March 4, which is President Benjamin Harrison Day.
About 250 middle and high school students are expected at the Indiana Statehouse for the educational re-enactment of the case, Ex Parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2 (1866), which involved citizens and military tribunals. A resident of Huntington, Ind., Milligan was sentenced to death by a military tribunal for his outspoken opposition to President Abraham Lincoln’s Civil War draft. Several famous Hoosiers, including Harrison, Oliver P. Morton, Alvin Hovey and Thomas Hendricks, participated in Milligan’s Indiana civil trial after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the findings of the military tribunal.
Two performances are scheduled for 10 and 11:30 a.m., and can be viewed live online here.
Following the re-enactment, Stephen Towne with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Special Collections and Archives will moderate a discussion on how Ex Parte Milligan is relevant in today’s world, where military tribunals remain a current issue for the U.S. Supreme Court and the country.
Marking the 119th anniversary of the only Hoosier president’s inauguration, the event is part of the Indiana Supreme Court’s Courts in the Classroom program.