On April 27, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued an executive authorizing General Winfield Scott to suspend the writ of habeas corpus if necessary to ensure the public safety between Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
April 27, 1861
The COMMANDING GENERAL OF THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES
You are engaged in suppressing an insurrection against the laws of the United States. If at any point on or in the vicinity of any military, line which is now or which shall be used between the city of Philadelphia and the city of Washington you find resistance which renders it necessary to suspend the writ of habeas corpus for the public safety, you personally, or through the officer in command at the point where resistance occurs, are authorized to suspend that writ.
Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at the city of Washington, this 27th day of April, 1861, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.
By the President of the United States:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.