After reading the articles it definitely changed my perspective right when I read the case I thought that John Beall was definitely guilty of civilian charges but after looking further into the case and his memoir, it is kind of a grey area and its pretty complex. John Beall was a captain in the Confederate army but he got wounded and couldn’t actively fight for the confederacy anymore. This is where I think there is a bit of a grey area. He is no longer a uniformed soldier but a former captain working as a spy. The Confederate army very well may have considered him a solder but the Union have reason to not consider him a soldier. I still do think that John Beall was rightfully convicted under civilian law.
John Beal fought for the Confederate army and later became a spy for them. He seized steam boats, was caught being a spy near Kelley’s Island, Middle Bass Island and at the suspension Bridge in NY. He was seen by multiple people who give very detailed eye witness accounts and he was also picked by name and by face out of a lineup. John Beall pleaded not guilty saying that he was acting on behalf of the Confederate Army and therefore should not be convicted as a civilian. However, since he was not able to fight for Confederacy the Union did not consider him to be a soldier any longer. Beall also had plotted to derail a train that had innocent people on it. This is not an act of war but an act of terror which is why he was charged with guerilla warfare. When a country is at war, it is a very complicated time to convict soldiers of crime when it is literally legal to be killing other soldiers. However, John Beall was involved in a a few plots that could potentially kill several U.S. civilians which is why is was rightfully convicted.