War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0629 Chapter XVI. CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

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and it may be considered a work of supererogation on its part to ascertain from members of the Cabinet, who are but parts of the Executive, facts which in law the President is presumed already to know. I am instructed by the court to ask your opinion as to the propriety of issuing a summons as above indicated, and whether such a step is in accordance with the custom of the service.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Major, Adjutant-General's Department, and Judge-Advocate.

It was then ordered by the court that the judge-advocate forward the said letter to General Cooper.

The judge-advocate then informed the court that the Adjutant and Inspector General had advised him that orders were in preparation, affecting the investigations of the court, which would render it expedient for the court to suspend its proceedings until said orders were issued.

The court thereupon adjourned to meet on Monday, the 15th instant, at 11 a. m.

RICHMOND, VA., June 15, 1863 - 11 a. m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Major General M. Lovell.

The proceedings of the 13th instant were read over.

The following communication to Major General T. C. Hindman, president, was then read to the court by the judge-advocate:


Richmond, Va., June 15, 1863.

Major General T. C. HINDMAN,

President of Court of Inquiry, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to refer to you the inclosed copy of a letter of the Secretary of the Navy, with the President's indorsement thereon, on the subject of the examination of navy operations by the court which you preside. Recurring to my answer of April 21 last to the telegram of the judge-advocate on this subject, I find that my language was not as precise as could be wished, and in order that there may be on misunderstanding I desire now to state my views:

the court of inquiry, being an army court, is, of course, without authority to express any opinion upon the conduct of any officers of the Navy Department; but where the general whose conduct is under investigation alleges that the fell of the city was attributable to the misconduct or failure of any person not under his control, it is perfectly proper to examine as witness all that are cognizant of the facts, even if they be officers of the Navy. The inquiry is to be directed solely to the purpose of ascertaining whether the defense of the general is true; if it be so, the court will pronounce, of course, that the failure to defend the city arose from causes not within his control, but will not express any opinion as to the conduct of the officers of another department of the service. If, on the contrary, the defense of the general is rebutted by the evidence, the court will give its opinion that his defense is not sustained. In this way the truth may be reached without the court touching at all on the province of a naval court. It is plain that no opinion of the conduct of an officer connected with the Navy can be expressed by the court, because, if the court desires to examine into the conduct of any other than General Lovell, the court would be compelled to site the officer before it, and it has no power to do so with a Navy officer, whose conduct can only be inquired into a naval court.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Adjutant and Inspector General.


Richmond, Va., June 8, 1863.


SIR: I learn to-day, from an authentic source, that the court of inquiry, convoked by the Department, at the request of General Lovell, and now in session in Richmond, for the ostensible purpose of investigating his conduct as connected with the