War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0378 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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thorizing private dispatches to be sent over the wires until 10 a. m. when they did not interfere with the public service. The following dispatch was the result of this order:

WASHINGTON, November 14, 1862.

To Major-General GRANT:

Some one signing himself John Riggin, superintendent of military telegraphs, is interfering with the management of telegraphs in Kentucky and Tennessee. This man is acting without the authority of Colonel Anson Stager, general superintendent of military telegraphs (see General Orders, 38, April, 1862), and is an impostor. Arrest him and send him north of your department before he does mischief by his interference.

By order of the Secretary of War:

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War.

The following was my reply:

LA GRANGE, TENN., November 14, 1862.

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

John Riggin, referred to in your dispatch, is my aide. He has given but one order referring to telegraphing, and that was dictated by myself. It was that private dispatches might be sent over the wires before 10 o'clock a. m. when they did not interfere with military dispatches.

Colonel Riggin is assigned to the duty of military superintendent of telegraphs within this department, a position which interferes with no present arrangements, but is intended solely for my relief. Misrepresentation must have been made.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

Assistant Secretary Watson replied to this as follows:

Colonel Anson Stager having been appointed by the Secretary of War superintendent of military telegraphs and of the construction and management of military lines, Colonel Riggin must not interfere. Colonel Stager has appointed deputies believed to be competent, but if they fail in their duty a report of the facts to Colonel Stager will bring a prompt removal.

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War.

It was not intended that Colonel Riggin should have any authority to interfere in any way with any arrangement made either by the Secretary of War or Colonel Stager, but simply that the should give my instructions to the department superintendent as to where wires should be run and where offices should be established and see that it was done and report the fact.

After these dispatches I saw nothing to complain of until the 26th of November. On that date dispatches sent into the office in the morning were not sent off until 10 o'clock at night. The wires were down about three hours of that time, but they were at work several hours in the morning and again in the evening, several hours before they could be got off. The operator on being asked the reason for this replied that the wires were being used from other offices sending cotton-dispatches. I reminded Van Duzer that my order of the 14th was still in force, in this language:

HDQRS. THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE,

La Grange, November 26, 1862.

J. C. VAN DUZER,

Assistant Superintendent Military Telegraphs, Grand Junction:

The order prohibiting the transmission of commercial or private dispatches over the telegraph line between here and Cairo, except before the hour of 10 a. m., is still in force and must be enforced.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.