General Banks to state by whose authority he issued the order in question, and that is the last we have heard of it.
Now this is a matter, sir, which cannot be lightly dropped and thought no more of. The order was an act of injustice to the men and an injustice to Rhode Island, and should be immediately revoked, or your Department should take the matter in hand, and have the men of the Second Cavalry transferred by special order to our First Cavalry, which is in need of those very men that are now disgraced by being torn from their own organization and placed in one which is in every way distasteful to them. Yet these men are volunteers. I will ask your own judgment; should they be treated so? Do not drafted men even receive better treatment?
I have understood, officially, that two men of the Second Cavalry were shot by order of Colonel Robinson, of the Louisiana cavalry, for simply remonstrating against the order of consolidation.
I fell it my duty to inform you, sir, that our people consider the order in question of much injury to the service, and an outrage to Rhode Island.
What assurances can we given officers or recruits from this State that they will be protected in their rights if they are to be so summarily death, without even a show of justice?
In conclusion, allow me to say that the order issued by Major-General Banks was in direct opposition to a protest from this department, to which he paid no attention otherwise than by sending a copy of the said order.
An early reply will be considered a favor.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
JAMES Y. SMITH,
Governor of Rhode Island.
NOVEMBER 16, 1863.
General Banks report, inclosed, shows the necessity of his order, and I think it should be allowed to stand, at least for the present.
H. W. HALLECK,
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, November 17, 1863.
GOVERNOR OF RHODE ISLAND,
Providence, R. I.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant, in relation to the consolidation of the Second Rhode Island Cavalry by Major General N. P. Banks, commanding Department of the Gulf.
In reply, I am directed to inclose herewith a copy of the report of the general, made in answer to the orders of this Department, and to invite the attention of Your Excellency to the remarks of the General-in-Chief indorsed thereon.
I am, sir, &c.,
THOMAS M. VINCENT,