War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0735 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.- UNION.

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[Inclosure No. 1.]


Major General S. A. HURLBUT, Commanding Department of the Gulf:

GENERAL: I this morning received from your headquarters an order dated yesterday, wherein you declare the office of commissioner of the first drainage district vacant and appoint Mr. John A. Roberts to fill the vacancy. In all my private and official acts I have always endeavored to prevent even the slightest conflict between the military and civil powers of the Government. The declaration made in my inaugural address that for "the moment civil government must necessarily harmonize with military administration" was repeated in my recent message to the Legislature. In all my official conduct I have studiously and faithfully observed this principle. I would be the last man in the world to complain of the act of any officer of the army of my country, however harsh it might appear, which might tend to strengthen the Union cause of administer to the comfort or welfare of the Union soldier. Even in questions of doubtful jurisdiction I have counseled cheerful obedience to military orders. I deem it my duty to state officially to your, general, that you have frequently, since taking command of the Department of the Gulf, given orders and written letters which appear to me and others interested in the formation of our loyal and free State government as dealing rather harshly with matters purely civil.

I and others have borne much in the hope that you would on more mature reflection modify your course. Your communication of the 25th of October last to his honor the mayor of the city, who holds his office under me and by my authority, prohibiting him from carrying out a recommendation of the two houses of our Legislature, even if accompanied by my orders, on a matter of civil municipal government alone, will be fully replied to at the proper time. At present I desire only to say that as your order relative to the drainage commissioner was in effect just the change I would have made or instructed the mayor to make, it will therefore be sustained and approved by me. But I cannot admit your right to appoint the civil officers of the State. The responsibility, among others, of making appointments to civil offices, including the power to establish all necessary offices and tribunals, is imposed upon me by the people of the State and the President of the United States, and is one from which I will not shrink. I would repeat, general, that as the order referred to embodies what would have been my own action in this matter, it will be recognized and sustained by me, and whilst I will gladly accept any suggestions or carry into effect to the best of my ability any measure to strengthen and sustain the Government, I must protest against any interference with powers exclusively vested in me by the highest authority in the land.

I am, your obedient servant,


Governor of the State of Louisiana.

[Inclosure No. 2.]


His Excellency MICHAEL HAHN, Governor of Louisiana:

I am in receipt of your favor of this date in relation to appointment of Mr. Roberts to first drainage district in place of George Ingram.