Of this Your Excellency complains as an infringement on your rights and prerogatives. Your affirm that these temporary officers are or should be appointed from your office. I do not so understand it, though I very sincerely wish that I could take that view. The man Ingram was not the constitutional successor to a previously existing officer,nor was he appointed under any civil rules whatever. As I am informed, the existing law places the drainage of the first district in the hands of a board. This board I am informed was broken up by a military authority and a single officer substituted to perform the duty. If these facts be so there can be no question that the appointment to the vacancy must be made by the military authority, for the simple reason that there exists no other authority which can legally do so. The same state of affairs exists as to the acting mayor of the city of New Orleans. The character government of the city has been broken up, the elective mayor and boards abolished, and a temporary or acting mayor and bureaus constituted by military authority. These are therefore not constitutional officers of the State of Louisiana. They were appointed upon a necessity which across from a state of war and by an authority which is not limited as is Your Excellency's by constitutional limitations. Until, therefore, the offices constitutionally and legally provided for under existing or future laws can be elected in proper from and enter upon their duties, this irregular and temporary organization, constituted by military authority, and deriving its whole vigor and vitality from that authority, must of necessity and not of choice continue. Acting upon this principle, and being satisfied that Mr. Ingram should be removed, I requested you to name some proper person to take his place. This you unwisely, as I think, declined to do.
I take this occasion to say distinctly and plainly that you labor under a most serious error, I trust not a willful one, in supposing that I have any ill-feeling whatever to the State of Louisiana or her officials, or that there is any disposition on the part of the military authorities to intervene in your peculiar province. It is occasionally difficult to draw the precise line, especially in such a State as this, which in one point of view is recognized as loyal, and in the other as still insurrectionary. For the great purpose of carrying into effect the declaration of freedom in your constitution, and organizing the free State of Louisiana, the State and its officers are recognized by the President, but the proclamation declaring the State in insurrection and the people subject to military law remains in force. This of necessity complicates the relations between the new State and the military officers, and specially demands full and explicit conference and mutual good understanding between the representatives of the United States and the State.
I regret to state that from the time I entered upon my duties until now I have never been conferred with or consulted by Your Excellency. This is matter of your own election, not of mine. To me personally it is a thing of complete indifference, but to me as a representative of the Government it is a hinderance in the discharge of public duties. I came here a stranger to all of you, wholly separated from all connections with the factions and parties which exist here, with no friends to be elevated, and no enemies to be pulled down. I found immense and peculiar interests almost inextricably involved with the military administration of the department. I found a partly organized State government, the executive and legislative departments complete, the judiciary incomplete. The district courts of the city, I am informed, are held by judges appointed under military orders. No supreme court in existence. I found