CIRCULAR.] WAR DEPT., ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, March 14, 1865.
It is represented to the Secretary of War that officers in the Quartermaser's Department have given transportation to persons to visit the Army of the Potomac without authority from this Department. The Secretary orders that no passes or transportation be given to any one, without authority from him or Lieutenant-General Grant, and that in no case boats or transportation be furnished to any persons or parties not in the service, without his express order; and General Rucker is directed to seize any Government transport that may, without the authority of the Secretary of War or lieutenant-general, be used for such unauthorized purpose, and report the officers offending to the Adjutant-General. Acknowledge receipt.
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
March 14, 1865-5 p.m.
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND:
As commanding general of this army I have hitherto assumed, and in some very few instances exercised, the right to give passes to persons not in the military service to visit this army. Is it intended to restrict me in this prerogative? Such would be the construction of your dispatch of this date, but I ask the question specifically, because I am reluctant to believe the War Department will visit on me the dereliction of duty on the part of officers of the Quartermaster's Department.
GEO. G. MEADE,
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, March 14, 1865-9.20 p.m.
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
Your dispatch received. The order relating to passes is not intended to apply to commanders of armies, but to those officers having charge of vessels, &c.
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 14, 1865.
Major General G. G. MEADE,
Headquarters Army of the Potomac:
Bvt. Major General J. J. Bartlett has been confirmed, but is not yet commissioned.
JAS. A. HARDIE,