MOBILE, ALA., May 20, 1865.
(Received 12.05 p.m.)
Major General A. J. SMITH, Montgomery:
By direction of the President, you will not recognize any officers of the Confederate or State governments within the limits of your command as authorized to exercise in any manner whatever the functions of their late offices. You will prevent, by force if necessary, any attempt on the part of the Legislature of any of the States in insurrection to assemble for legislative purposes, and you will arrest and imprison any members or other persons who may attempt to exercise these functions in opposition to your orders, reporting your action through these headquarters for the information of the President. The civil officers of the Confederate and State governments are not included in the capitulation of the military forces, but in notifying them that military commanders had no authority to entertain any question touching the political relations of the needed States to the General Government, or the states of citizens, I have advised them to return to their posts, taking with them the archives and other property in their charge, and to report to the military authorities to await the action of the Government in their cases. When this is done in good faith you can allow them to remain at their homes, without molestation by the military authorities, so long as they conduct themselves with propriety and there is no attempt to evade the legal responsibilities they have incurred. This, of course, does not include the high officers of the Confederate or State governments. It is of great importance to the Government and to the people that all judaical, land, and other records affecting the title to property and other private interests should be secured and preserved, and you will spare no exertions to get possession of them.
E. R. S. CANBY,
P. S.-Receipt to be acknowledged promptly.
(Same to Major General Gordon Granger.)
MONTGOMERY, [May] 20, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of telegram of this date from Major-General Canby containing instructions as to the action to be taken by military authorities in relation to officers of Confederate and State governments, and would further state that no act has been permitted or committed to my knowledge since the occupation of this country by U. S. forces that conflicts in any manner with these instructions. I have ruled that by the occupation the operation of all law except martial law was suspended, and that no Confederate or State official could exercise any function of his office.
A. J. SMITH,
HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, FIRST DIV., 16TH ARMY CORPS,
Demopolis, Ala., May 20, 1865.
Captain W. H. F. RANDALL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding, the following facts regarding the condition of affairs