War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0846 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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to make the same reference in auditing the municipal accounts of expenditures under the act.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel and Military Secretary.


Boston, December 18, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel A. G. BROWNE, Jr.,

Mil. Sec. to His Excellency the Governor of Massachusetts:

SIR: Major-General Butler, commanding the Department of New England, directs that the inclosed communication* be respectfully returned to His Excellency Governor Andrew as being of improper address and signature.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.

BOSTON, December 18, 1861.

Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, &C., &C., &C.:

SIR: Accustomed myself to attempt to reach the substance of duty through the forms of natural courtesy and propriety, which I do not willingly or wittingly offend, I make no doubt that my education and natural acuteness may both fail sometimes to instruct me in these technicalities of breeding which regulate the formal intercourse of society.

I beg you therefore not to hold me to such rigidness of propriety as by the letter of Major Strong, assistant adjutant-general, written this day to my military secretary, by your command, you have exacted of him.

Having myself seen and known the contents of the letter of Colonel Browne, which is returned to him this duty, with the criticism that it is not admissible, "as being of improper address and signature," I find myself unable to instruct him how to amend it, since the particulars of the offense were not stated, and were not discernible to me, nor, as I am assured, by him, I beg to assume all blame, if any there is, and to receive the proper correction as due to my own want of knowledge. I have therefore ventured, as one citizen writing to another, in which capacity I may be less likely to offend propriety and unknown laws and usages, to beg leave to address myself to you; and, inclosing the objectionable letter, with Major Strong's reply, to ask the favor of a precise statement of the offense committed, and to be instructed what amendment would relieved it from all animadversion on its form both of address and signature, and I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,



Boston, December 19, 1861.

His Excellency JOHN A. ANDREW,

Governor of Massachusetts:

SIR: I am instructed by Major-General Butler to state, in reply to Your Excellency's communication of yesterday, that the letter addressed


*See Browne to Butler, next, ante.