It is customary to affix marks of quotation in manuscript to indicate passages or expressions borrowed from some other to whom they ought to be accredited. But I am not aware that a name given in baptism, or inherited from apparent, or a title conferred by the constitution on a magistrate as his official description, are in any sense original ideas or expressions which it is usual to designate by marks of quotation. Nor is this a matter in which a gentleman of Major-General butler's although Governor Andrew never alluded to this circumstance, nor ever allowed it in any manner to interfere with his own courteous demeanor toward Major- General Butler in the business and correspondence of this department, yet I must now allude to it for the purpose of protesting that a matter of purely formal inadvertence (if it had been an error at all) committed by me in a letter addressed by the Governor's order to Major-General Butler, was not a matter to which any right remained to that officer to take exception.
When a gentleman has violated the substance of courtesy-as did General Butler in that letter of October 12-by a studious, indirect, insinuating, but not less significant, intentional act of impoliteness toward a magistrate whose only offense was fidelity to his duty, to the laws, and to the rights of his official position, he cannot be permitted, without comment, to arraign another for a supposed breach of military intercourse simply formal, technical, and arbitrary, as he has assumed to arraign me in this matter through yourself. I beg, major, that your will not consider me regardless of the exactest courtesy toward yourself, both personally and in the official relation you sustain toward Major-General Butler, but I beg you also to excuse any undue harshness of expression when you remember that it way by your hand that Major-General Butler repelled and criticized the letter address by me to him by order of my own official commander, and also that it is over your signature that he has written a letter to the Governor, making thereby an arbitrary exception to a rule which he cites against myself. The rule as he defines it not existing, the conduct of which he complains being strictly correct, and he being not only in an error but in error also in the precise particular wherein he assume so make correction, it has become my unpleasant duty to reply, and in my reply to cover the whole field opened by the attack.
The whole matter concisely stated is this: Major-General Butler recommended to Governor Andrew the appointment of certain officers to a battery of Massachusetts volunteer light artillery, just as recommendations for military appointments are daily made in great numbers to this department by individuals of every description and condition, only that in this instance the recommendation was justly entitled to especial attention and consideration as coming from a military officer of the highest rank for whom the battery had been authorized by the Governor to be raised, and under whom it might be called to serve. The fact that the recommendation was communicated through an officer of Major-General Butler's staff did not change that into an official proceeding which was necessarily and intrinsically only a personal and informal proceeding. To this recommendation the Governor directed a suitable reply to be returned by an officer of his staff, to which an answer is awaited, and His Excellency regrets that the organization of a battery of light artillery already in the presence of the enemy should be delayed by the raising at this moment of any question of etiquette by Major- General Butler.
54 R R-SERIES III, VOL I