You also say that you are sure that on reflection I will see that the course which you have taken is proper, and that you will have my concurrence in the efforts you are making to protect recruits from depredation and frustrate the schemes of swindlers. To which I would reply that the object you have in view I cordially approve, to accomplish which I have made unceasing and not unsuccessful efforts ever since the bounty was offered; but you surely cannot expect my concurrence in measures which set aside and wholly disregard the provisions of the statute of Connecticut, or that this department can approve of efforts on your part which interfere with the execution of our laws, or take any other view of your order than that it is an assumption of the executive power of Connecticut before the State has been placed under martial law.
I am, respectfully, yours,
WM. A. BUCKINGHAM,
Governor of Connecticut.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE EAST, New York City, June 15, 1864.
His Excellency WILLIAM A. BUCKINGHAM,
Governor of Connecticut:
SIR: I regret that my omission to answer your first letter should have been misapprehended. It was due entirely to the pressure of official engagements.
I wrote you on the 10th, and fear my letter was misdirected. It was, I think, addressed to you at Hartford.
I will attend to the case of Colonel Pardee at once.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient serv-General.
STATE OF CONNECTICUT, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, New Haven, June 13, 1864.
Major General JOHN A. DIX, U. S. Army,
Commanding Department of the East, New York:
GENERAL: I am informed by Lieutenant Colonel B. S. Pardee, superintendent of recruiting colored troops in Connecticut, that by your order a demand has been made upon him for money claimed to have been wrongfully taken from bounties paid to volunteers.
While I know not your purposes in reference to the subject, yet a demand made by such high authority appears to carry with it the intention of following a refusal to reply to comply with the arrest of that officer and of his trial by a military court.
Permit me to say that my knowledge of Colonel Pardee and of the manner in which the recruiting service has been conducted is such as to give me confidence that no such charge against him can be sustained; and if it can be, I would respectfully submit that it is a crime against the State of Connecticut, respecting which State authorities alone can take organizance, unless it can be proved that he has obstructed the execution of the laws of the General Government. Also that such an arrest would have no tendency to prevent the practice of frauds upon volunteers or to aid the Government in suppressing the rebellion.