War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 1108 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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with them. It would be injurious to the public interest to remove him, especially at this time, a draft having been ordered for the 15th of next month.

The order given by Colonel Neide to Captain Chadsey, one of his subordinates, which letter His Excellency the Governor has already laid before the Senate of Rhode Island, and which forms the main ground of His Excellency's complaint against Colonel Neide, is proper in its meaning and intention, and is in accordance with the principles of General Orders, No. 129, from the Secretary of War, positively forbidding subordinates to correspond officially, except through the proper military channels. The violation by provost-marshals of this order and the military principle on which it is based is so frequent as to be mischievous to the service, as well as annoying to Governors and Congressmen. To check this in the case of Captain Chadsey was the object and effect of Colonel Neide's order. The order was not couched in the most suitable terms. This fact was pointed out to Colonel Neide by my letter of January 8, and I think no further action necessary. Besides the foregoing letter a rather unpleasant official correspondence had previously taken place between Colonel Neide and the State authorities of Rhode Island. (Copied herewith.) There are no points that I can discover in this correspondence of the slightest practical importance. It is a discussion as to official etiquette, in which no intentional disrespect was entertained or exhibited on either side (certainly not on Colonel Neide's). The letters are just such as are frequently written, without bad motives or serious consequences, by exacting but inexperienced staff officers when first thrown into positions of consequence. I do not think they require the attention of the Secretary of War.



Official copy.


Colonel, Veteran Reserve Corps.



Providence, January 26, 1865.

Brigadier General JAMES B. FRY,

Provost-Marshal-General, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt from the Provost-Marshal-General of a copy of communication written by His Excellency Governor Smith, of Rhode Island, calling attention to the action of the acting assistant provost-marshal-general and the members of boards of enrollment in certain matters relative to the enrollment of this State and its revision and correction.*

In reply to the charges of His Excellency against myself and the members of the Board of Enrollment, and in reference to the action spoken of, I would respectfully report: First, that in the matter of the addition to the enrollment of the Second District of Rhode Island of names of men who had been dropped as over age the Board of Enrollment was governed by the decision of the Provost-Marshal-General, as shown by the copy of letter of Mr. Coggeshall, commissioner of Second District, with indorsements complete from the Provost-Marshal-General's Bureau, which I have the honor to inclose.


*See January 16, 1119, post.