War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 1115 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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I desire to inform you that it is not necessary for you to presume that official communications from this department are written by my direction, but to either reply to them with official courtesy or decline to do so.

Unless you have some explanation to offer, your letter will be forwarded to the Secretary of War, the Honorable Edwin M. Stanton, for his opinion as to its propriety.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

JAMES Y. SMITH,

Governor.

A true copy.

N. L. JEFFRIES,

Colonel, Veteran Reserve Corps.

B.

OFFICE ACTG. ASST. PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,

Providence, R. I., December 24, 1864.

His Excellency the Honorable JAMES Y. SMITH,

Governor of Rhode Island, Providence, R. I.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 23rd instant, calling my attention to a want of official courtesy in my report of credits of same date.

Your Excellency must certainly have misunderstood its tenor if you thought it lacking in official courtesy to yourself, as nothing could have been further from my intention that it should be so.

I desire to call the attention of Your Excellency to the fact that communications signed by a staff officer, to be official, must be signed by order or direction of Your Excellency.

I would therefore respectfully request that Your Excellency will have your staff officers show me the courtesy of signing official documents "by order."

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. NEIDE,

Lieutenant Colonel 13th V. R. C., Actg. Asst. Prov. March General

WAR DEPT., PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S BUREAU,

Washington, D. C., February 3, 1865.

A true copy.

N. L. JEFFRIES,

Colonel, Veteran Reserve Corps.

No. 3. STATE OF RHODE ISLAND, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Providence, December 24, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel H. NEIDE,

Acting Assistant Provost-Marshal-General:

SIR: Your communication of this date is received.

The official acts of members of my staff I consider as my own Discourtesy to them in discharge of official duties will not be permitted, and as ample explanations demanded for them as for myself.

To the discourtesy to which I referred in my note of yesterday you have added the impertinence of advice. This department will determine its own form of communications without reference to the opinion of subordinates.