receive the testimonials of any on which their claims are founded.’
On the 18th (next day), this letter was returned to Colonel Browne
by Major Strong
, with the following note:—
Sir,—Major-General Butler, commanding the Department of New England, directs that the enclosed communication be respectfully returned to His Excellency Governor Andrew, as being of improper address and signature.
The same day, the Governor
wrote to Major Strong
, expressing his surprise, and that, knowing the contents of the letter which is returned, he found himself unable to instruct Colonel Browne
how to amend it, ‘since the particulars of the offence were not stated, and were not discernible to me, nor, as I am assured, by him.’
He therefore asks ‘the favor of a precise statement of the offence committed.’
To which Major Strong
replied on the 19th.
After referring to army regulations, paragraph 449, he said,—
The letter to which that was a reply was addressed to your Excellency, and therefore signed by General Butler himself, as claiming to be your Excellency's co-ordinate.
Lieutenant-Colonel Browne's letter was addressed, not to the chief of staff at these headquarters, but directly to the Major-General commanding the department, and even then not in his official capacity.
On Dec. 20, a reply was made in a letter signed by Colonel Browne
, from which we make the following extracts:—
With the single exception of the President of the United States, no officer or person, whether State or national, civil or military, whether temporarily sojourning or permanently residing within the limits of Massachusetts, can be recognized within such limits as the “co-ordinate” of the Governor of the Commonwealth in official dignity or rank.
He then expresses surprise that a gentleman of General Butler
's acumen and professional training ‘should quote the regulations of the army of the United States, as dictating ceremonies of official intercourse to a magistrate who is no part of that army, and not subject to its regulations.’
His attention is also called to the order of the War Department of Sept. 16, by