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[284] advocates of their wards to suit the situation. As I was obliged to execute the law under the direction of his Excellency, little by little his power made itself felt. To give my work the utmost opportunity to succeed I came to the conclusion, first, that all Government agencies within a given State must work in harmony, and so I recommended to the President that the functions of the military commander and of the assistant commissioner in each State be exercised by the same officer. To this he gladly assented. It was early done in Virginia. General Alfred H. Terry, the new department commander, became also the assistant commissioner for that State. He took his predecessor in the Bureau, Colonel Brown, on his staff and so operated all Bureau work through him, and soon that arrangement prevailed throughout other departments. Next, I worked to make each military subdivision coincident with the Bureau subdistrict. Terry's department, the State of Virginia, was divided into eight subdistricts with an officer in charge of each. Then I carefully instructed subordinates that, touching all subjects of a military character, the agents were to be under the direction of State department commanders.

The Bureau officer acted in the same manner as an officer of engineers building a fort might do, reporting on all matters of construction directly to the chief of engineers at Washington, but at the same time being the engineer officer on the staff of a local commander.

Fortunately for me the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, and General Grant, the commander of all the geographical departments and garrisons, were friendly to my work; it was, therefore, not difficult to secure in that way unity of organization and action;

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