STATE OF LOUISIANA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
New Orleans, March 3, 1865.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:
DEAR SIR: On the 22d of February, 1864, I was elected governor of the State of Louisiana and on the 4th of March following I was inaugurated into office. On the 29th of March I received from you a letter or order, in the following words:
Washington City, March --, 1864.
His Excellency MICHAEL HAHN,
Governor of Louisiana:
Until further orders you are hereby invested with all the powers heretofore exercised by the military governor of Louisiana.
I also received from the War Department certified copies of the commission and letter of instructions to Brigadier-General Shepley, formerly military governor of Louisiana, dated June 3, 1862. I have now resigned the office of governor of this State, to take effect this day, and I therefore respectfully notify you that from and after this day I shall cease to exercise any of the powers of military governor, with which you invested me by granting me these powers. I can safely say that nothing was done by me by virtue of these powers which did not meet the approval of the convention, the legislature, and loyal people of this State, and in which I would not have been sustained even without such military powers. I conclude this letter with a quotation from my message, delivered to the legislature on the 7th of October last:
The unsettled condition of the country, the absence or destruction of most of the public archives and various other causes have conspired to throw much difficulty in the way of a full organization of a State government. The want of a legislature and the sudden uprooting of many important yet unwise and illiberal laws and institutions by military orders, render it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the executive of the State to perform his duties satisfactorily and understandingly to the public, or to properly reconcile and harmonize the various conflicting rules of government and interests of the State. I was somewhat aided in this dilemma by the President of the United States, who shortly after my inauguration, invested me, without any solicitation or suggestion on my part, "with the powers exercised hitherto by the military governor of Louisiana." Fortunately, the harmony which has characterized the intercourse of the military and civil authorities of this State has rendered the exercise of any such powers by me almost unnecessary. The principal subjects upon which I have used these powers are, the appointment of public officers, the payment of money from the State treasury for Just and pressing purposes and after recommendation by proper officers, and the exercise of executive clemency.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 48, Part 2 (Serial No. 101), p. 1064