After Cabinet-meeting walked over with Attorney-General Bates to his office. Had a very full talk with him concerning the question of captured mails, — the jurisdiction of the courts, the law, and usage, and rights of the Government. He is unqualifiedly with me in my views and principles, — the law and our rights. He dwelt with some feeling on the courtesy which ought to exist between the several Departments and was by them generally observed. Although cautious and guarded in his remarks, he did not conceal his dissatisfaction with the conduct of the Secretary of State in writing to attorneys and marshals, and assuming to instruct and direct them in their official duties which were assigned to and required by law to be done by the Attorney-General. We are getting vague rumors of army operations, but nothing intelligible or reliable.
SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 290