Title: Amos T. Akerman to Henry L. Westmore, 5 December 1870
Date: December 5, 1870
Source: Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: National Archives and Records Administration
Whitman Archive ID: nar.01510
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Joshua Ware, Kevin McMullen, and John Schwaninger
December 5, 1870.
Hon. Henry L. Westmore,
I have received your letter of December 2d, enclosing an address of yours to the people of the United States, complaining of the action of General Terry, in removing you from the office of Ordinary of Chatham County, last April.
I am not advised by your letter, or the enclosure, that you desire any official action upon the subject by this Department—and, in fact, none occurs to my mind as proper to be taken. If it was your object to invite an opinion upon the subject presented in your address, I must inform you that under the usage of this Department opinions on legal questions are not given except at the call of the President or the Head of the Department.
I will, however, take the liberty of suggesting to you that if your decision in the Gerstman case be correct, Gen. Terry, having the powers of a military commander under the Reconstruction Act, was fully empowered to remove from office any officer in his military District. (15 U. S. Stat, p. 14,)—And according to the opinion which you have officially pronounced, he was fully authorized to do the Act of which you complain.
A. T. Akerman,
letter &c. acknowledged