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J. Hubley Ashton to E. C. Carrington, 21 December 1866

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Dec. 21, 1866. E. C. Carrington, Esq. U. S. Attorney, Washington, D. C. Sir: Your letter of the 7th inst. inquiring whether it is your official duty, at the request of the War Dep't. to appear for, & defend, an officer of the Quartermaster's Dep't. against whom a suit has been brought in this Dist., has been received. Without discussing or deciding the abstract question of your official duty, it is sufficient for the practical purposes of the present case, to say, that in the opinion of this office, you should, in every case where you are formally requested by the Head of a Dep't. to defend a subordinate officer of that Dep't. who may be sued by a private party in this Dist. comply with that request. You will be entitled, under the Fee Bill of 1853, to receive, as compensation for your services, in every such case, such sum as may be agreed on between yourself & the Head of Dep't. Respectfully, &c. yours, J. Hubley Ashton Ass't. Att'y. Gen'l.
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