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War Department,
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands.
Washington, Jan 18", 1866.

Col. O. Brown
Ass't Com'r
Richmond Va,

In reply to your endorsement of the 16th inst, forwarding communication of Bv't Brig Gen. J. B. Van Petten Com'dg Post at Harpers Ferry, requesting that 2d Lt. H. E. Smith 139" N.Y.V. be retained in service as Asst Supt &c I am directed by Maj. Gen. Howard to inform you that the Secretary of War refuses to retain any more officers in service after the muster out of their Commands.

Very Respectfully
Your Ob't Servant
Max Woodhull
Ass't Adj't General