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(Private and Unofficial)

NEW ORLEANS, October 16th, 1862.

DEAR SIR: My last letter was in reference to trade with the enemy.
After Gen. Butler's return from Pensacola - for the purpose of discussing the matter, Gen. B. asked me to his house, where I met also Gov. Shepley. In a long conversation, I stated to them fully my own views, and it was understood that there should be no more trade with the enemy - that no supplies of any kind or in any quantity, should pass into insurrectionary districts not even supplies for loyal residents of such locality, because Guerillas would in most cases, take away such supplies for their own use.
Gen. Butler and Gen. Shepley each said, however, that he had given one permit to cross the Lake, not yd carried into effect. The goods were bought and vessels loaded, but that I had stopped them. It was insisted that these vessels should be allowed to proceed. I said that the permission of the Secretary of Treasury ought first to be obtained.
The next morning Gen. Butler sent me the list of cargo for the vessel, on the second leaf of which was endorsed his request that she be allowed to proceed. Gen. Shepley sent me a note to the same effect in regard to the other. A copy of the list of cargo, with Gen. Butler's original endorsement on second leaf, is herewith enclosed, marked A. A copy of the list of cargo of second vessel, with Gen. Shepley's note, is herewith enclosed, marked B .
It is inexpedient that I should have a controversy with the military authorities, and I let these two vessels go, with the distinct understanding however, that nothing more was to go out.
Gen. Butler's permit was to Judge Morgan, a good Union man, who has lost much by the Rebellion.
Gen. Shepley's was to one Montgomery, who has previously taken over, among other things, 1,200 sacks salt. Gen. S. says he granted this permit at the earnest solicita-tion of Mr. Bouligny - formerly in Congress from this state, but now in Washington—and that Montgomery told him Bouligny was part owner of the cargo with him (Montgomery).
I think there will be no more of this trade. Gen. B. has always carried out (so far as I know) the wishes of the Gov't. when distinctly made known, and I believe he will fully carry out (in future) your views respecting this matter. Gen. B. has more brains and energy than any other three men in New Orleans. He does an immense amount of work, and does it well. He knows and controls everything in this Department. I regret that it was necessary to write my last setter—or rather, that the statements therein made were facts. Besides, no other officer appreciates, like Gen. Butler, the importance of freeing and arming the colored people—and he is not afraid to do it. All the pro-slavery influence in this State cannot change him in this matter.
When Weitzel's expedition (spoken of in a late letter) goes out, Gen. B will send the Ist. Colored Regiment right into the heart of the section of the country to be taken. They will move nearly west from here, on the line of the Opelousas Railroad. I think they will do a great work. The expedition is expected to start in about two weeks. Late New York papers indicate the adoption of some plan for getting out cotton from Rebeldom. I hope it will not be done by means of trade with the enemy, which is objectionable for many reasons.
It will, benefit the enemy ten times as much as the Government - it demoralizes the army, who imagine themselves fighting for speculators - officers will be interested, directly or indirectly, in the trade, and they the and other speculators, will wish the war prolonged for the sake of great profits - the Rebels will not keep their engagements nine cases out of ten - the rebels are terribly in want, and now is the time to deprive them of supplies. There are other objections besides those enumerated.
The greatest distress prevails in insurrectionary districts all around us. The Guerilla system injures Rebels more than the Government, and the people are becoming heartily tired of it.


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Annual Report of the American Historical Association; Volume II; Washington, Government Printing Office; 1903

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