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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

(Private)

NEW ORLEANS, October 27th, 1862.

DEAR SIR: Gen. Weitzel left here three days ago, with five Regiments Infantry, four companies cavalry, and two batteries. Their destination was Donaldsonville, about seventy miles up the River, where the Rebels were posted in force. I have just learned from a Captain of a transport, who has returned from there, that the landing was effected successfully. Considerable skirmishing took place, when the Rebels retreated, leaving a few killed and wounded, and also leaving two hundred prisoners in our hands, who were paroled and released. The rebels retreated to Napoleonville - (South of Donaldsonville), where it is supposed they will make a stand. The 1st. (colored) Regiment and 8th. Vermont, left here yesterday, marching in a direction nearly due west. Two days ago, Gunboats started for Berwick's Bay, to take possession there. All these movements are parts of one and the same plan. I informed you many days ago, of the departure of a portion of the Fleet, to attack and capture Galveston. They accomplished the object without loss. Gen. Butler will soon send a Regiment to occupy the town and Island.
Seventy-three refugees from Texas have just arrived hero from Matamoras, about one-third of whom are Germans - the remainder Americans. At my request Gen. Butler is organizing them into a company for Gov't military service. Judge Davis, from Texas, is now here, and will receive authority to enlist and organize a full Texas Regiment. There will be no difficulty about this, as besides the company here - three or four companies can be raised in Galveston. There are hundreds of refugees in the vicinity of Matamoras, anxious to join the army, for whom Gen. Butler will send a steamer. You saw Judge Davis in Washington. He is well and favorably known in Texas.
Everything appears to be going on well here.
Your regulations of Aug. 28th. throw upon me great labor and responsibility. I have informed you of my action and opinions, in the matter, and would like to know if I have made any mistake.
I know of but one fault to be found with Gen. Butler. He has (in my opinion) been altogether too willing to permit his friends to make fortunes.
I hope you have completely recovered from your illness, of which mention was made in the New York papers.

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

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