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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

(Private,

NEW ORLEANS, December 23rd, 1862.

DEAR SIR: Since the date of my last letter no important changes have occurred. The policy of Gen. Banks is not yet made public. Gen. Butler leaves to-morrow, and probably, immediately after his departure, Gen. Banks will issue new orders and proclamations. At his request I matured and submitted to him a plan for inducing the shipment of produce from the country to this City, and for furnishing abundant supplies to those living within our lines in such a manner however, that each individual can protect his own interests, and there will be full security against improper disposition of whatever is received by him. The General approved the plan and will adopt it. By it producers and consumers will be protected from the arts of speculators and interference of officials. I will inform you of the details whenever the order appears adopting the plan, which will be very soon.
I do not know your opinions and wishes concerning Gen. Butler, but it is certain that his removal gives great satisfaction to all classes - including officers, soldiers and citizens. The hostility to him is almost entirely on account of commercial affairs. About this, I have written to you frequently. It does seem to me that many and serious wrongs have been permitted in this Department.
Gen. Banks desires that trade should be restricted as little as possible - provided nothing goes beyond our lines, and he will effect it, I think. The military commission - a corrupt concern - has ceased its operations - not to recommence them, I hope.
Gen. Banks tells me he intends to organize more negro regiments. Those now in the service are just as efficient for fighting or any other purpose - as any white regiments.
The colored population fear the President will revoke his proclamation. Threats of insurrection are frequent - in case the proclamation should not be made effective on the 1st. January.
After the River is opened, the whole country west of the Mississippi can be conquered in ninety days. Why not do it and make it free soil at once. Slavery is there dead forever, and the Mississippi River will be a convenient western boundary to the institution for the few years that it will continue to exist in the remaining Slave States.

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