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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

(Private)

NEW ORLEANS, January 2nd, 1863.

DEAR SIR: Everything remains nearly as when I last wrote. Troops have been moving up to Baton Rouge, and the whole army and navy here, are occupied in preparations for advancing on Port Hudson. It will certainly be captured when attacked, and according to the best information I can collect, the attack will be made in about twelve days. Gen. Banks seems disposed to occupy himself more with military and less with civil and commercial affairs than Gen. Butler did. He does not yet communicate his intentions to me so freely as Gen. Butler did.
Two regiments of infantry and a battery have gone to Galveston, to occupy that Island. I have laid before Gen. Banks a plan for the capture of Brownsville, opposite Matamoras on the Rio Grande. The occupation of this place is becoming of great consequence, on account of the great trade at that point with the Rebel states. Gen. Hamilton urges the project, and Gen. Banks seems to regard it favorable.
Gen. Hamilton asks for five thousand men. The 1st. Texas regiment (only 200 or 300 in number) accompanied the other two regiments to Galveston. Gen. Hamilton is still here and will probably remain until the expedition goes to Brownsville. I suppose great complaints will be made of Gen. Butler when he gets North. You may be sure that Gen. Butler deserves well of the country and Government - and I believe he did no bad thing, except permitting his brother and other friends to make large sums of money - dishonorably, as I think. All the other accusations against him, which I have seen, are not true.
I do not think Gen. Butler sent to Washington the evidence respecting the schooner which run into Pontchitoula. He said the testimony would be presented to the witnesses for signature, but this has not been done.
Statements are in circulation here that you and Mr. Seward have resigned. In respect to yourself, I can truly say that the report is received by all with regret. When I say by all , I mean the public generally.
I have sent to you to-day a bill of lading for $195,000.00 shipped to John J. Cisco, in accordance with your instructions.

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

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