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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

(Private)

NEW ORLEANS, January 16th, 1863.

DEAR SIR: I have just been informed by Gen. Banks that the expedition to the Teche under Weitzel, was completely successful and accomplished all he intended. The rebels had in the Bayou a large and powerful gunboat called the " Cotton ", which boat got aground below their fortifications. This boat we destroyed. They have no other boats in any of the bayous below Red River.
Gen. Banks can now take the Teche country whenever he pleases. Weitzel's f orce has returned, but, I judge, Gen. Banks intends occupying the country by flank movement according to suggestions made by me at first.
I hear much complaint of Gen. Banks that he has not accomplished, oy prepared to accomplish, anything - that his time is occupied in listening to complaints of secessionists - that four weeks of fine weather have been lost without military operations that no step has been taken to open the river and other similar complaints.
Gen. Banks told me this morning, he cannot yet undertake the opening of the river, because he has no cavalry - no transportation - no medicines, &c. He says everything has been done that ought to have been - and that he shall operate up the River at the earliest day possible. I will say one thing strongly in his favor - that he conceals his plans (whatever they may be) perfectly - and I hardly think even the members of his staff know his intentions.

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

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