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NEW ORLEANS, February 1st, 1863.

DEAR SIR: Everything is quiet on the Mississippi. There have been no military movements. Appearances indicate that something is to be attempted before long, but I do not know what it will be.
Gen. Banks has authorized the raising of the 4th. Reg't. "Native Guards" (colored) and it is filling up rapidly. The Lieut. Colonel is Mr. Hill, correspondent of the New York Herald. More regiments will be raised, but I do not know how many. Gen. Banks' policy in regard to the enlistment of negroes, seems to me timorous and hesitating. He might have 50,000 in the service in three months - yes, 100,000 by energetically adopting the proper means.
An army of negroes could be made most formidable. They could be inspired with a religious enthusiasm as terrible and persistent as that of the followers of Mahomet. Such blind impulses, directed by a controlling mind, have accomplished great things. But no prominent man is here shrewd enough to originate, or smart enough to execute such a project. I say again, what I have often said before, that the negroes will fight this war for us, and succeed, if we will use them, and here is the place to commence. Perhaps you are aware that, for various reasons, the negroes of Louisiana are much superior in all respects to those of Virginia and of the other Atlantic States. One hundred and fifty refugees have arrived from Matamoras. I wish to remind you again, of the growing importance of the trade across the Rio Grande. A Confederate agent named Swisher, left Matamoras last June to buy arms in Europe. He has just returned to Matamoras, and three cargoes of arms bought by him in Europe, are expected to arrive shortly in Matamoras - or rather at the mouth of the Rio Grande. How all this can be stopped I explained in my last letter.
There is a person here of the Jewish persuasion - an Israelite indeed - named Dr. Zachary, who is said lately to have been a healer of corns and bunions, in New York. His vest is of flowered velvet - his hair beautifully oiled - and his presence distills continual perfume sweeter than the winds that blow from Araby the blest. In season and out of season, he fails not to announce himself as the Confidential Agent, or Correspondent, of the President. A smart little lawyer, named Shaw, used to write -for him his letters from here to the President, which Zachary copied and forwarded as his own. Shaw was on Gen. Hamilton's staff, but has returned to New York. His address is Charles P. Shaw , 111 Broadway. I don't know who writes Zachary's letters now - perhaps he does it himself. Jews take to trade, as ducks to water. Dr. Zachary could not fulfill his mission without the co-operation of one Simon. That co-operation would be imperfect without Simon took a stock of goods to Baton Rouge for sale, in order to conceal the object of Simon's stay at that place. Notwithstanding these representations, and at the risk of impairing the Doctor's efficiency as Government agent, I refused to let the goods go up the River without a written order from Gen. Banks. The result was, that the order was issued. Simon took up to Baton Rouge nearly $20,000 worth of goods (including quantities of spiritous liquors), and Dr. Zachary will probably have no reason to repent the venture.


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

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