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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
NEW ORLEANS, February 5th, 1863.
DEAR SIR: The steamer did not leave yesterday as was expected, and now I can reply to your letter with less hesitation.
I choose the office of "Commissioner of Internal Revenue" as it is termed in your letter, and will assume the duties thereof whenever you direct. I suppose it to be an office requiring my constant presence here, and whatever its duties may be, I can discharge them to your satisfaction. Full instructions and all printed information will, of course, be supplied to me.
to you Gen. Banks order respecting trade as soon as it was issued, and regret you did not receive it. You are mistaken in supposing it contemplates trade with the enemy - of any kind or degree. Gen. Banks is utterly opposed to any such proceeding. The, General's English is not always good and his orders not always clear.
Do not think from my letter about Dr. Zachary, that I intended to cast suspicion on Gen. Banks, who is not only a kind and pleasant gentleman, but also, I am satisfied, a thoroughly honest man. Dr Zachary applied to me an hour ago, for another of his Israelite friends to take a large stock of goods to Donaldsonville. The reason given is the same as before - that the Dr. wants his friends' cooperation, which would be imperfect unless said friend pretends to be selling goods. I don't believe a word of it. The Doctor pretends to be my best friend, but I think him a humbug.
I sent him to the General for an order and-he has not vet returned.
Notwithstanding my personal regard for Gen. Banks, I repeat the conviction so often expressed before, that he is not the man for this important, place. Gen. Butler is the only man who is equal to the situation, and he ought to come back.
I kept you well informed about Gen. Butler while he was here, and you know whatever wrong things were done by him. Four fifths of the accusations against him are false.
I shall do everything in my power to help Mr. Bullitt when he assumes the duties of the office.
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