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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

NEW ORLEANS, April 25th, 1863.

DEAR SIR: I am glad to be able to inform you that Gen. Banks has accomplished a great success. From the commencement of the advance from Berwick's [sic] Bay, he has whipped the enemy wherever they could be found, has captured a large proportion of their army and dispersed the rest - has destroyed the "Queen of the West," the Gunboat " Diana" (recently captured from us) and the "Hart", All these were armed, seven or eight of the enemy's transports also have been captured or destroyed. I cannot tell you the exact number of his prisoners but it is large. In a late telegram he says that "the army and navy of the enemy are annihilated." All this has been accomplished with small loss on our side. By this time Gen. Banks is on Red River, and probably has captured Alexandria. I know nothing of the whole plan of the expedition or of its ultimate object, but suppose there is to be cooperation with the army at Vicksburg. In all Louisiana and Texas I do not believe the Rebels can now raise troops enough to whip Banks.
I am glad Mr. Flanders has returned. He is regarded by the Union Clubs and Union men, as their leader, and his presence inspires confidence. In part owing to this fact, and in greater part to Banks' successes, the Union sentiment of the City has improved and increased wonderfully within a few days.
Now that Gen. Banks knows he is here permanently, I hope and think he will show necessary vigor, determination and severity.
I have sent to you (officially) by this mail, Mr. Cisco's Certificates of Deposits amounting to $198,024.04. They ought to have been sent on as soon as received. All the money I collected for duties, is now in his hands.
The proper management of internal trade is very important. Under the regulations of March 31st. as under those of August 28th, the Special Agent exercising the authority can exert a great influence. He is brought in contact with persons of every class from every locality. If he conducts himself and his business properly he can do much toward restoring loyalty - and can also do much to advance the political interests of whomsoever he pleases. ,
I do not think the business of permits and internal trade is well managed now, for Bullitt is not a smart, man. I believe this business (Internal trade, permits for supplies within our lines, and the whole execution of the new Regulations) should be in the bands of a shrewd man who will be your friend through thick and thin. Mr. Bullitt's position as Collector of Customs need not be interfered with, and it is of not half the importance as the other business. I do not know whether you have sent or will send any one from Washington. Two gentlemen are here, either of whom is a proper person for the position - Mr. Flanders and Mr. Plumly, who are both your firm friends. I shall ask each of them to write you by next mail, and their letters will assist you in coming to a conclusion.
Mr. Higgins, the Assessor, arrived a week ago and we are getting fairly to work. My bond is rather large and I have not yet completed it, but shall succeed in executing it before long.

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

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