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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

NEW ORLEANS, May 9th, 1863.

DEAR SIR: I failed to inform you in my other letter of to-day, of the course pursued by Gen. Banks in regard to produce in the country recently occupied by him.
By an order (unpublished) of the General, the Quarter Master seizes all cotton and all sugar found as the army advances. This cotton and sugar is brought to the City, and the sugar (as I am informed) is to be sold here, while the cotton will be shipped to New York for sale. Col. Chandler supervises the business. It is said that the loyal owners will be paid what their produce was worth before Banks occupied their country, but one of the principal Quartermasters informs me that Chandler is appointed by Banks to carry out the law concerning "abandoned and captured property," until the regular agent is appointed by you. One govt. steamship leaves to-morrow loaded with Quartermaster's cotton which has not paid excise tax, but, of course, its seizure by me is a physical impossibility. This cotton is consigned to the Quartermaster at N. Y. to be sold for the Gov't.
Mr. Gray tells me he shall offer you his resignation. Do not accept it. He has been faithful in the service of the Gov't. for 25 years, and is the most efficient Deputy Collector I have ever seen.
Dr. Kennedy, Editor of the New Orleans "True Delta," is going on to Washington, but I do not know with what object, unless it be to assist the planters. Dr. Kennedy is a brother-in-law of Bullitt's, and is a smart man. His "True Delta," was an anti-Jeff-Davis paper always, but never since the occupation of the city by the Gov't. troops, has it contained a single outspoken word in favor of the Union. I believe the planters intend to purchase a controlling interest in it, so that in future it may be the pro-slavery Union organ.

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

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