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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

NEW ORLEANS, July 10th, 1863.

DEAR SIR: The garrison of Port Hudson surrendered unconditionally yesterday morning. We have fifty pieces of cannon and nearly 5,000 prisoners.
On the west bank of the River, both above and below Donaldsonville, the Rebels, mostly Texans, have been very troublesome. They have erected two or three batteries behind the Levee and fire into all passing boats. At the present low stage of the water, Gunboats cannot operate effectually against them. Their numbers are not known to me. Gen. Weitzel with 12,000 men has already crossed the River at Port Hudson, and is moving on their rear with the hope of capturing the entire force. In a very few days now, the Rebels will be driven out of the Lafourche.
I told you of Mr. Plumly's influence among the colored people, and during the past few days he has used it with wonderful success. Under a call from Gov. Shepley, four regiments are being raised for sixty days service. Mr. Plumly obtained permission to raise a portion of the force from the colored men. One full regiment was formed and mustered in, four or five days ago. Another full regiment has been mustered in to-day, and by Saturday of next week, Plumly expects to have the third and fourth regiments ready. Of white regiments but a few companies are formed. Mr. Plumly's son is colonel of the 2nd. colored regiment. Gen. Ullman is not so successful as was anticipated, for the reason that he is not the right kind of man for the position. His brigade, however, is full, I understand.
We heard of the fall of Vicksburg on the 8th, - one day before Port Hudson surrendered.
Mr. Hutchins will probably leave here for New York by the steamer to sail next Wednesday (the fifteenth). I have much to write concerning affairs in the Custom House, but prefer to send by him. There has been much trouble and it does not diminish. I think it all arises from Mr. Bullitt's desire to make the whole organization of the Custom House in sympathy with his political views, which agree with the principles of the "True Delta." I think Mr. Bullitt is not only incompetent but a very bad man. Letters which Mr. Hutchins will take, will give you more fully my opinions on this subject.
Enclosed is Gen. Shepley's order calling out troops for City defense. They are not absolutely necessary now, but will be useful.

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

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