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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
JULY 1st, 1864.
My DEAR SIR: Very little has transpired here worthy of your attention, since my last letter was written. All the horses in the city, or nearly all, have been seized, for the purpose, as I suppose, of mounting two regiments of Texas cavalry which have been ordered here from Brownsville. I understand that the whole cavalry force is concentrated at Baton Rouge, and other signs indicate that active operations are about to commence. Gen. Canby has charge of everything and Banks seems to be ignored. In fact I think Gen. Canby has seriously rebuked him by assigning to important commands the generals whom Banks had relieved for the purpose of casting on them the odium of the Red River disaster. The accompanying order recently issued, indicates a severer policy than has been pursued here during the past year.
HEADQUARTERS PROVOST MARSHAL GENERAL,
DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, June 23,1864.
By direction of the Major General commanding all registered enemies of the United States will immediately report themselves to Major H. M. Porter, Provost Marshal of the Parish of Orleans, at his office No. 67 Carondelet street, for transportation beyond the military lines.
T. E. CHICKERING,
Colonel and Ass't. Provost Marshal General,
Department of the Gulf.
This second order, attached hereto, relating to gold, was issued by Gen. Banks without my previous knowledge. Though not entirely perfect, I regard the order as a good one.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, Jane 18, 1864.
I. All shipments of gold to the port of New Orleans from this date, unless otherwise specially authorized by the Government at Washington, will be deposited with the Assistant Treasurer of the United States, to be delivered to consignees or claimants only upon satisfactory assurances that it will not be used in contravention of the regulations of the Treasury and War Departments or the laws of the United States.
II. All parties to whom consignments of gold have heretofore been made, are directed to deposit the same with the Assistant Treasurer of the United States, subject to the above Regulations. The Provost Marshal General is directed to enforce a strict observance of this order.
By command of Major Gen. Banks,
OLIVER MATHEWS, A. A. General.
Two and a half millions in gold has come here within a few months, and there was no way to stop it. If you will look at the President's proclamation opening this port, you will see that he declares the Port of New Orleans no longer an insurrectionary District, and hence the regulations prohibiting the shipments of gold to such Districts did not apply to this city. When once here the gold could be smuggled out of the city to points whence it would find its way into the Confederacy. About $300,000 not yet landed from steamship, went back to New York and more will go.
The Bank continues prosperous as you will see by the Quarterly report published this morning, which I enclose. Mr. Flanders has not resigned the Presidency but will not be permitted to hold it much longer, unless he ceases to be Sup. Sp. Agent.
Mr. Gray, Deputy Collector, will go North next week on short leave of absence. At my request he will go to Washington and call upon you. He is an intelligent and thoroughly honest man, and well informed concerning everything here. I suggest that by making inquiries of him, you will receive the latest reliable information that you can obtain. He possesses judgment and discretion and will state his own opinions.
I really hope you will send Mr. Howe here in September
to be Sup. Sp. Agent. The change would be hailed with joy by the whole business community. He can stay in the Bank if informed now that such a change is contemplated. Mr. Flanders according to his own statement, thinks he has left the whole matter to your discretion.
If, however, Col. Howe should not come, I urge that a new Supt. of Plantations be appointed by yourself at once. If Flanders has the appointment the present arrangement will be virtually unchanged. Please consider this recommendation about Supt. of Plantations, emphatic. I told you that Flanders controls him. Virtually he controls Flanders, and I have said enough when I say that his successor should be at once appointed by you, unless Howe comes here. Please remember that I have known Cozzens many years.
P. S. I have written the foregoing solely for your information. Whether you act upon it or not, please consider it confidential. My friend Mr. Hutchins is Cozzens' father-in-law, nor do I wish any diminution of our mutual good feeling. In this instance however, I have seen what influence and force family ties can have.
G. S. D.
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