HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, No. 25.
New Orleans, May 9, 1862.
The deplorable state of destitution and hunger of the mechanics and working classes in this city has been brought to the knowledge of the commanding general.
He has yielded to every suggestion made by the city government, and ordered every method of furnishing food to the people of New Orleans that government desired. No relief by those officials has yet been afforded. This number does not pinch the wealthy and influential leaders of the rebellion, who have gotten up this war and are now endeavoring to procedure it without regard to the starving poor, the working man, his wife and child. Unmindful of their suffering fellow-citizens at home, they have caused or suffered provisions to be carried out of the city for Confederate service since the occupation by the United States forces.
Lafayette Square, their home of affluence, was made the depot of stores and ammunition war for the rebel armies, and not of provisions for their poor neighbors. Striking hands with the vile, the gambler, the idler, and the ruffian, they have destroyed the sugar and cotton, which might have been exchanged for food for the industrious and good, and regarded the price of that which is left by discreting the very currency they had furnished, while they eloped with the specie, as well that stolen from the United States as the bands, the property of the good people of New Orleans, thus leaving them to ruin and starvation.
Fugitives from justice many of them, and others their associates staying because too puerile and insignificant to be objects of punishment by the clement Government of the United States.
They have betrayed their country; they have been false to every trust; they have shown themselves incapable of defending the State they had seized upon, although they have forced every poor man's child into their service as soldiers for that purpose, while they made their sons and nephews officers.
They cannot protect those whom they have ruined, but have left them to the mercies and assassinations of the chronic mob.
They will not feed those whom they are starving.
Mostly without property themselves, they have plundered, stolen, and destroyed the means of those who had property, leaving children penniless and old age hopeless.
Men of Louisiana, workmen, property-holders, merchants, and citizens of the United States, of whatever nation you have had birth, how long will you uphold tense flagrant wrongs and by inaction suffer yourselves to be made the serfs of these leaders?
The United States have sent land and naval forces here to fight and subdue rebellious armies in array against her authority. we find substantially only fugitive masses, runaway property-burness, a whisky-drinking mob, and starving citizens, with their wives and children. It is our duty to call back the first, to punish the second, root out the third, feed and protect the last.
ready only for war, we had not prepared ourselves to feed the hungry and relieved the distressed with provisions. But to the extent possible within the power of the commanding general it shall be done.
he has captured a quantity of beef and sugar intended for the rebels in the field. A thousand barrels of these will be distributed among the deserving poor of this city, from whom the rebels had plundered