who ought never to have passed the surgeon's examination and come here.
Certain it is, if we admit the proposition that white men cannot be soldiers in this climate, we go very far toward asserting the dogma that white men cannot labor here, and therefore establish the necessity for exclusively black labor, which has ever been the corner-stone of African slavery.
We have heard much in the newspapers of the free-negro corps of this city organized for the defense of the South. From this a very erroneous idea may have been derived. The officers of that company called upon me the other day upon the question of the continuance of their organization and to earn what disposition they would be required to make of their arms; and in color, nay, also in conduct, they had much more the appearance of white gentleman than some of those who have favored me with their presence claiming to be the "chivalry of the South."
I have satisfied myself, if I have failed to satisfy the Department, that no military necessity exists to change the policy of the Government in this respect within my command.
I have given hurriedly admits the press of other cares some of the consideration that seem to me to bear upon the question. I only add as a fact that those well-disposed to the Union here represented that the supposed policy of the Government, as indicated by General Hunter's order, is used by our enemies to paralyze all the efforts to co-operate with us.
Reared in the full belief that slavery is a curse to a nation, which my further acquaintance with it only deepens and sides, from its baleful effects upon the master, because as under it he cannot lift the negro up in the scale of humanity thereof the negro drags him down, I have no fear that my views will be anywhere misunderstood. I only accept the fact of its present existence, "tares among the wheat," and have asked the direction of the Department, "lest while I gather up the tares I root up also the wheat with them," or shall I "let both grow together till the harvest?"
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, May 9, 1862.
Mr. J. B. G. Armand says that a boy by name of Irwin Pardon, whose services he claims, has come within your lines. The course which I have adopted in such cases is this: If I have any use for the services of such a boy I employ him without any scruple; if I have not I do not harbor him, as my subsistence would by no means serve for some many extra men that I do not need. If you have any use for him use him; if not, is he not like any other vagrant about the camp.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,