I brought away with me, and now have under arrest, five of those who had used threats toward the men who had shown themselves favorable to the Union.
Upon full reflection and observation I find the condition of public sentiment to be this: The planters and men of property are now tired of the war, well-disposed toward the Union, only fearing lest their negroes shall not be let alone; would be quite happy to have the Union restored in all things.
The operative classes of white men of all trades are as a rule in favor of the Union. In fact this rebellion was at first inaugurated for the purpose of establishing a landed aristocracy as against the poor and middling whites, who had shown some disposition to assert their equality with the planters, and had begun to express themselves through organizations, on the basis of the Masonic order, into societies of which the South is full, of which that ritual is the pattern. This disinclination of the people to the war has required the conscription acts, so that we now have the before unheard of fact of a people professedly fighting for their liberties against oppression, and yet obliged to do so by their leaders in a most rigid conscription act. "Free conscripts" are certainly evidence of progress in terms.
I have ordered all the funds in the several banks belonging to the State of Louisiana to be sequestered and held for the disposition of the Government. They are all collected in Confederate Treasury notes, and so may not be very valuable.
By some unfortunate oversight the paymaster came down here with $285,000, too little money to pay the troops up to last May. Some of them have not been paid for six months and some not since they have been in the service-nine months; men were disheartened. The mails brought intelligence of the destitution of families. Two months' more pay came due July 1. In this emergency specie seized, and which, by the decision of a commission, was to be sent to Washington, in amount $50,000, was taken and is being paid out to the troops.
I have borrowed by pledge of personal credit and the faith of the Government $100,000 more, which will be paid out to the suffering soldiers. Major [Erie] Locke, one of the paymasters, has also been ordered to report to Washington to get funds to pay the allotment and for the July payment, which ought to be made at once. May I ask that his missing may be speeded at once. Details are given in a note to the Secretary of the Treasury, a duplicate of which is inclosed.
The question of how to feed the people of this city and the surrounding country becomes of the utmost magnitude, and to it I have given the best exertions. Owing to the impression at the North that the river was opened no flour has been shipped from Northern ports. It is now at a fabulous price. Moore's proclamation has frightened all the people from the Red River country from sending the flour here, and we are in danger of starving. Upon consultation with Colonel Turner, chief commissary of subsistence, it has been thought best to distribute gratuitously all the flour and beef we can spare, say 2,000 barrels of each.
The leading secessionists will be taxed to pay the expense, which I set down at about $75,000. It is absolutely necessary that a fast-sailing steamer, capable of containing, say 4,000 barrels of flour and beef and pork, be at once forwarded for the use of the city. Colonel Turner has made the necessary requisition for the flour-4,000 barrels.
The trustees of the Charity Hospital have resigned, but have been continued in office, as will be seen by the inclosed correspondence,