War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0505 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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channels of trade constantly flow between it and the country, freighted with the every-day transactions of all classes of our citizens, thus binding our urban and rural populations together by the strong bands of mutual dependence and reciprocal benefit.


A state of public war, resulting in the armed occupancy of New Orleans by the enemy, changes these relations. There cannot be a war for arms and a peace for trade between two people at the same time. The armed occupants of that city are our enemies. To each loyal citizen of Louisiana and of the Confederacy every citizen of the country hostile to us in an enemy. We cannot barter our produce for theirs. We cannot exchange our corn, cattle, sugar, or cotton for their gold. We have no right even to pay money that was owing to the citizens of the now-hostile States before the war. Absolute non-intercourse-the entire suspension of communication by visit or trade-is the only safe rule for our guidance. It is a rule recognized as imperative by all writers on public law and universally administered by the authorities of nations at war.


Nor is it prudent to hold communication with citizens of any portion of our territory temporarily occupied by the enemy.

However much we may deplore their misfortunes, we must not permit these to be made the instruments for our further damage. The only proper and permissible manner in which we can communicate with the enemy or those under his control who are within his lines is under a flag of truce.

Communication with New Orleans since its armed occupation has been almost unrestrained, save by the fears of those who desired, from motives either of gain or curiosity, to enter the lines of the enemy.

This communication must cease and at once. It is well known that the general commanding the invading army opposes no obstacle to the ingress of any of our citizens into New Orleans, but invariable attaches to the passport for egress the statement "This pass is given upon the parole of honor of the holder that he will in no way give information, countenance, aid, or support to the so-called Confederate Government or States." This cunningly devised trap to catch the unsuspicious visitor was expected to trammel him in the rendition of those services which his country demands. No parole is ever taken when these passports are delivered-none ever required. This condition is inserted in the passport without notification to the applicant that it is to be required, in the belief that the apparent tacit consent of the receiver to a condition thus sneakingly sought to be foisted upon him would be held binding in morals and in conscience. At first the passports were received unsuspectingly and without knowledge of the characteristic trickery contained in this clause, but it is now well known that none are given without it.


Whoever, therefore, now voluntarily places himself in the power of the enemy by entering their lines throws a shade upon his loyalty to his Government. The possession of a passport containing the clause