tions to the troops as the occasion seemed to call for. A copy is inclosed.
An attack was made two days since upon trading vessel by guerrillas a few miles below Baton Rouge. One man was killed; 1 severely and 3 slightly wounded. Nothing was known of the movements of this vessel until the affair was over, and she had no authority to enter upon this trade on the river. I believe it to be on affair of speculators.
Reports published here as to attacks on Port Hudson are without any foundation.
We suffer very greatly from the want of cavalry. I have directed some companies to be extemporized from the infantry and hope that the Rhode Island Cavalry (two squadrons) which arrived at New York before I left may soon be here. The Forty-second Massachusetts Volunteers has been sent to Galveston Island.
The naval authorities render the heartiest co-operation, and I am greatly gratified by the course of Admiral Farragut and his associates.
We have much to do, but shall lose no time.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your most obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, December 24, 1862
To the People of Louisiana:
In order to correct public misapprehension and misrepresentation, for the instruction of the troops of this department and the information of all parties in interest, official publication is herewith made of the proclamation by the President of the United States relating to the subject of emancipation. In the examination of the document it will be observed:
I. That it is the declaration of a purpose only-the full execution of which is contingent upon an official designation by the President to be made on the 1st day of January next of the States and parts of States, if any, which are to be affected by its provisions.
II. That the fact that any State is represented in good faith in the Congress of the United States is conclusive evidence, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, that such State and the people thereof are not in rebellion against the United States.
III. That the State of Louisiana has not yet been designated by the President as in rebellion nor any part thereof, and that it has complied with all the conditions of the proclamation respecting representation.
IV. That pecuniary aid to States not in rebellion which may here-after provide for immediate or gradual emancipation, the colonization of persons of African descent elsewhere, and the compensation of all citizens who have remained loyal for all losses by acts of the United States, including slaves, are among the chief recommendations of this important paper.
It is manifest that the changes suggested therein and which may hereafter be established do not take effect within this State on the 1st of January proximo nor at any precise period which can now be designated, and I call upon all persons, of whatever estate, condition, or degree-soldiers, citizens, or slaves-to observe this material and important fact, and to govern themselves accordingly. All unusual public