HEADQUARTERS DEFENSES OF NEW ORLEANS,
March 28, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of the Gulf:
SIR: I have the honor to bring to the notice of the commanding general the following points, which I deem to have an influence upon the defenses of New Orleans:
1st. Many persons are daily brought in by our outer pickets as having arrived from across the lines. This number is getting to be quite large.
2nd. Some of these express a willingness to take the oath and do so. Some of the others, after first refusing to do so, submit to the oath as soon as they find that to be the only condition on which they can be allowed to go at large. Others, and a large number, claim to be foreign subjects, and sometimes have in their possession the certificate of some consul that they are such, although many of them have been residents of the country for a series of years.
3rd. That I believe that many of these persons, whatever their professions, are a species of spies.
4th. Consequently I take the liberty to recommend that an order be issued prohibiting any person from being passed within the lines without a pass from the commanding general or provost-marshal-general, unless they are willing to take the oath of allegiance to the United States Government in good faith.
As to foreign subjects, I do not believe that the position they claim as foreign subjects entitles them to pass and repass our lines without special permission in all cases; and if the commanding general agrees with me in this point I recommend that they be prohibited from coming into our lines altogether.
All improper persons thus coming to our outposts should be sent back by the way and conveyance in which they came, without being allowed to enter the city or proceed any distance within the lines. A general order prohibiting persons or transports from bringing such persons would be a sufficient apology for ordering the transports back with such persons.
5th. We are carrying on a desperate war for the salvation of the Union; the Confederates are doing the same for the destruction of the Union. We have no worse enemies than the inhabitants of Louisiana and Mississippi across the lakes. Why then should we feed them and clothe them in any degree?
I earnestly recommend that no transport hereafter be permitted to cross the lakes unless in the public employ. That I am sure is the only mode to put a stop to all traffic on those shores. If the Confederates there are suffering for food and clothing let them acknowledge their proper allegiance; but to trample upon our flag and at the same time to ask favors of us is an incongruity.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. W. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Orleans, March 29, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army:
SIR: Since the date of my No. 8, of the 27th instant, another brigade of Grover's division has been reported as arrived at Donaldsonville, and