War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0740 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter

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XXVII.

My headquarters remain here, and Colonel Fuller is in command. The main force of the enemy has gone to Vicksburg.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,

New Orleans, May 20, 1863.

Lieutenant General J. C. PEMBERTON,

Commanding Department of the Mississippi, Vicksburg:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 13th of March by mischance has been unanswered, much to my regret. In reference to the cargo of cotton seized by some of the troops of my command at or near Ponchatoula I have only to say the seizure was made under such circumstances that did not leave me at liberty to release it from the custody of the marshal. It will be referred to the courts for consideration, when such judgment as may be given will be followed in its final disposition. Under different circumstances I should be glad to comply with your request.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

OPELOUSAS, LA., May 21, 1862.

President DAVIS:

DEAR SIR: Orders have already been issued by my adjutant-general for the enrollment of conscripts, and notice has been given that the two camps will be at Monroe and this place; but, as I have already informed you, there will be no tents or provisions at either of them until you send provided they will have to return home. I am stripped of everything I have-guns, munitions, forces, and commissary stores.

I must express my great regret that martial law could not be declared in the parishes indicated to you. If it had been done, and the provost-marshals appointed by you, much, very much, serious trouble would have been avoided. It was not to be expected that I would ever again consent to the proclamation of martial law by General Lovell after the urgent and persistent complaints I made to you of the action of his provost-marshals, which received his silent acquiescence, if not his open approval. A part of my State is now in possession of our ruthless enemy; the remainder is a prey to internal dissension and the perils of demoralization produced by the disorganized condition of the Confederate forces, while there is not a Confederate officer in the whole State, except a single parish (Saint Helena) bordering the State Line. I have sent more than 30,000 men into the field, every one fully armed and equipped, besides emptying the arsenal I seized for the benefit of the neighboring States with my own; have clothed them since they have been there; have given all the arms I bought to Confederate troops, and have now, in this our calamity, not an officer to advise with or a man to execute on order. I beg that a general may be assigned to whatever department Louisiana may be placed in very soon.*

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*That portion of Governor Moore's letter here omitted relates to the evacuation, April 27, 1862, of Fort Quitman, Bayou Grand Caillou, La., and will be found with Major General Mansfield Lovell's report on that event, Series I, Vol. VI, p. 657.

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