War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 1100 W. FLA., S.ALA.,S.MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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even those of neighborhood physicians, was not able to obtain more than 100, leaving scarcely nothing for the service of the people. I also ask your attention to the other official statements as to the extent and character of our transportation. I do not know what has become of the horses and mules that formerly stocked the plantations. With the exception of a few blooded animals of high value, and held for sale by the Government, the horses have all disappeared, and the mules are insufficient for a partial cultivation of the soil. Admiral Reynand, of the French navy, upon my arrival here, applied for permission to ship mules to Mexico, representing that it had been understood by the commander of the French navy that they could be obtained here, and very pressing applications were made upon me by contractors for permission to ship 500 mules from this port to Mexico. Application was again made yesterday for this purpose by the intendant of the French army and the consul of France. I declined these several requests, for the reasons stated herein. A copy of my answer to the last application is inclosed. The water transportation is quite as deficient for the purpose of the army. We have constant calls for transports and dispatch vessels in the Gulf, from Pensacola to the Rio Grande (where our positions are constantly threatened), on the Mississippi, and upon the numerous bayou, bays, and lakes that intersect every part of the State, and the occupation of all of which are indispensable to the defense of this city, not to speak of more extend military operations, which are especially incumbent upon me, or the private commerce which is necessary to supply the people with food and to bring their products to market, and yet, after the inland navigation, and seizing for the Government all vessels adapted to use, we have but twelve or fourteen steamers for all this service, five or six of which are only adapted to the interior navigation, to which at this moment our most important military movements are limited. A list of these vessels, with a statement of their draught and capacity as transports, one of which is detained at a cost of $1,200 per day, is inclosed. With the increase of trade which has occurred in the last two months, the number will soon be increased by private enterprise, but it does not answer our present imperative demand. I do not understand how, with the occupation of this extent of coast and inland navigation, there should be such a most remarkable deficiency of vessels suitable to the public service, unless it be that the trade has been committed to few hands, and the increase of the number of vessels has interfered with that monopoly. I desire the Government to understand that my requisition upon the country for everything of service to the army has been, and will be, most and exacting. Nothing has been taken from the people to benefit the individuals of my command when I could help it, but nothing has been left them which would benefit or strengthen the public service beyond what absolute necessity demanded; and I am happy to be able to say that no people ever did, or ever could, acquiesce more cheerfully in the demands made from them. In another communication I have referred to military topics. Be assured, general, that I appreciate deeply, the difficulties and the necessities of the Government, and that I shall not fail in performing my duty so far as it lies in my power, and that I shall readily and cheerfully acquiesce in any measure that may be deemed for the good of the public service.

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your most obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.