HEADQUARTERS DEFENSES OF NEW ORLEANS,
June 1, 1863.
General THOMAS, Adjutant-General, U. S. Army:
I have the honor to inclose you a correspondence between Captain Marivault, the commander of the French naval forces, and myself. It will be seen I have accepted the generous proposition of the French commander, and his surgeons are now actually engaged in the work of dressing our wounded.
It has occurred to me that the authorities at Washington might desire to make some official acknowledgment of this act through the foreign department, and I take the liberty of sending information of it direct to the Department, as the commanding general is now absent in the field.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
W. H. EMORY,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, June 19, 1863.
[Honorable WILLIAM L. DAYTON:]
SIR: The Secretary of War has submitted to the President a correspondence which has lately been held between Viscount de Marivault, captain of the French corvette La Tisiphone, and William H. Emory, the general in command of the United States military forces at New Orleans, on the occasion of a tender by the former and an acceptance by the latter of the services of the medical men of the French vessel for the care and relief of the sick and wounded soldiers of the United States.* The President is deeply affected by this generous and humane conduct on the part of the French officers on the occasion thus made known to him, and he has requested me to communicate his high appreciation of it to the Government of His Imperial Majesty. I am unable, however, to find for the performance of this duty any language more just and natural than that which General Emory has employed in his letter which closes the correspondence to which I have referred. I have, therefore, to request you to place a copy of this letter in the hands of Mr. Drouyn de l'Huys, and inform him that it gives a just expression of the sentiments of the President of the United States on an occasion which he is sure will be regarded as an incident in the present unhappy civil war equally interesting in its character and honorable to the French people.
I am, &c.,
WM. H. SEWARD,
[Secretary of State.]
Donaldsonville, June 19, 1863.
[Major General N. P. BANKS:]
GENERAL: I arrived at Plaquemine at 8 p. m., hearing all the way that both Donaldsonville and Plaquemine were in the possession of the enemy; that they had a force of 2,000 infantry and 600 cavalry, and many field pieces; all of which I found to be false.
*See Secretary of War to Secretary of State, June 18, p. 569.