themselves and with very little loss of time. The place would be invested before the enemy could anticipate our movement.
The city of New Orleans is perfectly quiet, the people well disposed, and the city itself was never so cleanly nor so healthy. The negro regiments are organizing rapidly.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, 19TH A. C. Numbers 185.
New Orleans, July 30, 1863.
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III. Colonel S. b. Holabird, chief quartermaster of the department, his authorized and directed to appropriate to the use of the public schools of the city of New Orleans, as a foundation for public-school libraries, to be devoted to the exclusive use of teachers and pupils, all books and engravings suitable for this object which may come into the possession of the military authorities of the United States. The chief quartermaster of the department, the superintendent of public schools, and the judge of the military court for the time being, are hereby constituted a board for the organization of one or more public-school libraries, with authority to establish all necessary rules and regulations for their use and preservation. This order will be executed without delay.
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By command of Major-General Banks:
RICH'D B. IRWIN,
BRASHEAR CITY, LA.,
July 30, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel RICHARD B. IRWIN,
I have the honor to report everything quiet at this post; I send by dispatch boat and hand-car daily to La Fourche.
The enemy are in considerable force a few miles from here. Semmes' battery is near Pettersonville, another is a few miles beyond, and between Franklin and this point are the commands of General Green and Colonel Major. Deserters come in daily, and from them, paroled prisoners, and negroes I learn that after the fall of Port Hudson and Vicksburg, the enemy, anticipating and attack from above, hastened their cavalry and a strong artillery detachment to Vermillion Bayou, intending to make a stand at the bridge. After the occupation of berwick Bay by our gunboats, the greater part of their cavalry was sent back to cover the rear of their column. A strong picket is in plain sight on the opposite side of the bay, and small parties have several times crossed to this side through Lake Palendre. Since we have been in occupation here, a party of 15 of 20 have been seizing conscripts in our rear, not 6 miles from us, and, three night ago, 5 men were carried, tied hand and foot, across the lake. About Bayou Long these acts have been frequent. With infantry alone, I am unable to do anything. I therefore request that a detachment of cavalry, and, if convenient, a section of artillery, may be sent to this post.