War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0690 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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

New Orleans, August 17, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief, U. S. Army:

GENERAL: I think it my duty to represent that among the French residents of this city there is evidently an expectation of some assistance from the Government of France. This comes informally from the conversation of the French residents here, but too frequently to leave room for doubt that they have some reason upon which to ground the remarks that are commonly made. This is undoubtedly the conversation of the officers of the French frigate Catinet, which was recently arrived at this port. I do not think that it is more than mere surmise on their part, but have thought it worth while to direct the provost-marshal-general of the department to investigate the subject and to report the facts as they are, of which I will give you due notice.

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

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

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

New Orleans, August 17, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief, U. S. Army:

GENERAL: The departure of many regiments of nine-months' troops, and the organization of many regiments of the Corps d'Afrique, with a large number of detachments occupying outposts, and the sick in the hospitals, confuse somewhat the statements embraced in the monthly report of the 31st July. I shall, in a day or two, as soon as an exact statement can be prepared, give you a better idea of our forces here than can be obtained from the examination of that report. Our effective force of white troops does not exceed 10,000 or 12,000. I am reluctant to call upon you for re-enforcements from the north, but if these regiments could be filled by men obtained by the draft or conscription, it would aid us very much indeed. I am very confident that the authorities of most of the States would be glad to send to this department.

If we expect to succeed in the movements referred to in my dispatches of this date, it will be indispensable that our military force should be increased beyond what can be obtained by the enrollment of negroes. The letter addressed to the President, a copy of which I send to you,* as well as the reference to this subject in my dispatch addressed to you, will show what we have done in this respect. I can assure the Government that nothing will be omitted that is calculated to strengthen this arm of the service, but before we can successfully organize the negroes of this country we must obtain control of the States where they are by means of white troops.

The want of cavalry is the greatest deficiency we suffer. It is indispensable in any movement in Texas that we should be strong in this arm. All the Texas troops are mounted men; their movements are rapid, and their concentration effective and powerful. We must meet them in the same way, and I earnestly urge upon the Government the necessity of strengthening us in that arm. We also want horse

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* See p. 688.

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