some changes in conditions of service. For example, there are no more loyal men in the country than the Union men of Texas, and no men so terribly embittered against the principles of secession and the leaders of the rebel army. But it is impossible to get these men to participate in the struggle in which we are engaged excepting for a reclamation of Texas. Every man looks to that end, and is unwilling to labor for any other. It will be very unwise for the Government to reject these men upon that ground. There are also numerous deserters from the rebel army, without means of support for themselves or families, who would gladly take service in our army. But it is impossible for them to do so, because, in the event of capture, to which all soldiers are liable, their fate would be that of deserters. We could not claim for them the immunities of the soldiers of the United States. These organizations open a door for them. From these two sources I hope to obtain from 4,000 to 5,000 men.
I cannot too strongly recommend to the consideration of the Government the fact that the amalgamation of the people of the rebel States with the army of the Union will be the first and the strongest proof of the restoration of the Government. This offers also an opportunity for stating more distinctly than it has been stated the true position of foreign citizens, and to declare that those who remain here, without intention to support the Government in its hour of trial, and seek to share the profits of re-established trade and the advantages of well-ordered society, which are the results of our victories, remain here by the favor and clemency of the Government and not of right.
I have the honor to be, with high respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, October 16, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of September 28, with accompanying memoranda of the movements of the enemy in Arkansas and the northern part of Louisiana.
The position of my forces at the present time, between Vermillionville and Opelousas, will preclude the operations contemplated by them on the Mississippi, as, from the mouth of the Red River, we shall cover it completely, and, as we move north, our protection will be extended above. The importance of Shreveport, as represented, is very great, and it confirms representations made to us. I had the strongest possible desire to reach Shreveport when in Alexandria in May, but the necessity of operations on the Mississippi prevented it.
There has been no such reaction in the public mind of this section as is represented to have existed upon the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson. They have been depressed rather than stimulated by such effects.
I have also the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 30th September, by the river mail of yesterday. It was never our intention to make Sabine City the base of operations, but only to effect a landing at that point, or on the coast below. Had we been successful, I should have in ten days an army of 20,000 at Houston,