War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0809 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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strained every point to make out a case of disrespect, while I constantly disclaimed for myself and the military authorities of the department any such attempt. He insisted upon calling testimony to prove the points admitted in open court by me, and although I represented that my time at that moment was valuable, and my absence from duty in my office was of so much detriment to the course of business, that only a desire to show perfect respect to the court could have induced me to be present myself even for a quarter of an hour, I was detained there two hours, and made to listen to a long argument from the district attorney, in the endeavor to fabricate a case of contempt. The honorable judge dismissed the case, after administering a long reprimand to me for my ignorance of the law and apparent desire to override the civil authority.

I made no answer, either to the long argument of the district attorney or the reprimand of the judge, being quite content, so far as the public service was concerned, that my action had caused the re-enforcements to go forward to the commanding general without any loss of time due to my action or want of action. I am constrained to say that the whole affair produced upon my mind the impression that the judge, district attorney, and marshal seemed more anxious to maintain a false appearance of maintaining dignity and making newspaper reputation for courage and eloquence than to strengthen and support the military power of the country, and to contribute to military success now so necessary to the country.

So strongly was this impression upon me, that had the commanding general himself been present, I should have feet myself constrained to advise him to ship the whole court to Washington.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.


November 19, 1863.

Colonel W. O. FISKE, Commanding at Donaldsonville:

COLONEL: A battery or two batteries of field artillery will sail for Donaldsonville to-morrow morning.

Send by telegraph all reports you can get from Plaquemine. Advise the commanding officer there from me to intrench strongly and establish signals with the gunboat. Keep up couriers between yourself and him with regularity, and report all you hear. Reconnoiter well to the west and northwest.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.


November 19, 1863.

Major General N. P. BANKS,

Commanding Department of the Gulf, in the Field:

GENERAL: I had the honor to report yesterday by the steamer Nathaniel P. Banks, which sailed from Brashear with a light load of subsistence stores. She would not have been safe in a sea-way with heavy load.