assist in the earliest possible restoration of civil government. Let them participate in the measures suggested for this purpose. Opinion is free and candidates are numerous. Open hostility cannot be permitted. Indifference will be treated as crime, and faction as treason. Men who refuse to defend their country with the ballot-box or cartridge-box have no just claim to the benefits of liberty regulated by law. All people not exempt by the law of nations, who seek the protection of the Government, are called upon to take the oath of allegiance in such form as may be prescribed, sacrificing to the public good and the restoration of public peace whatever scruples may be suggested by incidental considerations. The oath of allegiance, administered and received in good faith, is the test of unconditional fealty to the Government and all its measures, and cannot be materially strengthened or impaired by the language in which it is clothed.
XXV. The amnesty offered for the past is conditioned upon an unpreserved loyalty for the future, and this condition, will be enforced with an iron hand. Whoever is indifferent or hostile must choose between the liberty which foreign lands afford, the poverty of the rebel States, and the innumerable and inappreciable blessings which our Government confers upon its people.
May God preserve the Union of the States!
By command of Major-General Banks:
GEORGE B. DRAKE,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, February 3, 1864.
Major General J. J. REYNOLDS,
Commanding Defenses of New Orleans:
GENERAL: The Second Battalion, Fourteenth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery (colored), between 500 or 600 strong, has arrived on the steam-ship Danile Webster. It was intended that this battalion should immediately join the First Battalion of the same regiment, now with General Dana, but as two contagious diseases have broken out among them (mumps and measles), the commanding general does not desire to send them among the troops in Texas until the diseases shall have run out. The battalion is therefore ordered to report to you, and the commanding general wishes it placed in a position where it can be kept well guarded and the spreading of the disease among other soldiers and citizens prevented. Perhaps some position can be found below the town or on the lake shore which will fulfill the conditions.
Very respectfully, I am, general, your obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
FRANKLIN, LA., February 3, 1864 - 11.45 a. m.
(Received 11.50 a. m.)
Chief of Staff:
A scout just in from Opelousas confirms the report I sent you on Monday as far as his knowledge goes. I omitted to state that General Kirby Smith was at Shreveport with some 3,000 or 4,000 men,