War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0556 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

indulged some hope that I was mistaken in the fact; but copies of a correspondence on the subject between General Canby and yourself, and shown me to-day, dispel that hope. A very fair proportion of the people of Louisiana have inaugurated a new State government, making an excellent new constitution, better for the poor black man than we have in Illinois. This was done under military protection directed by me, in the belief, still sincerely entertained, that with such a nucleus around which to build, we could get the state into position again sooner than otherwise. In this belief, a general promise of protection and support, applicable alike to Louisiana and other States, was given in the last annual message. During the formation of the new government and constitution, they were supported by nearly every loyal person, and opposed by every secessionist and this support and this opposition, from the respective standpoints of the parties was perfectly consistent and logical. Every Unionist ought to wish the new government to succeed and every disunionist must desire it to fail. Its failure would gladden the heart of Slidell in Europe, and of every enemy of the old flag in the world. Every advocate of slavery naturally desires to see blasted and crushed the liberty promised the black man by the new constitution. But why General Canby and General Hurlbut should join on the same side is to me incomprehensible. Of course, in the condition of things in New Orleans, the military must not be thwarted by the civil authority; but when the constitutional convention for what it deems a breach of privilege arrests and editor, in no way connected with the military, the military necessity for insulting the convention, and forcibly discharging the editor, is difficult to perceive. Neither is the military necessity for protecting the people against paying large salaries, fixed by a Legislature of their own choosing, very apparent. Equally difficult to perceive is the military necessity for forcibly interposing to prevent a bank from loaning its own money to the State. These things, if they have occurred, are at the best, no better than gratuitous hostility. I wish I could hope that they may be shown to not have occurred. To make assurance against misunderstanding, I repeat that in the existing condition of things in Louisiana, the military must not be thwarted by the civil authority; and I add that on points of difference the commanding general must be judge and master. But I also add that in the exercise of this judgment and control, a purpose, obvious and scarcely unavowed, to transcend all military necessity in order to crush out the civil government will not be overlooked.

Yours, truly,

A. LINCOLN.

BATON ROUGE, November 14, 1864.

(Received 8.55 p. m.)

Brigadier-General ANDREWS:

There will be a large cavalry force from here camp near you some time to-night, and remain in your vicinity all day.

W. P. BENTON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS, Numbers 229.

New Orleans, La., November 14, 1864.

1. The order from headquarters Military Division of West Mississippi, directing that one regiment of the Second Division, Nineteenth