War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 0537 Chapter LX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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POINTE COUPEE, May 22, 1865.

Major General N. P. BANKS:

You know full well that since the capture of Port Hudson I have offered no opposition to the United States. You also know that, notwithstanding my difference with you on the negro policy, yet I have accorded to you the highest order of statesmanship, and have defended your military career from the censures of "West Point criticism. " I know you to be honestly desirous of promoting the interest of Louisiana, and in all places, under all circumstances, I have endeavored to support and defend your administration. In my judgment this gives me the right to address you on subjects of vital interest to this State. Our young men are returning home from Confederate service. Let them take a simple oath to support the Constitution of the United States, let them go to work, and in a brief space of time they will become good citizens; the asperities growing out of the war will soften down, and their allegiance to the United States will be beyond doubt. If an oath unknown to the laws is required, or if the right of franchise is denied them, they will become so embittered that the most dangerous consequences will ensue - murder, robbery, arson, and the destruction of levees will be an every-day occurrence. No capitalist will be safe in investing in any planting operations, for the levees will be cut by persons to whom the Government denies equal privileges. Again, the front proprietor is not able to repair and build anew the levees. Levees must be kept up by the State or United States - a levee tax on all alluvial lands for that purpose. No time should be lost in beginning. If there is any delay we may look for wide-spread inundation another year. Again, plantation labor should be made certain by the enforcement of labor - some equitable mode of distributing labor, so that all may have an equal chance to hire negroes. Again, the vast number of discharged soldiers and number of Confederate soldiers which find themselves homeless, destitute, and friendless will cause bands of jayhawkers to roam over the country. Will it not be necessary to keep at certain points an armed force to put down thieving and robing until courts are established and law and order prevail? Others may think as they please. For myself, I range myself among your friends, and look to you above all other statesmen or soldiers to adopt such measures as will soonest restore a common Union sentiment among our people, restore peace and brother love among the people, and develop the agricultural interests of the State. In all frankness, I must tell you that the people here cannot respect the late Legislature or its acts. A man by the name of Watson represents Pointe Coupee, West Baton rouge, and West Feliciana in the senate. That man did not receive the vote of one citizen of either of these parishes. General Lawler, commanding the post at Morganza, held an election within his picket lines. The election was sacredly confined to the post. The people knew nothing of the holding of the election. They had no part of lot in it. Watson, who is not a citizen, is now acting as our senator, and I state to you that he has not one single constituent. General, I am your friend. I therefore write to you plainly and truly. We look it you to correct evils and oppressions that are calculated to check the growth of Union sentiments. I feel that you will do us justice; I feel that you will be on the side of the people and the country against narrow-minded bigots, whose motto is rule of ruin. Without a personal acquaintance with you I feel assured that no one in Louisiana is more your friend than myself, and if I conclude, as heretofore, to take any part in public affairs will be able to assure you how much I am interested in your future.

Very truly,

F. L. CLAIBORNE.