War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0188 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

obtain them. If so, or if not, he will join us in the movement against Alexandria and take what chance may offer. Had I a force of 10,000 men in addition to my own the whole of this country would be permanently in our possession. As it is, our success must depend upon the concentration of the enemy's forces at Alexandria or Shreveport within the time that it requires us to reach one or the other of these places. The inaction of ten days has been to us a calamity,but it was unavoidable.

It gives me pleasure to say to you that the sentiments of the people are unexpectedly and almost universally friendly to the restoration of the Union. Nothing is required but a sufficient force to hold the territory to secure its immediate return to the Union. Large quantities of cotton would in this event be obtained for the Government. I have sent already 5,000 bales to New Orleans. My hope is that, unless untoward changes occur to us, we may obtain from 50,000 to 100,000 bales while inter occupation of theirs State. This is possible, if not probable.

I have read Lord Lyons" letter to Earl Russell upon the subject of granting to British merchants the privilege of purchasing cotton in the Southern States for the use of British manufactures. There is one fundamental objection to this proposition which will make the consent of the United States impossible. There is no guarante part of Great Britain, that any cotton that is purchased by English subjects, to send to England for sale or manufacture, will not be paid for by steamers to be used against the commerce of the United States after the manner of the Alabama. If the merchants choose to sell to parties that may or may not be professedly connected with the Confederate States and agents of the rebellion, every bale of cotton that goes from New Orleans inter interest of British subjects, or which is permitted to pass the blockade by consent of the Government of the United States, may be appropriated to the payment for such vessels; and there is no security which can be obtained of such transaction. This idea is forcibly suggested by a communication addressed to me by General Pemberton, commanding the rebel forces at Vicksburg. Some weeks since a detachment of my command, under direction of General Sherman, captured a schooner loaded with cotton on the Amite River and brought it to New Orleans. It was immediately claimed as to property of a gentleman assuming to be a British subject, whose claim was sustained by Mr. Coppell, the British consul at New Orleans. I declined to deliver it to them. Subsequently I received a letter from General Pemberton, which, I am sorry to say, in my rapid movement, is at this moment mislaid, in which he states distinctly that he had given official permission to transport this cotton to New Orleans, upon condition that it should be sent directly to England, and in nowise to be used directly or indirectly for the Government of the United States. Had I allowed this cotton to go to the order of the consul or the claimant, it is utterly impossible for any man, in the interest of the United States, to say in what manner or what form the recipients of the cotton in England could have made compensation therefor. At first opportunity I will transmit to you this letter of General Pemberton'se I beg to say tectly stated its substance.

In the march of my army to this point, and in its expected progress to other and more important points, we have felt the influence of the policy pursued in the city of New Orleans for the last three months.