War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0190 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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country, and that, subject to this contribution, they will be permitted to send cotton, sugar, and tobacco to the markets of New Orleans, to be sold under the supervision of the Government of the Untied States, for its own currency, and that balance retained by the proprietors or their agents. This may, at first glance, seem to be in conflict with the act of confiscation, but, upon full consideration, I am satisfied it is the best policy for the United States to pursue. It relates only to perishable property, which the owners or other persons may destroy, and which it is impossible for us to possess except by their consent and active co-operation. If all interest in this property be denied to them it will be destroyed. If a partial interest be secured to them, subject to the future recognition by the Government, it will not only be preserved, but will be transported by the people to the markets, and thus the whole world will secure the staple raw materials for its manufactures and the Government of the United States receive a revenue far greater then any other which it has derived from the resources of the enemy during the war. These two considerations--the satisfaction of the demands of foreign as well as domestic manufactures, and the financial contribution to the expenses of the war--cannot be secured except by giving to the people an interest to some extent in this property. In approaching Alexandria I shall send, if possible, agents to make known to all persons and owners and managers of steamers that, irrespective of any question of the past, I will be glad to pay a fair value for these steamers rather than to have them destroyed. Cotton, tobacco, and sugar must be treated in the same manner for the same reasons, for it cannot otherwise be controlled for the benefit of the Government.

I inclose to you the rough draft of a proclamation upon this subject, * which i propose to issue, and shall be glad to receive instructions from the Government upon this subject.

I transmit this letter to General Halleck, as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, with the request that it may be forwarded to your Department.

I have the honor to remain, with great respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., May 4, 1863.

His Excellency the GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS,

Boston, Mass.:

GOVERNOR: Understanding that several regiments of colored soldiers are being raised under your authority, I would respectfully request, if consistent with your views, that application should be made by you to the Secretary of War to have such regiments on their completion sent to this department for service.

I am happy to be able to announce to you my complete and eminent satisfaction with the results of the organization of negro regiments in this department. In the field, so far as tried, they have proved brave, active, enduring, and energetic,. frequently outrunning by their zeal and familiarity with the Southern country the restrictions

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*Not found.

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