A third proposition which I have to make upon this subject covers, with the two preceding, the whole question of cotton trade, which is to allow the importation from beyond the lines of the army of cotton belonging to private parties, which is not, and has not been, owned by the rebel Government, for sale in American markets; one-third of the quantity of cotton in kind, or its proceeds in interest-bearing bonds of the United States, to be held by the Government officers until the Government at Washington shall be satisfied that it can be used for no hostile purposes, and shall order its payment to the individuals who may deposit it for that purpose. I am informed that if these three propositions can be carried into effect that from 200,000 to 300,000 bales of cotton can be brought into the market, and that a greater part of the whole can, in the way I have specified, be appropriated to the use of the Government of the United States as a means of carrying on the war. It will not assist, but, on the contrary, weaken the enemy; it will not diminish, but facilitate and strengthen our operations against the enemy.
The Government will be represented by the quartermaster, who will be obliged to render full accounts of all the details of the transaction, both of the money reserved for the Government and of the individuals to whom that portion not reserved for the Government is paid; and this money will be turned over to the Assistant Treasurer of the United States as it is received. I am unable to perceive that there is any danger or opportunity for disreputable proceedings on the part of the officers of the Government, or that it will in any way compromise its honor; and I recommend the approval of these measures, or, in the event of disapproval, ask that early information may be given to me upon the subject for my guidance.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
STATE OF CONNECTICUT, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Norwich, February 2, 1864.
Colonel JAMES B. FRY,
SIR: I have the honor to inclose to you a resolution of the General Assembly of this State, passed at its recent session, approved January 15, 1864, and to say that in carrying out the wishes of the Assembly, expressed in that resolution, I would ask your attention to your communication of the 3rd of December, 1863,* to Major D. D. Perkins, acting assistant provost-marshal- general of this State, and by him communicated to this department, covering a copy of your letter to Messrs. Bell and Bogart,+ and stating that "the principles therein announced will, so far as they may be applicable, govern with regard to the State of Connecticut." In your communication to Messrs. Bell and Bogart, to which I would refer you, you made use of the following language:
First. That quotas be apportioned to towns and wards in the several Congressional Districts in the State of New York, and that assurance be given to such towns and wards as may furnish their full quota of volunteers, under the recent call of the President for 300,000 men, that they will be exempt from the pending draft, should one be rendered necessary in January next.
Second. That the several towns and wards receive credit for all such volunteers
* See Vol. III, this series, p. 1116.
+ Ibid., p. 1108.