is not likely they will be needed more than twelve months, but I have named three years of there be no objection. Some term of service should be specified.
EDWIN. M. STANTON.
CLEVELAND, OHIO, April 18, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
I wish to call out a regiment for sixty days, ten relieve it by another, alternative every sixty days, so long as the service may be needed, the transportation in alternating to be paid by the State. Will this be acceptable? I will keep a regiment on duty all the time until otherwise ordered.
NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 19, 1864.
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:
MY DEAR COLONEL: Please say to Mr. Stanton that when the President sent me in double-quick from Kentucky to take charge of the plantation system I found all along the river great confusion; everything at odds and ends, and the opposes of the system for the proper employment of the poor blacks glad of it. I saw immediate action was necessary, and that the strong military power must be exerted to bring order out of chaos. I went to work with all the vigor I possessed, and, not wishing to show any one that least ground for believing that the Departments were in the slightest degree inharmonious, I put the whole matter in the hands of the Treasury, after making necessary changes, and determined to carry it on under my military supervision. I desired to give it the sanction, and used the Secretary of War's name. I paid a compliment for the very reason stated - a desire for uniformity - though really the system is mine and not so perfect. Mellen's and Yeatman's regulations were beautiful in theory, but utterly impracticable. Think of the negroes, who never hitherto provided for themselves, being required to feed themselves - simply a license to run all over the country stealing. I rapidly provided some military protection and gave confidence to the lessees. I shall keep the inspectors on the river.
My business in constantly increasing, and it is already enormous. I no sooner leave one place than my presence is called for at another, to pull the darken out of the wood-pile - i.e, correct abuses.
I am happy to say I keep my health, thanks to Divine Providence, for there is my sure hope and trust, and with this blessing I can go forward in the path of duty cheerfully and hopefully.
There has been a terrible gloom over this city, and notwithstanding what we hear from the Red River, does not seem to dispel it. There has been a most sanguinary battle fought, and, whilst we have repulsed the enemy, it is evident we feel back miles and miles, and our forward movement is checked. By criminal neglect somewhere we were hampered with a large train and the surplus artillery, both of which we lost. The former may be a blessing, for we move as did the Eastern hosts. We have been three years in the war and have