Doc. 29.-the destitution of New-Orleans.
General Butler's proclamation.
headquarters Department of the Gulf, New-Orleans, May 9, 1862.General orders, No. 25. The deplorable state of destitution and hunger of the mechanics and working classes in this city has been brought to the knowledge of the Commanding General. He has yielded to every suggestion made by the city government, and ordered every method of furnishing food to the people of New-Orleans that that government desired. No relief by those officials has yet been afforded. This hunger does not pinch the wealthy and influential, the leaders of the rebellion, who have gotten up this war, and are now endeavoring to prosecute it, without regard to the starving poor, the working man, his wife and child. Unmindful of their suffering fellow-citizens at home, they have caused or suffered provisions to be carried out of the city for the confederate service since the occupation by the United States forces. Lafayette square, their home of affluence, was made the depot of stores and munitions of war for the rebel armies, and not of provisions for their poor neighbors. Striking hands with the vile, the gambler, the idler and the ruffian, they have destroyed the sugar and cotton which might have been exchanged for food for the industrious and good, and regrated the price of that which is left, by discrediting the very currency they had furnished while they eloped with the specie, as well that stolen from the United States as the banks, the property of the good people of New-Orleans, thus leaving them to ruin and starvation. Fugitives from justice many of them, and others, their associates, staying because too puerile and insignificant to be objects of punishment by the clement government of the United States. They have betrayed their country. They have been false to every trust. They have shown themselves incapable of defending the State they have seized upon, although they have forced every poor man's child into their service as soldiers for that purpose, while they made their sons and nephews officers. They cannot protect those whom they have ruined, but have left them to the mercies and assassinations of a chronic mob. They will not feed those whom they are starving. Mostly without property themselves, they have plundered, stolen and destroyed the means of those who had property, leaving children penniless and old age hopeless. Men of Louisiana, workingmen, property-holders, merchants and citizens of the United States, of whatever nation you may have had birth, how long will you uphold those flagrant wrongs, and by inaction suffer yourselves to be made the serfs of these leaders? The United States has sent land and naval forces here to fight and subdue rebellious armies in array against her authority. We find, substantially, only fugitive masses, runaway property-owners, a whisky-drinking mob and starving citizens with their wives and children. It is our duty to call back the first, to punish the second, root out the third, feed and protect the last. Ready only for what we had not prepared ourselves, to feed the hungry and relieve the distressed with provisions. But to the extent possible within the power of the Commanding General it shall be done. He has captured a quantity of beef and sugar intended for the rebels in the field. A thousand barrels of those stores will be distributed among the deserving poor of this city from whom the rebels had plundered it; even although some of the food will go to supply the craving wants of the wives and children of those now herding at Camp Moore and elsewhere, in arms against the United States. Captain John Clark, Acting Chief Commissary of Subsistence, will be charged with the execution of this order, and will give public notice of the place and manner of distribution, which will be arranged as far as possible so that the unworthy and dissolute will not share its benefits. By command of Major-General Butler,
Geo. C. Strong, Assistant Adjutant-General, Chief of Staff.