had been instructed that no privileges would be given to any party whatever, under any circumstances, to trade in, to dispose of, or to transport private property; that all property that came down from that country, so far as the army was concerned, would be turned over to him, and, by him, to the proper Treasury officers. The same information was given to the Treasury agent. No permission was given to any person to accompany the army, except upon these express conditions; and then only to persons whose public position seemed to be a full guarantee against abuse of the privilege, and when requests could not properly be refused. They were given to reporters of the public press, and to prominent officers of States, whose troops were in the field. Upon representations made by officers of the Treasury Department at Alexandria that there would be difficulty in receiving such property except under the Treasury regulations of the twenty-sixth of January, 1864, those regulations were officially promulgated for that purpose at Alexandria and at New Orleans. These orders were strictly enforced by all officers connected with or representing the army. There was no permission whatever given to any person to trade, to dispose of, or transport private property; no privilege of this kind was recognized under any circumstances. Every dollar's worth of property that came into the hands of the army during this campaign was either appropriated to its use in kind by the proper officers of the Commissary and Quartermasters Departments, receipts being given therefor, or transmitted to the Chief Quartermaster at New Orleans, and by him turned over to the Treasury agents, to be disposed of according to the laws of Congress and the orders of the government. When cotton or other property interfered with the transportation of any material of the army, or of refugees, negroes, or troops, upon the evacuation of the country, it was thrown from the boats, and abandoned upon the river levee, to the enemy. I intend this statement to be as comprehensive upon the subject as language can make it, and to cover all possible methods, direct or indirect, by which officers or citizens, public or private parties, or any persons whatever, could evade or violate these orders on the river or at New Orleans, or appropriate by any means public or private property to private uses, or personal advantages, or to deprive the government, or individuals, of any property, which by any interpretation of military orders, or public laws, could be considered as belonging justly and properly to them. General Grover, commanding the post, Colonel S. B. Holabird, Chief Quartermaster at New Orleans, and Honorable B. F. Flanders, Supervising Special Agent Treasury Department, will be able to account to the government for public or private property coming into their hands during this campaign. I was engaged upon the Gulf Coast, hoping, by the capture of Galveston and Mobile, to put my command in readiness for an effective cooperation, by Mobile and the Alabama River, with General Sherman, precisely in accordance with the campaign suggested by the Lieutenant-General commanding the armies, in his despatches of the fifteenth and thirty-first of March, when I received instructions to communicate with the Admiral and the general officers commanding the fleet, and forces of the Upper Mississippi, upon the subject of the campaign against Shreveport. I immediately complied with these orders. They had received similar instructions, and in answer to my communications expressed their readiness and desire to enter upon the campaign. With the forces proposed, and the cooperation of the fleet, its success was reasonably certain; under such circumstances, I could not decline cooperation with them. I at once abandoned all other enterprises, and gave my whole attention to this service. The first difficulty encountered was in the navigation of the river. Sixteen (16) days' delay caused by the inability of the fleet to pass the Rapids at Alexandria, and three days delay at Grand Ecore in awaiting the rise of the river, enabled the enemy to concentrate his forces, and rendered impossible that celerity of movement by the army which the success of the expedition demanded. Eight days of the delay at Alexandria would have been attributable to the tardy organization of Franklin's command; but the fleet was unable to pass the falls until eight days after his arrival at Alexandria. This delay was doubtless owing to the impracticable navigation of the river; but it is not improper to say that the forecast and diligence which are enforced upon all men in the daily affairs of life would have forbidden an attempt to force a fleet of so much importance to the free navigation of the Mississippi to a point from which it could never hope to escape, except upon the theory that the river ought to or might rise. The movement of the navy, in a despatch of Rear Admiral D. D. Porter, to which the Secretary of the Navy has given official publication and sanction, is attributed to the “request” of General Banks, who “deemed the cooperation of the gunboats so essential to success, that he (Porter) had to run some risks and make unusual exertions to get them over the falls.” This implies that the responsibility of his action rests upon the army; but it is not consistent with the facts. The cooperation of the navy was an indispensable condition and basis of the expedition. Major-General Halleck informed me, January eleventh, that he had been assured by the Navy Department, that Admiral Porter would be prepared to cooperate with the army in its movements, and the Admiral himself informed me, February twenty-sixth, that he was “prepared to ascend Red River with a large fleet of gunboats,” and to cooperate with the army at any time when the water was high enough. The fleet was as necessary to the campaign as the army. Had it
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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