This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 possession of New Orleans, therefore, and a large portion of Louisiana, of great importance in a strategic point of view, was not followed by the political and commercial results which the victors had anticipated. The Federals, who did not as yet dare to attack slavery, and confined themselves to fighting the Confederate government, respected all the institutions which existed before the rebellion, believing that such a course would facilitate the return of their enemies under the common flag; but they never succeeded in reviving the cultivation of the large plantations which had constituted the wealth of Louisiana, nor in restoring real activity to the cotton trade of New Orleans. On the one hand, the bitter hostility of the population was constantly arming guerillas, who soon became common plunderers, embarrassing, by their depredations, every kind of trade and industry; on the other hand, although still legally protected by the Federal government, slavery could no longer exist by the side of the Union flag. The leaders of the rebellion had taken good care to proclaim this fact, the planters felt it, and the slaves themselves were beginning to perceive it. That unpitying employment of the blacks, which alone had formerly contributed to the large harvests of cotton, had become impossible. May we not see the decree of a higher justice in the concurrence of circumstances which prevented the Federals from reviving this odious system of labor, the real cause of the war, and led the men of the South to become themselves the most active instruments of its suppression? We left Butler making his entry into New Orleans, and we wish we could leave him at once to resume the narrative of the campaigns of the Western armies, interrupted since the battle of Shiloh; but it is impossible for us to pass by altogether in silence the proconsulate of the Massachusetts lawyer in the great city of the South. His administration has never been impartially judged, nor could it be. Political prejudice prepared in advance both accusers and defenders, equally intolerant toward the delegate of the Federal government. But the selection of the man to whom this mission was confided greatly aggravated the difficulties of the task. Amid the stern necessities of war, such a choice is either an honor or an insult to the vanquished, according to the
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.