The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3

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as the District of La Fourche. A commission consisting of three army officers was to inventory all personal property in the district, set aside material needed by the army, and auction any of the remainder that did not belong to loyal owners in actual possession. Butler estimated that the district's sugar alone would bring the U.S. at least a million dollars. His order also authorized the commission to employ, for contracted wages, former slaves to work on plantations in the district. OR, ser. 1, v. 15:592-95.
Earlier, Denison had been reluctant to credit charges of impropriety against Butler and officers in his command. Chase to Butler, Oct. 29, 1862 (above); Trefousse, Ben Butler, 123.
In his next letter Chase noted simply: "Your views as to arming negro regiments and the war are entirely my own. We may be too slow but cannot be too prompt." Chase also indicated his surprise at learning of Banks's assignment to command at New Orleans. Chase had thought Banks would be put in charge of Texas; " New Orleans however needs Butler and I think between ourselves will have him again." Chase to Denison, Jan. 19, 1863 ( Denison Papers, L.C.).
Union forces had yet to eliminate two Confederate strongholds along the Mississippi River, at Port Hudson, La., and Vicksburg, Miss. Banks began to move his army toward Port Hudson in March 1863, and the Federal siege of the fortress started in May. Long, Civil War Day by Day, 299, 326, 356.
The rumors (fostered in part by Butler's staff) were meant to put pressure on Lincoln for recalling Butler, whose allies suggested him as a replacement for either Seward or Stanton in the cabinet. Trefousse, Ben Butler, 137, 291.
Andrew Jackson Hamilton, military governor of Texas. DAB, 8:183.


Letterbook copy in clerk's hand. Letters Sent to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives (C Series), General Records, Department of the Treasury ( ord Group 56), National Archives.

Treasury Department. 10. January 1863.


The Secretary of the Treasury has had the honor to receive a Resolution of the House of Representatives, adopted on the 8th. instant, inquiring: "why the Treasury Department has not, as authorized by law, provided the means necessary to pay the soldiers of the army; and also why the bonds necessary have not been sold to meet the payments due to said soldiers."2--

In reply he begs leave respectfully to state that in his judgment, he is not authorized, by existing laws, to raise the means for the purpose indicated, by practicable methods: and that the bonds referred to, namely the Five-Twenty bonds authorized by the act of last Session, have not been sold, because, they could not be sold under the limitations imposed by Congress.3--

The arrears of pay to the army at the present moment more than treble the whole amount which the Secretary is enabled to raise by the acts now existing, otherwise than by the sale of Five-Twenty bonds: and the embarrassments attending the negotiation of these have already been explained in the annual report on Finances and in a letter replying, to a former Resolution of the House concerning the pay of the


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