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    "I think but little time and effort will be required to have a loyal population in these parishes"

    [Civil War]. Thomas W. Sherman Military Report Signed "T. W. Sherman / Brig. Genl." Eleven pages, "Head Qrs. 1st Div., Dept. Gulf, Carrolton [Louisiana]," December 2, 1862, to Major George C. Strong, Assistant Adjutant General. General Sherman (not a close relative to William T. Sherman) writes this report to explain his recent movements northward from New Orleans along the Mississippi River toward Donaldson (between New Orleans and Port Hudson). He also explains reconnaissance missions, enemy positions, the loyalties of the local population ("I think but little time and effort will be required to have a loyal population in these parishes"), and his own disappointments with some of the Union military labors. At the time of this report, the Department of the Gulf was under the command of Benjamin Butler (thirteen days after this report was written, Nathaniel P. Banks replaced Butler). The Department was trying to gain control of the strategic area between Port Hudson and New Orleans - this report gives a picture of a part of that effort, which culminated in a Union victory at the Siege of Port Hudson (May 22-July 9, 1863). Docketing to the final page. The report consists of three bifoliums . Two bear a thin strip of tape along the left edge of the first page; the first has cleanly separated along the central vertical fold. Pages are mostly clean page four and five bear ink stains. The signature and text are very clean and bold. The report reads in part:

    "I sent seven companies of the 12th Maine Regt. and Read's compy. of cavalry, under the command of Major Hastings 12th Ins. to Bonnet Carre Bend - a point on, the left bank of the Mississippi river thirty miles above Carrolton - with orders to throw out strong picket at Manchae Pass on the one side, and one up the Mississippi, on the other. With his position at Bonnett Carre Bend thus securred, Maj. Hastings was directed to observe the enemy beyond the Pass, and to reconnoitre the country up as far as the highlands, with a view of discovering how far down the river the enemy had ventured their pickets, and capturing any found below the highlands, as well as to obtain and report any information of the topography of the country, and particularly all avenues of communications, that the existing maps do not convey. . . . The enemy's pickets appear to have been seen; though a few straggling guerrillas eluded their pursuit. . . . The enemy have been moving some of his forces from Ponchatoula to Port Hudson during the past few days. . . . The enemy holds Port Hudson in force and Baton Rouge is held as his advance outpost on the river. . . . [Writing about a "plank road" that lay "across the swamp at Terry's plantation - about twenty miles above Bonnett Carre Bend"] This plank road is about three miles in length, and is said to have been constructed the past summer to facilitate the forwarding of Conscripts raised in those parrishes to the camp of instruction at Ponchatoula. . . . I have directed Major Hastings to throw his regiment forward to the vicinity of the narrow neck above Terry's - to give Blind river a more thorough examination . . . and make discoveries in that direction. . . . I was absent from this post on the 26th, 27th, and 28th, and examined the country myself for about fifty up -the rear College Bend, and much of the information above is confirmed by observations. . . . The people generally seem well affected towards us - and I think but little time and effort will be required to have a loyal population in these parishes. People generally are desirous to take the oath of allegiance. . . . I am under the necessity of reporting that the movements of Read's cavalry have not been so prompt and efficient as I had reason to expect."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th Thursday
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