AFFAIRS IN NEW ORLEANS.
OUR special correspondent, Mr.
Hamilton, keeps us supplied with illustrations of affairs in
General Banks's Department. We reproduce some
of them herewith. The cuts on the opposite page illustrate the
RETURN OF REGISTERED ENEMIES TO DIXIE.
Mr. Hamilton writes:
After about half an hour's ride,
by railway, from
New Orleans, we arrived at Port Hickok, on the
south shore of
Lake Pontchartrain, where the Lake House is
situated, at the end of the famous shell-road, the "Bloomingdale" of New
Orleans. The scene presented here was really very striking and beautiful. The
day was bright and lovely; hundreds of people—a large proportion of them gayly-dressed
ladies—had collected there, some to leave for Dixie, and others to say farewell
to those who were going. The J. D. Brown was there, rolling out its dense
volumes of smoke, and an immense array of vehicles of all sorts were
congregated. In the balconies, on the bridge, and in the large white space in
front of the Lake House, the whole place was swarming.
This was the second trip of the
kind, and, owing to its having been discovered that the first had been used as a
means for smuggling goods into Secessia, the authorities had caused it to be
published in the papers that every body—ladies included—would undergo a rigid
search. This caused no little flutter and excitement among the crinoline.
They were ushered into a separate
room, where ladies of high respectability were employed to conduct the necessary
investigation. I saw many a pretty pair of rosy lips emerge, pouting dreadfully
at having been obliged to prove whether her plump little figure owed all its
sweetness to the gifts of nature, or to sundry packages of bitter quinine
stuffed artfully about her; and whether in that cunning little envelope, so
stealthily concealed in her bosom, the balls alluded to meant fancy balls or
cannon-balls. I heard some very angry comments made upon their searching "even
the stockings of children;" but this was very natural, for a vast amount of
knowledge about infantry can be conveyed by a small slip of paper in a baby's
When we had all got on board the
T. D. Brown, at about 10 A. M., and she began to move off, the scene was really
picturesque and exciting. Such a waving of handkerchiefs, red and white scarfs,
and other secesh emblems—such adieux and kissing of hands—I never saw before. I
noticed some few weeping on the shore; but the general feeling, both on board
and on land, was one wild, open, defiant outburst of disloyalty, in which no
check whatever was put upon expressions for the rebel Government, though in the
hearing of our own officers.
"Feel humiliated?" shouted one
female from the shore.
"No, indeed!" scornfully replied
a fair one near me at the bulwarks.
"That's right, dear; never say
"I've seen him, dear: you'll be
comfortable enough," screams another in the crowd.
"Who?" asks the lady on board so
"Colonel Clark,* to be sure. Who
else did you think?"
"Give my love to all our friends,
Mary," cries an old lady.
"Yes, ma; I'm going to give my
love to every body and every
thing I meet."
So they went on, running along a
steep slip of land to keep pace with the boat, about a hundred of them, ladies
and all, scrambling through the mud, until the land coming to an abrupt stop,
they could go no farther; and they gave a parting cheer as we got out of the
basin on the broad surface of the lake.
We steered due north, right
across Lake Pontchartrain, and, entering the small Chefunctee River or Bayou,
got up to the little village called Madisonville about noon. Here we saw the
Stars and Bars flying, and the place in command of Lieutenant M. Cassetty.
Madisonville is very picturesque, the shore being covered with fine live-oak
trees, whose enormous gnarled trunks and twisted roots look as if they have been
defying the storms of centuries.
The enthusiasm and excitement of
friends and relatives meeting were, of course, only a counterpart of what we had
just seen at starting. We went ashore, but did not remain more than an hour.
There was little information of any value to be obtained, beyond the fact that
they were suffering much for many of the necessaries of life. Still, on the
surface, there was no outward show of wretchedness.
On this page we give an
POOR OF NEW ORLEANS.
There are few questions of
greater importance at present engaging the attention of General Banks than how
to find food and employment for the 30,000 poor of New Orleans.
Previous to the change of
administration in that city,
General Butler had adopted a very simple and
summary mode of overcoming this difficulty, which he often said outweighed all
the other duties of his administration. He merely levied a per-centage upon the
contributions which the rich secessionists of New Orleans had subscribed toward
the rebellion, thus compelling them to alleviate the very misery they had
Having thus raised the necessary
funds, he issued his famous Special Order No. 244, authorizing the City
Surveyor, Colonel T. B. Thorpe, to employ not less than 1000 workmen upon the
streets, levees, canals, etc., married men with families to be always preferred,
and each one to have the oath of allegiance in his pocket. By this admirable
process, 30,000 people were weekly relieved, at an average cost (for labor and
rations) of $23,000 per week; $10,000 for labor only, and $13,000 for
provisions. Out of this large number of people only 1400 were really residents
of the North; the remainder being foreigners or citizens of Louisiana and other
Southern States, and over 5000 of these were women (old and young) who had
openly acknowledged themselves to be the mothers and wives of Confederate
soldiers in actual war against us!
As soon as General Banks arrived
this policy was changed; the works on the streets were immediately suspended,
the following week on canals, and by the commencement of February the whole had
The result of this was
immediately felt. Hundreds of men of all ages and conditions collected every day
round the City Hall, from morning till night, vainly imploring employment. In
the interior of the building the scene was no less painful. Then the crowds
perpetually besieged the powerless City Surveyor, and it was in vain he assured
them that he had no longer the means of giving them aid or employment. Mothers
came there with babes in their arms, tottering old men were there also, and also
many a poor lady who—until this dreadful war broke out—had homes of comfort if
not of luxury. It is one of these scenes in the City Surveyor's office which our
artist has made the subject of his illustration.
We are glad to find, however, by
our latest advices from New Orleans, that this serious state of affairs, if not
completely removed, is now undergoing a change. The poor workmen, unable to hold
out any longer, petitioned General Banks, who received them very kindly and
promised to do all he could to assist them. He has taken steps to have 1400 men
employed upon the Government works—a measure that will go far toward removing a
source of evil that was really becoming quite alarming.
*General Banks's Chief of Staff,
who was on board, and represented in the fore-ground of our sketch.—Ed.