Military Adventures Beyond the Mississippi

General Banks Supercedes
General Butler

IN the fall of 1862 General Banks was ordered to New York City to take charge of an expedition being fitted out at that port. This consisted of a fleet of nearly fifty vessels, one half of them steamers, and a force of about ten thousand men. The destination of this fleet was kept a profound secret from the country. Even the officers who accompanied it were ignorant of its purpose.

“General,” said one of them to the commander, “we want to know what kind of climate we are going to, in order to know whether to provide ourselves with thick or thin clothing.

“Provide yourselves with both,” was the reply, “and then you will be sure.”

On the 15th of December this fleet arrived at New Orleans. Its object was to strengthen the military power in Louisiana, redeem the entire State from rebel control, co-operate with General Grant above, in re-opening the Mississippi River, and operate in various expeditions in the trans-Mississippi district. General Banks superseded General Butler. The latter was ordered to report at Washington. He issued on the same day a farewell address to his soldiers. His language resembled, in its terse, laconic character, the eloquence of Napoleon, whom he may almost be said to have rivaled in the vigor of his administration:

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