This Week in the Civil War - 696

Nov 7, 2013

While he was no doubt pleased with the initial success of General Nathaniel Banks’ invasion of South Texas, on Thursday, November 5, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln wrote Banks, expressing his personal disappointment that a constitutional government had not yet been established in Union occupied Louisiana and urged Banks to “lose no more time” in returning to New Orleans from South Texas so he could establish a Unionist, Louisiana state government. 

Mindful of Louisiana’s black population the president acknowledged that such a government had to “be for and not against” the slaves relative to the question “of their permanent freedom.”  Clearly Lincoln’s priority since the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation over a year earlier was to insure a process of procuring permanent freedom for blacks in the American South.