out the various rebel secret associations here, which overawe the Union men, and give expression to the feelings of the mob by assassination and murder, and usurping the functions of government when a government was here pretended to. I propose to make some brilliant examples.
I take leave to suggest whether it might not be well to send to this point or Mobile a large force by which to operate on the rebel rear, so as to cut him off completely.
I send this dispatch by Colonel Deming, a gentleman known to you, who is possessed of my confidence, and will present to you some matters of interest more at length than could be done in this form of communication. I desire, however, to add urgently to anything he may say that there is an immediate necessity for a paymaster here. As well for the spirit, health, and comfort of the troops, I have established the strictest quarantine at the proper point (the quarantine grounds), and hope to preserve the present good health of my command. I hope my action will meet the approval of the President and the Department of War. Much of it has been done in the emergencies called for by a new and untried state of things, when promptness and movement were more desirable than deliberation. I await with anxiety instructions from the Department for my guidance in the future.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
The SECRETARY OF WAR.
Numbers 2. Report of Brigadier General John W. Phelps, U. S. Army, of the occupation of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.
TRANSPORT SHIP NORTH AMERICA, Mississippi River, April 30, 1862.
SIR: In compliance with General Orders, April 24, 1862, from your headquarters, received at the mouth of the river, to take possession of Forts Saint Philip and Jackson, with the Thirtieth Massachusetts and Twelfth Connecticut, I proceeded up to the Head of the Passes on the 25th instant, and joined those two regiments. All the mortar boats, steamboats, and sail vessels below the forts had already gone or were going down towards the Southwest Pass, except a few gunboats, which anchored just ahead of us.
I informed Commander Porter on the 26th, who was then at the Head of the Passes, of my readiness to occupy the forts, and directed Lieutenant Hall, my aide, to offer him any assistance that I could render.
The commander returned to the forts on the 27th. On the morning of the 28th he sent word by Captain Baldwin, of the gunboat Clifton, that the forts were about to surrender. As the wind was then favorable, I directed the North America, with the Thirtieth Massachusetts, Read's cavalry, and Manning's battery, under Colonel Dudley, to set sail, Captain Baldwin assisting to tow her, and sent word to Colonel Deming, with the Twelfth Connecticut, on board the Farley, to follow us. Our progress with sail vessels against the current of the Mississippi, swollen to its fullest height, was, as may readily be conceived, not rapid. On our way we observed suddenly, in the direction of the forts,