The first were promised some time since by General Ripley. The Parrot guns will be required immediately, and could be shipped from New York, Baltimore, or Washington.
With First and Second [Vermont], First Maine, and Fourth and Sixth Massachusetts Batteries, all of which are recruits, if there can be given to us Nims' battery at Baltimore (understood to be a well-drilled corps), these six batteries might be sufficient of field artillery for my expedition. There remain five batteries in Maine which (when mounted from dismounted cavalry regiment there) might be sent to Fortress Monroe.
The above estimate for heavy artillery provides nothing for the fort at Ship Island, which it is understood will be furnished from Tortugas by navy guns there.
It will be seen, then, that we require but one more complete field battery (six guns-12 pounder howitzer preferred) to be furnished by the Ordnance Department, as I now have guns for five, if I include Nims', which I would be glad to have done within ten days.
I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW ENGLAND,
Boston, February 12, 1862.
The Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:
SIR: I have the honor to report that as fast as possible the troops and supplies are being dispatched to the Gulf.
The Eighth New Hampshire embarks to-morrow. The transportation for the remainder is in such progress that I hope to get all but two regiments off next week.
I propose to have 3,000 men sail on Tuesday next; one of the steamers to take me up at Fortress Monroe, where we are to get some ordnance stores. By taking the rail I can gain time enough to meet the ship there, and visit Washington for my final instructions, if you think that desirable.
In this connection I desire to call attention to the fact, but not complainly, that I have as yet received no written instructions or information in regard to the details of the expedition, a memorandum of which I gave to the Commanding General, to which was kind enough to signify his approval except to the number of light batteries. I presume, in the press of more important matters, these details may have been overlooked. Fearing, however, that the memorandum may be mislaid, and, in order to refer to it, a duplicate is sent herewith.
I desire to be informed as to the disposition of the Seventeenth Massachusetts and Fifth New York and Nims' battery, which were to be detached from Major-General Dix's division at Baltimore and sent to Fortress Monroe. When will they be at the fortress and what are their numbers, so that I may prepare transportation for man and horse? Very early knowledge is needed upon this topic. Also a detail of signal officers for the service. I should like six at least, and could take them up at Fortress Monroe.
The preparation immediately of two light-draught steamers is an imperative necessity.
I have to thank the Commanding General and Ordnance Department for the battery of Parrot guns so promptly ordered.
I must again call attention to the Maine Cavalry Regiment-if I am to