War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0695 Chapter XVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

secure; and it is recommended that on the upward passage a few heavy guns and some troops be left at the Pilot Station (at the forks of the river), to cover a retreat in the event of a disaster. The troops and guns will of course be removed as soon as the forts are captured. Should the Navy fail of reduce the works, you will land your forces and siege train, and endeavor to breach the works, silence their guns, and carry them by assault.

The next resistance will be near the English Bend, where there are some earthen batteries. Here it may be necessary for you to land your troops to co-operate with the naval attack, although it is more than probable that the Navy, unassisted, can accomplish the result. If these works are taken, the city of New Orleans necessarily falls. In that event it will probably be best to occupy Algries with the mass of your troops; also the eastern bank of the river above the city. It may be necessary to place some troops in the city to preserve order; but if there appears sufficient Union sentiment to control the city, it may be best, for purposes of discipline, to keep your men out of the city.

After obtaining possession of New Orleans it will be necessary to reduce all the works guarding its approaches from the east, and particularly to gain the Manchac Pass. Baton Rouge, Berwick Bay, and Fort Livingston will next claim your attention. A feint on Galveston may facilitate the objects we have in view. I need not call your attention to the necessity of gaining possession of all the rolling stock you can on the different railways and of obtaining control of the roads themselves. The occupation of Baton Rouge by a combined naval and land force should be accomplished as soon as possible after you have gained New Orleans. Then endeavor to open your communication with the northern column by the Mississippi, always bearing in mind the necessity of occupying Jackson, Miss., as soon as you can safely do so, either after or before you have effected the junction. Allow nothing to divert you from obtaining full possession of all the approaches to New Orleans. When that object is accomplished to its fullest extent it will be necessary to make a combined attack on Mobile, in order to gain possession of the harbor and works, as well as to control the railway terminus at the city. In regard to this I will send more detailed instructions as the operations of the northern column develop themselves. I may briefly state that the general objects of the expedition are, first, the reduction of New Orleans and all its approaches, then Mobile and its defense; then Pensacola, Galveston, &c.

It is probable that by the time New Orleans is reduced it will be in the power of the Government to re-enforce the land forces sufficiently to accomplish all these objects. In the mean you will please give all the assistance in your power to the Army and Navy commanders in your vicinity, never losing sight of the fact that the great object to be achieved is the capture and firm retention of New Orleans.

I am, very respectfully,

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding in Chief.

GENERAL ORDERS,

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, A. G. O. Numbers 20

Washington, February 23, 1862.

I. A new military department, to be called the Department of the Gulf, is hereby constituted. It will comprise all the coast of the Gulf of Mexico west of Pensacola Harbor and so much of the Gulf States as