my disposable force. After waiting four days, with troops on shipboard, I learned from the flag-officer that the storms and low water at the bar had prevented his getting his ships into position. For sanitary reasons I disembarked the troops, and shall re-embark to-morrow, and shall sail for the Head of the Passes when I am informed that the Navy will be ready for operations.
I have pleasure in reporting the safe arrival of all the troops assigned to this department (the last regiment from the North, the Thirteenth Connecticut Volunteers, arriving last night), except Nim's battery, the only drilled corps of artillery given me, which has for some unexplained reason been detained at Fortress Monroe.
During my enforced delay by shipwreck, General Phelps had sent away both the Constitution and Fulton steamers, so that I am much crippled for transportation. But "where there is a will there is a way," and I shall be able by means of sailing vessels under tow to make my way up the Mississippi, but for ulterior movements on the coast one at least of those steamers will be of the last necessity, as well as several light-draught steamers, for which I had made requisition upon the Quartermaster-General.
In the mean time I have sent a regiment and section of a battery, under the direction of Major Strong, my chief of staff, to co-operate with the Navy, to demand an apology for an insult to our flag of truce, sent on an errand of mercy, with a shipwrecked passenger, as well as to destroy the position of a regiment of the enemy at Pass Christian. This service was gallantly performed; the pooper apology was made at Biloxi, the town surrendered into our hands, and the rebels at Pass Christian, an equal force, with four pieces of artillery, driven from their camp, which, with its material, was burned. No lives were lost, and only 2 of our men were wounded. I trust my next dispatch, by the first opportunity of sending by a mail steamer, will give account of larger and as successful operations.
I think it flue to the good conduct of the brave men of that expedition to ask to have published the general order upon that subject inclosed.
I put myself in communication with General Arnolds, and have no doubt, in conjunction with him, of the easy capture of both Mobile and Pensacola, were it not that I felt bound as well by my instructions as my own judgment not to hazard the success of the main object of the demonstration in the Gulf.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 10.
Ship Island, April 12, 1862.
The major-general commanding desires publicly to testify his admiration of the gallant courage and good conduct of the Ninth Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers, Colonel Cahill commanding, and a section of the Sixth Massachusetts Battery, under Captain Everett, in the recent expedition to Biloxi and Pass Christian, as exhibited by the report of the staff officer in command of that expedition.
Of their bravery in the field he felt assured, but another quality more trying to the soldier claims his admiration. After having been for months subjected to the privations necessarily incident to camp life