upon this island, these well-disciplined soldiers, although for many hours in full possession of two rebel villages, filled with what to them were most desirable luxuries, abstained from the least unauthorized interference with private property and all molestation of peaceful citizens.
This behavior is worthy of all praise. It robs war of half its horrors. It teachers our enemies how much they have been minis informed by their designing leaders as to the character of our soldiers and the intention of our Government. It gives them a lesson and an example in humanity and civilized warfare much needed, however little it may be followed.
The general commanding commends the action of the men of this expedition to every soldier in this department. Let it be imitated by all States soldier fights only for the Union, the Constitution, and the enforcement of the laws.
By command of Major-General Butler:
GEO. C. STRONG,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Off the Passes, Mississippi Delta, April 17, 1862.
To the Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:
SIR: I have the honor to report that I am now off the passes, with eight regiments and three batteries of artillery of my best troops, under command of Brigadier-General Phelps and Williams, ready to co-operate with the fleet, who move to-day or, as I believe, to-morrow upon Forts Saint Philip and Jackson. These are all for which I have possible means of transportation, owing to the circumstances stated in my dispatch of 13th instant, and all that I believe will be needed for the present emergency. You may think that we have delayed, but I beg to assure you that, with the storms and winds and the means at our disposal, we made every haste and are ready as soon as we are needed.
The health of the command is very good, and their equipments as to arms and provisions abundant. It was especially fortunate that I made so large a provions for coal, as i have been enabled to spare the Navy more than a thousand tons, without which they would have been very much embarrassed. I have taken the meanest to keep up my own supply, and now there will be enough for all for the present. Steamers are much needed of light draught.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA,
Fort Pickens, April 24, 1862.
Brigadier General LORENZO THOMAS,
Adjutant-General U. S. Army:
GENERAL: I have the honor to state for the information of the War Department that the relations between my command and the rebels have (to the extent of my knowledge) undergone very little change since my last report.
Their forts and batteries and the navy-yard opposite appear, nearly ad formidable as they did three months ago. The spirit, discipline, and