War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0711 Chapter XVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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instruction of my troops have improved. I would have attacked the enemy before this if I had not been separated from him by a broad bay and having no naval co-operation nor water transportation for anything like and adequate force. I was in hopes that General Butler would have co-operated with me in attacking the rebels in their rear, by landing two regiments of infantry and a field battery on the Perdido and by furnishing me with a steam gunboat to attack them at or above Pensacola, thus making a joint attack; but unfortunately the necessities of the service prevented this, as a copy of General Butler's letter, herewith inclosed, will explain.

The position of the enemy is a very strong one from fortuitous circumstances. Occupying two strong forts and a redoubt and a line of batteries for at least 3 miles and separated from us by a board bay, and being within easy communication with Mobile and Montgomery by rail and telegraph, he can be re-enforced, and having but a small force to oppose him with, not a naval vessel to co-operate, now water transportation to aid our land forces-such s and has been for two months past the military status in this department.

I inclose copies of correspondence between Flag-Officers Farragut and McKean and General Butler and myself on this subject.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.



Fort Picknes, March 15, 1862.

Flag-Officer D. G. FARRAGUT,

Commanding Gulf Squadron:

DEAR SIR: I have under my command on this island 1,200 volunteers and 600 regular soldiers, but I am perfectly helpless for offensive movements without naval co-operation, being on an island, and having no water transportation. If you can spare two or three gunboats to run in by the Swash Channel, they, together with the land force that I will furnish, can, I think, take Town Point, on Live Oak Plantation, which (as reported by some rebel deserters) was defended by five heavy guns behind sand batteries, supported by 2,000 men; but subsequent information, derived from runaway negroes, leads me to believe that all the guns and men, except one 10-inch columbiad and 400 men, have been removed, probably to Mobile.

The rebels have, and will have, entire control of the bay and inner harbor as long as they hold this point and their line of forts and batteries; but if we can take this point, your gunboats can pass out of range of their heaviest guns-from Four Mile Point, on Sant Roas Island, to Milton, on the main-land, which would enable you to capture or destroy all the rebel steamers and sail vessels in those waters, and more perfectly blockade the harbor of Pensacola.

Town Point is an initial and decisive point necessary to be taken in any future operation for the recapture of the navy-yard and their line of defensive works.

I am in hopes you will soon be here, when we can discuss the whole subject.

I am, commodore, very respectfully, your obedient servant,,


Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.