navy-yard and their whole defensive line from Fort McRee to Pensacola, I am confident (although they apparently present a bold from as respects their forts and batteries) that if you will co-operate with me, by furnishing one or two gunboats, I can land a sufficient force, with your aid, to retake Pensacola, the navy-yard, and their entire line of forth and batteries. Moreover, you can capture four of their steamers and several schooners.
I have under my command from 1,800 to 2,000 available troops on this island, but I am perfectly helpless for any offensive movement off the island without naval co-operation and water transportation.
Flag-Officer Farragut writes to me that he cannot assist me against Pensacola till he has taken New Orleans. Then the opportune moment may have passed.
I am in hopes you will come here immediately and bring one or two gunboats, for I would be most happy to co-operate with Flag-Officer McKean.
The Navy has not a single vessel off Pensacola Harbor.
I am, commodore, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. G. ARNOLD,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Steamer Mississippi, April 24, 1862.
Commanding Western Gulf Squadron:
SIR: Allow me to congratulate you and your command upon the bold, daring, brilliant, and successful passage of the forts by your fleet this morning. A more gallant exploit it has never fallen to the lot of man to witness.
Captain Porter, with whom I have had a conference, agrees that it was best we should at once proceed to carry out the plan agreed upon by yourself and me, to with, that I should immediately land troops to co-operate with you at the quarantine station and so hem in the forts.
When I left the mortar fleet, at about 8 o'clock this morning, the rebel flag was still flying upon the forts; the ram had floated down on fire and was consumed; another rebel steamer was burning. A signal had been made to cease firing by Captain Porter; the Portsmouth had returned to her anchorage unhurt; the Winona had been badly crippled, a shot though her boilers and several in her hull, making water fast; the Itasca had been badly used, but had lost no mean, and was in an effective condition-all other men unhurt save trifling casualties; the Harriet lane had but one killed and wounded, besides, in all, so far as I could learn.
Captain Porter will forward you ammunition and supplies through the quarantine station should you desire. I will be able to aid you from the same point immediately. Please send directions as to your wishes by the bearer or otherwise.
I send this by Captain Conant, of the Thirty-first Massachusetts Regiment, who goes to communicate with you. He is the gentleman of whom I spoke to you as having made a reconnaissance in the rear of Lieutenant Philips night before last. He knows the contents of this dispatch, for fear of accident, and may be most implicitly relied upon and trusted. I hope he may be able to report to me off Point Salle, when I will immediately communicate with Captain Porter. If in danger, Captain Conant has