been ordered to destroy this and remember its contents, and will do the same with any dispatches you may give him.
If you design proceeding up the river, will you leave, say, two gun boats at the quarantine station to protect our landing?
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 14.
Head of Mississippi Passes, April 24, 1862.
The transports Mississippi, Matanzas, Lewis, Saxon, and Great Republic, with all the troops now on board, will proceed, under convoy of U. S. steamers Miami and Sachem, and without delay, to Sable Island, with a view to reaching quarantine station in rear of Fort St. Philip. All of the above-named troops will be under the command of Brigadier-General Williams until further orders.
II. Brigadier-General Phelps will remain in command of all the troops on board transport ships North America and E. W. Farley, and hold himself in readiness to occupy the forts as soon as they shall have been reduced.
By order of Major-General Butler:
GEO. C. STRONG,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Off Fort Saint Philip, on Gulf Side, April 26, 1862.
Act. Brigadier General GEORGE F. SHEPLEY,
General, Commanding at Ship Island:
GENERAL: The fleet passed by the forts on the morning of the 24th instant with but little loss, leaving the mortar fleet and a few gunboats below, without reducing the forts. They have substantially cleared the river of boats above the forts, but have left the ram and two rebel boats under the cover of the forts. These are proving troublesome to the remnant of our fleet below in the river.
The flag-officer has gone up with twelve vessels of his fleet to New Orleans, leaving us to reduce the forts.
I am endeavoring to effect a landing on the Gulf side, at the quarantine grounds. I am sadly in want of means if light transportation.
The Lewis is broken down for want of coal. She very foolishly came away with only five days' coal, having lain alongside the I day while mending her smoke-stacks without taking any. I must have soft coal. I suppose the coal, or a large portion of it, from the Idaho is now in a schooner. If so, send her at once, either under tow of the Saxon or under sail, or both, but send the coal at all evans; make every possible dispatch. Send also all the light draught schooners you have there not drawing more than 4 feet, say four; the little one I used to have, the Gipsey, if repaired, and all the boats possible; all are needed at once. Have the Parliament ready to sail at a moment's notice, with every-thing on board for thirty days' provision for us, with plenty of rice. Send fresh meat if any has arrived. Do not send the parliament until further orders. You may send beef at once.