chusetts, Ninth Connecticut, Twenty-first Indiana, and Nims' battery, which, with the forces under your command, will make ten guns and 4,500 effective men.
With these, unless you see cause to the contrary,you may make demonstration on Camp Moore, provided it can be done, and return by the 8th, so as to assist in ulterior movement.
My advices from Camp Moore are that there are from 4,000 to 5,000 men there, poorly armed and worse organized. The only possible danger there can be is in the fact that by the Jackson road large re-enforcements can be sent to Lovell, but a reasonably rapid movement will guard against that. Of this, however, you will judge. Punish with the last severity every guerrilla attack and burn the property of every guerrilla found murdering your soldiers.
My object in making this demonstration is that if we leave Baton Rouge to go either up or down it may be held with a small force, for after we once occupy a place it is worse than death to our Union friends there to leave it unguarded. Were it not for this consideration I would let Lovell and his men stay unmolested at Camp Moore, where they are melting away faster than we could kill them if we were before it.
I am most, respectfully, yours,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, La., June 6, 1862
Brigadier General THOMAS WILLIAMS,
Commanding Forces, Baton Rouge, La.:
GENERAL; I am directed by the major-general commanding to say that he will send you the remainder of Everett's battery, with its horses and harness, the Thirty-first Massachusetts and the Seventh Vermont Regiment, and Magee's cavalry, with transportation, ammunition, and forage for all.
With this force the general will expect you to proceed to Vicksburg with the flag-officer, and then take the town or have it burned at all hazards.
You will leave such forage as you may judge necessary to hold Baton Rouge. Camp Moore is believed to be broken up substantially, and perhaps you will think a regiment sufficient; Colonel McMillan's is recommended, as he has two pieces of cannon. The flag-officer has distinct instructions to open the river, and will do it, I doubt not. A large force is sent to you with what you have, and sufficient, as it would seem, to take any batteries and the supporting force they may have at Vicksburg.
You will be often amused by reports of the enemy's strength. Witness your report of the numbers approaching Baton Rouge. These stories are exaggerated always. You will send up a regiment or two at once and cut off the neck of land beyond Vicksburg by means of a trench across, thus-