HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, No. 56.
New Orleans, August 7, 1862
The commanding general announces to the Army of the Gulf the sad event of the death of Brigadier General Thomas Williams, commanding Second Brigade, in camp at Baton Rouge.
The victorious achievement-the repulse of the division of Major-General Breckinridge by the troops led by General Williams and the destruction of the mail-clad Arkansas by Captain Porter, of the Navy- is made sorrowful by the fall of our brave, gallant, and successful fellow-soldier.
General Williams graduated at West Point in 1837; at once joined the Fourth Artillery in Florida, where he served with distinction; was thrice breveted for gallant and meritorious services in Mexico as a member of General Scott's staff. His life was that of a soldier, devoted to his country's service. His country mourns in sympathy with his wife and children, now that country's care and precious charge.
We, his companions in arms, who had learned to love him, weep the true friend the gallant gentleman, the brave soldier, the accomplished officer the pure patriot and victorious hero, and the devoted Christian. All and more went out when Williams died. By a singular felicity the manner of his death illustrated each of these generous qualities.
The chivalric American gentleman, he gave up the vantage of the cover of the houses of the city-forming his lines in the open field- lest the women and children of his enemies should be hurt in the fight.
A good general, he had made his dispositions and prepared for battle at the break of day, when he met his foe.
A brave soldier, he received the death-shot leading his men.
A patriot hero, he was fighting the battle of his country and died is went up the cheer of victory.
A Christian, he sleeps in the hope of the blessed Redeemer.
His virtues we cannot exceed-his example we may emulate-and mourning his death, we pray "may our last end be like his."
The customary tribute of mourning will be worn by the officers in the department.
By command of Major-General Butler, commanding:
R. S. DAVIS,
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, No. 57.
New Orleans, La., August 9, 1862
Soldiers of the Army of the Gulf:
Your successes have heretofore been substantially bloodless. Taking and holding the most important strategic and commercial positions, with the aid of the gallant Navy, by the wisdom of your combinations and the moral power of your arms, it has been left for the last few days to baptize you in blood.
The Spanish conqueror of Mexico won imperishable renown by landing in that country and burning his transport ships, to cut off all hope of retreat. You, more wise and economical, but with equal providence against retreat, sent yours home.
Organized to operate on the sea-coast, you advanced your outposts to Baton Rouge, the capital of the State of Louisiana, more than 250 miles into the interior.