Attacked there by a division of our rebel enemies, under command of a major-general recreant to loyal Kentucky (whom some of us would have honored before his apostasy), of doubly superior numbers, you have repulsed in the open field his myrmidons, who took advantage of your sickness from the malaria of the marshes of Vicksburg to make a cowardly attack.
The brigade at Baton Rouge has routed the enemy. He has lost three brigadier-generals, killed,wounded and prisoners; many colonels and field officers. He has more than a thousand killed and wounded.
You have captured three pieces of artillery, six caissons, two stand of colors, and a large number of prisoners. You have buried his dead on the field of battle and are caring for his wounded. You have convinced him that you are never so sick as not to fight your enemy if he desires the contest. You have shown him that if he cannot take an outpost after weeks of preparation what would be his fate with the main body.
If your general should say he was proud of you it would only be to praise himself; but he will say he is proud to be one of you.
In this battle the Northeast and Northwest mingled their blood on the field, as they had long ago joined their hearts in the support of the Union. Michigan stood by Maine; Massachusetts supported Indiana; Wisconsin aided Vermont; while Connecticut, represented by the sons of the ever-green shamrock, fought as our fathers did at Boyne Waters.
While we all mourn the loss of many brave comrades, we who were absent envy them the privilege of dying upon the battle-field for our country under the starry folds of her victorious flag.
The colors and guidons of the several corps engaged in this contest will have inscribed upon them "Baton Rouge."
To complete the victory, the iron-clad steamer Arkansas, the last naval hope of the rebellion, hardly awaited the gallant attack of the Essex, but followed the example of her sisters, the Merrimac, Mannassas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, by her own destruction.
By command of Major-General Butler;
R. S. DAVIS,
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, No. 62 1/2.
New Orleans, August 25, 1862
The commanding general has carefully revised the official reports of the action of August 5 at Baton Rouge, to collect the evidence of the gallant deeds and meritorious services of those engaged in that brilliant victory.
The name of the lamented and gallant General Williams has already passed into history.
Colonel Roberts, of the Seventh Vermont Volunteers, fell mortally wounded while rallying his men. He was worthy of a better disciplined regiment and a better fate.
Glorious as it is to die for one's country, yet his regiment gave him the inexpressible pain of seeing it break in confusion when not pressed by the enemy and refuse to march to the aid of the outnumbered and almost overwhelmed Indianians.
The Seventh Vermont Regiment, by a fatal mistake, had already fired into the same regiment they had refused to support, killing and wounding several.