It was found absolutely necessary to take some measures in addition to those taken by the city government to relieve the immediate suffering of the poor people from hunter. I accordingly took the action set fort in General Orders, No. 25. Its effect has been to diminish much suffering and aid in bringing back the citizens to a since of duty.
I forward also copies of General Orders, 27, 28, 29, which will explain themselves. No. 28 became an absolute necessity from the outrageous conduct of the secession woman here, who took every means of insulting my soldiers and inflaming the mob.
Here I am happy to add that within the city of New Orleans the first instance of wrong or injury done by any soldier to any man or woman or any instance of plunder above a petty theft yet remains to be reported to me. There is an instance of gross outrage and plunder on the part of some of the Wisconsin regiment at Kenner, some 12 miles above here, while on the march to posses ourselves of the Jackson Railroad, who men they return will be most exemplarity punished. I must send home some of my transport ships in ballast by the terms of their charter. In accordance with the terms of my order No. 22 I have caused to be bought a very considerable quantity of sugar, but as yet very little cotton. This has gone very far to reassure the planters and factors. They are sending their agents everywhere into the interior to endeavor to stop the burning of the crops.
Nobody can be better aware than myself that I have no right to buy this property with the money of the United States, even of I had any of it, which I have not. But I have bought it with my own money an upon my individual credit. The article are sugar, rosin, and turpentine. I have sent these as ballast in the several transport ships, which otherwise would have to be sent to Ship Island for sand. These articles will be worth more in new York and Boston than I paid for teem here through my agents. If the Government choose to take them and reimburse me from them I am content. If not, I am quite content to keep them and pay the Government a reasonable freight. Whatever may be done the Government will save by the transaction. I only desire that neither motives nor action shall be misunderstood.
I have sent General Williams, with two regiments and a light battery, to accompany the flag-officer up the river to occupy or land and aid in taking any point where resistance may be offered. Baton Rouge has already surrendered and the flag is raised over it. The machines from the Arsenal for making arms are removed to a distance, but where they cannot be at present used. The naval forces with General Williams have gone above Natchez, and the gunboats are preceding to Vicksburg, which the rebels are endeavoring to fortify, but I do not believe, from all I learn, with any success. The flag-officer is aground just below Natchez in the Hartford, and I have dispatches two boats to light him off.
I should have sent more troops with General Williams, but it was impossible to get transportation for them. The rebels had burned and disabled every boat that they did not hide, and then their machinists refused to work on their repair.
By dint of the most urgent measures I have compelled repairs, so that I am now getting some transportation,and have sent a boat to Fort Pickens for General Arnold, of which I understand him to be in the utmost need. I have sent into the various bayous and have succeeded in digging out of the bushes several steamers; one or two very good ones.