but after that no shot was fired until the surrender, and the forts could have been held for weeks; if not months, so far as the bombardment was concerned; for in the judgment of the best engineering skill they were then as defensible as before the bombardment. I will not permit too great meed of praise on the part of anybody to take away the merit fairly due my brave solders, who endured so much hardship and showed as much bravery as the most gallant tar of them all, for we landed within 5 miles above the forts and "lively ram," protected by only two gunboats, while the mortar boats, protected by seven gunboats, retreated 25 miles below the forts and out of the river.
In this connection I must ask to have justice done to a meritorious officer to whom the country owes as much as any other, whatever may be his rank, for our success at New Orleans. Lieutenant Weitzel, of the Engineer Corps, by his advice and accuracy knowledge of the localities, freely communicated both to the fleet and army, enabled the operations of both to be conducted to the present result. He made a report to me on the 22nd day of March at Ship Island, setting forth the same process of landing and turning Fort Saint Philip which was in fact adopted, and it was the want of light-draught transportation which prevented it from being done before it was done.
I have caused to be tried six men who have broken their parole, and inclose a copy of the order for their execution, marked L.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
No copy of the order for the execution of the men who broke parole was inclosed.*
C. P. WOLCOTT.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
HDQRS. TWENTY-FIRST REGIMENT INDIANA VOLS.,
Algiers, La., May 22, 1862.
Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER,
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
SIR: In obedience to your order of the 11th instant to proceed to the town of Houma, in the parish of Terre Bonne, and arrest and punish certain charged with having fired upon 4 sick soldiers of the Twenty-first Indiana Volunteers, killing 2 and wounding the others; to execute the guilty, their aiders and abettors, of found; to confiscate and destroy the property of all who were in any manner implicated, I left Algiers at 9 o'clock in the evening of the day of your order in a train of cars on the Opelousas Railroad. My force consisted of four companies of infantry, compromising 240 men, under command of Captains Roy, Grimsley, Skelton, and McLaflin, of the Twenty-first Indiana Volunteers, and two pieces of artillery and 30 men of the sixth Massachusetts battery, under command of Lieutenant Carruth. We reached Terre Bonne Station, 55 miles form Algiers, about 2 o'clock in the morning of the 12th instant, where we found Captain Rose, with 65 men of our regiment, previously sent down to recapture Private Miller, one of the men fired upon and wounded, who had been made a prisoner at this
* For order, see Butler to Stanton, June 10 (General Orders, No. 3).