when the steamer Fox passed here. It appears to be the general opinion among the officers here, General Williams included,that there is very little use in attaching Vicksburg, as the guns on the heights are so elevated that our fire will not be felt them; as they have so large a force of soldiers here, several thousand in and about the town, and the facility of bringing in 20,000 in an hour by railroad form Jackson, altogether think it would be useless to bombard it, as we could not hold it if we took it. Therefore we have determined to blockade it and occasionally harass them with fire until the battle of Corinth shall decide its fate. General Williams is going up the Red River, where he thinks he may be more useful, and I have given him a gunboat to accompany him. I shall soon drop down the river again, as I consider my services indispensably necessary on the seabird. I am greatly obliged to you for your kindness in towing up my coal vessels. I have already supplied your troops with as much bread as I could spare, as well as pork. They have been able thus far I think to get fresh beef, but are much in want of bread and flour. I don't see that I can be of any service here, and I do not see as General Williams will be of any use here with the small force he has.
I shall endeavor to get down as soon as possible.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. G. FARRAGUT,
Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER,
U. S. Army, Comdg. Dept. of the Gulf, New Orleans, La.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, New Orleans, May 16, 1862.
GENERAL: The contingency has arisen, in my judgment, when, without detriment to the public service, I may call on you for the two regiments contemplated in the letter of the general commanding. They will be necessary for operations here. I would desire Colonel Putnam's Seventh New Hampshire and any other you may choose. I hope them. She has carried 1,999 men in twelve days, and I have been on board. May I wish as much haste and possible. Learning that you have ample supplies, and fearing in the present state of matters at New Orleans I may come short, I desire, if possible, 500,000 rations,a large portion of which can be put on board the Mississippi. A large proportion of pork, flour, and rice would be acceptable . I know the natural reluctance a general has in sending anything out of his department, but I rely on your well-known patriotism for this aid.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTTLER,
Comdg. Department of Key West.
HDQRS. SOUTHERN DIST., DEPT., OF THE SOUTH, Key West, Fla. May 21, 1862.
General BENJAMIN, F. BUTLER, U. S. A.,
Commanding Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, La.:
GENERAL: Your communication of the 16th instant is this moment received. Since the letter of the commander-in-chief of the Army of