speaks of it as a project contemplated by him, but he may not have a force to spare.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, New Orleans, La., June 23, 1862.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: In the expedition to Pass Manchac and thence to Mandeville, on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, Colonel Putnam, an officer of the Louisiana Militia, was taken prisoner. His horse stood saddled beside the house while he was hidden in the attic. From the large number of recruiting blanks found in the room with him it is supposed that he was on the recruiting service. A sum of $5,650, in Confederate money, supposed to be for recruiting purposes, was found upon him. This sum is herewith inclosed. I had been informed of the acts of Colonel Putnam before his capture, which was grateful one because of these circumstances. Having been commissioned as colonel of the militia in this city, his regiment was called together but not armed. One the day succeeding the passage of the forts by the fleet he was engaged in pressing teams and drays into the service and hauling out the cotton from the cotton-presses and sugar from the warehouses upon the levee, there piling it up. This work was begun about 1 o'clock on the 25th, and at 9 o'clock that evening an immense amount of this property was set fire to and burned, against the remonstrances of the owners.
Upon examination Colonel Putnam admitted these facts, but justified under the orders of the provost-marshals, and produced the original order, signed by Mr. Soule and Mr. Mazereau, which, with the colonel's commission, I herewith inclose. Colonel Putnam also claims that he did not know when the cotton was being hauled out that it was to be destroyed, but claims that the artful phrase in the order, "to be used for barricades. Yet as Colonel Putnam admits that the owners of the several cotton-presses were pressing him to clear theirs first, so that cotton, press, and all might not be burned, and as it was notorious that the cotton was be to be burned, that defense will hardly avail him.
I will send Colonel Putnam North, so that he may be a witness in any proceedings against Soule and Mazereau. I have a very decided opinion as to the course to be pursued toward those who have been the cause of burning this property, and if I had possessed the proof which I now inclose I should not have sent Soule and Mazereau North, but should have tried them here. If the War Department will send them back, and so direct, I will now bring them before a military commission for this atrocious treason and arson.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
NEW ORLEANS, April 24, 1862.
BEN. BLAND, Esq.,
Col. JAMES M. PUTNAM:
SIRS: Yours are hereby commanded to have all the cotton stored up in