patches of the 17th, 18th, and 19th instant, with their various inclosures.
The suggestions made in your dispatch of the 10th instant as to a "qualified amnesty" have been brought to the notice of the President, and his determination shall be announced to you with the least possible delay.
The attention of the President has also been drawn to your General Orders, No. 41, requiring certain oaths from foreigners resident at New Orleans, as well as to your correspondence on that subject with the acting British consul, and two communications relative thereto have been received from the State Department, of which copies are herewith transmitted to you by direction of the President for your information and guidance.
The Department has likewise received from the Secretary of State the inclosed copy of certain instructions issued by him to the Hon. Reverdy Johnson to examine and reports as to the facts touching the sugars claimed by certain British, French, and Grecian merchants, of which mention was made in your dispatch of the 17th instant, and also a letter, of which a copy is inclosed, approving your course with reference to the Mexican consulate, which it gives me great pleasure to transmit to you.
The views expressed in your dispatch of the 25th May, to which you again refer in that of the 18th instant, as to the policy to be pursued in regard to persons held under the laws of Louisiana to labor or service, but whom the fortunes of war have placed within your command, have strongly impressed me. It has not yet, however, been deemed necessary or wise to fetter your judgment by any specific instructions in this regard.
Your last dispatch upon this subject and the accompanying report of General Phelps, which were not received until the 28th instant, shall be laid before the President. Pending his consideration, and any action which he may see fit to take thereon, it is confidently hoped that exercising your accustomed skill and discretion, you will so deal with this question as to avoid any serious embarrassment to the Government or any difficulty with General Phelps.
Your cordial commendation of his skill, experience, and courage renders the Department very unwilling to forego the aid of his services.
The news of the brilliant achievement of Lieutenant-Colonel Kimball, of the Twelfth Main Volunteers, and the brave men under his command, at Manchac Pass was very gratifying to the Department, and it entirely approves your action in allowing the regiment to retain the colors which they had so gallantly taken from the enemy.
Information has reached the Department that General McClellan has met with a serious reverse in front of Richmond. Though the details have not transpired, it is quite certain that the published accounts are very much exaggerated. The army has changed its base, with comparatively little loss, to a much stronger position (Turkey Point) on the James River, and will, it is confidently expected, very soon march on and into Richmond.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
[JUNE 30, 1862.-For Butler to the French consul, see Series III, Vol. II.]