War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0528 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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by persons whose duty it was to afford facilities in every way for getting the vessels up the river that I deem it proper to put the matter on record.

When I received your communication at Pensacola, directing me to come to this place, I also received a letter from General Butler, who urged me to use dispatch, as this movement (he considerable) was of the utmost importance, promising me at the same time "all the towage I wanted." I towed all the vessels of the mortar flotilla up to Newe Orleans with our own steamers except four, which were very unnecessarily picked up at the Head of Passes, when I had six of our steamers on the way down and within 5 miles of them; at the very time there were coal and store-ships at the Southwest Pass which the Landis ought to have brought up, and for which purpose she was sent down. I addressed a letter to General Butler asking for assistance and recalling his attention to the promise made me in his late communication. I asked for only two vessels, the Landis and Fox, and he said I could have them. I little knew then the system of red-tapeism I would have to go through, or I don't think I should have had anything to do with the Army, or that portion of it which, through the naval exertions, now occupies New Orleans. I found that the captain of the port had entire control of the tow-boats, under the quartermaster; and though professing to be doing all he could to expedite us, the boats, under the quartermaster; and though professing to be doing all he could to expedite us, the boats were not forth-coming, but were engaged in towing private vessels, having no connection whatever with the Government. On the 9th I was promised the Fox, which vessel was to tow up three mortars, but as the store-ship belonging to the Navy was much needed I proposed that the Fox should bring her up to New Orleans and then tow up the mortars to Vicksburg. She started with this object, but returned next day with two merchant ships, with whose owners the captain of the Fox had made a private arrangement, and on which occasion he felt so jubilant over his prosperity that he presented himself drunk at the Saint Charles. This alone is a fair commentary on the manner in which the public service is performed under the captain of the port, who was professing at the same time to be doing all he could to aid me, and who did so far respect the order received from General Butler that he made me one or two visits on the occasion. All I derived from them, however, was a delay on my own part, and in consequence sent off our own steamers with a lighter load than they might have carried. I did this for dispatch, thinking I would certainly get two vessels. Finding it impossible to make any headway, I applied to the general again to let me take the Empire Parish, a vessel running for a while under a flag of truce (which finally was granted), and I applied to the captain of the port to have her got ready. Here again were all kinds of difficulties presented. Provisions had to be provided by the Navy. I had to select a captain, and then pay all the expenses (crew and engineers), which I offered to do. By great exertions I got an order from General Butler for the provisions, but up to my time of leaving 500 rations could not be put on board. My opinion is that the Empire Parish, like the rest, will never be employed to tow a naval vessel; that she is in hands that will not hesitate to employ her for other purposes. Temptations are held out for towing vessels that men of moderate conscience are not proof against, and I beg leave to say to you now that if you have depended on the promises made by the people in charge of these boats to bring up provisions and coal you will be much disappointed. I don't hesitate to say that there has been a deliberate attempt made to deceive and trifle with me, and whosoever's fault it is it should be made known. We have traitors enough to fight against