War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0530 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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asking protection. Some of them had been in the employ of General Williams, and left by him unprovided for on the Louisiana shore. I am desirous to know what I am to do with these people after I no longer require their services and how I am to bring these offending parties to trial.

Very respectfully,

ALFRED W. ELLET,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, La., July 26, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK,

Commanding Department of the West:

GENERAL: I avail myself of the voyage of the Tennessee to communicate with you upon the subject of General Williams' brigade at Vicksburg.

General Williams was sent up at a time when we should have had only local troops to meet at Vicksburg. It was not properly within my department, but the exigencies of the public service, as it seemed to me, justified the movement. It is now quite different, as I am informed that a division at least of your army is moving upon Vicksburg.

I have great need of General Williams' command to aid me in clearing out the guerrillas from this State, who are doing infinite mischief. I have therefore ordered his recall, as his force since the re-enforcement by Van Dorn and Breckinridge of the enemy is too small for operations alone, and a junction of Generals Grant and Curtis must give ample force for the reduction of the place. The disposal of the guerrilla bands is easy of accomplishment, but it requires many men to hold the various points, which if not held only bring destruction upon our friends there.

If in anything I can aid your operations command me. I have sent a duplicate of this under cover to General Grant for information as well as to General Williams:

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, July 29, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: Knowing that you fully concur with me in the importance of capturing Vicksburg and keeping open and unobstructed the Mississippi River, I beg leave to submit an extract from a very interesting and suggestive letter addressed by Commander Porter to Flag-Officer Farragut, dated the 13th instant, a copy of which has been forwarded to this Department. The long detention of so large a naval force before Vicksburg in consequence of the absence of a sufficient land force to co-operate with the Navy in taking and holding the place is, I am aware, a source of regret to you as well as to myself.

It is a pressing necessity that so important a place should not be held by the rebels. While it is in their possession it not only interrupts navigation and keeps our squadron unemployed, but impairs its effi-