War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0543 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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trees which afford cover to the enemy in the front and right of your line? I pray you to observe that if there is anything wrong in this order that wrong is mine, for you have sufficiently protested against it; you are not responsible for it more than the hand that executes it; it can offend neither your political nor moral sense.

With sentiments of the utmost kindness and respect, I am, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, August 6, 1862.

Lieutenant WEITZEL:

The general wishes me to inform you that upon careful examination of facts and rumors he is convinced that the main attack has been made on Baton Rouge, and that it is not a feint to cover any assault on this place. The enemy have twelve regiments and two batteries, in all about 6,000 or 7,000 men. With the force you have he thinks you can hold Baton Rouge; at all events he wishes you to make the utmost efforts to do so, and if you repulse the rebels to follow them and use them up as much as possible If you are obliged to evacuate the town, though he wishes to leave much to the discretion of yourself and the commanding officer, his own impression is that the place should be burned.

Please keep us informed by every opportunity of all that occurs with you.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. S. DAVIS,

Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington City, D. C. August 7, 1862.

Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER: [?]

GENERAL: The confiscation law and the President's order thereon will instruct you fully upon the points concerning which you desired information from this Department.

It has been and continues to be my anxious desire to afford you re-enforcements and whatever may be required to enable you to hold your position and prosecute successfully the operations against Vicksburg. To that end earnest application was made to General Halleck to lend you a helping hand, but his own condition would not permit him to do so.

The prospect for the new forces is very favorable, and at the earliest possible moment you will be strengthened by such force as I trust may be adequate for your security and success.

In the mean time the Government must rely upon your eminent ability and that good fortune that has hitherto attended your enterprise. You can need no assurance of the deep interest of the Government in your holding your position at New Orleans. In my judgment it is worth more than many Richmonds to the Union, and the utmost confidence is felt that everything possible will be done by you.

General Sherman has been ordered to join your command and report to you for duty.

Yours, truly,

EDWIN M. STANTON.