War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0544 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Washington, August 7, 1862.

Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER,

New Orleans:

GENERAL: An order will be issued to-day holding West Florida to your department,* which will give you Pensacola, as you desired.

I have conversed with General Shepley in regard to sending you re-enforcements. It is impossible to do so at the present time, as no point which we now hold can be weakened without risking its loss. It is hoped, however, that the new levies and volunteers will soon enable us to move with vigor. As soon as it can possibly be done a land force will be sent down the Mississippi to take any occupy Vicksburg. As Missouri and Tennessee are now seriously threatened and raids made into Kentucky every available man in the West is required in the field. McClellan is barely able to hold his position, and the forces here are insufficient for the defense of Washington.

I find our entire Army so divided and scattered that very little can be done till they are more concentrated or largely re-enforced. I am trying to do both.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, August 7, 1862.

Lieutenant Weitzel will examine and determine upon the best positions for posting troops for the purpose of permanently holding the town of Baton Rouge. He will take advantage of the village and buildings for that purpose, aided by temporary earthworks and abatis, if necessary, in conjunction. He will make a report to these headquarters as soon as he has done anything or formed any plan.

By order of Major-General Butler:

R. S. DAVIS,

Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, La., August 7, 1862.

Col. HALBERT E. PAINE,

Fourth Regiment Wisconsin Vols., Baton Rouge:

COLONEL: I have the report of Colonel Cahill of the affair at Baton Rouge. From it I am inclined to change the opinion which I had when you left me with Lieutenant Weitzel. Do not evacuate Baton Rouge, at least at present. Let Lieutenant Weitzel examine and determine the best positions for holding the town. Take advantage of the village and buildings for that purpose, aided by temporary earthworks and abatis, if necessary, in conjunction. The political importance of the place has decided me under the change of appearing facts. Breckinridge has twelve regiments, fourteen pieces of cannon, effective strength about 5,000 men, and that is the entire force he has any-

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*Issued August 8, 1862.

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