where under his command. Let Lieutenant Weitzel report to these headquarters as soon as he has done what he can.
Send back most of the transports and all of the wounded and prisoners. Let each officer commanding a regiment make a detailed report of the facts of the day. Let Colonel Cahill make a full report, as commander of the action, of all the facts, events, captures, with the full list of killed, wounded, and missing. I desire this as the proper means of making my own report to the Government.
By order of Major-General Butler:
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. DAVIS,
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJT. GEN'S OFFICE, No. 183.
Washington, August 7, 1862.
* * * * *
XV. Brigadier General T. W. Sherman, U. S. Volunteers, will repair without delay to New Orleans and report to Major General B. F. Butler, U. S. Volunteers, commanding Department of the Gulf.
* * * * *
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE,
Baton Rouge, August 8, 1862.
Captain R. S. DAVIS,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Department of the Gulf:
CAPTAIN: I received the department letter of yesterday to-day, and I am compelled to say that I regret very much that the general has decided to retain these forces here.
The ram has been destroyed; the enemy repulsed; our reconnoitering parties yesterday did not feel him anywhere near us at all; we are not threatened at all here now; therefore this is the time to evacuate. It can be done deliberately and coolly. I consider it of no importance whatever to hold this point in a military point of view now, and it is important to show more strength at New Orleans. The fact that we hold this place does not prove that we have any more control over the river or the river more opened, because our transports and fired on above and below this point, and unless our Navy does its duty we might occupy fifty points and not have the river opened. If our Navy does its duty the occupation of this point is of no consequence. If it is ever hereafter wanted as a base of operations we can take it if the Navy has control of the river, and if the Navy has not the control of the river we cannot hold it anyhow.
I inclose herewith a copy of the plan of the defense of this place. With the available force now here I consider this concentrated position a great deal the strongest. I do not consider that an attack is imminent for some time at least.
I would request now that I be ordered back to New Orleans. I did
35 R R-VOL XV