War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0547 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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GENERAL ORDERS, WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 98.

Washington, August 8, 1862.

West Florida is detached from the Department of the South and annexed to the Department of the Gulf. Brigadier General L. G. Arnold will report to Major-General Butler accordingly.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, La., August 11 [13?], 1862.

Rear-Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT,

Commanding Western Gulf Squadron:

SIR: As you are about to leave the Mississippi River for a new scene of action, and I trust victorious operations, before you go I beg leave to inquire of you whether during the time that the Navy have been co-operating with the Army in this expedition to the Southern coast you have found myself and officers willing and prompt to aid the naval operations of the fleet to the extent of our means and ability. If we, or any of us, have been found wanting in this regard you will do me the favor to state frankly wherein we have been deficient.

Be not surprised at this question, to which I pray for a full and specific answer, but allow me to say it arises from nothing on your part in our intercourse with yourself or the officers in your squadron, but the inquiry has now become necessary for the purpose of meeting or yielding to an accusation.

Believe me, most truly, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, August 13, 1862.

Captain DAVID D. PORTER,

Commanding Mortar Flotilla:

SIR: There is one fact that I desire to set right in letter of July 15, which has just come to hand.

The assault on Fort Saint Philip, as soon as the vessels had passed is so that the quarantine station could be occupied, was determined upon months before the landing was made, i. e., on the 23rd of February. Lieutenant Weitzel, of the Engineers, who finished the fort, was with me for that purpose; scaling-ladders were prepared, boats procured, and the scheme fully matured, and the ground practicable from actual experiment.

Please, captain, do not judge of our profession; yours will furnish you with sufficient scope.

I have directed measures to be taken to guard against the very assault we intended to make upon Fort Saint Philip.

Respectfully,

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.