HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, New Orleans [September --], 1862.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I send inclosed general order of this department No. 62, [62 1/2]* wherein honorable mention is made of several non-commissioned officers and privates of this division for gallant conduct at Baton Rouge. I would suggest that the medals for meritorious services provided by the act of Congress for soldiers in such cases be forwarded to these brave men.
Since I wrote the commanding general I am more and more satisfied that the immediate attack upon this city is put off. My information confirms that from every source. The delay is in part owing to the fact that the enemy is building and altering two gunboats in the Yazoo River, with which he hopes to embarrass the fleet. A movement from above might destroy those boats, which are only guarded by a small militia force. We cannot reach them from below, as we must pass Vicksburg to do it.
I take leave to send, for the use of your office and that of the commanding general, photographs of our position at Carrollton and the surrounding country, reduced from a survey that I have thought it necessary to make.
The health of the city continues admirable, and the troops are fast recovering from the sickness and fatigue of the campaign at Vicksburg.
I have succeeded wonderfully in my enlistments of volunteers here-a full regiment, three companies of cavalry, 600 to form a new regiment, and more than 1,200 men enlisted in the old regiments to fill up the ranks. I shall also have within ten days a regiment, 1,000 strong, of Native Guards (colored), the darkest of whom will be about the complexion of the late Mr. Webster.
I shall have the honor to have increased my division by at least 3,000 men (one-fifth of the whole) after a nine-months' campaign in the unhealthy South.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
[BENJ. F. BUTLER.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, September 11, 1862.
Received this day by mail, in an envelope, from Major-General Butler, postmarked New Orleans, but with the date of the postmark so blurred as to be illegible.
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, New Orleans, La., September 1, 1862.
Brigadier General LORENZO THOMAS,
GENERAL: A press of other much more important engagements has prevented my reporting upon the letter of Captain Porter.+
*See reports, p. 42.
+See Thomas to Butler, July 23, p. 527.