War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0868 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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with the delays inseparable from it, will deprive the service of the benefit of moral effect, which must have followed a speedy and terrible punishment.

Lieutenant-Colonel Benedict is not at this post. Who shall make the charges against him? The troops at this post are quiet and attentive to duty, but the soldiers show an unwillingness to testify of the occurrences at the mutiny; they refuse to remember when questioned. This is passive mutiny; it directly aids the mutineers; it is the most potent means remaining to these soldiers to resist authority, and shows them how much they can do in contempt of that military power which they lately actively resisted. If there were any white soldiers here, and if I had the necessary authority to deal with this case, I should exercise that power, if necessary using the most extreme means to compel these men to speak; that as they are about to learn the result of active mutiny, they might also know the meaning of passive mutiny. Unfortunately, I have neither the power now the means.

It should be remembered that nothing has been done as yet to quell the mutiny which occurred; that the quiet and order which now exist result from no exercise of authority, no use of force. From active mutiny this command relapsed into its present state. Precisely what that state is can hardly be known. Its appearance is that of entire submission to authority. It is an unquestioning submission, but it demands to be as unquestioned as it is unquestioning. These men are ignorant and cunning; they are silent and submissive; they know the meaning only of force and power, and these, unfortunately, they have not yet felt. Many of them are well disposed, and desire to see the guilty punished, but there are some who mutter, and still put on threatening looks.

A soldier arrested since my taking command, said, pointing to an officer, "There is a man who ought to be put of the way," with other threatening words; this was said three days after the mutiny. All this shows me the need of the greatest activity and energy in dealing with this case-an activity and energy I am far from seeing in the present progress of affairs or method of dealing with these mutineers. If any unfortunate or inadequate results shall follow, I wish this opinion on record, not that I wish to excite any alarm, for I feel none; all is profoundly quiet, but it seems to me that the possibility of misfortune can and should be avoided.

I shall have occasion in a day or two to express to you my ideas of what should be done at once to put this post in a condition creditable to the Government of the United States. There is so much in disorder that it is difficult to determine where it is most essential to begin. I have ordered a minute inspection, to find out exactly what is going on in the way of work, and what every man is doing.

I forward some requisitions for lumber and material, which should be filled immediately.

There is much iron and other material about this post which ought to be protected form the weather. Temporary quarters for officers must be erected at once. Permanent quarters for the whole garrison of this post should be erected as soon as possible. The casemates cannot be used; they often have much water in them. I have again to ask for two good clerks.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding