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[213]

[order no. 24.]

headquarters first brigade, first division, L. M., New Orleans, January 9, 1861.
To Captain Walton, Washington Artillery:
You will repair immediately to the foot of Canal street, in conformity to orders from headquarters, there to receive the reports and assume command of the following named companies:

Washington Artillery, Louisiana Grays, Louisiana Guards, Chasseurs-a-Pied, Sarsfield Rifles, Orleans Cadets.

You will report the command, when formed, to the Adjutant General for further orders.

Strict order and discipline will be enforced by you, in accordance with the rules and regulations of war now in force in the army of the United States.

By order of Brigadier-General E. L. Tracy.

Thomas F. Walker, Brigade Inspector.

Pursuant to further orders, shortly after 2 o'clock in the morning of the 10th of January, the command, moving by companies, embarked on the steamboat National. It was not made known, until after the departure of our transport what was our destination or purpose; that it was serious and hostile was abundantly apparent from the ample warlike preparation. The expedition was under orders to proceed to Baton Rouge and take possession and occupy, by force or otherwise, the important military post at that point. Arrived at Baton Rouge on the morning of the 11th, it was understood that Major Haskins, commanding the United States forces, had made all necessary preparation to give the State troops a warm reception, but during the day better counsels prevailed and the Federal commander surrendered. Immediate possession was taken of the post and of the vast amount of ordnance and military stores there deposited.

The bloodless capture, by the Washington Artillery and the other troops composing the expedition, of one of the largest Federal military and ordnance depots on this continent, was regarded as a proceeding of the gravest consequence, in view of the fact that it constituted the first serious act of hostility to Federal authority.

The whole country was aroused to the consideration of the grave


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