The capture of New Orleans — McClellan's Orders to Gen. Butler.
The following is from the New York Journal of Commerce
, of New York, have published Mr. Parton
's history of Gen. Butler
in New Orleans, containing much new matter.
It seems that Gen. McClellan
is entitled to the credit for laying down the plan of operations in the Southwest
, and if Gen. Butler
had done all that he was ordered to do we should have had a very different story from there.
's genius and foresight are admirably exhibited in the orders under which Gen. Butler
went to New Orleans, and whatever credit is due to military operations there clearly belongs to the young Commander in-Chief
The following are the orders:
General: You are assigned to the command of the land forces destined to co-operate with the navy in the attack upon New Orleans.
You will use every means to keep the destination a profound secret, even from your staff officers, with the exception of your Chief of Staff
, and Lieut. Wetzel
, of the engineers.
The force at your disposal will consist of the first thirteen regiments named in your memorandum handed to me in person.
The 21st Indiana, 4th Wisconsin, and 6th Michigan (old and good regiments from Baltimore
)--these three regiments will await your orders at Fort Monroe
. Two companies of the 21st Indiana are well drilled at heavy artillery.
The cavalry force already on route for Ship Island
will be sufficient for your purposes.--After full consultation with officers well acquainted with the country in which it is proposed to operate.
I have arrived at the conclusion that three light batteries fully equipped, and one without horses, will be all that will be necessary.
This will make your force about 14,000 infantry, 275 cavalry, and 580 artillery: total, 15,255 men.
The commanding General
of the Department of Key West is authorized to loan you, temporarily, two regiments; Fort Pickens
can probably give you another, which will bring your force to nearly 18,000.
The object of your expedition one of vital importance — the capture of New Orleans.--The route selected is up the Mississippi river
, and the first obstacle to be encountered, perhaps the only one, is in the resistance offered by Forts St. Philip
It is expected that the navy can reduce the works.
In that case you will, after their capture, leave a sufficient garrison in them to render them perfectly secure; and it is recommended that on the upward passage a few heavy guns and some troops be left at the pilot station, at the forks of the river, to recover a retreat in case of a disaster.
The troops and guns will of course be removed as soon as the forts are captured.
Should the navy fail to reduce the works, you will land your forces and siege train and endeavor to breach the works, silence their fire, and carry them by assault.
The next resistance will be near the English Bend
, where there are some earthen batteries; here it may be necessary for you to land your troops to co-operate with the naval attack, although it is more than probable that the navy, unassisted, can accomplish the result.
If these works are taken, the city of New Orleans
In that event it will probably be best to occupy Algiers
with the mass of your troops; also, the eastern bank or the river above the city.
It may be necessary to place some troops in the city to preserve order, though if there appears sufficient Union sentiment to control the city, it may be best for purposes of discipline to keep your men out of the city.
After obtaining possession of New Orleans it will be necessary to reduce all the works guarding its approaches from the coast, and particularly to gain the Manchaca
, Berwick's Bay and Fort Livingston
will next claim your attention.
A feint on Galveston
may facilitate the object we have in view.
I need not call your attention to the necessity of gaining possession of all rolling stock you can on the different railways, and of obtaining control of the roads themselves.
The occupation of Baton Rouge
, by a combined naval and land force, should be accomplished as soon as possible after you have gained New Orleans; then endeavor to open your communication with the northern column of the Mississippi
, always bearing in mind the necessity of occupying Jackson, Miss.
, as soon as you can do so with safety, either after or before you have effected the junction.
Allow nothing to divert you from gaining full possession of all the approaches to New Orleans.
When the object is accomplished to its fullest extent, it will be necessary to make a combined attack on Mobile
, in order to gain possession of the harbor as well as to control the railway the city.
In regard to this I will send instructions as the operations of the column develop themselves.
I may simply that the general objects of the expedition are: First, the reduction of New Orleans and all its approaches, then Mobile
and all its defences, then Pensacola
, etc. It is probable that by the time New Orleans is reduced it will be in the power of the Government
to reinforce the land forces sufficiently to accomplish all these objects; in the meantime, you will please give all the assistance in your power to the army and navy commanders in your vicinity, never losing sight of the fact that the great object to be achieved is the capture and firm retention of New Orleans.