5 x 8, imprint.
Headquarters Department of the Gulf
Ship Island, [Mississippi], March 24, 1862
General Orders No. 4
A Board of Officers, consisting of
1. Col. O.P. Gooding, 31st Mass. Volunteers
2. Lieut. Col. A.B. Farr, 26th Mass. Volunteers
3. Major David R. Hastings, 12th Maine Volunteers
4. Capt. William Roy, 21st Indiana Volunteers
5. First Lieut. John Brennan, 12th Conn. Volunteers
Will assemble at the Headquarters of the 31st Mass. Volunteers, on the 25th inst., or as soon thereafter as practicable, for the examination of such officers as may be brought before it.
The Board will report upon the capacity, qualifications, property of conduct and efficiency of the officers examined.
By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER
GEO. C. STRONG, A.A.G.
Excellent. Scarce Ship Island, Mississippi imprint from the Department of the Gulf just prior to the capture of New Orleans.
WBTS Trivia: Ship Island is located about 67 miles south of New Orleans near the mouth of the Mississippi River. It was the only deep-water harbor between Mobile Bay and the mighty Mississippi, and the island served as a vital anchorage for ships.
Construction of the fort began in 1859, and continued up to the Civil War which the Confederates named Fort Twiggs in honor of Confederate General David E. Twiggs. After Union occupation, the island became a prison camp for Confederate p.o.w.'s, and a base for the U.S. Second Regiment, Louisiana Native Guards, a unit composed of African-American soldiers. On July 9, 1861, a cannon exchange between Confederates in Fort Twiggs, and the Federal steamer USS Massachusetts took place. Ship Island was ultimately forced to be abandoned by the Confederates because it could not be adequately garrisoned. The USS Massachusetts took possession of the island, and it later became a valuable Federal base from which to stop the traffic of Confederate vessels traveling between Mobile and New Orleans through the Mississippi Sound.
In 1862, the fort was re-renamed Fort Massachusetts in honor of the Union warship which had seized the Confederate outpost.