February, 23, 1862
On February 23, 1862, Major General George B. McClellan issued General Orders No. 20 (Dept. of the Army) creating the Department of the Gulf and naming Major General Benjamin F. Butler to command.
General Orders No. 20
Headq'rs of the Army, Adj't General's Office
Washington, February, 23, 1862
A new military department, to be called the Department of the Gulf, is hereby constituted. I twill comprise all of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico west of Pensacola harbor, and so much of the Gulf States as may be occupied by the forces under Major General B. F. Butler, United States Volunteers. The headquarters for the present will be movable, wherever the General Commanding may be.
By Command of Major General McClellan:
L. THOMAS, Adjutant General