HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Numbers 1, Jackson, Miss., May 27, 1862.
SIR: Herewith I have the honor to inclose my report of events attendant upon the fall of New Orleans; also the reports of Generals Smith and Duncan. Accompanying the latter is a diagram of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, the reports of Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins and Captain Squires, and a report of the killed and wounded at these points.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Va.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Numbers 1, Vicksburg, Miss., May 22, 1862.
SIR: Herewith I have the honor to transmit the reports of Brigadier-Generals Duncan and Smith, with the accompanying documents, of the operations preceding and attendant upon the fail of New Orleans.
The Department is fully aware, from my official correspondence and telegraphic dispatches, of the exact nature of the defenses erected for the protection of that city, consisting, in general terms, of an exterior line of forts and earthworks, intended to prevent the entrance of the armed vessels of the enemy, and an interior line in the immediate vicinity of the city, which was constructed almost entirely with reference to repelling any attack made by land with infantry. Where this line crossed the river below the city it was intended to have a battery of twelve 32 and ten 42 pounders, which it was considered would enable us to drive back any small number of ships that might succeed in passing the obstructions at the forts under the fire of their guns; but whether sufficient or not, no more were to be had, and subsequently, at the earnest request of the naval authorities, I transferred the 42-pounders to the steamers Carondelet and Bienville for service on Lake Pontchartrain in connection with Forts Pike and Macomb.
Immediately after I assumed command of the department, finding that there were no guns of the heaviest caliber, I applied to Richmond, Pensacola, and other points for some 10-inch columbiads and sea-coast mortars, which I considered necessary to the defense of the lower river, but none could be spared, the general impression being that New Orleans would not be attacked by the river, and I was therefore compelled to make the best possible defense with the guns at my disposal. Twelve 42-pounders were sent to Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, together with a large additional quantity of powder, and being convinced that with the guns of inferior caliber mounted there we could not hinder steamers from passing unless they could be detained for some time under the fire of the works, I pushed forward rapidly the construction of a raft which offered a complete obstruction to the passage of vessels up the river, except through a small opening, and then only one at a time. The forts had seventy-five or eighty guns that could be brought successively to bear upon the river; were manned by garrisons of well-trained artillerists, affording a double relief to each gun, and commanded by officers who had no superiors in any service. Under these circumstances, although I feared that the high water in the spring, with the accompanying drift, would carry away the raft, yet every confidence