stroyed, and everything might have been saved had not persons refused to work for my officers, fearing that they might be subjected to punishment by the enemy. Many also refused to work for Confederate money, which occasioned some delay and difficulty in the removal of stores.
I feed gratified, however, in being able to state that we brought away all the troops that would leave, and, including the property of the State, a greater amount in value than belonged to the Government. What we failed to bring was from inability to get transportation.
In this duty I was mainly assisted by Colonel Lovell, Majors James and Bell, Captain Venable, and Lieutenant McDonald, to whom the Government is greatly indebted for the safety of much valuable property.
It was a source of great distress to me to see the result of months of toil and labor swept away in a few hours; but it was, in my opinion, mainly attributable to the following causes, which I could not by any possibility control:
1st. The want of sufficient number of guns of heavy caliber, which every exertion was made to procure without success.
2nd. The unprecedented high water, which swept away the obstructions upon which I mainly relied, in connection with the forts, to prevent the passage of a steam fleet up the river; and
3rd. The failure, through inefficiency and want of energy of those who had charge of the construction of the iron-clad steamers Louisiana and Mississippi to have them completed in the time specified so as to supply the place of obstructions; and, finally, the declension of the officers in charge of the Louisiana to allow her, though not entirely ready, to be placed as a battery in the position indicated by General Duncan and myself. On these last points I could only advise and suggest, as they appertained to a separate and independent department, over which I had no control whatever. (See letter of Major James, hereunto appended, marked D.)
Opened fire on April 13, which was kept up at intervals for five days, when the mortars opened, and from that time, with but a single intermission of a few hours, a bombardment was kept up for seven days and nights, which for great rapidity and wonderful accuracy of range has no parallel. More than 25,000 shells were thrown, of which not less than one-third fell within the limits of Fort Jackson; yet the garrisons held out, although wet, without change of clothing, and exhausted for want of rest and regular food, with a heroic endurance which is beyond all praise. That the enemy succeeded in passing a large portion of his fleet by the flats on a dark night, under a heavy fire, is due to no fault of the garrisons of the forts. They did their whole duty nobly and heroically, and had they been seconded as they should have been by the defenses afloat, we should not have had to record the fall of New Orleans.
To the officers of my staff, who underwent months of severe and arduous labor collecting supplies, creating resources, with the most limited means, and preparing all sorts of materials and munitions of war by ingenious make-shifts, I return my warmest thanks. Left in the city with a small force of badly-armed militia, all opportunity for distinction or glory was cut off, yet they never flagged in their zeal and devotion to the cause. When the country knows all that was done and in what disadvantage it was accomplished, I feel confident that its verdict will do ample justice to those who shared equally in the labors of preparation, while they were denied the glory of taking part in the defense.