The battle for the defense of New Orleans was fought and lost at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.
The extraordinary and remarkable conduct of the garrisons of these forts, in breaking out in open mutiny after covering themselves with glory by their heroic defense, is one of those strange anomalies for which I do not pretend to account. The facts are recorded and speak for themselves. The causes will probably never be known in full.
For the detailed accounts of the bombardment of the forts and the engagements at the line of the passage of the fleets by them and the batteries at Chalmette, you are respectfully referred to the accompanying reports of Generals Duncan and Smith. There were no batteries except at these two points, for the reason that so guns could be procured to place in them.
I had frequent occasion to regret that it was found impossible to give me control of the defenses afloat as well as ashore. A single controlling head might have made all the resources more available and efficient in working out the desired results.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.
RICHMOND, VA., June 18, 1863.
SIR: Observing several errors in the printed copy of my report of the evacuation of New Orleans, I compared it with the copy on file in your office and the latter with the original in my possession. I find an omission in the office copy, and have the honor to request that the proper alteration may be made, as without it the pertinency of the succeeding sentence is not apparent.
The following words were omitted after the word "whatever," on page 8, line 20, viz, "or without firing a shot he could have starved the city into a surrender in less than three weeks, as there was not more than eighteen days' food on hand for the population, from which my troops were almost entirely drawn."*
By giving this attention you will much oblige, respectfully, your obedient servant,
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General.
CAMP MOORE, LA., April 28, 1862.
If the people are willing to stand the result, I will bring 4,500 men down as soon as I can give them arms and powder, and stay as long as a brick remains. It is their interest I am endeavoring to consult, not the safety of my men. I have nothing but infantry and two batteries of field artillery, which would be of no use against ships. I will come down myself if they wish it, and bring the men along as fast as ready. They are newly-raised regiments, and are being now armed and equipped, as you know. Can begin to bring them down to-morrow if that is the
*Correction made in the text.