War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0525 Chapter XVI. CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

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now very much disconnected and scattered, and exchanged a few shots with the hostile gunboats and mortar boats.

Two more abortive attempts were made to send down fire barges against the enemy during the night.

April 18.-At 9 a. m. the enemy opened upon Fort Jackson with his entire mortar fleet of twenty-one vessels and with rifled guns from his gunboats. Fifteen of them were concealed behind the point of woods and the other six hauled out in the stream at an angle with them (see diagram), just at the extreme range of our heaviest guns. Our fire disabled one gunboat and one mortar boat, causing those in the stream to retire behind the cover of the woods. Generally our shots fell short for lack of elevation and in consequence of the inferiority of our powder compared to that of the enemy. Even our nearest gun, a 10-inch sea-coast mortar, would not reach his boats with the heaviest charges.

The enemy ceased firing at 7 p. m., having fired this day 2,997 mortar shells.

The quarters in the bastions were fired and burned down early in the day, as well as all the quarters immediately without the fort. The citadel was set on fire and extinguished several times during the first part of the day, but later it became impossible to put out the flames, so that when the enemy ceased firing it was one burning mass, greatly endangering the magazines, which at one time were reported to be on fire. Many of the men and most of the officers lost their bedding and clothing by these fires, which greatly added to the discomforts of the overflow. The mortar fire was accurate and terrible, many of the shells falling everywhere within the fort and disabling some of our best guns.

I endeavored to get the naval forces to carry down fire barges against the enemy so as to disperse them, but they were all let go above the raft, and with such a lack of judgment that they only lodged under the forts and did not reach the enemy. (See attached document C.)

None of the boats acted as a guard boat below the raft at night, so that, in consequence, the enemy sent up two launches to examine the character of the raft obstructing the river.

April 19.-The mortar fleet again opened at 6 a. m. and the fire was constantly kept up throughout the day. Gunboats constantly came above the point during the day to engage the forts, but were as constantly driven back by our fire. One of them we crippled, which was towed behind the point of woods. The enemy's fire was excellent, a large proportion of his shells falling within Fort Jackson. The terreplein, parade plain, parapets, and platforms were very much cut up, as well as much damage done to the casemates. The magazines were considerably threatened, and one shell passed through into the casemate containing fixed ammunition. One 10-inch and one 8-inch columbiad, one 32 and one 24 pounder, and one 10-inch siege-mortar were disabled in the main work, also two rifled 32-pounders in the water battery. Bombardment continued very regularly and accurately all night. Failures again were made in sending down fire barges.

April 20.-Some rain in the morning. Bombardment constant throughout the day, with occasional shots from the gunboats around the point. Wind very high. No fire barges sent down to light up the river or distract the attention of the enemy at night. In consequence, between 11 and 12 p. m., under cover of the heaviest shelling during the bombardment thus far, one of the enemy's gunboats came up in the darkness and attempted to cut the chains of the raft and drag off the schooners. A heavy fire was opened upon her, which caused her to