War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0557 Chapter XVI. CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

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reaching New Orleans, finds its way through the alluvial country in various channels to the sea (as will be further described), which in high water offer facilities for navigation. Lake Pontchartrain is also in immediate connection with the Gulf of Mexico, with the Gulf, gives us water approach to within a few miles of the Mississippi River at a point not far below the city. This was the route taken by the British in 1815. These are the general features of the location of New Orleans.

The oat line of Department Numbers 1 is penetrated by passes and streams navigable in high-water season at not lees than twelve or fifteen different points, many of which, as the enemy had entire command of the sea, required immediately attention. Commencing at Pascagoula, on the east, the coast could be entered by water at Biloxi Bay and [Bay] Saint Louis and Pearl Rivers, which latter empties itself into the Gulf of Mexico by two mouth out ice that entrance to Lake Pontchartrain, on which Fort Pike, beside which a fair road led west to the Mississippi River, giving access to the Jackson Railroad, as well as the whole northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain. This lake was connected with the gulf by two outlets-the Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass-on the former of which was located Fort Pike and on the latter Fort Macomb, formerly called Fort Wood. From the shore of Lake Borgne four bayous put in to the land, through which access could be had by water to points near to and convenient for attack on the city. Two of them had small works upon them (Bienvenue and Phillippon) and others (Gentilly and Ciletche) were unguarded. Proceeding west, three large steams gave access directly from the ocean to firm ground near the river more than 40 miles above Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, viz: Bayous l'Outre, There aux Boeuff, and Aux Chene, the enemy occupying Breton Isle with land forces directly off the mouths of these bayous. The next main point of entrance is the Mississippi River, which enters the Gulf by five mouths or passes. Forts Jackson and Saint Philip are located on opposite sides of the river, about 25 miles above the Head of the Passes and 75 below New Orleans. Further west is Barataria Bay, at the entrance of which is an island, on the west end of which Fort Livingston is situated. The pass at the ascend is not defended. Further west is Barataria Bay, at the entrance of which is an island, on the west end of which Fort Livingstons situated. The pass at the east end is not defended. From Barataria Bay there is a direct water communication with the river just above New Orleans via Bayous Barataria and Families and a short canal. The next principal inlets are Bayous La Fourche and Grand Caillou, the former of which is one of the mouths of the Mississippi River, from which it offsets at Donaldsonville and crosses the Opelousas Railroad at Thibodeaux; the other heads near that railroad. Atchafalaya Bay and River afford the next important water approach. This river also connects with the Mississippi through Bayou Plaquemine above Donaldsonville, and, besides, gives access, via Bayou Teche and other streams, to a very rich and important section of country, as well as to the terminus of the Opelousas Railroad at Brasher City. West of this are Bayous Sayle and Dead Cypress, and Calcasieu Bay, the latter of which gave entrance to a large cattle-range country. Besides these important points there are numerous smaller creeks and bayous through which an enterprising enemy could penetrate and obtain access to important approaches above the defenses.

West of Lake Pontchartrain, and between it and the Mississippi Rive, is situated Lake Maurepas, connected with Pontchartrain by the North and South Manchac Passes, which are separated by an island, and with the river by Bayou Manchac, in former years leveled so as to destroy the river connection. The New Orleans, Jackson and great Northern Railroad runs through the narrow strip of land between Lake Pontchartrain and the river, skirting the southern and western shores of the lake, and passing between it and Maurepas acorns the North and South Manchac Passes goes northward into the interior. The New Orleans and Opelousas Railroad stars from Algiers, opposite New Orleans, terminating at Brashear City, on the Atchafalaya, about 80 miles, where the great road led to Texas. This road was the principal means of transportation for beef cattle and supplies from Teas for New Orleans and the East, and its security was a mater of great importance.

The Mexican Gulf railroad connected the city with Proctorsville, on Lake Borgne, distant 28 miles. There were also two shorts railroads from the compact part of the city to Lake Pontchartrain, besides a water connection with he lake by the new canal and the Bayou Saint John, both of which led into the heart of the city. Through the latter the Confederate States steamers Bienville and Carondelet were taken from their place of building to the lake. There were two good roads from the city to Lake Pontchartrain, one along the Bayou Saint John and the other on the Metairie Ridge. Also a road following Gentilly Ridge to Fort Macomb, near which road heads Bayou Gentilly, emptying into Lake Borgne, by which route the forts would be avoided. the city could also be approached by the enemy's fleet from the Upper Mississippi descending the river.

New Orleans is situated on low, flat ground, which is the character of all the sur-