War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0559 Chapter XVI. CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

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and, having been unoccupied for many yards, had become much dilapidated, and in places I found them crumbling with their own with. On inspection I found them armed principally with smooth-bore 24 and 32 pounders, there not being in the whole department more then nine guns mounted of a great caliber than a 32-pounder, and indeed, but twenty-six of them mounted. Seven or eight of the 32s had been rifled, but there was neither short nor shell for them. The gun-carriages were generally old and defective from long exposure to the weather. Many of them were so decayed that I could insert a penknife with ease into the wood. There was likewise a very great defenciency in all the implements and equipments necessary for the service of heavy guns, as sponges, reamers, priming-wires, friction-tubes, primers, haversacks, handspikes, hot-shot implements, budge-barrels, &c. The ammunition did not average more than twenty rounds per gun.

Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, owing to the exertions of General (then Colonel) Duncan, were in a better state of preparation than the other works, but still sadly deficient in very many respects for their fully defense, and much of the ammunition on hand was so inferior in quality as not to give more than half range. The Macomb had nothing but 24-pounders, which, indeed, composed the main armament of all the works. There were no guns or works at Pass Manchac, or Bayou La Fourche, Grand Caillou, or on the approaches, or Barataria Bay, to the river near the city. No measures had been taken for obstructing any of the rivers or passes, either by felling timber, driving pikes, or making rafts, except that the materials has been collected in part for making a raft, to be placed in the Mississippi River at the forts, and work on it had been commenced. A line of entrenchments around the city itself had been planned, and was commenced some weeks before my arrival, by Major (now General) M. L Smith, but it was entirely unfinished; not a gun was mounted, a magazine built, nor a platform laid. the length of this line was more than 8 miles. General Twiggs had, shortly before being relieved, received from the Norfolk navy-yard more than 100 old navy guns, many of which had been long in use and the rest so worn as to be unfit for friction tubes. Many of the guns had been cast more than forty years. There were none above a 42-pounder, and a number were 32-pounder carronades, a gun entirely useless except for firing grape and canister at short distances. N carriages, chassis, or implements came with these guns, and none of them were mounted when I took command. There was a vast amount of engineer and ordnance work to be done, and both of these important branches were imposed upon Major Smith, who found in impossible to do justice to them both.

On the water there were two small vessels, the McRae and the Joy, and the ram Manassas, with one gun. Two river steamboats were being strengthened and ironed for service, the keels of two iron-clad ships-the Louisiana and Mississippi-had been lately laid, and two smaller gunboats, for service on Lake Pontchartrain, were on the stocks in the Bayou Saint John.

This is about the condition of the preparations on November 1, about the time I assumed command. I would add that several new regimens were in process of organization and preparation at Camp Moore, 78 miles north of the city, but were only partially armed and equipped. There were in all five new regiments, which were unfit to take the field.

The court adjourned to 10 a. m. the 8th instant.

JACKSON, MISS., April 8, 1863.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members, the judge-advocate, and Major-General Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of Major-General LOVELL continue.


Question. What steps did you take to organize and perfect the defenses of the department? Give a full account of your preparations and administration up to the time of the evacuation of the city.

Answer. Thinning it probable that an attack would be made some time in January, I commenced at once, with all the available means at my disposal, to supply the deficiencies and to provide against the dangers indicated in my last answer. In making these preparations, however, I was materially delayed by the want of a sufficient number of competent officers of experience and detailed knowledge. This deficiency was made know to the War Department and relief asked on several occasions, but without success. (See my letters to the War Department of various dates.)