Having completed my inspection in the early part of November, I telegraphed on the 5th to Colonel Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance, at Richmond, for mortars and columbiads. He replied the next day that he had no mortars or columbiads to spare at present. I then telegraphed General Bragg, at Pensacola, to send me, if possible, some 10-inch guns and mortars. He answered, "Not a gun to spare." Knowing that there was no other point to look to for guns, I then turned my attention to making arrangements in New Orleans with Messrs. Leeds & Co., Bennett & Surges, and S. Wolfe & Co. for putting up reverberating furnaces and making other preparation for casting 8 and 10 inch columbiads and 10-inch sea-coast mortars. I procured all the large chains and anchors that could be had from Pensacola, Savannah, and other places, for the purpose of constructing grafts and booms to place in the various after approaches, giving particular attention to that in the Mississippi River; contracted for the building and sinking of an obstruction in pearl River; had Salt Bayou, as also Gentilly and ciletche Bayous, with rows of piles driven across the channels, and Bayous l'Outre, Terre Aux Boeuff, and Aux Chene obstructed by felling the time be on the banks, and eventually, with the assistance of the Safety Committed of New Orleans, had two own of piles, each more than 1,000 yards long and braced at the top, driven in the channel, under the guns of Fort Pike, where the water was nearly 50 feet in depth. The channel leading into Atchafalaya Bay was also filled up by sinking green live-oak trees, forming an obstructions 40 feet wide at the base and 8 at the tops, and a raft was placed on the river just below Fort Berwick. Judge Baker, of Louisiana superintended this latter work.
I replaced the 24-pounders en barbette, bearing on the water, at Frost Jackson, Saint Philip, Pike, and Macomb, with the 42 and 32 pounders received from Norfolk, and added materially to the strength of the various garrisons. Obtaining sulphur and saltpeter wherever it could be found I pressed to completion a large powder-mill, under charge of Messrs. Hobart & Forter, and soon commenced the manufactory of powder, which was submitted to the eprouwette test before it was received. Having arrangements made with the foundries in New Orleans for casting shot and shell, I proceeded, with the permission of the Secretary of War, to convert one-half of the large new Marine Hospital into an arsenal, where I had a steam-engine put up for driving the machinery, small-arms prepared, and the various implements, equipments, and munitions made for the service of heavy guns. A cartridge manufactory was established, in which a number of hands were employed, and which not only supplied my department, but enabled me to send more than 1,000,000 rounds to the army in Tennessee.
A considerable quantity of powder was brought in by the steamers Vanderbilt, Miramon, and Victoria, but it was all old and unfit for use, and every poind was remanufactured in New Orleans; and from this source I transferred to the Navy 25,000 pounds, sent 17,000 pounds to other departments, and 12,000 pounds to Richmond, besides furnishing ammunition to all the troops sent to General A. S. Johnston in Tennessee, and giving the river-defense fleet what they required.
Earth worth forts, mounting from two to six guns each, were commenced on the Grand Caillou and on Bayou La Fourche; on Bayou Barataria, at the Manchac Passes,and at Protorsville; and two forts on Berwick Bay were almost entirely reconstructed. On the Mississippi River works were also put up above the city and on the southern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain.
The general plan adopted was to have two lines of works-an exterior line passing through the forts and earthworks erected to defend the various water approaches, and an interior line, embracing New Orleans and Algiers,which was intended principally to repel an attack by land. Commencing at the swamp on the west side of the river, about 4 1/2 miles below Algiers, this interior line extended across the firm ground of the right bank of the river, and from the right bank, at a point just opposite across the dry ground, to a swamp which occupied the espace between it and Gentilly Ridge, where the line extended across the ridge to the adjoining swamp. It was resumed at the various points of firm ground on the railroad, canal, and roads, went they issued through the swamp in rear of the city, towards Lake Pontchartrain. Above the city it also extended from the swamp to the left bank of the river again, and from the opposite side it ran along the Barataria Canal from the bank of the river again, and from the opposite side it ran along the Barataria Canal from the bank of the river to the swamp above Algiers. The total length of the entrenchments on this line was more than 8 miles, and, when completed, it, in connection with the swamp, put New Orleans in an impregnable position so far as regarded any attack by land. It mounted more than sixty guns, of various calibers, and was surrounded by wide and deep ditches.
One regiments of troops was taken from the Mississippi coast and stationed at Berwick Bay, a point of vital importance, where I also located a battery of field artillery an a company of cavalry. Twenty independent companies of infantry, raised by my predecessor, were organized by me into regiments, placed as garrisons in the various works of the exterior line, and thoroughly drilled in the heavy artillery service. The infantry at Camp Moore was brought to the city and placed in camp, and when General Ruggles (after four weeks of severe illness) reported for duty he was charged with