War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0564 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

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over to him. As she was an iron-clad ship, mounting sixteen guns, a number of which were rifled, of the heaviest caliber and longest range, I determined, in the emergency, to take 50 rounds from my battery of smooth-bore 32s on the lower line, which would give the Louisiana 5,000 pounds additional, but only left 20 rounds at the interior line battery. I thought that the powder would do better service on the Louisiana than with my light guns and new recruits, on the inner line. I issued no ammunition to the militia at the camp near the interior line because they were utterly useless against ships; no land attack was anticipated, and, above all, they had, in some regiments, manifested such an insubordinate disposition, that I fell unwilling to put ammunition in their hands. I had, however, 600,000 rounds of shot-gun cartridges made up for their use, and put in the arsenal ready for use when the proper time should arrive.

I employed two small steamers,with officers selected by myself, and sent them to General Duncan, for towing the fire-rafts into position for setting them adrift. Several other steamers were also employed to carry down sand bags, already filled, for protection to the magazines, &c., of the forts. For full particulars of the long and arduous contest at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip reference is made to General Duncan's official report.

On April 20, in consequence of the heavy fire, I turned over to Captain Mitchell the control of the fire rafts, the steamers for towing them, and all other floating defenses at the forts, as General Duncan found it impossible to take proper charge of them. i sent orders to that effect to Captain Stephenson, the senior officer of the six boats of the river-defense fleet, and to the captains of the two ships turned over to me by Governor Moore.

This, I believe, answers the question in the most material points. A vast number of smaller matters gave me such trouble and labor and took up a great deal of my time. I refer the court especially to my correspondence with the War Department for additional particulars as to all that was done by me in the administration of the affairs of Department Numbers 1.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a. m. the 9th instant.

JACKSON, MISS., April 9, 1863.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and also Major General Mansfield Lovell.

Examination of Major-General LOVELL continued.


Question. Describe particularly the obstruction of the Mississippi River near Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, an state what, if any, confidence you placed in that obstruction as a permanent work.

Answer. The obstruction in the Mississippi River was placed just under the guns of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, and work upon it had been begun before my arrival. It consisted of cypress trees 40 feet long and averaging 4 to 5 feet at the larger end. These were placed longitudinally in the river, about 2 feet apart, so as to leave a water-way. They were held together by (or rather strung upon) two 2 1/2-inch chain cables, which were passed through mortises in the under side of the logs and held in place by heavy iron staples. To give it stiffening large timbers, 6 by 4 inches, were securely pinned down transversely to the upper side of the logs. This raft was placed in the river by securing the chains on the left bank to large trees, and on the right bank, where there were no trees, they were fastened to crab capstans and to immense anchors buried inthe ground and held by heavy timbers. In additional, all the anchors that could be had were got from various points in the Confederacy, and the raft was anchored up sterna, the large anchors being laid singly and the smaller ones backed by a second anchor. The depth of the river being about 130 feet at that point, this required an immense amount of chain, which was difficult to procure, as well as a sufficiency of anchors.

The difficulty of anchoring heavy mass in the Mississippi arises from the fact that the bottom is a shifting sand,and in high water the swift current soon cuts out the anchors or other obstruction placed on the bottom. In this manner the raft began to sag by the drifting of the anchors, and the whole weight was thrown upon the chains; and, when an immense amount of drift-wood had accumulated above the raft, these eventually parted. This occurred about the early part of March. I employed steamers to remove the drift, but it accumulated much faster than it could be removed. I then authorized General Duncan to employ 50 or 100 boatmen, with skiffs, to assist in the operation; but only a few boats could be obtained. Persons well acquainted with the