War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0565 Chapter XVI. CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

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rive told me that any obstruction of such character could no be made to hold in the Mississippi River for the reason above indicated; but I through it possible that I could make it so that to would hold for several month; at all events until the middle of January, at which date I was informed by those superintending their constructions that the iron-clad vessels would be completed.

In constructing this raft I employed the best engineering and nautical ability at my, command, Major Smith and Colonel Ducan, and Colonel [W. S.] Lovell (formerly of the U. S. Navy), being charged with its construction and anchorage. Its position was fixed upon after consultation with General Beauregard, who, as an engineer in the U. S. Army, had been in service in that country for many years. I had a long boom constructed to stretch diagonally across the river above the forts, so as to shed the drift over thorough the opening; but all my endeavors to get chains and anchors to secure it in position proved futile.

I omitted stating that on April 23 I requested Commander Whittle to order the iron-clad steamer Louisiana to take position just below Fort Saint Philip, and endeavor to dislodge the enemy's mortar boats, so as to give some refit to the garrisons and enable them to repair damages. He said she was not in condition for effective service, and she would probably be lost. I told him we had better lose her then the city of new Orleans, and he telegraphed Captain Mitchell to strain a point to endeavor to comply with my request. The naval commanders held a consultation on the subject, and, for reasons which they considered satisfactory, declined to place the vessel in the position indicated.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a. m. to-morrow, the 10th instant.

JACKSON, MISS., April 10, 1863.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

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

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of Major-General LOVELL, continued.


Question. State your reasons for the evacuation of the other forts and works of the exterior line and the city of New Orleans after the passage of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip by the enemy's fleet; the measures you adopted for the removal of public property; the amount of such property, and the number of troops removed from the city; state also the facts and circumstances attendant upon the evacuation.

Answer. I was present in a small river steamboat at the engagement which resulted in the passage of the forts by the enemy's fleet on the morning of April 24, an proceeded immediately to the city. I had taken down on the boats with me to Fort Jackson a number of large cartridges, already made up, for General Duncan's heavy guns, which I was unable to deliver. On my return I directed them to be left at the batteries on the lower interior line, stopped there myself, and told the officers that the cartridges must be reduced to 8 pounds each for service with their guns, which were 32-pounders, which, I believe, was not done. I had already determined upon the course to be pursued in case of the passage of the forts, and had made arrangements to meet the emergency, having particularly directed my chief commissary (Major Lanier) to send out quietly from the city several hundred thousand rations, which were deposited at Covington and at point on the Jackson Railroad. I has also, through Colonel Lovell, of my staff, made arrangements to have several large steamers kept in such a state of preparation that they could be made available at a few hours' notice.

I determined to evacuate the city hen the enemy succeeded in passing the forts for the following reasons: The principal concentration in men, guns,and ships had been made at this point. It had been selected as the spot where the battle for the defense of New Orleans against a fleet coming up the Mississippi River should be fought,and everything available for the defense below, both ashore and afloat, had been collected there, except the twelve guns on the river at the lower interior line, which were put there to flank that line. The obstacles had been placed there and swept away and had been a complete bar to the passage of a hostile fleet, and the naval and river defense officers had brought to bear at that point all the available strength, and although New Orleans was still in a condition to resist an attack by land, yet when, after six days and nights of incessant conflict, the forts were passed