JACKSON, MISS., April 13, 1863-10 a. m.
The court met pursuant to adjournment.
Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Major General Mansfield Lovell.
The proceedings of the 11th instant were read over.
Examination of General M. LOVELL resumed.
Answer (continued). In answer to the latter part of the question asked previous to the examination of Major James, as to the removal of public property, I will state, in general terms, that I gave orders to my staff officers to employ every means, by vessels on the Mississippi River and the lake, and by the Jackson Railroad, to remove the public property in their charge. I also sent from Camp Moore several active and energetic officers, who were well acquainted with he city, to search out and to transport from thence all the Government property and all property of the State of Louisiana available for war purposes. Before the arrival of the enemy's fleet several steamers had been sent up the river loaded with ordnance and commissary stores and with the machinery of the rifle factory and powder-mills. I took possession of all the rolling stock of the Jackson Railroad, and, with the co-operation and assistance of the superintendent, Mr. Williams, kept the whole force of the road moving night and day, employed in bringing out such property as my agents collected for transportation. Majors James, Venable, and Bell, with Captains McDonald and Caulkins, were busily employed in this matter under my orders until they reported to me that they had brought everything that could be found belonging either to the State of Louisiana or the Government, or that was in the hands of contractors, that could be made available for military purposes. For details I will have to refer the court to other witnesses. I know that an enormous amount of property was brought from New Orleans, which I should estimate to be worth several millions of dollars. i advised the officer in command of the gunboats on the lake to take his ships to Mobile, but he determined, for his own reasons, to decry them. I then got from there ten or twelve heavy guns, with ammunition, which I sent up and put in position at Vicksburg.
On the afternoon of April 24, after my return to the city, it was intimated to me that 1,000 volunteers might be got, who, if placed on steamers, partly protected by cotton bales, would undertake to board and take possession of the enemy's hips by a hand-to-hand fight. I did not think it practicable, because I did not believe that the requisite number of desperately bold men could be had; but I concluded to make the attempt, and published an order calling for the volunteers, placing the whole matter attempt, and publish an order calling for the volunteers, placing the whole matter in charge of Major S. L. James. Advertisements to that effect were published in all the papers of the city, but less than 150 men volunteered for the enterprise, and it was accordingly abandoned.
I returned to the city from Camp Moore on the evening of the 28th, three days after the evacuation, as it was intimated to me that the citizens intended to resist the enemy at all hazards, and had they concluded to do so, I determined to support and assist them at any cost. I found, however, that no such idea was entertained. I was at the mayor's hose when Commodore Farragut announced by letter the surrender of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip and demanded the surrender of the city. Soon after I met general Duncan, who confirmed the new of the surrender of the forts. The flag was taken down from the city hall on the same day and replaced by the United States flag while I was yet in the city. I remained six or eight hours after that event took place, and finally returned to Camp Moore on the night of the 29th, as my presence could no longer be of any use in New Orleans. Three days later I addressed the following letter to the Adjutant-General:
CAMP MOORE, LA., May 2, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to request that the Department will appoint a board of competent officers to examine into and report upon the circumstances preceding and attendant upon the vacation of the city of New Orleans, as well as the passage of the forts (Jackson and Saint Philip) by the fleet of the enemy, which brought about the evacuation. This is necessary as an act of justice to myself and offices, as well as to vindicate the truth of history.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
No official notice as taken of this application.
The court adjourned to meet at 12 m. the 14th instant.