War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0575 Chapter XVI. CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

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The following statement was then made by General Lovell:

I desire to add, that when I have stated in my testimony I have done thus and so, to is to be understood that in many instances these matters were personally attended to by officers of my staff or members of the Safety Committee, but under my orders or with my knowledge and advice.

A certified copy of certain letter, a part of the official correpondence between the War Department and Major General M. Lovell, was then offered in evidence by the judge-advocate, which said copy was ready to the court, and is hereto appended ad document N.*

Surg. D. W. BRICKELL was then duly sworn and examined as a witness.


Question. Were you in New Orleans during the six months prior to its capture by the enemy in April, 1862? If yea, state what, if any, public duties wee devolved upon you in that time.

Answer. I was in New Orleans during that time, and my only public duty was as a member of the Committee of Public Safety, from its organization to the fall of the city, a period of about sixty days.

Question. State by what authority this committee was organized, the number and character of its members, and what it did or endeavored to do while in existence.

Answer. The committee consisted originally of about fifty persons; several member of the city council and other persons were, however, added to it, until the number of was probably more than sixty. It consisted of persons from all classes and pursuits, selected for their worth, usefulness, and intelligence, and was created by authority of the city council. Its object was to co-operate in every possible way with the Confederate and State authorities to defend and preserve the city. The first act of the committee was to tender to the commanding general its services, pecuniary aid, and every other aid in this power to render. The committee took charge of and urged the piling of the passage of the Rigolets. It also waited upon and urged the governor to have Messrs. Cook & Brothers' factory of small-arms enlarge so as to have 100, instead of 25, Enfield rifles turned out per day, and to this end we induced the governor to appropriate $40,000; but this he would not do until the committee had appropriated a like sum. The establishment at that time was making guns for the State of Alabama alone. We wanted that contract executed in the shortest time, so that the State of Louisiana might have the benefit of this works. The committee ascertained that the sides of the vessel at night, so that the work might be pressed forward both day and night, and also tendered them mechanics, both white and black, to relieve their hands and to be entirely under their control. It was offered to do these things at the expense of the city, without cost to them; but every single proposal was rejected,and we were uniformly assured that the vessel would be completed within thirty days after our organization. They declined the service of negro mechanics, stating that the hands would not work in the day if negroes were employed at night. To this we replied that were would form military organizations and compel his hands to work.

As a member of the sub-committee to inquire into the condition and progress of the Mississippi, I found that the contracts made for engines, sheet-iron work, and other material of construction by the Messrs. Tift were with men altogether secondary in their lines, of limited capital, generally in great need of money, and wholly unable to fulfill their contracts. There were two or three machinists in the city of much larger capital and works-Messrs. Leeds & Co. and Bennett & Surges-who stood much higher with the citizens than these men. The committee sent an agent-Mr. James Beggs-to various placed between Atlanta and New Orleans to collect the iron that was being made for plating the vessel, who brought it to the city. The committee also sent Major James to Richmond to bring the center shaft, which he did bring to the city. A large quantity of lightwood was collected by the agents of the committee for the purpose of making fire rafts to send down to the forts. Large quantities of iron and other metals were brought by the agents from various points on the Mississippi, contributed by the planters,and turned over to the military authorities. Every requisition for money made by the commanding general and his subordinates was promptly


*Not found.