War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0583 Chapter XVI. CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

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Owing to the narrowness of the neck of land above Carrollton, separating the Mississippi from the impassable swamp and marsh bordering Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans may be considered as situated on an island and subject to all the conditions of a place surrounded by water. The force controlling the water controls the supplies which subsist the island, and it can neither be approached nor left except by consent. This I understand to have been precisely the case with the city. Not a barrel of flour, not a pound of bacon or beef, could have been brought there with the Federal vessels in possession of the river above the forst and of the lakes as they practically were. Without firing a gun, without making a single hostile demonstration other then keeping out supplies, the city would most probably have been surrendered in a month or two from starvation. Had the fall of New Orleans depended upon the enemy's first taking Fort Jackson and saint Philip, I think the city would have been safe against an attack from the Gulf. The forts, in my judgement, were impregnable so long as an attack from the Gulf. The forts, in my judgement, were impregnable so long as they were in free and open communication with the city. This communication was not endangered while the obstruction existed. The conclusion, then, is briefly this: while the obstruction existed the city was safe; when it was swept away, as the defenses then existed, it was within the enemy's power. I do not now think it was possible for General Lovell or any other person to have kept the obstruction in place during the continuance of high water and drift, and after it was swept away there was neither time nor materials for building another on a different plan.

Question. In the evacuation of New Orleans were any means neglected which should have been taken to save the public property or any part thereof, and was the evacuation well conducted?

Answer. My command lay below the city. I was not in i during the evacuation; in fact, was not aware that it was evacuated until after the soldiers and officers had all felt. As to public property, I had none in charge, and am not sufficiently familiar with the means used to save it to give an opinion as to whether or not any means necessary to save it were neglected.

Question. Was it possible to save the gunboat Mississippi, and could she not have been removed to some other point when the raft ceased to be an obstruction?

Answer. I have no positive knowledge of my own regarding the gunboat Mississippi, was never an board of her, and am not cognizant of the effort made to remove her.

Cross-examination by Major General MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. What kind of works were Forst Berwick and Chene, and what were their condition and that of their armament when General Lovell assumed command?

Answer. They were the ordinary class of field works, intended to month three or four guns. The parapet had sunk considerably at the time of his arrival and required fitting up again. From the character of the soil they required a good deal of work from time to time, and had already been repaired once or twice. After his arrival one r more gun-carriages had been substituted, and the equipments, upon his order, had been duplicated. There were three, perhaps four, guns mounted. There was one rifled 32-pounder; whether the others were all 32-pounder smooth bores or 24-pounders I do not recollect. There were no projectiles for the rifled 32-pounder in the department, the kind of projectile having not then been decided upon. These pieces had been but recently rifled by direction of General Twiggs.

Question. Were any platforms for guns laid, magazines built, or hotshot furnaces erected for the interior line at that time?

Answer. I think not.

Question. You say Fort Jackson was completed as originally designed. Was there no a water battery, which was subsequently put in order, guns mounted, and used by direction of General Lovell?

Answer. I believe there was an advanced outwork, not then ready for use, put in order and guns mounted by General Lovell; but not being done under my directions I cannot say positively.

Question. What orders were given by General Lovell at fort Living-