War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0590 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

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duty of the court to obey the order under which it acts. It does not belong to it to account from the consequences of so doing.

The witness then answered as follows:

Answer. I have no personal knowledge as to the extent of General Lovell's authority over the defenses afloat. The inefficiency and incompetency of a majority of those commanding the defenses afloat were, in my judgment, the causes of its fall, but among them were some exceptions. The chief officer in command of the Confederate States steamer Louisiana, and all of those in command of the river fleet, they being unused to heavy guns and ships, with no idea of discipline, are those whom I consider inefficient and responsible for the fall of the city. On the day and evening of the passage of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip I sent three verbal communications to Captain J. K. Mitchell, C. S. Navy, informing him that the enemy's vessels of war were making disposition to untie with his mortar fleet in an attack upon the forts or in an attempts to pass them that night, and requested him to place the steamer Louisiana in position before Saint Philip so that she could enfilade the mortar fleet, thereby enabling the men in the forts to stand to their guns to resins the passage of the enemy's vessels of war. The last of these communications was under these circumstances and to this effect. I went into General Duncan's quarters, who remarked to me that Commander Mitchell had sent him word that he (Mitchell) would move the Louisiana in twenty-four hours. The message was brought by Commander Mitchell, and I immediately turned tot he latter officer and said to him: "Tell Commander Mitchell that there will be no to-morrow for New Orleans unless he immediately takes up the position assigned to him with the Louisiana; if he does not do so the city is gone, and he will be responsible to the country for its loss. The forts are powerless to prevent it." The commanding officer afloat turned a deaf ear to all our warnings and entreaties, and did not coincide with us in the belief that the enemy would have the temerity to attempt the passage of the forts, and that they were not prepared to resist it. It was fully twenty minutes from the time that the enemy rounded the point below the forts before the vessels of our fleet could move; most of these were run ashore and burned as the enemy passed.

I am of the opinion that if the vessels sent down from New Orleans to co-operate with the forts in the defense of the city had been property officered and commanded, and had been under the control of an efficient head, we would now be in possession of New Orleans. The Louisiana was invulnerable, as was demonstrated by the fact that one of the heaviest of the enemy's ships poured broadside after broadside in to hear at a distance of 20 or 30 feet without the least damaging effect. The fleet would render us no assistance. We entreated Commander Mitchell to draw the enemy's fire for a short time, to enable us to secure on of our magazines, which was in assigned for not taking up his position was that he had but two week's provisions. Another was that he was not bomb-proof above, and a shell might hit him. I was obliged to move the powder from one of the magazines under fire of the enemy and when their shells were bursting every two or three minutes in the fort. The river fleet, commanded by Stephenson, refused to obey orders from Mitchell; there was no authority and no concert of action afloat. There were twelve vessels in all, including the Louisiana. Three of these were commanded by Commander Mitchell; six by a New Orleans merchant and former steamboat captain, named Stephenson; one by Captain Beverly Kennon, formerly of the U. S. and C. S. Navies, and one by captain Grant, a steamboat captain. They were all placed under the command of Mitchell, but the failed in making the river fleet yield obedience to him.

Question. Was anything done by you in preparing launches for additional defense of water approaches in Department Numbers 1, and under whose orders?

Answer. I was ordered by General Lovell to seize twelve fishing boats and fit them up as small gunboats. I seized them, and his orders for fitting them up were being carried into execution when I was assigned to other duty in fitting up the raft. I know that some of them were completed.

By the COURT:

Question. State what was done in the forts after the enemy's fleet had passed up the river. Were any preparations made to defend the forts from an attack above; and what co-operation, if any, did you receive from the defenses afloat?

Answer. All damages were repaired as far as possible; dismounted guns were removed; the heavy guns in the lower were traversed round so as to bear upon