Question. What duty was performed by you, under of General Lovell, in connection with the river-defense fleet; also with ships fitted out at the expense of the State of Louisiana?
Answer. I was appointed ordnance and disbursing officer of the river-defense fleet by General Lovell. As ordnance officer, I superintended the necessary work on vessels of the fleet, to receive and place imposition their armament, 32 or 24 pounders, furnished by General Lovell. I also furnished them ammunition and small-arms, and established a system of signals. As disbursing officer, I had to examine and pay the many bills incurred in fitting out the fleet. When the steamers Charles Morgan, Galmany bills incurred in fitting out the fleet. When the steamers Charles Morgan, Galveston (afterwards the Governor Moore), and General Quitman were taken by Governor Moore to be fitted out as gunboats, they were immediately, by General Lovell's consent, turned over to me, to be altered, protected, armed, officered, and manned as I might deem proper. I had the whole charge of these two steamers. All that was done by the State was to pay the bills approved by me. The captains appointed by me (and confirmed by Governor Moore) to the command of these vessels were Capts. Beverly Kennon, of the Governor Moore, and Alexander Grant, of the General Quitman.
Question. When the raft at the lower forts was completed and put in position did you consider it an effective obstacle to ships ascending the river as long as it remained in place?
Answer. When the raft was in position, after I had taken charge of it, I considered it an effective obstruction to vessels coming up the river, and that it would have so remained had it not been for the extra ordinary high water and drift. By the water overflowing the banks the ground was softened, which prevented the anchors from holding. I did not think it possible for the enemy to remove the raft under the guns of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip. If the raft had not been carried away I do not believe it possible for the enemy to have passed the forts.
Question. What measures were taken by you under authority of General Lovell previous to the passage of the forts, previous to the evacuation in case of such passage, and what use was made of such means at the time of the evacuation?
Answer. Some days before the enemy passed the forts, by General Lovell's directions, I got ready, for any move that might by necessary, the three steamers Magenta, Peytona, and Pargoud. These vessels were in such condition that they could all be ready to move at four hours' notice. I ordered these three vessels to get ready to move at 7 o'clock the morning the enemy passed the forts-April 24, 1862. I turned over the largest steamer (the Magenta) to Major Lamar, for the purpose of removing Government commissary stores. the next largest steamer (the Peyton) I turned over to Captain St. Clair, at his urgent request, to assist in towing the Mississippi. The third steamer (the Pargoud) was used to remove commissary and ordnance stores. Among the latter stores she had one 32-pounder and a number of battery forges; I think six. The cabin of the boat was filled with persons-many women and children-who wished to leave the city.
Cross-examination by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. What was your occupation before April, 1861?
Answer. I was an officer in the Navy of the United States for nearly twelve years. I resigned from that service in 1859. I entered the Naval School at Annapolis as a midshipman in 1847 and graduated in 1853. During the last three years of my service in the U. S. Navy I was in command of steamers.
Question. Did you not succeed General M. L. Smith as ordnance officer of Department Numbers 1? If you were acting as such at the time of the evacuation of New Orleans, state the amount of ordnance you then had on hand and what became of it.
Answer. I did succeed him as such. I cannot state the amount on hand without reference to any ordnance papers; there was a great deal of ordnance stores at the various forts. Of that in the city, under my immediate charge, the larger proportion was saved; very little was lost. Many supplies of ordnance stores were furnished to various works for which I received no receipts, and had to report them in my return as lost. To illustrate my meaning, the powder reported by me to be lost was sent to the fort below the city (Chalmette) and to the upper batteries, and two or three 8-inch columbiads reported as lost were used at Chalmette in the fight.