War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0602 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

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Question. Would the water let in from above the city through a crevasse have submersed the whole city or only that portion next the swamp and lakes?

Answer. the crevasse at Carrollton, about 6 miles above the city, several years ago, submersed the city to about Bourbon street, the fifth street on Canal street from the river. A crevasse nearer to the city than Carrollton would probably have submerged it to greater extent. The water would have remained in the city as long as the river remained at high stage. I have know the city to be in danger of submersion without any crevasse of the levee, owing to the exceeding high stage of the river, and, in the vent of a crevasse, the depth of water arising from the submersion would be proportioned to the height of the river and the width of the crevasse.

Question. Could Forts Jackson and Saint Philip have held the river against a hostile fleet without obstructions in the channel? What should have been the character of these obstructions? By what means could the accumulation of drift have been prevented?

Answer. I am decidedly of the opinion that Forts Jackson and Saint Philip could not have prevented a certain number of steamers out of fleet from passing up the river in a dark night or a foggy day. A boom obstruction is, in my opinion, the only kind that could have answered the purpose of preventing the enemy's steamers from passing those forts; but the problem of constructing those booms so as to enable them to resist the pressure of the drift-wood is a difficult one, which would require very thorough examination and study to solve it satisfactorily. Knowing the importance of a boom for the defense of New Orleans, when the State seceded I had made the drawings and estimates of a boom to be put cross the river between these two forts. When, In February, 1861, I left New Orleans for Montgomery, at the call of the Confederate States Government, I placed the drawings and plans referred to in the hands of Colonel Paul Hebert, for the use of the State Military Board, calling their attention to the urgent necessity of having the boom constructed and put in position at the earliest moment practicable; but I am informed that it was never done, on account of its cost (less than $100,000), and the time required for its construction, probably three months. It was designed to make it in two sections, of several layers of logs, strongly bolted together; each section strongly anchored at one extremity to each bank of the river; their other extremities were then to be brought together down-stream, near the Fort Jackson side, about one-third the width of the river, by means of steam power, chains, and anchors; these chains to be slackened when the drift-wood accumulated too much above the boom, and hauled taut again its passage.

Question. As against a naval force of, say, twenty mortar vessels and thirty steam vessels and a land force of 15,000 men, what works, guns, obstructions, and troops would be necessary to the successful defense of New Orleans, and what naval co-operation would be required?

Answer. This question is no important and difficult that I do not feel competent, away from the locality, to give it reliable or satisfactory answer. In October, 1861, when General Lovell was ordered to Louisiana, he called upon me for my general views as to the defense of that State, which I furnished him in writing. he informs me that he has it now in his possession. It was hastily written but it, or so much as may be deemed proper by the court, may be annexed as a part of this answer.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a. m. to-morrow.

CHARLESTON, S. C., May 19, 1861 - 10 a. m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Major General Mansfield Lovell.

Lieutenant A. F. WARLEY, C. S. Navy, was then sword and exammed as a witness.


Question. State your rank in the Navy, and where you were on duty in April, 1862.

Answer. I am first lieutenant in the C. S. Navy, and was in command of the Confederate States ram Manassas, between Forst Saint Philip and Jackson, in April, 1862.