War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0603 Chapter XVI. CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

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Question. State, if you know, the condition of the Confederate States steamer Louisiana at the time the forts were passed by the enemy's fleet.

Answer. I was not attacked to her, but joined her the morning after the fight, when my vessel had been destroyed. The Louisiana was without motive power, and was made fast to the bank had an anchor down. She was to have been propelled by a submerged wheel and two propellers. The submerged wheel had proved to be useless and the propellers were unfinished. I know but little of her armament. There are other persons who can give you full information on this subject. Commander Mitchell and Lieutenant's Shryock and Bowen were attached to the vessel.

Question. Were you one of the officers of the naval council convened to consider and determine a location for the Louisiana in the effort to resist the attack of the enemy's fleet upon and their passage of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip? If so, state why she was not placed in the position desired by Generals Lovell and Duncan.

Answer. I was one of that council. The vessel was not put in the position desired by Generals Lovell and Duncan because the vessel had no propelling power of her own, and to have taken that position she would have been under the fire of the mortar boats of the enemy, while she would not have been able to have reached them. Her port-holes were so constructed that her guns could not have had sufficient elevation to bring their fire within range. In my opinion she would have been sunk in that position in half an hour without effecting a particle of good. In that opinion the senior officers of the council concurred without a dissenting voice. I was the junior member of the council. The practice of the enemy's mortar fleet was perfect. As an illustration, I was satisfied before the bombardment commenced that they had been taking observation of the manassas. I had orders to remove my vessel to the other side of the river as soon as the fight commenced. At the explosion of the first shell I hauled out of my position, but had not removed a ship's length before two mortar shells fell in the position I had held, and I subsequently counted sixty shots that struck within a short time the place the Manassas had retired from. The Louisiana presented a much larger surface than the Manassas, and one shell falling perpendicularly upon her upper deck would have been sufficient to have sunk her. The upper deck was flat and only covered with very thin iron. She was built to fight against vessels throwing broadsides at close range. We hoped to be able in three or four days to propel her at the rate of three knots an hour, which, if done, would have enabled her to have destroyed everything in the river. The port-holes were small, so as to present as small an aperture as possible to the guns and musketry of the enemy. Her range was not designed to be greater than 1,500 or 1,800 yards.

Question. Could the Louisiana have been finished had she not been removed from New Orleans in time to have resisted the passage of the forts or to have protected the city? State also why she was removed to the forts before here motive power was effective.

Answer. I think she could have been completed sufficiently to have protected the city has she not been removed. The day she was blown up (April 25) she was to have bee finished at 12 m. I think the mechanics could have worked to better advantage at the city than while the vessel was in motion and at the forts. I had telegraphed Commander Whittle that it was necessary to make a naval demonstration ion order to save the forts. He, I presume, sent her down, hoping that she might be got ready on her way down and assist in such demonstration. I also informed him at the same time that the Montgomery fleet was giving the forts no assistance whatever.

Question. If the ram Manassas and one or two other war steamers had been placed in position at the bar below the forts, do you think the enemy would have attempted to lighten over their ships of war while thus exposed to our fire?

Answer. I do not think they would; but at that time the Manassas had been sent up the river and had her propellers broken to pieces.

Question. What measures, not adopted, might have been taken that would have been effective for holding the Mississippi River against the Federal fleet?

Answer. If the river-defense fleet with the Governor Moore and General Quitman had co-operated with the Manassas as rams, they might have prevented the passage of the forts. One of the river fleet (the Defence) never left the bank, and all the other