War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0604 OPERATION IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

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boats, except the McRae, steamed up the river without firing a gun or taking any part in the fight. The next morning the Stonewall Jackson and Governor Moore came down to the quarantine and ran into a Yankee gunboat and sunk her. Had they acted in the same manner the night before, making their power available, they could have kept the enemy's fleet under the fire of the forts, and the city would have been saved. If the fleet could have been held fifteen minutes under the fire of the forts I believe we might have sunk every vessel they had. Had there been proper use of the fire rafts it would have conduced greatly to the safety of the city. I know of but one fire left carried down to the fleet, with came near destroying the Hartford, the flag-ship of the enemy. This was taken down by the Mosher, commanded by a Captain Sherman, who was wounded and had vessel sunk. There were a large number of these rafts (thirty or forty of them) which were not used, and which, even if not set on fire, would have been useful in blockading the channel had they been sent down. Stephenson (generally called Commodore Stephenson), of the Montgomery fleet, in attempting to carry down some fire rafts on the other side of the obstructions, permitted them to drift upon the obstructions, which caused them to be broken in the center, so that the middle of the river was a free and open channel.

Captains Grant, of the General Quitman, and Hooper, commanding the Resolute, of the river-defense fleet, came aboard the Manassas the evening before the fight, and, in the course of conversation. denied that they were under the command of Generals Lovell and Duncan, or of any one except the Secretary of War; that they were there to show naval officers how to fight.

Cross-examination by General Major MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. If the Montgomery defense fleet had been properly officered and named would they not have been of very great effect in resisting the passage of the forts?

Answer. I would have been very effective to that end.

Question. State in general terms your opinion of the mans placed at the disposal of the naval officers at New Orleans to enable them to co-operate with the land forces in preventing the passage of the forts on April, 24, 1862, mentioning each vessel and its efficiency.

Answer. We had the Louisiana, a formidable vessel, with a powerful battery, but without motive power. Her crew was of mixed character, some good men and some indifferent; at least such is my opinion, based upon the fact that some of her crew were from the Army, others from the lake fleet, &c. The McRae was a light vessel, with a fine crew; her battery consisted of one heavy 9-inch gun and six light 32-pounders; the 9-inch gun burst early in the action; for her size she was a very efficient vessel. The Jackson was only a river boat, with two 32-pounders; she was not in the fight; and the Manassas, a tug-boat that had been converted into a ram, covered with half-inch iron, and had a 32-pounder carronade; her crew consisted of thirty-five persons, officers and men. She was perforated in the fight by shot and shell as if she had been made of paper. These vessels constituted the entire naval force.


Question. Were any torpedoes placed in any of the passes leading into the Mississippi, and could they have been there used to advantage?

Answer. I do not know of any being used there; if they could have been used to advantage anywhere they might have been there.

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

CHARLESTON, S. C., May 20, 1863 - 10 a. m.

the court met pursuant to adjournment.

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

The proceeding of yesterday were read over.

Lieutenant C. B. POINTDEXTER, C. S. Navy, was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By Major General M. LOVELL:

Question. State your rank and position at and before the evacuation of New Orleans, in April, 1862.

Answer. I was a lieutenant in the C. S. Navy, and in command of Confederate States gunboat Bienville, on Lake Pontchartain, at that time.