War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0609 Chapter XVI. CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

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to you precautionary measures for the removal of the Mississippi in such event?

Answer. He never did, that I remember.

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

RICHMOND, VA., June 3, 1863 - 10 a. m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

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

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of Commander ARTHUR SINCLAIR continued.


Question. State what measures were taken to remove the Mississippi, and whether or not she could have been saved.

Answer. The Mississippi might doubtless have been launched and towed up the river many days previous to the enemy's passing the forts, and there finally completed, but her completion would been greatly retarded, as all the workshops, material, workmen, in fact the whole naval establishment, would have had to be transferred from New Orleans to the place of transfer, and there was no place of safety above, that I know of, short of Fort Pillow, and all above on the river was then menaced by the enemy. Her completion was a momentous affair, and therefore the work was prosecuted up to the last moment with all the energy within our power. I received no orders from the commander of the station, Commander Whittle, under whose orders I was, or from the Navy Department, to remove her until the morning of April 24, the day upon which the enemy passed the forts. On that day Commander Whittle sent for and informed me that the enemy had passed the batteries and were coming up, at the same time directing me to take the ship up the river, if possible, to some place of safety, but not to let her fall into the hands of the enemy. I immediately sent orders to the steamers engaged by the Messrs. Taft to proceed at once up to the ship-yard for the purpose of taking the ship it tow. The officers sent by me upon this duty returned and informed me that the steamers referred to had been detained by order of General Lovell. I called myself upon Colonel Lovell, the general being out of his office upon business, and obtained from him the release of two of the three, which were engaged for this purpose, the Peytona and the St. Charles. Although directed to proceed at once, they did not reach the ship-yard until late in the evening. The captains of these boats showed every disposition, in fact, determination, to thwart me in my wishes, and to accomplish my ends I had, with my own officers, to lash and secure them alongside, and furnished one of them, the steamer St. Charles, with an engineer, as the captain said he had only one. I finally succeeded in getting off, but found, after many hours of hard tugging against a powerful current, that I could not succeed. Assistance was promised me by Colonel Baggs (or Biggs) of the safety Committee, but none was received. Still unwilling to give up the ship, I went myself back to the city in the Peytone, and urged the aid of the steamers, but in vain. Every variety of excuse was offered by their captains, and no disposition manifested to help me; in fact, a fixed determination not to move in the matter. While thus negotiating the enemy hove in sight, and I at once started back for the ship, 4 miles above, intending to fire her, but the officer in charge, Lieutenant Waddell, anticipated me and applied the torch. After remaining inthe stream until the ship was nearly consumed I held a council of war with my officers, and it was determined to return to the city and offer our services to General Lovell. I was on my way back when I met Lieutenant McCorkle, of the Navy, who informed me that the enemy were off Canal street, and that General Lovell had marched his troops out. I then proceeded up the river with my officers to Vicksburg. I will also state that the assistance of several steamers, which passed up the river, while engaged in towing the Mississippi, was asked and refused. I also engaged the services of Navy workmen to accompany me up in the ship to try and finish her, and put on board, while awaiting the arrival of the steamers, much of the material for her completion. Some was afterwards put aboard the steamer St. Charles, before firing the ship, and taken up to Vicksburg and saved.

The Mississippi was launched on Saturday, April 19, and burned the Friday following. In this connection I would state that on my arrival at New Orleans there was a great desire upon the part of many persons expressed that the ship should be launched. The Tufts objected, and I agreed with them that to launch her in her then condition would cause much delay in shipping her propellers and involve the expense of building

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