War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0610 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

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the box or dry-dock for that purpose of which I have already spoken; but finding the attack about to be commenced I recommended her being launched to her builders, the Fifths, in which Commander Mitchell joined me; the suggestion was heeded, but not until many days after, for reasons which they assigned.

Question. If the Mississippi had been completed, and with her armament and men on board, could she alone have held the river against the entire Federal fleet coming up from below?

Answer. I think she could. She would have been the most formidable ship that I ever knew or heard of - very creditable to her projectors, builders, and country.

Cross-examination by Major General MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question, You have been asked whether General Lovell recommended to you precautionary measures for the removal of the Mississippi. Did you consider that he was the proper person to give you advice or instructions as to your official acts and duties and did you look to him for such?

Answer. I did not. Although I would have respected very highly his suggestions, I should have left it my duty to lay them before Commander Whittle, my immediate commander, before acting upon them. My orders were to report to Commander Whittle for the command of the ship.

Captain GEORGE N. HOLLINS was next sworn and examined as a witness.


Question. What position did you hold at New Orleans and in the West in the latter part of 1861 and the first part of 1862?

Answer. At New Orleans I commanded all the vessels afloat and the naval station. In the West, near New Madrid and Island Numbers 10, I only commanded the vessels afloat. I left New Orleans in January or February, 1862, Commander Whittle then assuming command of the station, but but the vessels afloat.

Question. State the force you took with you from New Orleans above and what force you left there.

Answer. I took with me from New Orleans eight vessels, averaging six guns each, except the Manassas; that had but one gun. I left no naval force at New Orleans. General Lovell urged me to leave some of the vessels there, but his I could not do, as my order from the Navy Department were to take them all above.

Question. What conversation, if any, passed between General Lovell and yourself shortly before the fall of New Orleans relative to a proposed co-operation of your fleet with his forces for the purpose of driving the enemy from the Lower Mississippi River/

Answer. General Lovell, Commander, Whittle, and myself had a conversation at that time, in which we agreed that such an expedition should be made. I had often passed the yankee batteries and knew that they could pass ours, and I was anxious that my squadron, which was up the river, should be ordered down to resist Farragut, feeling satisfied that I could have cut him up. I should have fought him to the greatest advantage. Farragut's ships would have been exposed bow foremost to my broad-sides and the sides of his vessels to the fire of the forts. Had he exposed the sterns of his vessels to the fire of the forts they would have been sunk in short time. I had previously presented this plan to the Secretary of the Navy, but it was rejected, he replying that the main attack on New Orleans was to be from above and not below. The enemy had never passed our fortifications until they had been reduced, and I know there would have been time enough to have gone below and returned to assist the land forces at Fort Pillow.

Question. State, if you know, what steps were taken by General Lovell, in connection with Commander Whittle, to have your fleet ordered below for such purpose.

Answer. Being detached from the command of the squadron, General Lovell and Commander Whittle prevailed upon me to remain a day longer in New Orleans while