War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0611 Chapter XVI. CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

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they could communicate with the Secretary of the Navy and urge his consent to such an expeditions. I did remain twenty-four hours, but no reply was received.

Cross-examined by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. While your were in command of the naval station at New Orleans had you opportunity of observing General Lovell's official conduct? If so, state his habits as an officer in command.

Answer. I had good opportunities of observing him, living in the same house with him and seeing him day and night. I thought him active, zealous, and most attentive to his duties.

Question, While in command of the defenses afloat at New Orleans were your requisitions promptly filled, and were zeal and energy manifested by the Navy Department in perfecting the naval defenses at that point?

Answer. All the powder I used was obtained from General Lovell. I could scarcely ever get money. I borrowed from the merchants of the city $45,000 in bankable funds, which the departments, after a delay of four months, wanted to refund in Confederate bonds, which were then at a heavy discount, and I believe the debt was so settled. I was all the time cramped to pay even the smallest debts due to the wives of soldiers who were making cartridge-bags. I had no control whatever of the Louisiana or Mississippi. the work generally seemed to progress well, although I think at one time it was delayed for want of iron. There was but little energy or promptitude displayed by the Navy department in the conduct of naval affairs at that station. My ordnance officer (Lieutenant Beverly Kennon) made contracts for naval supplies of all sorts at low rates, but many of these contracts were annulled by the Secretary of the Navy. Such articles would now bring seven or night times the price that they were contracted for then. I rather avoided any close inspection of the working upon the Louisiana and Mississippi; special agents, not naval officers, were assigned to that duty. The general custom is that bills for constructions of ships are always to be approved by the officer commanding the station, who has a general supervision od ships building within the limits of his command; but such was not the case with regard to these steamers.

Question. From what failure, if any, to take necessary and possible measures of defense did the capture of New Orleans result?

Answer. had my squadron been at the mouth of the river I could have kept the enemy from crossing the bar; their heavier ships had to be lightened very greatly; their armaments, &c., taken out before they could have been put over; I could then have whipped their smaller craft with my squadron, and have prevented their larger vessels from getting over of it had not been in my power to have destroyed them. Subsequently, when the enemy's fleet was in the river, if I had been permitted, I could have taken my squadron and have driven him back at the time he passed the forts. The refusal of the Secretary of the navy to allow these measures to be carried out is the cause, in my judgment, on the fall of New Orleans.

Commander J. K. MITCHELL was then duly storm and examined as a witness.


Question. State when and by whose order you were assigned to the command of the defenses afloat at or near Forts Saint Philip and Jackson.

Answer. On April 10 I received my orders from Commander Whittle.

Question. State the number of vessels, their armament, condition, &c.,

constituting your command.

Answer. The principal vessel of my command was the steamer Louisiana, it on clad, mounting sixteen guns; was without sufficient motive power even to stem the current of the Mississippi without the aid of her two tenders, the Landis and W. Burton. her two propellers were not ready for use, and were designed more to assist in steering than in the expectation of adding to her speed, and her rudders had little, if any, popper to control her movements. Most of her guns had to be dismantled after arriving at Fort Saint Philip and shifted to points where they could ne worked, and one of them was not in position in the action of April 24, being dismounted. The crew of the Louisiana, aided by men from the McRae, was employed constantly, night and day, in