War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0612 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

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arranging the battery for action. The checks were thus, from this cause and the presence of numerous mechanics employed in completing machinery for the propellers, the ironing of the decks, and chalking wheel-houses, much incumbered, and being very cramped at best for room, prevented the proper exercise of the men at their guns. This condition of her motive power and battery rendered her not only unfit for offensive operations against the enemy, but also for defense, as, being immovable, her guns all around could only command 40 degrees of the horizon, leaving 320 degrees of a circle on which she could have been approached by an enemy without being able to bring a gun to bear upon him. Her guns, from the small size of her ports, could not be elevated more than 4 to 5 degrees, which with our best guns would not have given a range probably of more than 2,000 yards. The means for purchasing her anchors were inadequate, and it was utterly impossible to weigh them when once they were let go, either from the bow or stern, and indeed, her steering apparatus prevented her being anchored by the stern in the middle of the river, a position, under all the circumstances, I should have proffered to being tied to the river bank, by which more guns might have been used against the enemy, and the vessel might have been warped or strung, so as to bring some of her guns to bear upon any given point. The quarters for the crew of the Louisiana were wholly insufficient, and for her officers there were none at all. except on the shield deck or roof, under a tended awning. Most of the officers and crew had to live on board two tenders, which were also required as tugs, without which the vessel could not be moved at all. The shield of the Louisiana was effective, for none of the enemy's projectiles passed through it; but as it only extended to the water line, a shot between wind and water must have penetrated the perpendicular pine sides. In addition to the Louisiana, the following vessels of the C. S. Navy were under my command at the forts, viz: The steamer McRae, Lieutenant Commanding Thomas B. Huger, with six light 32-pounder smooth-bore broadside guns, Commanding Thomas B. Huger, with six light 32-pounder smooth-bore broadside guns, and one 9-inch shell gun pivoted amidships - total, seven; the steamer Jackson, Lieutenant Commanding F. B. Renshaw, two pivoted smooth-bore 32-pounders, one forward and one aft; the iron-plated ram Manassas, Lieutenant -Commanding A. F. Warley, one 32-pounder in bow; launch Numbers 3, Acting master Telford, and one howitzer, 20 men; launch Numbers 6, Acting Master Fairbanks, one howitzer, and 20 me. Also the following converted into Louisiana State gunboats, with pine and cotton barricades to protect the machinery and boilers, viz: The Governor Moore, Commander Beverly Keunon, two 32-pounder rifled guns; the General Quitman, Captain Grant, two 32-pounder guns. All the above steamers, being converted vessels, were too slightly built for war purposes. the following unarmed steamers belonged to my command, viz: the Phoenix, Captain ---, tender to the Manassas; the W. Burton, Captain Hammond, tender to the Louisiana, and the Landis, Captain Davis, tender to the my orders, viz: The Mosher, Captain Sherman, a very small tug; the Belle Algerine, and Musi, Captain McClellan, tender to the forts. The two former were in bad condition,and were undergoing such repairs as could be made below previous to the 24th. On arriving below I delivered to Captain Stephenson written orders from Major General M. Lovell, requiring him to place all the river-defense gunboats under my orders, which consisted of the following converted tow-boats, viz: 1st, the Warrior, under the immediate command of Captain Stephenson; 2nd, the Stonewall Jackson, Captain Philips; 3rd, the Resolute, Captain Hooper; 4th, the Defiance, Captain McCoy; and, 5th, the General Lovell, --- ---. The R. J. Breckinridge, --- ---, joined the evening before the action. All of the above vessels mounted from one o two pivot 32-pounders each, some of them rifled. Their boilers and machinery were all more or less protected my thick double pine barricades, filled in with compressed cotton, which, though not regard as prof against heavy solid shot, shell, and incendiary projectiles, would have been a protection against grape and canister and ought to have inspired those on board with sufficient confidence to use their boats boldly as rams, for which they were in a good measure prepared with flat bar-iron casing around their bows. In thus using them their own safety would be best consulted, as well as the best way of damaging the vessels of the enemy.

Question. Did you have any or authority over the Montgomery or river-defense fleet?

Answer. None. Captain Stephenson, who commanded them, on receiving General Lovell's orders, addressed me a communication to the effect that all the officers and crews of the vessels his command had entered the service with the distinct understanding or condition that they were not to be placed under the orders of naval officers; and, therefore, while willing to co-operate with my forces, he could receive no orders from me himself, nor allow any vessels of his command to do so; that he reserved to himself the right of baying or not any orders I might issue. His attitude with respect to my authority was one of absolute independence of action and command,