under the fire of the enemy's mortar fleet, the position proposed being about the same distance from his fleet as Fort Jackson, and he would only have to change slightly the direction of his fire to throw his shells with speedy and fatal effect on the deck of the vessel, while her guns, as stated in my answer to the first question, would not have a range probably greater than 2,000 yards, which was of course too short to reach his mortar fleet; for the 7-inch navy rifle in Fort Jackson, mounted on high parapets, and with an elevation of about 13 degrees, could not reach them, as I was credibly informed. For these reasons alone the position proposed would have been an improper one for the Louisiana; but her battery was not ready for use, and parties of mechanics were busy day and night preparing the propellers for service, and, besides, the strong current, deep water, and coming immediately under fire of the enemy, she could not have been secured properly. I made a reconnaissance the afternoon of the 23rd, and determined that the proper position for the ship was below Fort Jackson, where the current and anchorage would admit of her being secured before the enemy could open his fire with effect, and from whence he could be in effective enfilading range of the Louisiana's guns. This position I purposed taking with the Louisiana as soon as she was in condition to be placed under fire of the enemy, which I hoped would have been the next day.
Question. Who was in immediate command of the Louisiana in the conflict with the enemy's fleet, and was the ship, in your opinion, fought to advantage?
Answer. Commander Charles F. McIntosh was in immediate command of the Louisiana, and the ship, in my opinion, was fought to the best advantage, under the every disadvantageous circumstances which have been detailed in my previous answers.
Question. Why was he Louisiana destroyed. Could she not have been saved?
Answer. The Louisiana was destroyed by my order on the unanimous advice of all the commissioned sea officers my reach, because the forts were about being surrendered to the enemy, under the close fire of which she lay, with a heavy naval force both above and below her, from which it would have been impossible to escape or to attack, for want of motive power, and, if not destroyed, she must inevitably have fallen into his hands, as she could have been approached from many points by his vessels without being able to return his fire with effect from a single gun.
the court adjourned to meet a 11 a. m. to-morrow.
RICHMOND, VA., June 4, 1863 - 11 a. m.
The court met pursuant to adjournment.
Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Major General Mansfield Lovell.
The proceedings of yesterday were read over.
Examination of Commander J. K. MITCHELL continued.
Cross-examination ny the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. While you were in charge of the naval station in New Orleans was not there a cordial co-operation between the military commanders and the naval officers at that point so far as was practicable?
Answer. There was, so far as I know. Applications were often made for powder, which were not always promptly satisfied, I suppose, for good reasons on the part of General Lovell. As all events the delays occasioned no unpleasant felling. Nearly all the powder received came from the Army; all that was used on the Louisiana was supplied by General Lowell.
Question. In your judgment were the Confederate States naval forces, placed at your disposal for co-operation with Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, at all adequate to the requirements of the occasion?
Answer. Not at all adequate. The enemy had five first-class sloops of war, independent of seven or eighth gunboats; every one of which sloops a match for my entire force in the condition of the Louisiana at that time.
Question. Were you acquainted with the vessels of Commodore Hollins' squadron? In your opinion could these vessels, together with such