RICHMOND, VA., June 16, 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.
It was ordered by the court that the following communication, addressed to the president of the court, should be read to the court and made a part of the record:
---, --- --, 1863.
General T. C. HINDMAN, C. S. A.,
President Court of Inquiry:
SIR: Having perused, by the courteous permission of the court, the testimony given it by Dr. D. W. Brickell, and found that his testimony is calculated to create an erroneous judgment as to our conduct in the construction of the Mississippi and a judgment adverse to our skill, energy, good faith, and loyalty as agents of the Government; and that in his testimony he refers particularly to the Committee of Public safety of New Orleans, whereof he was a member, and to Mr. Peace, the naval constructor, we respectfully ask the court, in justice to ourselves thus assailed: 1st, to take the testimony of Mr. Peace, the naval constructor of the Mississippi, as to building and launching her; 2nd, the testimony of Naval Constructor Murray, the builder of the Louisiana, as to the work upon and the launching of the Mississippi; and, 3rd, to receive and place on record the correspondence between ourselves and the Committee of public Safety of New Orleans, refereed to by Dr. Brickell, touching the completion and launching of the ship, and our correspondence with Commanders Mitchell and Sinclair, of the Navy, Constructor Peace, and others, relative to the launching of the Mississippi, together with our correspondence upon the same subject with the Navy Department. By this testimony we except to show, beyond all rational question or doubt, not only that Dr. Brickell's testimony as to our action is erroneous, and that he is mistaken both in his facts and his conclusion in relation in relation to ourselves, but that the course we adopted and pursued had the sanction and approval of the men to whom he refers, and that any other course than the one we did pursue would have been wrong.
A. F. TIFT.
The request of the Messrs. Tift to introduce testimony, as indicated in the foregoing letter, being considered by the court, it was ordered that the same be refused: 1st, because the admission of such testimony would be contrary to the instructions of the Adjutant and Inspector General, set fort in the record of yesterday; and, 2nd, because the proposed testimony has already been taken before a committee of Congress, and is likely thereby to have the same or a greater publicity than the proceedings of this court.
Lieutenant D. P. McCORKLE, C. S. Navy, was then sworn and examined as a witness.
By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. State all you may know touching the defense, capture, and evacuation of New Orleans in April, 1862.
Answer. I know nothing of the fight at the forts, except that i sent a good deal of ordnance to them. I was the ordnance officer of the naval station. I witnessed the fight at Chalmette from the city. Two vessels were at first turned back. I know nothing of the evacuation under General Lovell. Between 3 and 4 p. m. of April 24, being anxious to mount and fight some guns on a floating battery, I applied to General Lovell for powder; he gave me an order for 1,000 pounds. The order was returned with the indorsement that all the powder had been sent up the river. I forget the name of the person who made the indorsement. This is all I know of my own knowledge upon the subject.
Cross-examination by Major General MANSFIELD LOVELL:
Question. From what source was all the powder procured for the use of the Navy while you were the naval ordnance officer at New Orleans?
Answer. From General Lovell.