of February following. From its fragments and such other material as could be obtained it was attempted, but without success, to make another effectual obstruction.
Mills were erected for the manufacture of powder, considerable quantities of which article were turned out, and much that had been received at New Orleans in a damaged condition was revoked and made fit for use. At the time of the fall of the city more than one establishment was ready for the manufacture of heavy guns, which until then had been impracticable for the want of suitable furnaces.
Such was the condition of the department when the enemy, on April 18, 1862, opened fire upon Fort Jackson from a fleet of twenty-one mortar boats. The bombardment continued, with but slight intermission, until the morning of April 24, when, between 3 and 4 o'clock, the enemy's vessels of war and gunboats succeeded in passing the forts. One of his vessels was sunk; his loss in killed and wounded is not known. Our loss in the fight and during the bombardment did not exceed, at the forts, more 50 in killed and wounded. Owing to the high stage of water, the river being higher than it had been before for twenty-five years, the efforts to employ sharpshooters outside the forts proved ineffectual. In the forts the water rose to a height of from 12 to 18 inches, causing great discomfort to the garrisons, and requiring the men in Fort Jackson to work day and night to prevent the magazines from being flooded. The damage done by the enemy had also to be repaired under heavy and incessant fire, which added much to the suffering of the men. While the bombardment continued, and when the enemy were making the passage of the forts, with a fleet consisting of five steam sloops of war and eight or nine gunboats, the men fought with great courage and determination; but at midnight on April 27 it was discovered that they were in open mutiny at Fort Jackson. This mutinous spirit pervaded the entire garrison at Fort Jackson, except the Saint Mary's Cannoneers. It was also soon discovered tat the garrison of Fort Saint philip was similarly affected. The officers, however, by their coolness managed to hold the men in check until the morning of April 28, when the forts were surrendered to the enemy upon livered terms. For this strange revolt no cause could be ascertained. A large part of the enemy's fleet, after passing the forts, proceeded up the river. At Chalmette and from the opposite bank its farther advance was resisted by two batteries of six guns each, until their ammunition was exhausted, but with little or no effect, the enemy having early as many vessels of war gunboats as we guns in position at that point. More than half of the ammunition designed for these batteries had been given to the iron-clad steamer Louisiana. Six vessels of the river-defense fleet were at the forts at the time they were passed, but rendered no assistance in checking the enemy.
To meet this attack it is shown that General Lovell's plan was to concentrate as many heavy guns as possible at the forts, and there, by obstructions, to detain the enemy's vessels under their fire, as well as the fire of such defenses afloat as we could bring to bear.
The country between the forts and New Orleans is of a character most unfavorable for the constructions of batteries, the banks of the river in its highest stages being below the surface of the water, and only protected from inundation by levees, which might easily be destroyed by an enemy. It also shows that there were no suitable guns in Department Numbers 1 for such batteries, and no infantry forces adequate for their protection against a land attack.
On the morning of April 25 several of the enemy's gunboats anchored