War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0641 Chapter XVI. CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

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off New Orleans, about which time General Lovell gave up the city to the control of the municipal authorities, by whom, on April 29, it was surrendered to the enemy.

It is shown that but little or no provision was made for an evacuation before the passage of the forts. After that event the work of removing supplies wpa prosecuted with energy, and a vast amount of property belonging to the Confederate and State Governments, as well as that of private individuals, was saved.

Forts Pike and Macomb were evacuated by the order of Colonel Fuller, and without the knowledge or approval of General Lovell, on the morning at the McGehee and Chalmette lines, numbering about 1,000 infantry and five companies of infantry, received no orders as to their removal, although he and General Lovell were together of the afternoon of April 24. The troops withdraw from New Orleans by General Lovell did not exceed 4,000 in number, and, with slight exceptions, were raw levies, belonging to the militia and organizations for local defense. A large proportion of this force was unfitted for service in the field. In their movement from the city there no grater confusion manifested than is usual among such bodies of men. The best troops in department Numbers 1 had been to re-enforce General A. S. Johnston after the fall of Fort Donelson. General Lovell had also sent many supplies from his department to the army of that general. Between General Lovell and the naval officers on duty in Department Numbers 1 there existed good feeling and a desire to co-operate for the public defense. General Lovell often supplied the Navy with guns and ammunition. During the bombardment it was designed by Generals Lovell and Duncan that the Louisiana should be placed in a position from which they though she could enfilade and drive off the mortar fleet of the enemy, but this request was not complied with - Captain J. K. Mitchell, commanding the defenses afloat, alleging, in reply, that the Louisiana was without motive power, but in the position indicated her guns could not be given sufficient elevation to reach the enemy, while she would be in full range of his mortar fleet, and that her top deck was flat and vulnerable. These statements are proven to be true. He also added, as his opinion, sustained by a council of naval officers, that the desired movement would result in the destruction of the vessel by the enemy. The guard boats and fire rafts were not used to any advantage, if at all, on the night preceding the passage of the forts. General Lovell left New Orleans for Camp Moore on April 25, but returned on the 28th, and proposed to bring back his command to the city if the authorities would incur the risk of a bombardment, which he thought might and would ensue of the city were occupied by his troops. The proof shows that General Lovell's demeanor was cool and self-possessed during the evacuation.


1st. As against a land attack by any force the enemy could probably bring, the interior line of fortifications, as adopted and completed by Major-General Lovell, was a sufficient defense of the city of New Orleans, but his ability to hold that line against such an attack wa greatly impaired by the withdrawal from him by superior authority of nearly all his effective troops.

2nd. The exterior line, as adopted and improved by him, was well devised, and rendered as strong as the means at his command allowed.


* Published, without comment, in G. O., Numbers 152, A. and I. G. O., November 24. 1863.


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