APRIL 27-MAY 8, 1862.--Evacuation of Fort Quitman, La., by the Confederates, and capture of blockade runner in Bayou Grand Caillou.
Report of Major General Mansfield Lovell, C. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Numbers 1.
Jackson, Miss., June 19, 1862.
GENERAL: In reply to your letter of the 10th instant [following], requesting the reasons for evacuating Fort Quitman, on the Bayon Grand Caillou, I have to state that it was a little earthwork, with two smoothbore 32-pounders, established by me to prevent ingress for marauding parties by the enemy in small vessels through the Caillou and other inlets into the northern parishes of Louisiana.
The fall of New Orleans laid open the route to those parishes, and as the troops stationed in the fort were supplied from the city, and were at any moment liable to be taken in the rear and captured by way of the Opelausas Railroad, which was in the enemy's hands, I ordered the guns to be spiked and the garrison (a small of twelve-months' volunteers) to bring away their small-arms, ammunition, and stores, and to rejoin me at Camp Moore. The enemy did not go down, it is true, for some days, but they could have gone at any hour and any day and taken the men with their arms, which I was anxious to preserve. The order I gave was not obeyed. Instead of joining me at Camp Moore, the men mutinied and disbanded, and both officers and men returned to New Orleans. It would be well, as your correspondent suggests, to punish the officers, but as they are now in New Orleans such a step is impracticable. A glance at the map which I sent to the Department some months ago will show that after the city fell the little works on the coast must be abandoned, being altogether exaggerated.
Some few citizens fired upon two or three Federals; in retaliation a number of them were taken prisoners and threatened with death if they did not produce the parties who had committed the act, but the penalty was not inflicted.
I had no force to protect the people in that district of country, but sent an officers to raise a partisan corps for that purpose, yet the prominent citizens earnestly entreated that the corps should not be raised there unless I could send a large body of troops to protect them from the additional outrages to which they would be subject from the Yankees for having raised such a corps. Having no large force to send, and objections being raised to a small one, I countermanded the order.
The fact is that part of the country is inhabited by two classes of people-the rich, fearful of their property and not anxious to resist unless supported by an army in every parish; and the poor, miserable mixedbreed, commonly called Dagos or Acadians, on whom there is not the slightest dependence to be placed. I gave authority to several persons to raise partisans there, but they met with no success. When I urged that the bridges over the railroad be destroyed, a parish delegation entreated that it be not done, as it would bring down upon them Yankee vengeance. They would only consent to assist on condition that I should send a large body of troops there . Moreover, if the railroad had been destroyed, the stage of water was such that free access could have been had to Thibodeaux through Bayou La Fourche. I therefore concluded, at the request of many of the most influential citizens, to delay opera