War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0524 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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In the northwest front curtain casemates Nos. 3,4,5, and 7 are considerably weakened in the arches by the same cause. These two curtains mount fourteen 24-pounder smooth-bore guns, all serviceable. The chassis are good, but ten of the carriages are iron, of a pattern not now used in the United States service.

I find all the guns of the flank defense, ten 24-pounder howitzers, in good order, but the two casemates of the north bastion are nearly, if not quite, unserviceable; also one casemate in the northwest bastion is much damaged, the front wall being badly cracked. All the other casemates in the remaining bastion, as well as the front sally-port, are slightly injured, each being struck at least twice by the shells.

The outer barbette wall of the north, west, and east bastions is broken in many places, but not seriously damaged. The north bastion mounts, en barbette, two 8-inch columbiads, one 10-inch siege mortar; the east bastion mounts one 8-inch columbiads, two 8-inch siege mortars.

The barbette scarp-wall is badly torn down; more than one-half will have to be recuilt. The counter-scarp wall is also very badly damaged, and full two-thirds must be rebuilt.

The water battery mounts one 10-inch columbiad, two 8-inch columbiads, two 32-pounder rifled guns, one 10-inch siege coast mortar. This battery is greatly in want of repair and nearly unserviceable. The guns were mounted when the masonry was too green, the traverse circles in consequence becoming very uneven. In my judgment these guns should be dismounted and brought with the fort.

The following is a list of the guns mounted en barbette, all serviceable: Two 10-inch columbiads; one 42-pounder rifled Parrott gun; six 42-pounder smooth-bore guns, old United States Navy pattern; fourteen 32-pounder smooth-bore guns; ten 24-pounder smooth-bore guns; two siege howitzers, unserviceable; two 32-pounder smooth-bore guns; two 24-pounder smooth-bore guns.

The magazines are all good. I send inclosed an inventory of all ordnance stores within the fort. The powder is all in cartridges and headed in barrels; it cannot be overhauled and aired as it should be for want of copper implements. I understand a requisition was made some time since for them, but it has not yet been filled.

I have no experience of fortifications, but in my judgment this fort is in a very good state of defense, and this is daily growing better. I have no doubt that it can endure a bombardment of equal severity and three times the length of the one it has just passed through. To put it in a thorough state of defense, the casemates, bastion, scarp and counterscarp walls, which I have spoken of as injured, should be thoroughly repaired. This work is now going on; a number of the casemates which were injured are already repaired. Sufficient brick for the repair of the whole fort can be obtained from the citadel, which is being demolished. With the present force of 9 masons and 5 carpenters, 4 black-smiths, 69 laborers, it will require, I think, from three to four months to put it in a thorough state of defense.

It will be very apparent, in looking over the list of ordnance which I have given, that most of the guns are of too short range to oppose modern artillery.

To provide for an attack from below the trees which now obstruct the range of vessels lying around the bend of the river should be cut down, providing more rifled guns were obtained and mounted.

This report has been made after an acquaintance of only twenty-four hours with the fort, and I think of nothing further which "remains to