War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0663 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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I have nothing further from Port Hudson. Negroes from there say that all the men in the country are being sent in and that they are deficient in provisions. I send down the steamer Laurel Hill, and have requested the commanding officers at Plaquemine and Donaldsonville to give you all the information in their possession respecting the movements of the enemy.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


Lieutenant-Colonel IRWIN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Gulf:

SIR: In a inspection of the defenses of New Orleans I am now prepared to report upon their general condition, so far as commencing at the Mississippi River above the city and ending at Proctorville, the terminus of the Mexican Gulf Railroad. A report upon the remainder of the line will be furnished as soon as the proper examination can be made.

The city is covered on the north or upper side by a parapet, mostly built by the Confederates. The end of the parapet, resting on the river, is strengthened by a powerful battery of heavy guns, which covers both the river and the Levee road, and with the ship of war there anchored in the stream is sufficient to resist successfully any force that can approach by the river or the road.

This parapet is, besides, armed with divers other batteries at intervals, which, with a sufficient infantry force, I think sufficient to resist successfully any force to that can approach it from any quarter. All approaches artillery and cavalry from the nature of the ground in front must be principally by the Levee road.

This parapet is being repaired in a manner which will materially strengthen it, and the redoubt, which I understand the engineer department contemplates constructing behind the center, will make it an exceedingly strong position.

The next approach to the city is by the Jackson Railroad, which is impracticable, on account of the bridges across Manchac Pass having been destroyed. This Pass is watched by a strong picket drawn from Bonnet Carre Bend. No special defenses are required at this point.

The next approach to the city is by Lake Pontchartrain, on the western shore of which are two important landing places, at Hickox, or termination of Carrollton Railroad, and Lakeport, or Mobile Landing, the terminus of the Pontchartrain Railroad. Both of these landings are connected with the city by narrow defiles; the former by two roads over an otherwise impassable swamp; the latter by one road over the same swamp and Saint John's Bayou. A battery was erected by the Confederates on the Shell road to protect the first, but which has been demolished. Earthworks of some magnitude were erected on Saint John's Bayou and at the crossing of the Pontchartrain Railroad over Bayou Gentilly. These works are still good, and three guns mounted on the platforms already constructed at the crossing would completely protect the city at that point. Two or three guns mounted in the work on Saint John's Bayou would completely protect it. A battery of some