regiment of U. S. Regulars, Ninth Connecticut Battalion of Infantry, and Colonel Killborn's regiment of City Guards, raised in the city, making 1,000 in all of infantry, exclusive of the artillery. One of the three batteries of artillery, numbering six pieces, is doing picket duty on the three principal roads leading from the city to Lake Pontchartrain, about half way from the city to the lake. On the central road (I believe it is called the Bayou Saint John road), 200 negroes support the section of artillery. On the other two roads the artillery has no supports. The infantry act as provost guard, the cavalry as couriers. At the terminus of each of the three roads alluded to above, one infantry company does picket duty, watching over an area of 15 or 20 miles, only 4 men to a post, corporal and 3 privates.
At Carrollton there are two regiments of negro soldiers, used both as artillery and infantry, and a battery of the Fifth U. S. Regular Artillery; total force, 2,000. The entire number of troops as above enumerated cannot be computed as exceeding 3,500 of all colors. The fleet in the Mississippi River opposite the city consists of the Brooklyn, Richmond, Genesee, and two sloops. In Lake Pontchartrain one tug steam-boat, carrying four rifled guns, small caliber; two yachts, sail-boats, carrying two rifled guns, small size, and all around the lake shore in front of those roads several launches, with one howitzer each, patrol to prevent blockade-running. The above is an exact estimate of the forces of the enemy, both land and naval, with which they retain possession of New Orleans. A calculation upon the probabilities of the case will suggest the force necessary for its capture. Making Mandeville (of the Parish of Saint Tammany), on this side of the lake, a base of operations, it will be necessary to have a naval assistance of sufficient power to destroy the enemy's lake fleet and to safely convoy the expedition. Under pretext of trade in rosin, lumber, cotton, & c., steam-boats or schooners can be obtained from New Orleans to transport the expedition. The gun-boats or vessels in Mobile Bay are more than enough to accomplish this purpose. The only obstacle to this assistance from Mobile is Fort Pike, which can be passed, and, perhaps, without a shot. Should, however, this post be deemed of essential importance, it can be surprised, taken, and used for permanent occupation of the city beneficially.
The main force of the enemy in the southwest is now in hand about Brashear and Berwick cities for operations against Southwestern Louisiana and Texas. Destruction of the bridges and trestle-work over Lake Des Allemands would prevent any communication or succor from his main army until he could procure coastwise transportation to reach New Orleans through the Balize. You, Mr. President, being so well versed in the peculiarity of the topography of the district in which New Orleans is situated, know that it may be promised that, once in our possession, no land force of the enemy can regain it. In less than a week we could arouse the spirits of its downtrodden population and it would of itself furnish a force necessary for its defense. Already, even under the presence of the enemy, six large regiments are organized and are ready to respond when call is made for their aid and rid their city of the foe. These troops will actively co-operate in our attack. Their diversion in our behalf will insure success. They will seize the enemy's arsenal, cut the telegraph, capture the general officers, and prevent, as far as possible, the escape of citizens or soldiers to any vessels on the river. At any rate their action will disconcert the plans and movements