HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 50.
New Orleans, La., September 15, 1864. I. Proceedings of a council of war convened at New Orleans, La., by virtue of the following orders:
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 115.
New Orleans, La., September 1, 1864.
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5. A council of war, to be composed of Major General S. A. Hurlbut, U. S. Volunteers, Brigadier General James Totten, Missouri State Militia, and Lieutenant Commander S. R. Franklin, U. S. Navy, members, and Captain De Witt Clinton, aide-de-camp, recorder, will assemble in the city of New Orleans, La., at 10 a. m. to-morrow, for the purpose of examining into the allegations against Brigadier General R. L. Page, C. S. Army, for violation of the laws of war, in destroying or injuring the works, armament, and munitions at Fort Morgan, Ala., of which he was then commander, after he had abandoned the defense of the fort and indicated his intention to surrender by hoisting the white flag.
The council will report the facts and express its opinion upon the matters submitted to it, and is authorized to adjourn to Fort Morgan, or other points in Mobile Bay, if it should be found necessary or expedient to do so.
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By order of Major Genera E. R. S. Canby:
C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
The council have submitted the following as the facts:
That the white flag was hoisted on the glacis of Fort Morgan about the hour of 6 o'clock on the morning of the 23rd of August last.
That no public property was destroyed after that time.
That the spare gun carriages were destroyed by chopping and sawing several days before the surrender.
That about 90,000 pounds of powder were destroyed by water on the night of the 22nd of August last, while the citadel was on fire.
That on the evening of the 22nd of August last, about dusk, General Page ordered the heavy guns of the fort to be spiked, which was done more or less effectually.
That by the inspection report of the 25th of August eighteen guns were found spiked at that inspection, and that the flank casemate guns do not appear to have been spiked.
That at a different inspection made by Captain J. J. Williamson, acting ordnance officer, on the last mentioned day, one gun was found in a condition indicating that a shell had been bursted in the chamber. Some of the guns were double and treble shotted, one being double loaded with percussion shells, the seconds shell with the muzzle down, and in another gun a shot was driven home and the spike clinched on the shot.
That no quartermaster's or commissary stores were destroyed or injured, except from the effect of our fire.
The council, being limited by the terms of the order convening it, and the rule laid down in paragraph 144 of General Orders, Numbers 100, from the Adjutant-General's Office, dated April 24, 1863, is of opinion that Brigadier General R. L. Page, C. S. Army, is not guilty of a violation of the laws of war.
II. The findings and opinion of the council of war in the foregoing case are approved, and the council is dissolved.
By order of Major General E. R. S. Canby:
C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Assistant Adjutant-General.