NOVEMBER 5, 1864.
Read. The commanding officer of Fort Gaines should, when returned, be brought to trial.
FORT MORGAN, August 23, 1864-12 m.
GENERAL: I held the fort as long as it was tenable. The parallels of the enemy had reached the glacis, the walls were breached, all the guns save two were disabled. The wood-work of the citadel being repeatedly fired by the shells of the enemy endangered the magazines. All my powder was destroyed, every gun effectually spiked and otherwise damaged, and, indeed, the whole fort (everything that could prove of value to the enemy) is now a mass of debris. I turn this over to their forces at 2 o'clock to-day. The garrison behaved gallantly and gained honor for themselves and country.
R. L. Page,
Major General D. H MAURY, or
COMMANDING OFFICER DISTRICT,
NEW ORLEANS, August 30, 1864.
GENERAL: Report of the evacuation of Fort Powell and the surrender of Fort Gaines I had the honor of addressing you from Fort Morgan on the 8th instant. It embraced the military operations to that date. After the reduction of Gaines I felt confident that the whole naval and land force of the enemy would be brought against Morgan, and was assiduous in preparing my fort for as good a defense as possible. For the state of the works I beg leave to refer you to Chief Engineer Sheliha's letter* to headquarters department of July 9, from which time no material change or addition was made, and further to state that it had been demonstrated by the fire from the enemy that the enceinte of the fort (in which was its main strength) protected the scarp of the main wall only about one-half its heights from curveted shots; that it was now in the power of the enemy to open fire from every point of the compass, and consequently none of the casemates without heavy traverses in their front would be safe; that it was manifest by this concentration of fire my heavy guns could soon be dismounted, and my making a protracted resistance depended on my ability to protect my men from the heavy fire and hold the fort from the flank casemates against an assault. With these views I employed my men day and night, most of the time under fire, in erecting traverses to protect my guns on the main wall as long as possible, to render the casemate selected for the sick and wounded secure, and to provide safe quarters for themselves in their rest from the arduous duties they would have to endure. It was necessary also to put a large traverse at the sally-port, which was entirely exposed. Thus, absolutely to prevent the probability of Fort Morgan's being reduced at the first test and onset by the heavy batteries of the enemy, it
*See Sheliha to Garner, July 9, 1864, Part II.