opinion, prejudical to the public interest. Second. The second line of defense consists of the Bayou La Fourche as a curtain and ditch, flanked by the bastion of Donaldsonville on the right and an impenetrable swamp on the left. A bastion or redoubt on the left at La Fourche Crossing would render this line more perfect, but the reserve force held in this vicinity, with the natural obstacles there existing, does away with its absolute necessity. The bastion of Donaldsonville mounts eight heavy guns, and three rifles of medium and smaller caliber; has a garrison of about 950 infantry and 175 cavalry. The most of the reserve force is stationed at points on the curtain of this line of defense convenient for throwing it upon the first line, or in either direction upon the second, viz, Thibodeaux and Napoleonville, and amounts to about 1,200 infantry, 1,000 cavalry, and a battery of light artillery. Besides, those points of the railroad requiring constant observations to secure it from small raiding parties that might penetrate the swamps lining the lakes and Grand River enjoy the advantage of one regiment of infantry, judiciously distributed, aided at some points by small detachments of patrolling cavalry. The discipline and instruction of the troops in this district have very much improved during the past six weeks, however much room there yet may be for improvement. The forts are now ell manned, and far from the miserable condition in which I found them, and the extreme ignorance of ordnance duties is not now so observant as formerly.
II. The defenses above or north of the city of New Orleans.--These also consist of a double line: First. The bastion of Pass Manchac on the right, and the strong natural position of Bonnet Carre Bend on the left, these connected by an extensive and almost impenetrable swamp, permitting, however, a direct, though difficult at some seasons, communication between them behind the line, a path leading from Bonnet Carre Bend to Frenier's Station, on the Jackson railroad. The bastion at Pass Manchac mounts two heavy guns and a field howitzer, and is occupied, together with De Sair and Frenier's Stations, on the railroad, by two companies, large, of the Seventh Colored Heavy Artillery. There should be two more heavy guns in this work, platforms all ready for them. The position of Bonnet Carre Bend mounts a couple of old fields pieces, but has no earth-work of any importance. The strength of the position consists in the narrowness of the strip of fast-land at that point, rendering it capable of protection by a gun-boat against a large force should be land troops be insufficient. This point is occupied by the Eightieth Colored Infantry, which throws out several of its companies to guard the various bayous leading into Lake Maurepas, and its outposts extend up to the vicinity of College Point. This first line of the northern defenses has been recently divided by orders from department headquarters, throwing the bastion of Pass Manchac, and the stations from Frenier upward, into the District of Baton Rouge and Port Hudson, as well as that portion of the Eightieth Colored Infantry stationed north of Bonnet Carre Bend. This division of this line, destroying unity and responsibility of its defense, I would respectfully recommend to be countermanded. Second. The second line is that of the parapet above Carrollton, its right resting upon an impenetrable swamp and its left crossing the Mississippi River and resting upon a similar swamp. It is a pretty well built cremaillere line, and mounts about twenty heavy guns, and a few field pieces, and is now garrisoned by about 1,600 infantry, 500 heavy artillery, and two light batteries. The heavy guns are now well manned, and the defenses in a very fair condition. The two light batteries, though having made some improvements, are still