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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 6, Ch. XVI–Reports.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

{p.436}

CHAPTER XVI.
OPERATIONS IN WEST FLORIDA, SOUTHERN ALABAMA, SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI, AND LOUISIANA.
September 1, 1861-May 12, 1862.
(New Orleans)
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REPORTS, ETC.

SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS.

Sept.2, 1861.–Destruction of United States dry-dock at Pensacola, Fla.
14, 1861.–Descent on Pensacola navy-yard by boats from U. S. squadron.
Oct.1, 1861.–The Department of New England constituted, under command of Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, U. S. A.*
7, 1861.–Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg’s command extended over the coast and State of Alabama.
9, 1861.–Action on Santa Rosa Island, Fla.
14,1861.–The Department of Alabama and West Florida constituted, under command of Major-General Bragg, C. S. Army.
18, 1861.–Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell, C. S. Army, supersedes Maj. Gen. David E. Twiggs in command of Department No. 1.
Nov.22-23, 1861.–Bombardment of the Confederate lines about Pensacola, Fla.
27,1861.–The Ship Island Expedition sails from Hampton Roads, Va.
Dec.3, 1861.–Ship Island, Miss., occupied by Union forces.
12,1861.–The Department of Alabama and West Florida extended to embrace Pascagoula Bay and that portion of Mississippi east of the Pascagoula River.
Jan.1,1862.–Bombardment of Forts McRee and Barrancas, Pensacola Harbor.
20,1862.–Contest over the British schooner Andracita on the coast of Alabama.
27,1862.–Brig. Gen. Jones M. Withers, C. S. Army, assigned to command of the Army of Mobile.
Brig. Gen. Samuel Jones, C. S. Army, assigned to command of the Army of Pensacola.
Feb.22, 1862.–Brig. Gen. Lewis G. Arnold, U. S. Army, supersedes Col. Harvey Brown, Fifth U. S. Artillery, in command of the Department of Florida.
23,1862.–The Department of the Gulf constituted, under command of Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, U. S. Army. {p.437}
Feb.28, 1862.–Brig. Gen. Samuel Jones, C. S. Army, supersedes Major-General Bragg in command of the Department of Alabama and West Florida.**
March8, 1862.–Col. Thomas M. Jones, Twenty-seventh Mississippi Infantry, assigned to command at Pensacola.
15, 1862.–The Department of Florida merged into the Department of the South, Maj. Gen. David Hunter, U. S. Army, commanding.
20, 1862.–Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, U. S. Army, assumes command of the Department of the Gulf.
27-31, 1862.–Reconnaissance on Santa Rosa Island, Fla.
April3-4, 1862.–Expedition from Ship Island to Biloxi and Pass Christian, Miss.
7, 1862.–Affair at Saint Andrew’s Bay, Fla.
18-28, 1862.–Bombardment and capture of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, La.
25, 1862.–New Orleans, La., captured by the U. S. Navy.
27, 1862.–41Fort Quitman, La., abandoned by the Confederate forces.
Forts Livingston, Pike, and Wood, La., recaptured by Union forces.
28, 1862.–Surrender of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, La.
28, 1862.–Brig. Gen. John H. Forney, C. S. Army, assigned to command of the Department of Alabama and West Florida.
May1, 1862.–New Orleans, La., occupied by the Union forces.
9-12, 1862.–Evacuation of Pensacola, Fla., by the Confederates, and its occupation by the Union forces.

* This department was created in connection with the organization of the Gulf Expedition and was discontinued February 20, 1862.

** On March 4 Major-General Bragg, at Jackson, Tenn., issued an order resuming command of the Department of Alabama and West Florida, but that order appears to have been inoperative.

SEPTEMBER 14, 1861.– Descent on Navy-Yard at Pensacola, Fla.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Col. Harvey Brown, Fifth U. S. Artillery.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Col. Harvey Brown, Fifth U. S. Artillery.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, September 14, 1861.

COLONEL: A naval boat expedition, under command of Lieutenant [John H.] Russell, of the flag-ship Colorado, this morning, at 2 o’clock, burned the piratical schooner Judah and spiked the gun of the only battery in the navy-yard. The schooner was armed with five guns, and was lying in the slip in front of the battery, evidently awaiting an opportunity to go to sea. We lost three killed (one of them instantly, by one of our own party), four badly and three or four slightly wounded, among the latter Lieutenants Russell and [F. B.] Blake, [Capt. E. McD.] Reynolds, of the Marines and a midshipman. The whole affair was well conceived, well managed, and entirely successful.

I took it for granted it would cause the opening of the rebel fire on this fort, but until the present time no demonstration has been made.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.438}

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No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., September 16, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the Department, that a row-boat, with nine enlisted men of marines, sent on patrol duty on the night of the 8th instant in the harbor, failed to return. The crew has no doubt deserted to the enemy. It was a gross neglect on the part of the officer in charge of this service in not sending an officer in command on such a duty.

On the night of the 13th a boat expedition of three ships’ launches, heavily armed, made an attack on a point at the navy-yard where the boats of our harbor police were moored, and succeeded in setting fire to and destroying a small armed vessel in our service. Our guards were not surprised, but by some strange neglect, which is now under investigation, permitted the success of this daring exploit, led, no doubt, by our deserters. I hope to fix the responsibility and make an example of the guilty parties.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.

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OCTOBER 9,1861.– Action on Santa Rosa Island, Fla.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Col. Harvey Brown, Fifth U. S. Artillery, commanding Department of Florida.
No. 2.–Maj. Zealous B. Tows; U. S. Corps of Engineers.
No. 3.–Maj. Lewis G. Arnold, First U. S. Artillery.
No. 4.–Col. William Wilson, Sixth New York Infantry.
No. 5.–Capt. John McL. Hildt, Third U. S. Infantry.
No. 6.–Lieut. Chauncey B. Reese, U. S. Corps of Engineers.
No. 7.–Capt. James M. Robertson, Second U. S. Artillery.
No. 8.–Capt. Richard C. Duryea, First U. S. Artillery.
No. 9.–Lieut. Alexander N. Shipley, Third U. S. Infantry.
No. 10.–Capt. Loomis L. Langdon, First U. S. Artillery.
No. 11.–Lieut. Francis W. Seeley, Fourth U. S. Artillery.
No. 12.–Lieut. Richard H. Jackson, First U. S. Artillery.
No. 13.–Congratulatory orders from Major-General McClellan, U. S. Army.
No. 14.–Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, commanding at Pensacola, with congratulatory orders.
No. 15.–Brig. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, C. S. Army, commanding expedition.

No. 1.

Report of Col. Harvey Brown, Fifth U. S. Artillery, commanding Department of Florida.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, October 9, 1861.

COLONEL: The enemy, 1,200 or 1,500 strong, landed on this island this morning, about 3 o’clock, some 3 1/2 or 4 miles from the fort. They {p.439} marched down the island in three columns, and attacked and partially burned the camp of the Sixth New York Volunteers. They were promptly met and driven by the regulars of the fort, and a small number of Zouaves, under Major Arnold, of the First Artillery, to their place of landing, and left the island under a well-directed and deliberate fire of our musketry, within good range, which must have done great execution, their boats being densely crowded. Their departure was hailed with three heavy cheers from our gallant soldiers, which were received with the most solemn silence. We have about a dozen of their dead; some 30 prisoners, including 5 officers. Our loss is, of regulars, 5 killed, about 15 wounded, and 8 missing, including 1 officer, Major Vogdes, who was taken prisoner early in the action; of the volunteers, 7 killed, 8 or 9 wounded, and 10 missing. I will make a detailed report so soon as I can receive those of Major Arnold and the officers engaged.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, October 11, 1861.

COLONEL: I briefly reported to you on the 9th instant that the rebels had landed on this island, partially destroyed the camp of the Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, and been driven off by our troops. I now report in more detail the events of the attack.

For the better understanding of the several movements it may be well to state that the enemy landed about 4 miles from this fort, (the place may be recognized on the map by three ponds and a mound); that the island there is about three-quarters of a mile wide; that a short distance below it narrows to some 200 hundred yards, then widens again, and at the camp the distance across is about five-eighths of a mile; that a succession of three or four sand ridges run on the seaside parallel to the coast along the island, and low, swampy ground, interspersed with sand hillocks, some bushes, and a few trees, extends along the harbor side, both shores being sandy beach. Wilson’s camp is near the seacoast and a short mile from the fort. The two batteries spoken of in his report, and to which he retreated, Batteries Lincoln and Totten, are, the first on the harbor, and the other on the Gulf side, about 400 yards from Fort Pickens.

About 2 o’clock on the morning of the 9th instant I was awakened by the officer of the day, who reported that a picket driven in had reported the landing of 60 men on the point. Having little confidence in the correctness of this report I directed that no alarm should be made, and shortly after he reported that the alarm was false. About 3.30 o’clock he again reported that volleys of musketry were heard at the camp of the Sixth New York Volunteers. I immediately ordered the roll to be beaten, Major Vogdes to take two companies and proceed to the spot, and Major Arnold to man the guns on the ramparts on that race. About half an hour after this time the firing was heavy and the light of the burning camp seen, and I sent a staff officer to communicate with Major Vogdes, who returned very soon, and said that he had fallen in with a large body of the enemy on the inside shore, and could not find the major. I immediately ordered Major Arnold to proseed {p.440} to support Major Vogdes with two companies, and at the same time sent an order to Colonel Wilson to advance and attack the enemy. I also dispatched a staff officer, on board the steamer McClellan, with orders for him to take position opposite the landing place and open on the enemy; unfortunately at the same time directing him to go to the Potomac, lying near, and ask for some men to assist him in case landing was necessary. Captain Powell directed him to tow his ship to the scene of action, which so delayed him that he did not arrive until after the enemy had vacated. Captain Powell acted from the best motives, and under ordinary circumstances from correct principles, but the result was unfortunate, as the McClellan could have driven the rebel steamer away, and we must have made prisoners of most of the invaders.

At the request of Major Arnold, late in the morning I sent forward a light field gun, which, however, did not reach until the affair was over.

As I propose only briefly to allude to the volunteers, I respectfully refer you to the official report, marked A [No. 4], of the colonel of the regiment. The picket of this regiment and guards sustained its principal if not entire loss, and behaved well. Captain Dobie’s company, on duty with the regulars, did good service, and the captain is spoken of by Major Arnold in terms of high approbation. He had 2 men killed. Captain Bailey’s company was at a battery, and not called out. He was performing his appropriate duty during the fight. Major Vogdes, with Companies A, First Artillery, and E, Third Infantry, proceeded beyond the Spanish fort, about a mile from the fort, when from the obscurity of the night he found himself and command completely intermingled with the enemy. He was immediately recognized and made prisoner, the command devolving on Captain Hildt, of the Third Infantry, who disengaged his command from their perilous position, and opened a heavy fire on the enemy, and finally, with great gallantry, forced them to retreat (he being ably supported by Lieutenant Seeley, my assistant adjutant-general, who volunteered for the occasion), with a loss of 11 killed. Major Arnold at this moment came up and, the enemy retreating, followed on. During this time Major Tower and Lieutenant Jackson, who I had successively sent to push forward the Zouaves, succeeded in getting some collected, and Colonel Wilson also advanced, the enemy precipitately retreating. Major Arnold, with Captain Robertson’s and Lieutenant Shipley’s companies, promptly followed, and attacked as they were embarking, the other companies coming up successively. Captain Robertson opened a heavy fire at short musket range on the crowded masses, and Lieutenant Shipley some fifteen minutes later joined him, and their fire must have been very effective. This was continued as long as they were within range. When they had got beyond it the gallant major ordered them to cease firing and to give them three cheers, to which no response was made. During the time of this occurrence Major Tower came up with two small companies of Zouaves, and subsequently Colonel Wilson with a portion of his regiment. When it is considered that less than 200 regulars, with some 50 volunteers, pursued five times their number 4 miles and expelled them under a heavy fire from the island they had desecrated, it will, I trust, be considered an evidence of their having gallantly performed their duty. The plan of attack of the enemy was judicious, and, if executed with ordinary ability, might have been attended with serious loss; but he failed in all, save the burning one-half of the tents of the Sixth Regiment, which, being covered with brushes, was very combustible, and in rifling the trunks of the officers. He did not reach within 500 yards of either of the batteries the guns of which he was to spike, {p.441} nor within a mile of the fort he was to enter pell mell with the fugitives retreating before his victorious arms. I have now in my possession nine spikes, taken from the bodies of the dead, designed for our guns.

Our loss is, of regulars, 4 killed, 20 wounded (most very slightly), and 8 missing, among whom is Major Vogdes; of the Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, 10 killed, 9 wounded, and 16 missing. The enemy lost, as known to us, 14 killed, including 1 captain; 7 wounded including 1 lieutenant (2 since dead), and 5 officers and 22 enlisted men prisoners, and as he was known to have carried off some of his dead and probably most of his wounded, those in our hands being all severely so and unable to be removed, and as the heaviest loss is supposed to have been in the boats at the re-embarkation, it was probably three times as great in killed and wounded as I have named.

I close with the agreeable duty of naming to you the officers engaged who so faithfully performed their duty. I mention Major Vogdes first, who, unfortunately, was taken prisoner before a gun on our part was fired, to say that, as second in command and my executive officer, he has efficiently and industriously performed his duty during the whole time of my command, and his services have been very valuable.

Major Arnold, who succeeded to the command after the capture of his superior, conducted the affair with great gallantry, prudence, and ability. He speaks in the highest terms of Captains Robertson and Hildt and Lieutenants Shipley and Seeley, and indeed of all the others whose names I give: Major Tower and Lieutenant Reese, of the Engineers; Lieutenants Duryea, Langdon, Jackson, and Taylor, U. S. Artillery, and Captain Dobie, of the New York Volunteers; and it gives me great pleasure to append the names of non-commissioned officers and privates named by their company commanders for distinguished good conduct, and to recommend them to the favorable notice of the Government.

The following are the companies of Major Vogdes’ and Arnold’s command who participated in the battle, and (with a very few exceptions of individuals) to whom the greatest praise is due: Company A, First Artillery; H, Second Artillery, and Companies C and E, Third Infantry.

I estimate the force of the enemy at 1,200 or 1,500, having closely observed them through a fine telescope as they retreated. There were two large steamers and a barge of equal size and five or six launches all crowded with troops, and the almost unanimous estimate of the officers engaged is 1,500, from personal observation close by.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.

P. S.-I have just seen the Pensacola paper, which gives their loss as follows: Killed, 21; wounded, 38; prisoners, 22, which probably is not one-fourth of the actual loss. General Anderson is severely wounded.

[Inclosure.]

-Table of distances from Fort Pickens to where the rebels landed on the morning of the 9th of October, 1861, to the intermediate points, by actual measurement, made October 23, 1861.-

Yards.
From Fort Pickens to Battery Cameron580
Battery Lincoln803
Spanish Fort2,612

{p.442}
From the first place of fighting, where Major Vogdes was captured3,331
The first pine trees4,043
Long Point Beach6,101
Where we first fired on the steamers6,832
Where the rebels landed, and where they were attacked by Major Arnold, with Captain Robertson’s and Lieutenant Shipley’s companies or 4 miles 266 yards.7,306

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, October 12, 1861.

GENERAL: In my official report of the affair of the 9th instant it will be perceived that I briefly notice the New York volunteers. I did so because the regiment did not behave well on the occasion, and because I think that, if properly officered, its conduct would have been different. I desired to spare it the stigma of cowardice, which I should have been compelled to inflict. The material of the rank and file is very good, and in the hands of even respectably intelligent officers might be made efficient; but as a body, and with very few exceptions, the officers are in every respect unfit for officers, and incapable of performing their appropriate duties, and the enlisted men consequently can have but little respect for or confidence in them. If it can legally be done, I would recommend the transfer to other regiments of the few efficient officers, the disbandment of the others, and the transfer of the enlisted men to the regular companies at this post. By so doing the regiment can in one month be made efficient, and I would with confidence lead them into battle, which I should now be very sorry to do.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General, Washington City, D. C.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, October 17, 1861.

COLONEL: I had occasion yesterday to send Lieutenant Seeley my assistant adjutant-general, with a flag to the other side. While there he saw a rebel newspaper, containing an article on the action of the 9th instant, in which was this paragraph:

It is now certain that 175 in killed, wounded, and missing will more than cover our entire loss, while 250 will probably barely cover that of the Federalists.

This shows that in estimating in my official report their loss at three times the number left on the island, viz: 1 captain, 13 enlisted men killed, 1 lieutenant, 6 enlisted men wounded, and 5 officers and 22 enlisted men prisoners, I underestimated their actual loss according to their own acknowledgment, and we may safely infer from past experience that only half the truth is here told. Their loss, therefore, is nearly equal to the whole number of troops actually inflicting it, and this without attaining one single object proposed by the expedition, except the partial burning of the camp of the Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers and the robbing its officers. They did not destroy a single article of quartermaster’s or commissary stores; they did not {p.443} destroy one-half of the tents of the volunteers; they did not spike a single gun, nor do any other injury whatever, except the burning of 30 tents and the capture of some dozen muskets, and of which we have of theirs more than two for one. Our whole casualties are, as stated in my official report, 4 regulars and 9 volunteers killed, 2) regulars and 7 volunteers wounded, and 10 regulars and 11 volunteers missing, and it gives me very great pleasure to state that Surgeon Campbell reports all our wounded as doing well, and he thinks we will not lose a man. Their actual number on the island, by their own acknowledgment, was 1,500 men.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, October 22, 1861.

COLONEL: I desire to correct an omission in my official report. Capt. Henry L. Hoelzle, of the Sixth New York Regiment Volunteers, joined Major Arnold with 10 men of his company and behaved gallantly. Lieut. Moore Hanham, of the same regiment, commanded the picket guard, and behaved with courage and firmness under a heavy fire, in which most of his sentinels were killed or wounded.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.

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No. 2.

Report of Maj. Zealous B. Tower, U. S. Corps of Engineers.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., October 15, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to forward what information I can collect in reference to the forces opposite and their means of attack. The most reliable authority gives General Bragg’s forces on the 11th October as 7,000 men. It is also stated that two regiments some weeks since were ordered North, but that General Bragg had refused to let them go, and had asked for re-enforcements. He has eighteen field pieces, six of which are rifled. A party at that time (October 11) were at Pensacola, who had come over to rifle guns.

Between twenty and thirty 10-inch columbiads have been brought by railroad to Pensacola. The person describing them (while looking at our pieces of the same caliber) said that they were straight at the muzzle and were heavier and shorter behind the trunnions, and that they were made at Richmond. He also informed me that as many as eight 10-inch seacoast mortars had come by railroad to Pensacola.

You will perceive that the armament the enemy received, together with that found at the works, is heavier than ours. I have not heard of other guns, excepting one Dahlgren; but should any heavier guns be cast, the walls of this fort will hardly be able to stand them even at {p.444} 2,300, 2,400, and 2,500 yards. Twenty 10-inch guns of the new pattern, firing at 1 1/2 miles with solid shot, constantly at one part of this old work of very poor masonry, may possibly shake the walls. Our forces are small in number. It is absolutely necessary that naval steamers assist us here, otherwise the island may be seized at any time and the siege commenced. The enemy has large quantities of shells and mortars. Whether it will be his policy to besiege us or to try to crush us with curvated fire, and by heavy guns and rifled cannon to knock down a portion of our work, I cannot foresee. The serious obstacle to such means on his part will be the great expenditure of powder. Navy ships, with their large crews, of course would be a great security and assistance to us. Gunboats are wanted if the position opposite is to be attacked. The late unfortunate affair at the head of the Mississippi Passes will call away the Niagara and leave the Colorado here for the present.

I have given Captain Kurtz a description of the night attack made by the secession forces upon Wilson’s camp on the night of the 8th and 9th October. I have no doubt that the enemy were much disappointed with the results. The Zouaves (excepting the pickets) proved of little account. They are badly commanded. If incorporated with the regulars they might be made effective. Contrary to the reports in the Southern papers, the enemy did not spike one gun or burn a storehouse. They destroyed about three-fourths of the tents of five companies of Zouaves and robbed some of the officers’ trunks. They ought to have been more severely punished for coming with 1,000 men within a mile of our work but in the confusion of a night attack matters do not always get on well.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Z. B. TOWER, Major of Engineers.

Bvt. Brig. Gen. JOSEPH G. TOTTEN, Chief Engineer, Washington, D. C.

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No. 3.

Report of Maj. Lewis G. Arnold, First U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., October 10, 1861.

SIR: In accordance with the directions of the colonel commanding, I have the honor to report the operations of the troops under my command which yesterday aided in driving the rebel force of not less than 1,000 men, under command of Brig. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, discomfited and in confusion, from the island of Santa Rosa.

I was ordered by the colonel commanding, at 5 o’clock a.m., October 9 to take command of two companies of regulars, Captain Robertson, Company H, Second Artillery, and Lieutenant Shipley, commanding Company C, Third Infantry, and support Major Vogdes, First Artillery, in command of two companies of regulars; Captain Hildt, Company E, Third Infantry; Lieutenant Taylor and 30 men of Company A, First Artillery, and Captain Dobie, Company G, New York volunteers, who had preceded me along the north beach of the island about an hour, with the purpose of attacking in flank the rebels, who had made an attack on Camp Brown, three-quarters of a mile from the fort. Having formed my command very promptly, owing to the efficiency and zeal of the company commanders, I rapidly marched up the beach {p.445} about 1 1/2 miles, when I reached the scene of a sharp action between Major Vogdes’ command and the rebels, in which 11 of the enemy were killed, and probably many more than that number wounded.

It is due to Captain Hildt, Third Infantry, to state that our troops here engaged were under his directions, as, from the statements of that officer and Lieutenants Seeley and Taylor, the only officers with Major Vogdes, he must have been taken prisoner before the fight commenced. After marching half a mile farther up the beach I discovered a large row-boat, about 1,200 yards off, filled with men, making for the navy-yard. I directed the men to fire at great elevation on this boat, which was well executed, with some effect. Soon after this, whilst advancing rapidly, I discovered, nearly 2 miles away, on a point or neck of land, a very large body of the enemy, which I judged to be ten times my strength. I shortly after left the beach, going behind the sand ridge which skirts it, and deployed my command, for the purpose of concealing its weakness and to attack them in flank and rear. I very soon met Captain Hildt, Third Infantry; Lieutenants Duryea, Langdon, Seeley, and Taylor, of the artillery, who informed me of the capture of Major Vogdes. I ordered Captain Hildt to join me with the remnant of his command, Lieutenant Duryea to act as my staff officer, in which capacity he made a bold reconnaissance, supported only by six men, bringing me the valuable information that the enemy were embarking in two steamboats 4 miles from the fort. I directed Lieutenant Langdon to report to the colonel commanding my relative position with that of the enemy, which he could well and quickly do, being mounted, and from his recent dangerous proximity to the enemy, and to request that a field gun and a supporting force be sent me. I ordered Captain Robertson, Second Artillery, to move with his company along the sand hills skirting the beach, and to attack the enemy if a favorable opportunity should offer, which he did in the most effective manner. I proceeded with the balance of the command, Lieutenant Shipley, with his company (C, Third Infantry), leading off, within supporting distance of Captain Robertson, which portion of the command was unfortunately delayed about fifteen [five] minutes by having to turn a swamp which intervened. Both divisions of the command displayed great zeal and coolness in coming into the action. The fire of the men was deliberate and well delivered into the crowded mass on board the steamboats and flats in tow, which must have punished the enemy severely-particularly the fire delivered by Captain Robertson’s company for fifteen or twenty minutes, at short range, while the flat in tow of one of the steamers was aground. I am indebted to Major Tower, Engineer Corps, for his advice on the field and for ordering up the New York volunteers as a supporting column.

Captain Robertson, Second Artillery Captain Hildt, Third Infantry; Lieutenants Shipley, Third Infantry; Langdon, Seeley, Jackson and Taylor, First Artillery, and Captains Dobie and Hoelzle, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers who served under my command dining the day, did their duty nobly. My special thanks are due to Capt. J. M. Robertson, Second Artillery, and First Lieut. A. N. Shipley, Third Infantry, the two officers of my original command, for their activity, energy, and coolness displayed and valuable services rendered by them and their commands.

I refer the colonel commanding to the reports of the commanders of companies and parties specially detached for individual instances of good conduct displayed; also a list of officers and enlisted men (regulars) killed, wounded, and missing, which reports, &c., I herewith inclose.

{p.446}

The enemy’s loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners left in our hands (they carried off all those killed on the boats and many of those wounded on the shore), amounts to 1 captain and 15 enlisted men killed, and 1 lieutenant and 5 enlisted men wounded, and 6 commissioned officers and 27 enlisted men prisoners.

Respectfully submitted.

L. G. ARNOLD, Major First Artillery, Commanding.

Lieut. F. W. SEELEY, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Dept. of Florida.

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FORT PICKENS, FLA., December 24, 1861.

COLONEL: My attention has been called to an error as regards time in my report of the engagement of the troops under my command with the rebels on Santa Rosa Island, October 9, 1861, which error I perceive has been adopted in your published report of the same engagement. It is really not of much moment, but I consider it due to Lieutenant Shipley and his company (C, Third Infantry) and to truth to correct it. Quotation from my report:

I proceeded with the balance of the command, Lieutenant Shipley, with his company (C, Third Infantry), leading off, within supporting distance of Captain Robertson, which portion of the command was unfortunately delayed about fifteen minutes by having to turn a swamp which intervened.

Instead of fifteen minutes, it should have been five minutes. Both companies behaved handsomely, firing on the enemy with great effect, and deserve much more credit than has been accorded to them.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. G. ARNOLD, Major, First Artillery.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, December 25, 1861.

Respectfully forwarded to the Adjutant-General, with a request that my report and that of Major Arnold may be altered so as to conform to the within statement.

I desire also to correct another error. Captain Dobie himself did good service on the night of the 9th October, but his company did nothing worthy of notice.

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

No. 4.

Report. of Col. William Wilson, Sixth Kew York Infantry.

CAMP BROWN FORT PICKENS, FLA., Sixth Regt. N. Y. S. E., October 11, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 9th instant, at about 3.30 o’clock, the camp was alarmed by rapid discharges and {p.447} volleys of musketry in the direction of the hospital. My command of five companies, numbering 250 men, was turned out, and formed on the drill ground fronting the hospital. Lieutenant Hanham came running in, and informing me that about 2,000 armed men in two columns were marching upon us; that the pickets were all attacked about the same time. I at once sent (no officer being near) an orderly to inform Colonel Brown. The orderly, when returning, was made prisoner. Skirmishers were thrown out in advance and on the left flank. I was on the left flank, preparing to wheel by companies to the left and then deploy, when volleys of musketry were fired into us from the direction of the camp. The two left companies wheeled to the left, deployed, and returned the fire. Immediately the tents were in a blaze, and the enemy could be seen in the center of the camp closed in mass, apparently 400 or 500 men. Other companies were in line on the ridge extending towards the old commissary store. Companies were seen moving across the ridges. My men, on seeing this, broke for the beach. I managed by the assistance of Lieutenants Hanham and Kraell to halt and form about 60 of them behind the first ridge from the drill ground. I then sent for Lieutenant-Colonel Creighton and the remainder of my command. The men returned stating that they could not find him. Stragglers came in, informing me that Lieutenant-Colonel Creighton, Captain Hazeltine, Captains Hoelzle and Henberer, and Lieutenant Silloway, with the rest of the command, had marched towards the batteries. My men on hearing this could not be restrained, and moved towards the beach and then to Battery Totten, where we halted and rested a short time.

Up to this time I was ignorant of the whereabouts of my officers or men or the movements of troops from the fort. Major Tower came up and informed me that several companies of regulars were in pursuit of the enemy, and for me to advance, which I did as rapidly as the tired condition of the men would permit. About half a mile above the hospital I met the remainder of my command, under Lieutenant-Colonel Creighton. At Major Tower’s request I sent forward two companies at double-quick time. I then moved on, endeavoring to overtake the enemy or render what assistance I could. I reached the place where the enemy embarked just as our men were returning. On my returning I deployed two companies across the island as skirmishers to pick up stragglers and the dead and wounded. I have to report the following losses: Killed, 9; wounded, 7; missing, 11.

I would respectfully add that I am pleased with the good-will and promptness of the officers and men in the performance of their duties.

Your obedient servant,

WM. WILSON, Colonel, Commanding Sixth Regiment N. Y. S. Vols.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida.

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HDQRS. CAMP BROWN, DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, October 14, 1861.

SIR: In accordance with instructions to report the manner of attack and conduct of officers and men in the late attack on the morning of the 9th instant, I respectfully report:

The sentinels of the picket guard were all attacked the same time by {p.448} small bodies of the enemy, supported by three detachments of them, each about 600 strong, approaching upon them from the Gulf beach, center of island, and bay shore. Lieutenant Hanham was officer of the picket guard. He formed his relief in good order and retreated, firing upon the enemy, and rallied upon the battalion then on the parade ground.

Captain Hoelzle was officer of the day. He, on the first alarm, formed the main guard and marched towards the beach, where alarms were being given. He met a large body of the enemy, fired into them, and was fired into in return. Captain Hoelzle was knocked down and walked over. He arose quickly and shot a man who was taking aim at him. He then retreated to the front of the guard-house, and met Captain Hazeltine, who was in command of the skirmishers, then retreating before the enemy.

Captain Duffy, who had command of the skirmishers on the left, was cut off with four men, and had to remain in front of the camp until near daylight.

The sentinels all stood their ground manfully, firing while retreating. Corp. William Parsonage, of Company H (since dead), while supporting a sentinel and fighting manfully, was shot through the body in three places and bayoneted, but killed his opponent. Private P. McGrail, of Company F, posted at the Spanish Fort, was killed at his post after firing three shots at the enemy. Private William Scott, of Company C, on the approach of the enemy from the Gulf beach, waited until they approached to within 10 feet, and deliberately shot Captain Bradford, who was leading them on.

I must thank Lieutenant Hanham, Lieutenant Kraell, and Sergt. Maj. Robert Gill for the valuable assistance they rendered me in keeping my men in order, and for their good behavior while under the fire of the enemy.

Yours, respectfully,

WM. WILSON, Colonel Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida, Fort Pickens.

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No. 5.

Report of Capt. John McL. Hildt, Third U. S. Infantry.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., October 10, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of an engagement with the enemy on the morning of the 9th of October:

About 3.30 o’clock a.m., it having become evident from firing from the direction of Camp Brown that the enemy had made an attack on the companies of the Sixth New York Volunteers stationed at that point, Company E, Third Infantry, 62 rank and file, under command of Capt. J. McL. Hildt, Third Infantry, and 31 rank and file of Company A, First Artillery, under command of Second Lieut. F. E. Taylor, First Artillery, the whole commanded by Maj. I. Vogdes, First Artillery, left the fort to render any necessary assistance. The command proceeded through Batteries Cameron and Lincoln, being re-enforced at the latter {p.449} by Company G, Sixth New York Volunteers, Captain Dobie. After proceeding a short distance up the north beach, Captain Dobie was directed to deploy his company as skirmishers on the right flank. The company became separated from the rest of the command, and I saw no more of it. We proceeded along the beach until some distance above Camp Brown. A large force appeared on our right flank and rear. Owing to the darkness it was impossible to tell whether this force was the enemy or New York volunteers. Major Vogdes, who was in front, immediately faced the command to the right and rode towards the right of the line. This was the last I saw of him. A moment afterwards an officer (of the enemy) stepped up to me, stating that our commanding officer was a prisoner, and requesting me to surrender the command. The first firing (two shots) was directed at this officer. I then moved the command to and formed as well as circumstances would permit behind some rising ground about 20 yards in front. First Lieut. F. W. Seeley, Fourth Artillery, who had volunteered and joined the advance guard during the march, here rendered valuable service in forming and encouraging the men.

After some very effective firing from this point it became necessary to move part of the command to the left, to oppose a threatened flank attack. The men became more exposed and the fire of the enemy very severe. Finding ourselves greatly outnumbered, and encumbered by the wounded we fell back diagonally towards the opposite beach and the enemy’s flank, halting behind the numerous sand-hills and delivering our fire. A party of 3 surgeons and guard of 8 men were at this time made prisoners. Several other prisoners had been previously taken. As soon as his front was clear the enemy proceeded along the north beach. His force, as given by the prisoners, was 1,010 men. Our actual force engaged, owing to the flankers being made prisoners previous to the action, did not exceed 80 men. We then proceeded to collect our remaining wounded until the arrival of Major Arnold’s command. The men generally behaved well. Many could be mentioned who were conspicuous. Among them First Sergt. David Grier, Company E, Third Infantry, who, although with the flankers, succeeded in eluding the enemy and joining the command; Corp. Thomas G. Duncan, Privates James Clark James Corcoran, John Moran, Michael Coleman Company E Third Infantry, and Privates James Connelly, Timothy Kelly, and Michael Lavelle Company A First Artillery. I desire to mention particularly Corp. Charles Schafer, Private William Dougherty, Company E, Third Infantry, and Lance Corp. Edward B. Fitzgibbons, Private Franklin Eastman, Company A First Artillery, Lieutenants Seeley and Taylor throughout the affair acted with marked coolness and bravery, and by their exertions and examples contributed largely to the safety of the command.

Our loss was 4 killed, 20 wounded, and 1 officer and 8 men missing. The loss of the enemy, judging from the number of dead left on the ground, was much larger. A list of the killed, wounded, and missing I herewith inclose.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant.

J. McL. HILDT, Captain, Third Infantry.

Major L. G. ARNOLD, First Artillery.

{p.450}

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No. 6.

Report of Lieut. Chauncey B. Reese, U. S. Corps of Engineers.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., October 11, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to your instructions, I have the honor to transmit the following as connected with the operations against the enemy on the morning of the 9th instant:

At a little before daybreak I was directed by the colonel commanding to instruct Major Vogdes to pursue the enemy with his command, keeping his left flank upon the north beach. The colonel at the same time stated that Major Vogdes had gone up the north beach via Battery Lincoln. I started on horseback, and when about half a mile beyond Battery Lincoln came upon a body of troops about 75 strong, which I at first took for Major Vogdes’ command, but which proved to be the enemy, who fired one shot at me as I turned to retreat. While returning I met Lieutenant Duryea at Battery Lincoln in search of Major Vogdes’ command. I intrusted the message to Lieutenant Duryea, and returned to report the position of the enemy. About fifteen minutes after my return I was directed by the commanding officer to proceed to “the Potomac, and ask Captain Powell to place a detachment on board the McClellan and direct Captain Gray to proceed along the island in order to shell the enemy.” The commanding officer also directed me to go with Captain Gray. These instructions were afterwards modified so as “to request of Captain Powell as large a force as he could spare, with a view to landing it, if necessary.” After being delayed something like half an hour in getting a boat, I went to the Potomac and delivered the substance of the message to Captain Powell, who stated that he would have Captain Gray take him in tow while the men were getting ready. (I will here state that four or five shots had been fired from Battery Lincoln, and Captain Powell asked me what I thought it was. I replied that it must be from our batteries upon the boats of the enemy retreating.)

I then went on board the McClellan. Captain Gray took the Potomac in tow, but had hardly started when the hawser parted. We had seen a steamer approach the north beach of the island. Upon going near the Potomac, preparatory to getting another hawser, Captain Gray asked Captain Powell if he did not think the steamer was trying to take the enemy off. I heard no reply. The Potomac was then towed in about 2 miles towards the hospital. Forty-four marines, including one officer, were put on board the McClellan, and Captain Powell asked if more were needed. It was thought best not to wait for more to be put on board, but Captain Powell said he would have enough ready to make 100, if we should want them.

I had noticed several parties of from 5 to 20 soldiers, whom I thought to be of Colonel Wilson’s regiment, going along the beach towards the fort, and it was thought advisable to go ashore for information. I went ashore, and learned that the enemy had left the island and that the troops from the fort had returned. I stated this to Captain Gray, and it was agreed to go along the island some 15 miles to discover if any rebels had been cut off and retreated up the island. This was done, and no signs of the enemy were seen. The McClellan then returned, arriving at her anchorage at about 2 p.m.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. B. REESE, First Lieutenant of Engineers.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, Fifth Artillery, Commanding Department of Florida.

{p.451}

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No. 7.

Reports of Capt. James M. Robertson, Second U. S. Artillery.

BATTERY LINCOLN, Santa Rosa Island, Fla., October 10, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that about 3.30 o’clock a.m. yesterday I was awakened by the report of musketry on the island. I at once ran out and joined my company, which was just forming in rear of their bomb-proof. Almost immediately after I was joined by Company G, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteer Militia, under command of Capt. J. E. Dobie, assisted by Lieutenant Black. When the companies were properly formed I moved forward, with the exception of the detachments for the 12-pounder howitzers and rifled 42-pounder, to the cover of a sand hill near my camp, and ordered the men to lie down, at the same time sending out 5 men with a non-commissioned officer, with orders to take positions on the best grounds for observing the approach of an enemy from 100 to 300 yards in advance. After making these dispositions I waited for orders. About 4.30 a.m. Major Vogdes, First Artillery, passed with a detachment of regular troops from Fort Pickens and took with him Captain Dobie and his company. Soon after this I received orders from Colonel Brown to be ready and fire on any boat which should leave this island for the opposite shore. When you arrived at daybreak under your orders I left the first sergeant of my company (H, Second Artillery, to which I am assigned for temporary duty), and joined your column with the remainder-48 men.

From this time till I was detached from your column with my company you are aware of what transpired. After leaving you I threw forward a portion of my company as skirmishers and advanced up the island about 1 mile, diminishing and extending my front according to the nature of the ground, when I discovered three steamers, each having in tow a large scow or flat-boat densely packed with armed men. I at once put my company into a double-quick, advanced about half a mile in that manner, and took shelter behind a ridge of sand from 200 to 250 yards from the largest steamer (Time) and the flat she had in tow, and which at that time was aground, and remained so for full fifteen minutes. I at once opened fire, cautioning the men to take cool and deliberate aim. Never was an order better obeyed. The men delivered their fire, lay down and loaded, then rose, took aim, and fired with as much coolness as on an ordinary drill of the company. For the fifteen minutes that the flat was aground, and nearly up to the time that you arrived with the remainder of your column, the enemy returned our fire very briskly, but owing to the almost perfect cover behind which my men were placed I have no casualties to report. During the whole fire my attention was particularly attracted to one man, Private Michael M. O’Doud, of Company H. First placing himself behind a small pine tree, turning his side to load, he would then step out, rest his piece against the side of the tree, take deliberate aim, and fire, almost every time remarking that “There goes another of them down.” While loading he would frequently remark “Well, my tree saved me that time.” He afterwards informed me that he fired sixteen rounds. After the action was over I examined the tree behind which O’Doud stood, and found seven musket-balls buried in it in front of where his body was. When all the men behaved as well as the men of Company H. did the whole time while under fire, it is hard to particularize. I cannot, however, pass this occasion to give special thanks to Sergt. Charles Wendall, and {p.452} John Keegan, for the efficient manner in which they assisted me during the whole morning by their cool and steady bearing and prompt action.

I cannot close this communication without paying a well-deserved compliment to Capt. J. H. Dobie, Sixth Regiment of Volunteers, and tendering him my most sincere thanks for his most able assistance. Captain Dobie, having been separated from his company before daylight, joined me as a volunteer, and was with me until after the close of the action, and was of the greatest assistance in restraining the men while on the march and encouraging them by his cool manner and voice while under fire. From my observation, the cool manner of my men, the Length of time and distance of fire, the loss of the enemy must have been very considerable both on the steamer and flat-boat.

Respectfully submitted.

J. M. ROBERTSON, Captain, Second Artillery, Commanding Company B.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, Commanding Column on morning October 9, 1861.

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BATTERY LINCOLN, SANTA ROSA ISLAND, October 26, 1861.

SIR: I have to request that in my report of the affairs of the morning of the 9th instant the name of Private Michael M. O’Doud of Company H, Second Artillery, be erased, and that of Private John Gannon (same company) inserted in its place. At the time of the affair spoken of I had been but a few days (since the 1st instant) with the company, and knew none of the men. When writing my report I directed the first sergeant to bring me the name of the man referred to, which he did as O’Doud, and I have supposed him to be the man till yesterday, when Gannon informed me of my error, and I at once recognized him as the man I had noticed. Since then I have made further inquiries, and find from the statements of my non-commissioned officers and others that O’Doud was behind another tree and did good service. Should a copy of my report have been forwarded to Headquarters of the Army before the receipt of this, I respectfully request that a copy of this note may also be forwarded, to be placed on file with it.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. M. ROBERTSON, Captain, Second Artillery, Commanding Company H.

Lieut. F. W. SEELEY, Adjutant, Fort Pickens, Fla.

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No. 8.

Report of Capt. Richard C. Duryea, First U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., October 10, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to your instructions, I have the honor to make the following report of the attack and repulse of the rebel troops yesterday morning:

A detachment of Company A, First Artillery, consisting of 30 men and 1 corporal, under Lieutenant Taylor, formed on the parade ground. {p.453} The main part of my company being at the guns on the ran arts, was ordered by Major Vogdes, without my being informed of the fact, to join Company E, Third Infantry, and proceed to the assistance of Colonel Wilson. As soon as I was informed of the detachment leaving I immediately left the fort and proceeded to join it. On my way meeting Lieutenant Reese, who had been sent with orders from Colonel Brown to the major, I received his orders and pushed on to communicate them. I arrived at the scene of action when the firing first commenced, and found the enemy drawn up between our command and myself and the fort. Making a short detour, I again came upon the enemy. The action had been sharp and of short duration, and at this time the enemy were retiring up the beach. I was then joined by Lieutenant Langdon, and picking up 8 or 10 men who had been cut off from the command, we followed the enemy to the first boat, the men firing upon them while embarking; it is of course impossible to say with what effect. Your column soon after coming up, I joined it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. C. DURYEA, First Lieutenant, First Artillery.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Regiment Artillery.

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No. 9.

Report of Lieut. Alexander K. Shipley, Third U. S. Infantry.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., October 10, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to state that in obedience to orders, I left this fort at daybreak on the morning of the 9th instant with Company C, Third Infantry, consisting of 3 sergeants, 3 corporals, and 51 privates. Attached to my company were 4 privates of Company A, First Infantry, also 3 unassigned recruits, making a total of 64 enlisted men. We proceeded up the island by way of Batteries Cameron and Lincoln. At the latter battery I was joined by Captain Robertson, with a portion of his company (H, Second Artillery), from which point we marched as rapidly as possible to near a place known as the Four Mile Point, where we were halted, and ordered to open fire upon a small barge which had left our shore and distant probably 1,200 yards. My company fired two volleys at the barge. Many of the shots must have taken effect. I saw the ricocheting of many of the balls on the water in front and close to the barge.

From this place I was ordered up the beach at a double-quick after a large body of rebels seen at a distance of at least 1 mile. On arriving near the place where they were seen I deployed my company, as directed, and moved rapidly up the island to a point opposite where the rebels had embarked. On seeing them I immediately ordered my company at double-quick in the direction of the steamers and scows. The latter were being towed by a large steamer and distant from the beach about 500 yards. I formed my men under shelter of the sand hills immediately on the beach and opened fire upon the rebels. An incessant fire was kept up for some twenty minutes, when the vessels got out of range of my guns and the firing ceased for a few minutes, when a small boat was seen off to our right and distant some 1,200 yards. I ordered my company to fire upon it. They fired two well-directed volleys. The firing {p.454} upon the rebels on leaving our shore was very effective, throwing them, in their crowded state, into great confusion. I was then ordered to proceed with my company to the fort, deploying them so as to scout the island from the south beach to near its center. On my way down I found 2 dead bodies and 1 wounded man, all rebels. The dead bodies I had carried to the south beach (the dead were to be collected on that beach). The wounded man-Private Furguson, Seventh Alabama Regiment-was sent in a cart to the upper hospital. I also captured Lieutenant Farley, of the Florida volunteers, and 2 privates-viz, Moore, Seventh Alabama Regiment, and Goodley, of the Seventh Florida Regiment Volunteers-whom I brought into this fort and turned over to the guard.

It is perhaps unnecessary for me to testify to the good conduct and coolness of the non-commissioned officers and privates of my company, as well as those attached, as from the time of leaving the fort to the time the firing ceased they were under your personal observation.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. N. SHIPLEY, First Lieutenant, Third Infantry, Commanding Company C.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First U. S. Artillery, Commanding Column.

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No. 10.

Report of Capt. Loomis L. Langdon, First U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., October 10, 1861.

SIR: Pursuant to instructions, I have the honor to report my action in the engagement yesterday morning between the Federal troops and the rebels near the camp of the Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers.

About an hour before daybreak I was ordered by Colonel Brown to go up the island, find Colonel Wilson, and give him the order to follow the rebels then believed to be retreating, and attack, and, if compelled to himself fall back, to do so slowly and in good order. After passing through a number of volunteers gathered at the fork of the two tramways about musket-shot from the fort (and whom I now understand to have been Wilson’s command that I was searching for), I arrived at the commissary store, which was burning. The camp was in flames and the tents of four companies almost consumed. Two or three corpses lay in the camp, but the place was utterly deserted. I then hastened on to the hospital, where I found and got 8 of them from Dr. Sutherland to put out the fire in the commissary store-shed. Returning, I passed through the camp, and found about 6 volunteers with muskets, apparently guarding 2 officers’ tents. I added them to my 8, and put them to work extinguishing the fire and saving the stores, which was soon done. I then crossed the island, still searching for Colonel Wilson, whom, it seems, I had passed before. I had a mounted man out also looking for him.

On arriving on the north side of the island I met Lieutenant Duryea of the First Regiment Artillery, who was carrying orders from Colonel Brown to Major Vogdes. We heard a smart firing about 200 yards up the beach, and supposing that the major and Captain Hildt were there engaged we hurried up, but soon finding a soldier who, when questioned, answered “Second Alabama,” and ascertaining that the men in front {p.456} and very near us were enemies, we came back a little and made a detour to reach our friends, who had the enemy between them and the fort. Proceeding slowly, we saw the rebels slowly retreating from the sand hills and up the beach. We here gathered about 8 stragglers from the regulars, who were in advance, and with them we pushed on, and, deploying the men, soon found ourselves before the enemy in force. They fired on us and commenced shoving off a small boat. We returned the fire on the boat, but, a large force preparing to cut us off, we came back slowly for about half a mile, where we met Major Arnold’s command. Informing him of the position of the enemy and asking for orders I was sent to the fort to report and bring up a field piece.

Returning to the field, I overtook a battalion of volunteers acting as a reserve, but at too great a distance to be of any service. I advised the officer in command to get closer to the advance, which he was subsequently doing when there was no occasion for his services, Lieutenant Jackson having brought him the order to move on, which was obeyed. Then I joined Lieutenant Jackson, who had gathered about 80 volunteers from Colonel Wilson’s camp and including 2 or 3 regulars, the latter being taken from the guard. I assisted Lieutenant Jackson in deploying his men. Here we got ahead of the reserve and were going on, when we met Major Arnold returning, the enemy’s steamboats having taken the boats in tow, and, after suffering a fire from Captain Robertson’s immediate command, retreated to the other side. The command was then rested and ordered into the fort.

Lieutenant Duryea and myself took prisoner a wounded marine officer and had him conveyed to the hospital. I sent 2 wounded rebels also to the hospital, and spent the rest of the forenoon collecting the dead and wounded and conveying them to the hospital and fort. It may be well to mention that so much time was lost in fitting harness to the mules for the field piece, that by the time it arrived within 2 miles of the place of embarkation the enemy were gone, the horses for the gun being in use for the officers.

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

LOOMIS L. LANGDON, First Lieutenant, Fifth Artillery, A. A. Q. M.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Artillery, U. S. Army.

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No. 11.

Report of Lieut. Francis W. Seeley, Fourth U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., October 11, 1861.

MAJOR: In obedience to your directions, I have the honor to report that about 3.30 o’clock on the morning of the 9th of October, soon after the firing was heard at Camp Brown, I was sent by the colonel commanding to give some orders to Captain Robertson, commanding Batteries Lincoln and Cameron. On my return I met Major Vogdes and his command. The major requested me to take command of his advance guard, consisting of about 20 men, and to keep along the north beach about 15 rods in advance of the main body. With this request I complied, and marched quietly along the beach, keeping a sharp lookout in advance and on my right flank. After advancing about 1 1/2 miles from the fort I saw a squad of men in front of my party. I immediately {p.456} pushed my guard forward at double-quick, and succeeded in capturing 2 of them. They proved to be a party of stragglers from the main body of the enemy. No sooner were my prisoners secured than I heard sharp firing in rear, showing that our command was engaged with the enemy. I immediately fell back with my party and joined our main body, which I found under command of Captain Hildt, Third Infantry, Major Vogdes having been taken prisoner by the enemy, whose whole force was posted about 25 or 30 yards in front of our command. By direction of Captain Hildt I then took command of our right, and, ably assisted by Lieutenant Taylor, First Artillery, posted our men as advantageously as the ground would permit. The enemy then opened a pretty sharp fire on us, which our men returned with spirit.

Our force actually engaged at this time was about 75 or 80 men, while that of the enemy was about 1000, as we have since ascertained. Notwithstanding this disparity of numbers, our men, under the able command of Captain Hildt, bravely held their ground until the enemy made a movement evidently with the intention of attacking our left flank, when Captain Hildt gave orders to fall back gradually towards the south beach, which our men executed in good style, carrying off our wounded, facing about occasionally and delivering their fire. Soon after we took 3 army surgeons and 8 enlisted men belonging to the enemy prisoners, and Captain Hildt sent them under proper guard to the fort. As soon as the enemy found his front clear he continued his retreat up the island. We remained, collecting and caring for our wounded, until your command came up. We had 4 men killed, 20 wounded, and 1 officer (Major Vogdes) and 8 men missing. During the whole action our men behaved admirably, loading and firing with perfect coolness. Of those who were particularly distinguished for their coolness and bravery mention has I believe, been made by Captain Hildt in his official report of the affair.

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

F. W. SEELEY, First Lieutenant, Fourth Artillery.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD First Artillery, U. S. Army.

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No. 12.

Report of Lieutenant Richard H. Jackson, First U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., October 10, 1861.

SIR: In accordance with your directions I have the honor to report that a little after daybreak yesterday morning I was ordered by Colonel Brown to follow your command and take any men that I could find who in the darkness of the night might have become separated from Major Vogdes’ command, as well as any of Colonel Wilson’s men who could be picked up, and with them proceed to join your command, and to give instructions to the officers commanding detachments who might be in your rear to follow promptly to your support. I proceeded at once to Colonel Wilson’s encampment and collected about 80 men of his regiment and 3 officers. I immediately formed them and proceeded at their head to join you. After marching at double-quick for about a mile, I heard heavy firing on the beach, and seeing a swamp in front of me, I galloped ahead of my detachment in order to select the shortest route {p.457} to the scene of action. About 300 yards in front of my command I fell in with and captured two of the rebels, who were guarding 3 men of Colonel Wilson’s regiment, who had been made prisoners a short time before. I disarmed them, and sent them under guard to the fort. After proceeding a short distance I came up with about 150 men of the New York regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Creighton. They were halted. I ordered him to advance at once to your support. He accordingly did so. I went in advance of him at the double-quick and soon came on the beach. I then saw that the rebels had taken to their boats. I heard heavy firing from our troops in advance of me on the beach, and saw a great many of the enemy fall on one of their large flat-boats. They, however, succeeded in getting off before I could get close enough to fire on them. I in a few minutes afterwards joined your command.

I am sorry to have to state that on my arrival at Colonel Wilson’s camp I was greatly surprised to see so many men wandering around some of them without arms (although there were plenty to be had), and to find in camp with them 3 or 4 officers, who did not even attempt to organize the men or move forward with them. A great many of the men said that they would have been glad to have gone forward before my arrival if they had had any person to organize and lead them.

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

R. H. JACKSON, First Lieutenant, First Artillery.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, Major, First Artillery, U. S. Army.

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No. 18.

Congratulatory orders from Major-General McClellan, U. S. Army.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 109.}

HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, A. G. O., Washington, December 21, 1861.

The Commanding General has the satisfaction of announcing to the Army another instance of skill and good conduct on the part of the beleaguered garrison of Fort Pickens, harbor of Pensacola, under the command of Col. Harvey Brown, Fifth Regiment U. S. Artillery.

On the night of October 9 an attempt was made by a large body of rebels to burn the camp of Wilson’s Zouaves, spike the guns of the outer batteries, and take Fort Pickens by assault. The enemy were signally repulsed from Santa Rosa Island, with heavy loss on their side, after firing a few of our tents.

A subsequent attempt to make a lodgment on the island was defeated by well-delivered fire from one of our ships of war.

To put a stop to such aggressions a combined fire was opened upon the enemy’s batteries from Fort Pickens and the ships of our squadron in Pensacola Harbor, which was kept up throughout the 22d and 23d of November. On the first day Fort McRee and several guns in the other hostile batteries were silenced; and this was followed by the destruction, under our heavy cannonade, of nearly two-thirds of the towns of Warrington and Woolsey, adjoining the navy-yard, and by very serious damage to the navy-yard and its buildings. Fortunately but little loss was sustained by us in men or in the condition of our works.

It is with pride and gratification that the Commanding General finds {p.458} in the official reports the most honorable mention of each and every officer, as well as of the enlisted men, engaged on these occasions.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

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-No. 14.-

Reports of Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, commanding at Pensacola, with congratulatory orders.

BARRANCAS, October 9, 1861.

We chastised the enemy on Santa Rosa last night for his annoyances; drove him from his camps, burned his tents and many stores, spiked some of his guns, and retired in good order. Our loss was 30 or 40 killed and wounded. The enemy’s supposed to be larger, as he was completely surprised. General Anderson commanded and was disabled. Can I retain General Ruggles a few days? It may be very important. Major Vogdes is our prisoner, with several others. Am I authorized to exchange?

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General.

General S. COOPER.

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HDQRS. TROOPS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., October 10, 1861.

SIR: Satisfied from information received that the enemy contemplated opening fire upon us very soon, and desirous of avenging the annoyances he had recently caused my command, an expedition was projected against his outposts on Santa Rosa Island. It was executed on Tuesday night, by 1,000 men, under Brig. Gen. R. H. Anderson in a very handsome manner. We attacked and drove in his pickets and outposts, routed a regiment of New York volunteers, Col. Billy Wilson; burned the camp and stores in the vicinity including a large quantity of stores and provisions; inflicted loss of about 50 killed, including a number of officers, from the best information we can get; wounded a number unknown; made some 20 prisoners, Major I. Vogdes, First Artillery, with them, and retired within our lines.

Our loss is more severe than at first reported. The men became much exhausted from the long and fatiguing march through the deep sand of the island, and no doubt a considerable portion of the loss was from this cause. We might have easily defended ourselves against the troops on the island, but it was necessary to leave before the enemy’s shipping should open and destroy our transportation, and our means would not enable us to keep them off. Thus far I hear of about 20 killed on our side including 3 officers. Many of them have undoubtedly been massacred after being captured, from the appearance of their bodies which were delivered to us. The enemy also have about 40 of our party prisoners, several of them wounded.

The exact state of affairs will be communicated more in detail as soon as the reports of subordinates are received, when I will take occasion to do full justice to individuals for special acts of gallantry. Each State and corps represented in the army participated in the affair, and the gallantry and good conduct of the troops were conspicuous. Brig. Gen. {p.459} R. H. Anderson conducted the expedition with a zeal and gallantry worthy of high commendation. At the close he received a painful wound in the left elbow, temporarily disabling him; but it is trusted we shall not long be deprived of his valuable services.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., October 29, 1861.

SIR: Owing to the disability of Brigadier-General Anderson from his wound I have been unable to procure earlier a detailed report of the affair with the enemy on Santa Rosa Island on the night of the 8th and 9th instant, with a tabular statement of killed, wounded, and prisoners. It is herewith inclosed. [No. 15.] The circumstances attending this little expedition rendered it a most daring and successful feat of arms. Landing from steamers and flats on the enemy’s shore within sight of his fleet, marching some 3 or 4 miles in the darkness of night over an unknown and almost impassable ground under his guns, killing his pickets, storming his intrenched camp of 600 or 700 men, driving the enemy off in utter confusion and dismay, and burning every vestige of clothing, equipage and provisions, leaving them individually in a state of destitution and this under the close range of the guns of his stronghold, Fort Pickens, without his discovering our object or firing a gun, is an achievement worthy of the gallant men who executed it. Our loss was almost entirely the result of exhaustion from the fatigue of the march and from the over-zeal of the hospital guard left to protect the enemy’s sick when they were captured.

From the nature of the service and the necessity of rapidly retiring with our small force before the enemy could rally from his surprise some of our wounded were left on the field, and, I regret to say, indications show they were brutally murdered by the enemy. Of 13 dead bodies recovered 11 were shot through the head having at the same time disabling wounds in the body. This fact admits of but one inference.

Brigadier-General Anderson commends in very just terms the gallantry of his little band, who have fully justified the high estimate I had formed of this excellent little army. They have shown it is only necessary to order and they will promptly execute, however desperate the undertaking. The general modestly omits to mention that at the close of the affair he received a painful wound in the left arm from a musket-ball, which will disable him for several weeks.

In commending the troops generally for their good conduct I cannot omit to mention the separate commanders of the three small columns-Col. J. Patton Anderson, First Florida Volunteers; Col. J. K. Jackson, Fifth Georgia Volunteers, and Col. J. R. Chalmers, Ninth Mississippi Volunteers. The darkness and nature of the service rendered it necessary for each one to act an independent part. They proved themselves not only gallant leaders, but competent commanders.

To Capt. W. R. Boggs, engineer, C. S. Army, and First Lieut. J. E. Slaughter, C. S. Artillery, acting inspector-general, I am indebted for the perfect knowledge of the enemy’s pickets and positions, obtained by {p.460} close reconnaissances, on which the expedition was based, and for the secret and complete organization which insured its success.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 108.}

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS C. S., Near Pensacola, Fla., October 10, 1861.

I. Brig. Gen. R. H. Anderson and the officers and men of his command will accept the thanks of the major-general commanding for their gallant expedition of Tuesday night. The object was attained, and the enemy taught a severe lesson for his marauding parties, winch have recently annoyed us. The sacrifice which must be made in such exploits was not unexpected, and we can only mourn the loss of our gallant comrades, whilst we prepare to meet their fate and deserve their honors.

II. The circumstances attending this affair should teach us the necessity of vigilance, our success being greatly aided by the want of it on the part of the enemy, and especially as an attempt at retaliation may be expected.

By command of Major-General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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No. 15.

Report of Brig. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, C. S. Army, commanding expedition.

PENSACOLA, FLA., October 23, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the affair on Santa Rosa Island on the night of the 8th and morning of the 9th of October:

The detachments which had been ordered to assemble at the navy-yard arrived at the hour appointed, and were embarked in good order on the steamer Time. Whilst proceeding from the navy-yard to Pensacola the troops were divided into battalions, as follows:

The First Battalion, 350 strong, to the command of which Col. James B. Chalmers, Ninth Mississippi Regiment, was assigned, was composed of detachments from the Ninth and Tenth Mississippi and First Alabama Regiments. Three companies of the Seventh Regiment Alabama Volunteers, two companies of Louisiana infantry, and two companies of the First Regiment of Florida Volunteers, composed the Second Battalion, 400 strong, to the command of which Col. J. Patton Anderson, First Regiment Florida Volunteers was assigned. The Third Battalion, 260 strong, under command of Col. John K. Jackson, Fifth Regiment Georgia Volunteers, was composed of detachments from the Fifth Georgia Regiment and the Georgia Battalion. An independent company of 53 men, selected from the Fifth Georgia Regiment, and Captain Homer’s company of artillery, lightly armed with pistols and knives, carrying materials for spiking cannon, burning and destroying {p.461} buildings, gun-carriages, &c., were placed under command of Lieutenant Hallonquist, acting ordnance officer. Lieutenant Nelms, adjutant Fifth Georgia Regiment, was attached to this command.

The medical officers who accompanied the expedition were: Dr. Micks of the Louisiana infantry; Dr. Tompkins, of the Fifth Georgia Regiment; Dr. Gholson, of the Ninth Mississippi Regiment; Dr. Lipscomb, of the Tenth Mississippi Regiment, and Dr. Gamble, of the First Florida Regiment, and a detail of 20 men was made to attend on and assist them.

Arriving at Pensacola at about 10 o’clock p.m., the transfer of the troops to the steamer Ewing and the barges and flats which had been provided was pushed on as rapidly as possible, but not without some unavoidable delay. It was found absolutely necessary to employ the Neaffie to assist in towing, and at length, all preparations having been completed, the boats departed from Pensacola at a little after 12 o’clock, crossed the bay, and effected a landing at the point which had been indicated by instructions. Disembarkation was rapidly executed in good order and silence, and the battalions were formed upon the beach at a little after 2 o’clock a.m.

To effectually accomplish the object of the expedition Colonel Chalmers was directed to advance rapidly along the north beach, Colonel Anderson along the south beach, and Colonel Jackson, following a few hundred yards in rear of Colonel Chalmers, was to push his command to the middle of the island, and deploy it as soon as he should hear firing from either of the other battalions or should perceive from any other indications that the enemy’s camp was approached or assailed by the other columns. Colonels Chalmers and Anderson had been further directed to endeavor to restrain their men from firing, to capture guards and sentinels, and to place their commands, if possible, between Fort Pickens and the camp of the enemy. Lieutenant Hallonquist followed in rear of Colonel Jackson’s battalion, with orders to do whatever damage he could to the batteries, buildings, and camps from which the enemy might be driven.

After a march of 3 or 4 miles, rendered toilsome and fatiguing by the nature of the ground, the head of Colonel Chalmers’ column came suddenly upon a sentinel, who fired ineffectually at our troops, and was himself instantly shot down. The alarm having been thus given, and it becoming impossible to conceal our further advance from the enemy, I ordered Colonel Jackson to push his way through the thickets to the middle of the island, and advance as rapidly as possible. The guards and outposts of the Zouaves were now rapidly driven in or shot down, and the progress of a few hundred yards, quickly accomplished by Colonel Jackson, brought him upon the camp of the enemy in advance of either of the other battalions. Without a moment’s delay he charged it with the bayonet, but met with no resistance. The camp was almost entirely deserted and our troops speedily applied the torch to the tents, store-houses, and sheds of Wilson’s Zouaves.

In the mean time Colonels Chalmers and Anderson, advancing along the shores of the island, encountered pickets and outposts with which they had some sharp skirmishing, but quickly beat them off, and joined in the work of destroying the camp. This having been most thoroughly executed, the troops were reassembled, with a view to proceeding against and destroying the batteries which lay between the camp and Fort Pickens; but daylight appearing, and there being no longer a possibility of a surprise of the batteries, I directed the signal for retiring to be sounded and the troops to be put in march for the boats

{p.462}

At about half way between the Zouave camp and the point of disembarkation of our troops we encountered two companies of United States regulars, which had passed us under cover of the darkness, and posted themselves behind a dense thicket to intercept our retiring column, and a very sharp but short skirmish ensued. The enemy was speedily driven off, and our troops resumed their march. The re-embarkation was successfully accomplished, and the order given to the steamers to steer for Pensacola, when it was discovered that a hawser had become entangled in the propeller of the Neaffie, and that she could not move.

After some delay, from ineffectual attempts to extricate the propeller, she and the large flat which she had in tow were made fast to the Ewing. It was soon found, however, that with this incumbrance the Ewing would not obey her helm, and that a change in the manner of towing the Neaffie was necessary. While attempting to make this change the flats and barges which the Ewing had in tow became detached from her, and still further delay was occasioned in recovering them. By the time this had been done the hawser was cut away from the propeller, and the Neaffie proceeded on her way. The enemy, taking advantage of these circumstances, appeared among the sand hills near the beach, and opened a fire upon the masses of our troops densely crowded upon our transports, but without doing much execution, and we were soon out of range of their rifles. The necessity of using the Neaffie as a tug and the accident which for some time disabled her prevented her guns from being brought into play, otherwise she might have rendered effectual service in driving back the enemy who harassed us from the beach.

Our loss in this affair was as follows: Killed, 2 commissioned officers, 4 non-commissioned officers, 11 privates, and 1 citizen volunteer; wounded, 2 commissioned officers, 5 non-commissioned officers, and 32 privates; taken prisoners, 5 commissioned officers, 2 non-commissioned officers, and 23 privates. The larger portion of the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates captured by the enemy were the guard left for the protection of their hospital and sick and the medical officers who had remained in the building to attend to such of our wounded as might be carried there. Notwithstanding that I caused the signal for retiring to be repeatedly sounded during the return of the troops it was not heard at the hospital, and the guard and medical officers were cut off and taken prisoners.

The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded has not been precisely ascertained, but is certainly known to have much exceeded our own. From such imperfect observation as I made in passing over parts of the ground I will estimate his loss at 50, or 60 killed and 100 wounded. Twenty prisoners were taken, among them Maj. Israel Vogdes, of the United States artillery.

The destruction of property in the conflagration was very great. Large stores of provisions, supplies of clothing, camp and garrison equipage, arms, and ammunition were entirely consumed. Some arms were brought away by our men, and in a few instances money and clothing; as will be seen by the report of Colonel Jackson, and I would respectfully recommend that the captors be permitted to retain whatever private property they have taken.

It is with pride and pleasure that I bear testimony to and call to the notice of the general commanding the admirable conduct of the troops throughout the expedition and conflict. The alacrity, courage and discipline exhibited by them merit the highest commendation, and give assurance of success in any future encounters which they may have with the enemies of our country.

{p.463}

I beg leave to refer you to the accompanying reports of commanders of battalions and of Lieutenant Hallonquist for particulars concerning casualties, incidents, and individual instances of meritorious conduct. I inclose the report of Captain Brent, C. S. Navy, who was charged with the entire arrangements for the transportation of my command, under whose direction this important matter was very successfully managed.

The report of Major Lovell, C. S. Army, chief of harbor police, and in command of the steamer Neaffie, is also submitted.* The members of my staff, Capt. T. S. Mills, assistant adjutant-general, and Capt. Hugh M. King, Fifth Regiment Georgia Volunteers; Lieuts. Calvin L. Sayre and Wilber Johnson, C. S. Marines, who volunteered their services and acted as my aides, rendered me active and efficient assistance throughout the whole of the operations. Captain Mills, who was with Colonel Anderson’s battalion in its first encounter with the enemy, received a severe contusion in the chest from a partially-spent ball, but nevertheless continued energetically to perform his duties, and Lieutenant Sayre, while fearlessly using his revolver with effect, had his thigh bone shattered just above the right knee by a musket-ball, and, being left upon the ground, fell into the hands of the enemy. Capt. Hugh M. King, in conveying orders and superintending the destruction of the camp, displayed commendable zeal and activity, and the ardor and intrepidity of Lieutenant Johnson, while deserving especial notice, give promise of this young officer’s future success and distinction.

The officers of the medical staff rendered to the wounded every service which under the circumstances was possible.

Colonels Anderson and Jackson pay graceful tribute to the memory of Captain Bradford and Lieutenant Nelms, of their regiments, to which I desire to add my respectful admiration for them and for every brave patriot who fell with them in defense of their country’s liberties.

I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

R. H. ANDERSON, Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.

Maj. G. G. GARNER, Asst. Adjt. Gen., C. A., Hdqrs. Army of Pensacola.

* None of these subordinate reports have been found.

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DECEMBER 3, 1861.–Occupation of Ship Island, Miss.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, of the departure of the expedition.
No. 2.–Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, of the arrival of the expedition at Ship Island.
No. 3.–Brig. Gen. J. W. Phelps, commanding.

No. 1.

Reports of Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler of the departure of the expedition.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW ENGLAND, Boston, December 2, 1861.

GENERAL: I beg leave to report that the steamship Constitution sailed from Boston to Portland, in the State of Maine, upon Thursday, the 21st ultimo, with two regiments of infantry-the Ninth Connecticut and the {p.464} Twenty sixth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers-together with the Fifth Massachusetts Light Battery, in all numbering about 1,900 men. One company of the Ninth Connecticut was allowed to remain at Camp Chase, in Lowell, to recruit for the regiment, where it is now stationed. Subsistence stores for thirty days for 300 men were taken on board at Boston. It was my intention to have placed on board this ship at Portland the Twelfth Maine Regiment, this coming within the chartered capacity of the vessel, but upon arriving at that place the captain became uneasy and doubtful of the capacity of the ship, entered a written protest against taking it on board, and upon the 23d ultimo sailed from that port with the freight taken at Boston. I have since had the Twelfth Maine Regiment brought to this State and encamped at Camp Chase, where it now remains, waiting the remainder of vessels to carry it on, and undergoing instruction.

By the action of the captain of the Constitution he made forfeit his charter-party and leaves the claim of the owners to be adjusted upon the principles of equity.

On the 26th ultimo I forwarded the bark Kingfisher, of Boston, for the same destination from Boston, with extra clothing for three regiments and other quartermaster’s stores, including parts of a floating bridge half a mile long, lumber, &c., for building wharf, &c., carriages for field battery, subsistence and sutler stores, and 130 horses and forage, details of which bill of lading are in Schedule A.

I have the George Green, Idaho, and Black Prince now loading, all from 1,000 to 1,400 tons register, all sailing vessels. The George Green is loading with lumber, subsistence stores, and horses and will be ready to sail about the 10th instant. The Idaho and Black Prince will take on board the Twelfth Maine Regiment with subsistence stores, lumber, horses, and forage. They will be ready’ to sail about the 10th instant. I am loading the bark with lumber, cement, horses and forage, and surfboats. It will be ready to sail about the 10th instant. I have chartered the steam-tug Saxon, to take out a company of artillery, with their guns and subsistence stores, and intend that it shall sail as convoy and tug to the above vessels.

The Constitution touched at Fortress Monroe, and on the 27th ultimo, having taken on board Brigadier-General Phelps, sailed for Ship Island, where it becomes due upon the 3d instant. If it succeeds in unloading to leave there on the 7th, it will be due here, in ordinary course, upon the 15th instant, ready for further service.

I have been obliged to use sailing ships for transporting the men because of the impossibility of getting steamers, being informed by those in whose judgment confidence may be placed that they are equally safe.

I have in process of recruitment-more of which will be ready by the time of the return of the Constitution than can be taken on board of her-two regiments in Massachusetts, one regiment in Vermont, and one regiment in Connecticut, a squadron of mounted men, and three batteries, of full complement. I have secured and in process of being ready arms, ammunition, uniforms, and equipments for all of these. I have in my report of the 2d instant given a complete list of ordnance and ordnance stores which can be obtained for the objects of the expedition. I do not send herewith lists of commissary stores purchased, but these may be stated generally to be sufficient for 5,000 men for three months, besides the fresh provisions for the voyage. I have also such stores and provision of materials as may be necessary to a post fortified on Ship Island in a reasonable state of defense.

{p.466}

Schedule B contains the list of quartermaster’s stores snipped on board the Constitution.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General, Commanding.

To the ADJUTANT GENERAL U. S. ARMY.

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No. 2.

Report of Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler of the arrival of the expedition at Ship Island.

WASHINGTON, December 19, 1861.

I have the honor to forward to the Commanding General a copy of the report of Brigadier-General Phelps of the landing of a portion of my division upon Ship Island, together with details of the state of the island and its needs for a defensive position.

I have not received from General Phelps any official copy of the proclamation to which he refers, but from other sources have such information as renders it certain that the printed copies are substantially correct. I need hardly say that the issuing of any proclamation upon such occasion was neither suggested nor authorized by me, and most certainly not such a one. With that important exception I commend the report, and ask attention to its clear and business-like statements.

I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General, Commanding.

To the ADJUTANT-GENERAL U. S. ARMY.

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No. 3.

Report of Brig. Gen. J. W. Phelps, commanding.

SHIP ISLAND, MISSISSIPPI SOUND, December 5, 1861.

SIR: A part of the Middlesex brigade, consisting of the Massachusetts Twenty-sixth and Connecticut Ninth Infantry Volunteers, with Captain Manning’s battery of artillery (volunteers), numbering in all (servants included) 1,908, arrived off Fort Monroe, Va., on board steam-transport Constitution, on the 26th November. In compliance with previous orders and instructions I relieved Colonel Jones, of the Massachusetts Twenty-sixth, in command, and we stood out to sea on the afternoon of the 27th. After a pleasant passage we reached Ship Island Harbor, Mississippi Sound, on the evening of the 3d December. Dispatches for Flag-Officer McKean, with which I was intrusted were sent by Lieutenant Winslow, of the R. R. Cuyler, the same evening, to Pensacola Station, where the flag-officer then was, and to whom I made known my arrival.

Captain Smith, of the Massachusetts, offered us all the means within his power to facilitate our landing-an operation which we have not yet completed, and which we should have found very difficult, if not impossible, were it not for the zealous assistance rendered by Lieutenant Buchanan {p.466} and other officers of his command, aided by two high-pressure steamers which the Navy had recently captured. We found in the harbor on our arrival the United States war vessel Massachusetts and the R. R. Cuyler, besides several prizes; and not long afterwards the steam gunboat New London and an armed schooner, a part of the Gulf Blockading Squadron, came in.

Some six or more steam gunboats, if not drawing more than 6 or 7 feet, could be well employed here in stopping a considerable trade and in otherwise annoying the enemy. Without them the enemy’s light-draught beats can pass in view between New Orleans and Mobile with impunity. On no part of our coast could gunboats be better at this time employed. Upon the west end of the island a partially-finished fort is occupied by about 170 sailors and marines, commanded by Lieutenant Buchanan, of the Navy, who has several Dahlgren large-caliber guns in position on navy carriages. The rebels, by whom the island was held several months, abandoned it in September last, and destroyed nearly everything which they could not carry off. The fort and lighthouse with keeper’s lodgings, remain, the former unfinished and the latter injured to some extent by fire. The walls of the fort have been carried up to a sufficient height by the rebels to form nearly a tier of casemates, and partly covered over with some considerable mason work; and with material now on the ground, except lime, it might receive some twenty guns on casemate carriages. I would recommend that number, one-half or part Sawyer’s 24-pounder rifles, the other half 8 or 10 inch columbiads. Traverse circles, traverse blocks of stone or wood, and iron pintles to hold the tongue of the chassis, would be necessary. A magazine would have to be constructed, for which more brick would be needed. For immediate use a large number of sand bags might not be out of place. For the purpose of landing guns, coal for the Navy, and other heavy materials, a large convenient wharf will be necessary, with some quarter or a half mile of railway, the iron for which, and perhaps the lumber, would have to be brought from the North, together with a pile-driver and other tools for construction; though perhaps timber partly enough might be found here.

The island is a long, narrow strip of land running north of east. Some 6 or 7 miles towards the west end, where the harbor lies, and where we are encamped, it consists of sand hummocks of pure white sand, interspersed with sedgy spots of water. It bears evidence of having been overflowed in some extraordinary storms, large trunks of trees having drifted on some of its higher hummocks. The east end widens out in a triangular shape, embracing about 1 square mile, and is covered with pine trees. I made an unsuccessful effort to have it examined on the day of our arrival, and regret having been too, much occupied since to repeat it. From appearances, it would be well to have the camp there, with a wharf, and a small steamer to ply between the two points. For the present, and to expedite the return of the Constitution, I concluded to land here, where I can place, though indifferently well, one or two more regiments. The land is in no respects suitable for a camp, especially in view of such instructions as one of the regiments present particularly needs. Should the stay here be of long continuance, huts with floors will be necessary.

While writing this report I learn, much to my regret, that in transferring the baggage from the Constitution to the lighter one of Captain Manning’s 6-pounder rifled guns has been lost overboard in 4 fathoms of water. How such an unpleasant accident could have happened I have not yet been informed.

{p.467}

Deeming it proper to make known to the people of this region the remoter objects of this expedition, I have prepared a proclamation, which I shall endeavor to have disseminated as early and widely as possible, consistent with the more pressing demands of the service.*

December 6.-The work upon the fort would require the superintendence of a military engineer. For present purposes the walls now standing, though built of brick, may answer, but for future use a granite work of solid foundation and three tiers of guns might be necessary. It might be well for the present to have three Sawyer’s mounted outside the work, on entire traverse circles, to be covered by sand bags. For this purpose suitable platforms will be needed. I have to-day, in accordance with my instructions, held an interview with Captain Smith, of the Massachusetts, Flag-Officer McKean not having yet arrived. Captain Smith thinks that there is water enough on the island and in the vicinity to supply gunboats and other vessels of the station, although procuring it will be slow and difficult. He says that the flag-officer has ordered more guns for the fort, and that they are daily expected. He suggests that there should be a coal depot established here on the island, and that a regular steam packet should ply between the island and Fort Monroe, Va., or some other Northern port. He also proposes the occupation of other points upon the islands along the sound, with a view to the more complete cutting off of communication between New Orleans and Mobile, which has been to a great extent unimpeded from the want of proper gunboats and sufficient force. He, moreover, suggests a plan of driving piles across several of the months of the Mississippi, leaving but one open.

The discharging of the cargo of the Constitution is still going on by means of the two steamers before mentioned and a temporary wharf. The wind since our arrival has prevailed from north of east, and the water last night rose to such a height that a considerable portion of the island between the fort and light-house was overflowed, leaving a thin sheet of water there; an event which I am informed is not unfrequent. The narrow strip of sand, about a quarter or third of a mile in width, which forms the western extremity of the island, is but ill-suited for a camp, either regulars or volunteers.

The Connecticut regiment (the Ninth) has never yet received its arms, nor is it supplied with a proper allowance of tents. It is new, and requires a great deal of instruction. Of quartermaster’s stores, such as spades, shovels, axes, camp hatchets, carpenters’ and masons’ tools, a large supply, I understand from Captain Butler, has been ordered, and they will probably be needed.

This afternoon a dispatch from Flag-Officer McKean has arrived by the De Soto, by which I learn that he will soon be here, and make this point his headquarters.

On board the New London, Captain Reed, I have visited the eastern extremity of the island; the part that lies beyond the lagoon. There is space sufficient there for 5,000 men, but the land is so interspersed with marshes that I consider a camp there for that number to be out of the question. The water along the northern shore for some distance is so shallow that our row-boats dragged bottom. The beach is lined by a ridge of sand hummocks some 10 feet in height, but beyond these the land is generally low, and covered with pines, scrub oak, scrub palmetto, and marsh grass in patches. Mosquitoes would be troublesome there at all seasons, and in rainy weather much of the ground would be under {p.468} water. The process of reclamation seems still to be going on with an activity as if it had but just begun, though the island is probably as old as the main-land. The animals seen are snakes, toads, birds, raccoons, pigs, and, it is said, alligators.

The New London, with four long 32s and one rifle, appears to be, under her present commander, a very effective, well managed craft. Since her arrival here, some fifteen days ago, she has captured over five prizes and given the enemy great annoyance. The enemy’s gunboats are of light draught, and are armed with rifles, and it is folly in us to allow them such an unnecessary advantage. With such an advantage on our side we could make ourselves felt in this quarter in a way calculated to produce an effect.

December 7.-The land on this side of the lagoon has been examined by several persons, and it represented as better fitted for a camp than the part beyond the lagoon, being higher and drier, but the water is so shallow that a long wharf would have to be built, and even then the space would hardly be suitable for a camp of 5,000 men. Nor are the islands in the neighborhood apparently much better. I shall endeavor to make the most of our position for the public service.

2 o’clock p.m.-The Constitution has been completely discharged, and will sail before dark. While reperusing this report, the De Soto and New London have been engaging the enemy’s boats in the direction of New Orleans.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. W. PHELPS, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Commanding Department New England, Boston, Mass.

* Proclamation not found.

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NOVEMBER 22-23, 1861.– Bombardment of the Confederate lines about Pensacola, Fla.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Col. Harvey Brown, Fifth U. S. Artillery, commanding Department of Florida.
No. 2.–Maj. Lewis G. Arnold, First U. S. Artillery, commanding batteries.
No. 3.–Capt. Richard C. Duryea, First U. S. Artillery.
No. 4.–Lieut. Richard H. Jackson, First U. S. Artillery.
No. 5.–Capt. James M. Robertson, Second U. S. Artillery.
No. 6.–Capt. Harvey A. Allen, Second U. S. Artillery.
No. 7.–Lieut. A. C. M. Pennington, Second U. S. Artillery.
No. 8.–Lieut. Francis W. Seeley, Fourth U. S. Artillery.
No. 9.–Capt. Samuel F. Chalfin, Fifth U. S. Artillery.
No. 10.–Capt. Loomis L. Langdon, First U. S. Artillery.
No. 11.–Capt. John McL. Hildt, Third U. S. Infantry.
No. 12.–Lieut. Alexander N. Shipley, Third U. S. Infantry.
No. 13.–Capt. Matthew M. Blunt, Twelfth U. S. Infantry.
No. 14.–Lieut. Walter McFarland, U. S. Corps of Engineers.
No. 15.–Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, commanding Army of Pensacola, with congratulatory orders.
No. 16.–Brig. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, C. S. Army.
{p.469}

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No. 1.

Reports of Col. Harvey Brown, Fifth U. S. Artillery, Commanding Department of Florida.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, November 25, 1861.

GENERAL: That Fort Pickens has been beleaguered by the rebels for the last nine months, and that it was daily threatened by the boasting rebels with the fate of Sumter, is a fact notorious to the whole world. Since its occupancy by Lieutenant Slemmer the rebels have been surrounding it with batteries and daily arming them with the heaviest and most efficient guns known to our service-guns stolen from us-until they considered this fort as virtually their own, its occupancy being only a question of time. I have been in command since the 16th of April, and during the whole of that time their force has averaged so far as I can learn, from eight to ten times the number of mine. The position in which I have thus been placed has been sufficiently trying, and I have at three separate times intended to free myself from it by opening my batteries on them; but imperious circumstances, over which I had no control, have unexpectedly in each instance prevented.

Affairs were in this state on the morning of the 9th of October, when the enemy, 1,500 strong, attacked by surprise a portion of my command on an intensely dark night. They were defeated and driven from the island with great loss by less than 200 regulars and 50 volunteers, all the efficient force I had disposable for the purpose. An insult so gross to the flag of my country could not by me be passed unnoticed, and I designed immediately to take appropriate notice of it, but, as I said before, circumstances over which I had no control prevented. I make these prefatory remarks to explain why I have now opened my batteries on the enemy, when from the smallness of my forces-about one-sixth of his, 1,300 to 8,000-I have not the means of producing any decisive results, and as evidence of my having accomplished what I designed-the punishing the perpetrators of an insult on my country’s flag.

Having invited Flag-Officer McKean to co-operate with me in attacking the rebels, and to which he gave a ready and cordial assent, I on the morning of the 22d opened my batteries on the enemy, to which in the course of half an hour he responded from his numerous forts and batteries, extending from the navy-yard to Fort McRee a distance of about 4 miles, the whole nearly equidistant from this fort, and on which line he has two forts, McRee and Barrancas, and fourteen separate batteries, containing from one to four guns, many of them being 10-inch columbiads and some 12 and 13 inch seacoast mortars, the distance varying from 2,100 to 2,900 yards from this fort. At the same time of my opening Flag-Officer McKean, in the Niagara, and Captain Ellison, in the Richmond, took position as near to Fort McRee as the depth of water would permit, but which, unfortunately, was not sufficiently deep to give full effect to their powerful batteries. They, however, kept up a spirited fire on the fort and adjacent batteries during the whole day. My fire was incessant from the time of opening until it was too dark to see, at the rate of a shot for each gun every fifteen or twenty minutes, the fire of the enemy being somewhat slower. By noon the guns of Fort McRee were all silenced but one, and three hours before sunset this fort and the adjoining battery ceased to fire. I directed the guns of Batteries Lincoln, Cameron, and Totten principally {p.470} on the batteries adjacent to the navy-yard, those of Battery Scott to Fort McRee and the light-house batteries, and those of the fort to all. We reduced very perceptibly the fire of Barrancas, entirely silenced that in the navy-yard and in one or two of the other batteries, the efficiency of our fire at the close of the day not being the least impaired.

The next morning I again opened about the same hour, the Navy, unfortunately (owing to a reduction in the depth of water, caused by a change of wind), not being able to get so near as yesterday, consequently the distance was too great to be effectual. My fire this day was less rapid and, I think, more efficient than that of yesterday. Fort McRee, so effectually silenced yesterday, did not fire again to-day. We silenced entirely one or two guns, and had one of ours disabled by a shot coming through the embrasure. About 3 o’clock fire was communicated to one of the houses in Warrington, and shortly after to the church steeple. The church and the whole village being immediately in rear of some of the rebel batteries (they apparently having placed them purposely directly in front of the largest and most valuable buildings), the fire rapidly communicated to other buildings along the street, until probably two-thirds of’ it was consumed, and about the same time fire was discovered issuing from the back part of the navy-yard, probably in Woolsey, a village to the north and immediately adjoining the yard, as Warrington does on the west. Finally it penetrated to the yard, and, as it continued to burn brightly all night, I concluded that either in it or in Woolsey many buildings were destroyed. Very heavy damage was also done to the buildings of the yard by the avalanche of shot, shell, and splinters showered unceasingly on them for two days, and as they were nearly fire-proof (being built of brick and covered with slate), I could not succeed in firing them, neither my hot shot nor shells having any power of igniting them. The steamer Time, which was at the wharf at the time, was abandoned on the first day and exposed to our fire, which probably entirely disabled her.

The fire was again continued until dark, a with mortars occasionally, until 2 o’clock the next morning, when the combat ceased. This fort at its conclusion, though it has received a great many shot and shell, is in every respect, save the disabling of one gun-carriage and the loss of service of 6 men, as efficient as it was at the commencement of the combat, but the ends I proposed in commencing having been attained except one, which I find to be impracticable with my present means, I do not deem it advisable further to continue it, unless the enemy thinks proper to do so, when I shall meet him with alacrity. The attack on “Billy Wilson’s” camp, the attempted attack on my batteries, and the insult to our glorious flag have been fully and fearfully avenged. I have no means of knowing the loss of the enemy, and have no disposition to guess at it. The firing on his batteries was very heavy, well-directed, and continuous for two days, and could hardly fail of having had important results. Our losses would have been heavy but for the foresight which, with great labor, caused us to erect elaborate means of protection, and which saved many lives. I lost 1 private killed, 1 sergeant, 1 corporal, and 4 privates wounded, only 1 severely. My officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates were everything I could desire. They one and all performed their duty with the greatest cheerfulness and in the most able and efficient manner.

I am much indebted to Major Arnold,my executive officer for his valuable assistance. His whole conduct was admirable, and Captains Allen, Chalfin, Blunt, Robertson, Hildt, and Duryea, and Lieutenants {p.471} McFarland, Langdon, Closson, Shipley, Jackson, Pennington, Seeley, and Taylor, merit my warmest encomiums for the coolness and deliberation with which they performed, without one exception, their duty under a heavy and continuous shower of shot, shells, and splinters for two successive days. Lieutenant Todd, ordnance officer, had full supplies of all required articles which were on hand at the post, and his department was conducted with system and efficiency. Major Tower, Surgeon Campbell, and Assistant Surgeon Sutherland, in their respective duties, sustained their high reputations. Captains Robertson, Duryea, and Blunt, and Lieutenants Pennington and Seeley, respectively, commanded Batteries Lincoln, Scott, Totten, and Cameron, and a small battery at Spanish Fort, and the other officers batteries in the fort, with distinguished ability. Captains Dobie’s and Bailey’s companies were with the batteries at Lincoln and Cameron, and did their duties faithfully and efficiently. The companies of Captains Henberer and Duffy, of the Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, were successively on duty at the fort, and rendered cheerfully important assistance to me. The regular companies engaged at the batteries, all of whom performed their duty so efficiently as to preclude my making a distinction, are Companies A, F and L, First Artillery; C, H, and K, Second Artillery; C and E, Third Infantry, and Companies G and I, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers.

In closing, I tender to Flag-Officer McKean and Captain Ellison, of the Navy, and to their officers and crews, my best thanks for their able co-operation, which would have had the happiest results but for the unfortunate fact that the great draught of water prevented their sufficiently near approach to the works of the rebels.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, December 3, 1861.

GENERAL: I intended to have made out a list of meritorious noncommissioned officers and privates on the 22d and 23d, but on looking over the sub-reports of the officers I find some are not noticed by name who under my own personal observation behaved with great gallantry and coolness. Indeed, I think where all really showed such cool, deliberate courage that distinction can hardly be made without doing injustice. I heartily indorse the recommendations of Major Arnold and the officers, and extend my approbation to every one engaged. I would respectfully suggest that by submitting these reports to the Ordnance Department it might give information which, if acted on, would very much benefit the service particularly those parts relating to shells and rifled projectiles, and to the fuses, which were detestable.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

{p.472}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, December 2, 1861.

GENERAL: I herewith forward you the report of Maj. Lewis G. Arnold of the bombardment on the 22d and 23d ultimo, with the sub-reports of the officers commanding batteries, and which could not be prepared so as to be forwarded with my own. The bombardment having discovered to us the position and number of the enemy’s batteries and of the number and caliber of the guns, and which we find to be more and heavier than we supposed, and one or two of them so placed as to take us in rear in case of a night attack in front, I have, by the unanimous opinion of my officers, though, I acknowledge, not entirely in accordance with my own, in consideration of the reduced number and our receiving no re-enforcements, decided very considerably to contract my lines of defense. The safety of the fort being paramount to every other consideration, I have brought the Sixth Regiment near the fort, partially abandoned Batteries Lincoln, Cameron, and Totten, and greatly strengthened the fort and Battery Scott. When the proposed change now being made is effected, the fort will be entirely secure under any and every contingency. I must, however, repeat that my present force is entirely inadequate to the defense of the island, and that I cannot prevent a landing of the enemy at some distance and his erecting batteries against the ships, and, doing so, with one rifled gun he could drive them all away.

The enemy have two regiments at Deer (City) Point and are erecting batteries there, which, in case of our taking the offensive and occupying the harbor, will give us great annoyance. Two contrabands came in this morning. They state the loss of the enemy in killed at 40; wounded not known. Colonel Villepigue severely wounded by a splinter at Fort McRee. About two-thirds of Warrington and of Woolsey are burned, and the navy-yard buildings with a great many holes in them. If I had had carcasses and rock-fire, which I have been vainly trying to get ever since my first arrival here, I think I could have destroyed many, if not the most, of the buildings. I tried them with hot shot and with shells having pieces of port-flue in them, but could not succeed in firing them.

I forward a list of the casualties on the 22d and 23d November.* Two of the men wounded by the unfortunate accident of the 25th have died, and I fear one more will die.

I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army.

* The list shows 1 killed and 7 wounded.

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No. 2.

Report of Maj. Lewis G. Arnold, First U. S. Artillery, Commanding Batteries.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.

COLONEL: In obedience to your instructions I have the honor to report the service of the batteries in the fort proper, and of Batteries {p.473} Scott, Lincoln, Cameron, Totten, and the battery at the old Spanish Fort, and the operations of the troops engaged in the bombardment of the 22d and 23d of November, 1861, specially under my command, per Special Orders, No. 208, headquarters Fort Pickens, Fla. The guns in the fort proper were divided into seven distinct batteries, each battery having a separate commander. A one-gun battery in the covered way, 10-inch columbiad en barbette, manned by a detachment from Company C, Second Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant McFarland, Engineer Corps; the battery manned by Company A, First Artillery, commanded by Captain Chalfin, Fifth Artillery, assisted by Lieutenant Taylor, First Artillery, consisted of one 10-inch columbiad, one 42-pounder rifled gun and seven 32-pounders en barbette, and one 42-pounder rifled gun and two 8-inch columbiads in casemates; the battery manned by Company L, First Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Jackson, First Artillery, consisted of one 10-inch columbiad and five 32-pounders en barbette, one 42-pounder rifled gun, one 8-inch columbiad (unchambered), and two 42-pounders (smooth bore) in casemates; the battery manned by Company K, Second Artillery, commanded by Captain Allen, Second Artillery, consisted of 10-inch columbiad en barbette and three 42-pounder rifled guns in casemates; the battery manned by Company E, Third Infantry, commanded by Captain Hildt, Third Infantry, consisted of one 10-inch columbiad and one 42-pounder rifled gun en barbette and two 8-inch columbiads (one chambered and one unchambered) in casemates; the battery manned by Company C, Third Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Shipley, Third Infantry, consisted of one 10-inch columbiad en barbette and two 42-pounder rifled guns and one 8-inch columbiad (unchambered) in casemates; the mortar battery in the ditch, curtain A to B manned by detachments from the command commanded by Lieutenant Langdon, Fifth Artillery, consisted of four 10-inch seacoast mortars; Battery Scott, manned by Company F First Artillery, commanded by Captain Duryea, First Artillery, assisted by Lieutenant Closson, First Artillery, consisted of two 10-inch columbiads and one 42-pounder rifled gun en barbette and two 10-inch seacoast mortars; Battery Lincoln, manned by Company H, Second Artillery, commanded by Captain Robertson, Second Artillery, consisted of four 8-inch seacoast howitzers and one 42-pounder rifled gun en barbette and two 10-inch seacoast mortars; Battery Totten, manned by Company C, Second Artillery, commanded by Captain Blunt, Twelfth Infantry, consisted of one 13-inch and one 12-inch seacoast mortars-Battery Cameron, manned by Company I, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, the gunners and purveyors from Company H, Second Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Pennington, Second Artillery, consisted of two 10-inch columbiads en barbette and one 10-pounder Parrott rifled gun (the second day); the battery at the old Spanish Fort, manned by a detachment detailed from the command commanded by Lieutenant Seeley, consisted of one 10-pounder Parrott rifled gun (the first day). The guns fired from the fort and the batteries outside against the enemy’s line of forts and batteries including the town of Warrington and the navy-yard, were ten 10-inch columbiads, six 8-inch columbiads, eleven 42-pounder James rifled guns, and two 42-pounder smooth bore, four 8-inch seacoast howitzers, eight 10-inch seacoast mortars, one 13-inch and one 12-inch seacoast mortars, and twelve 32-pounders en barbette.

The bombardment opened at 10 o’clock a.m., November 22 1861, when a signal gun at the flag-staff was fired under your personal direction. I ordered those guns that could conveniently be brought to bear {p.474} to fire on two rebel steamboats lying at the navy-yard wharf and a 10-inch columbiad sand battery established on the same wharf. The effect of the firing was apparent, by driving the rebels from the sand battery on the wharf disabling the steamboat Time, and injuring the iron steam-tug Neaffie, which escaped by steaming off and being a small boat. After firing for a short time I directed the most of these guns to fire on the enemy’s forts and batteries, particularly Forts McRee and Barrancas, the light-house batteries, Wheat’s and the church batteries, which soon attracted attention by their superior armament (10-inch columbiads) and superior firing, having the range and time of flight very accurately from previous practice with the same guns at the same distance. Our fire from 10-inch columbiads on these batteries, &c., was well directed and effective, but our fire from James rifled guns in casemate was not effective, owing to the long range and probably inherent defect in the principle by which a rotary motion is given to these shot and shell, for I observed that the firing from these guns was very irregular and uncertain for ranges over 2,000 yards.

I ordered Captain Duryea, First Artillery, commanding Battery Scott, ably assisted as he was by Lieutenant Closson, of the same regiment, to direct the fire of his powerful battery, consisting of two 10-inch columbiads, one 42-pounder rifled gun, and two 10-inch seacoast mortars, to fire on Fort McRee and sand battery south of it. I at the same time ordered the four 10-inch seacoast mortars in the ditch, commanded by Lieutenant Langdon, and one 13-inch and one 12-inch seacoast mortars, Battery Totten, commanded by Captain Blunt, and one 8-inch columbiad and two 42-pounders in casemate, of Lieutenant Jackson’s battery, to fire on Fort McRee and sand battery south of it, for the purpose of co-operating with the Navy in endeavoring to take and destroy that important fort and its outworks, which guard the enemy’s right flank and the entrance to the harbor of Pensacola. The direct fire of these guns was excellent, and, together with the heavy firing from United States steamships Niagara and Richmond, produced a marked impression on this stronghold of the enemy, by silencing the guns of the fort and by driving the detachments from the guns in the sand battery, which would no doubt have decided the fate of Fort McRee, by enabling the command from the Navy to take the fort, but for the opening of an unexpected and concealed battery, armed with rifled cannon of large caliber or possibly a 10-inch columbiad, which was served with effect, on the Richmond.

I will conclude my report of the first day’s firing on our part by remarking that in the afternoon it was good and effective, both from the batteries inside the fort as also those outside, and reflected great credit on the skill and coolness of the officers commanding the several batteries and their assistants and the enlisted men serving the guns. I will add, the firing from our batteries was kept up till dark, when it ceased by my orders, in accordance with those of the colonel commanding, to enable the magazines of the batteries outside of the fort as well as the service magazines of those inside to be replenished with powder, shot, and shell.

Our batteries opened fire on the enemy the second day about the same hour as the day previous, the ten 10-inch columbiads each firing a shell every fifteen minutes and the rifled 42-pounders a solid shot at the same rate. The 10-inch columbiad en barbette, bastion C, was under the command of Lieutenant Seeley, Fourth Artillery, who was assigned to it at his own request. The mortars were fired every half hour. Our {p.475} firing the second day was better than that of the first. We succeeded in silencing for two hours Wheat’s and the church batteries, Fort Barrancas, and all the guns on the front line of the enemy excepting one gun at the Fort McRee sand battery and the famous battery on the height between Fort Barrancas and the light-house battery. The flagstaffs at Forts McRee and Barrancas were shot away. The fire continued till dark, more than an hour after the Niagara had ceased firing. The effect of our fire on the 23d was destructive; a portion of Warrington and the navy-yard was burned, either ignited from the hot shot fired from 32-pounders or the shells from 10-inch columbiads. The navy-yard was much damaged by the fire of our 10-inch, 12-inch, and 8-inch seacoast mortars.

Our loss during the bombardment was small, owing, doubtless, to the defensive arrangements of your chief engineer, Major Tower, in erecting the traverses to protect the guns en barbette, the shell-proofs, or covers for the men, &c.

Private Cooper, Company H, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, detailed to carry ammunition for the batteries, was mortally wounded, on the 22d, while standing in one of the casemates, by a fragment of a shell, which exploded about the center of the fort. Corporal Beeler, Company L, First Artillery, was severely wounded by a fragment of shell whilst serving a 10-inch columbiad en barbette; his fore-arm has been amputated. Sergeant Massey, Privates Fitzsimmins and White were wounded slightly, and Corporal Moran and Privates Galbreth and Purcell severely-all of Company E, Third Infantry. Those men were wounded whilst serving an 8-inch columbiad in casemate by a 10-inch shell penetrating the embrasure, which disabled the carriage.

The fire from the enemy’s batteries was heavy and well directed. There were many marvelous escapes from wounds. Among the most notable was that of Lieutenant Shipley, Third Infantry, and the detachment serving the 10-inch columbiad en barbette of his battery. A 10-inch shell struck the shell-proof and burst among his men and himself without wounding any one, although the sand and sand bags were knocked down over and around them. I will remark in this connection that I observed with admiration the gallant and efficient manner that Lieutenant Shipley commanded his battery the two days of the bombardment. My thanks are especially due to the officers serving with the batteries for the valuable services rendered by them and the cool and efficient manner they commanded their guns. They were as follows: Lieutenant McFarland, Engineer Corps; Captain Duryea and Lieutenants Closson, Jackson, and Taylor, First Artillery; Captains Allen, Robertson, and Lieutenant Pennington, Second Artillery; Lieutenant Seeley, Fourth Artillery; Captain Chalfin and Lieutenant Langdon, Fifth Artillery; Captain Hildt and Lieutenant Shipley, Third Infantry, and Captain Blunt, Twelfth Infantry. I take pleasure in stating that Major Tower, Engineer Corps, and Lieutenant Todd, Ordnance, performed the duties of their departments with ability.

I respectfully refer the colonel commanding to the report of commanders of batteries, herewith inclosed, for individual instances of good conduct and valuable services rendered by the enlisted men. As Private John D. Hickey, of Company C, Second Artillery, was detached from his company, acting as my orderly, I take this occasion to recommend him to notice for signal courage displayed during the bombardment. I am under obligations to Captain Henberer, Company H, and Captain Duffy’s company (D), Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, {p.476} for valuable services in purveying shot, shell, and powder, and for performing guard duty the two days of the bombardment.

Respectfully submitted.

L. G. ARNOLD, Major, U. S. Army, Commanding Batteries.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, Commanding Fort Pickens, &c.

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No. 3.

Report of Capt. Richard C. Duryea, First U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to the instructions of the colonel commanding 1 have the honor to make the following report of the part taken in the bombardment of the 22d and 23d instant by Battery Scott, consisting of one rifled 42-pounder, two 10-inch columbiads, two 10-inch seacoast mortars, and one 10-inch siege mortar, manned by Company F, First Regiment of Artillery.

Throughout the entire day (the 22d) the fire from all these pieces except the siege mortar (the range of this not being sufficiently great) was directed upon Fort McRee and the batteries in its immediate vicinity. The return fire from Fort McRee continued throughout the day, but much slackened towards night, and on the following day it did not return our fire. The sand battery near McRee ceased firing about 3 p.m. on the first day, but reopened on the second and continued until nearly night.

From my own observation and from others who had opportunities of observing I should judge the fire from our battery (particularly of the columbiads) was quite effective, but what damage was done besides the mere driving of the enemy from their guns I cannot say.

The following is the practical results of the firing: With the rifled gun, distance 2,060 yards, elevation 5 1/2°, the fire was effective; beyond that range, uncertain. With columbiads, distance 2,060 yards, charge 12 pounds, elevation 7 1/2° to 8°, fuse 8 seconds, very effective. From the mortars, on account of the inequality of powder, several shells were thrown away. The most satisfactory results are as follows: For a distance of 2,060 yards, a charge of 3 pounds 6 ounces, and fuse 21 to 22 seconds; for distance of 2,560 yards, a charge of 4 pounds 12 ounces, and fuse 24 to 25 seconds.

In conclusion, I cannot too highly speak of the invaluable assistance rendered me by Lieutenant Closson. The gunners-Sergeants Morgan, Mahon, Chilcutt, and Grimes; Corporals Burdell, Cronin, Harris, Capron; and Musician Walker, Artificers Gilbert and Connerty, and Privates Lavery, McCormick, Mack, and Moore-behaved with admirable coolness, while all others in their less responsible positions did well their duty.

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

R. C. DURYEA, Captain, First Artillery, Comdg. Co. F and Battery Scott.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Regiment of Artillery.

{p.477}

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No. 4.

Report of Lieut. Richard H. Jackson, First U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.

SIR: In accordance with your instructions I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the battery under my command during the bombardment of the 22d and 23d November, 1861:

The battery consisted of one 10-inch columbiad and four 32-pounders en barbette in the flag-staff bastion (A), one 8-inch unchambered columbiad and two 42-pounders in casemate, curtain B C, and one 42-pounder rifled gun in casemate in bastion C. The guns were served by Company L, First Artillery.

At 10 o’clock a.m. on the 22d I was directed by the colonel commanding to open the bombardment, and in obedience thereto I pointed and fired the 10-inch columbiad at the rebel steamer Time, then lying at the navy-yard wharf. The shell exploded directly over the steamer. All of the guns from the fort and batteries immediately opened on the enemy’s position, and the steamer and navy-yard were quickly abandoned by the rebels. The fire from the 10-inch columbiad and 32-pounders was, during the bombardment, principally directed at the navy-yard and the wharf and church batteries. It was very effective. Two of the shells from the columbiad exploded in the wharf battery, the remainder in the buildings in the navy-yard. The fire from the casemate guns in curtain B and C was directed against Fort McRee and the sand battery westward of it. The shells from the 8-inch columbiad were seen to explode over Fort McRee, and when directed at the sand battery were very accurate, one of them exploding within the embrasure. The firing from the 42-pounders was effective. The rifled gun in bastion C was in position against the lighthouse battery. The James projectile was used. The firing from this gun was very inaccurate, particularly when shells were used, nearly all of them either falling short of or passing over the enemy’s battery. The lateral deviation was considerable. On the second day solid shot were projected from this gun, a few of which struck the battery and light-house. The range was about 2,855 yards. I attribute the inaccuracy of fire with this projectile to the stripping of the lead and canvas packing or wrappers on the cylindrical portion of it during its flight.

I respectfully ask to call particular attention to Sergeant Conroy for his coolness and zeal in the discharge of his duty; Sergeant Newton, who distinguished himself as an efficient practical artillerist; Corporal Beeler, for his coolness (he was wounded while serving his gun and has since had his arm amputated); First Sergt. Lewis Keller, Sergeant Becker, Corporals Wicks and Spangler, and Privates Jackel and Hanney. To mention other names would be invidious, for all the enlisted men behaved well.

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

R. H. JACKSON, First Lieutenant, Comdg. Co. L, First Artillery.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Artillery, U. S. Army, Commanding Batteries.

{p.478}

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No. 5.

Report of Capt. James M. Robertson, Second U. S. Artillery.

BATTERY LINCOLN, SANTA ROSA ISLAND, FLA., November 25, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to your instructions of this date I have the honor to make the following report of the service of my battery (Lincoln) during the bombardment on the 22d and 23d of November, 1861:

The battery consists of the following guns, viz: One 42-pounder gun (rifled), four 8-inch seacoast howitzers, and two 10-inch seacoast mortars. At the firing of the signal gun from Fort Pickens about 9.30 o’clock a.m. on the 22d, I opened fire with my entire battery upon the rebel steamer Time, then lying at the Warrington navy-yard, and kept it up briskly for about two hours. About 11.30 a.m., by your order, I directed the fire from my mortars upon Fort Barrancas and the howitzers on the navy-yard, and kept up a steady fire, as directed, till about an hour before sunset, when by your order I again concentrated all my fire on the steamer and continued till ordered to cease firing at dark. During the day I saw several shots strike the steamer, but owing to her hull (except a very small portion) being covered by a projecting pier, I think very little material damage was done. During the entire day the firing from my 42-pounder was very unsatisfactory. With the same charge, same elevation, and pointed with the greatest care, one shot would fall far short, and others would go wild and entirely over the mark. During the day forty-five shots were fired from this gun.

On the firing of the signal gun from Fort Pickens, about 10.30 a.m. on the 23d (the rebel steamer having been removed during the night of the 22d), I opened fire, as directed, with the rifled gun on the one-gun sand battery on the head of the navy-yard pier, firing one shot every fifteen minutes with the howitzers and mortars on the navy-yard, firing each of the first once in forty and the latter once in thirty minutes. During this day’s and night’s firing my mortar shells were loaded with 1 1/2 pounds of port-fire in addition to the ordinary charge of powder. During the day I saw many shell strike and explode in the navy-yard, but no perceptible impression was made upon it. At 230 o’clock p.m. a fire was lighted in a wooden building in the southwest portion of the town of Warrington, either by a gun from the fort or Battery Cameron. I then directed my mortars on the northeast part of the town, near the navy-yard. Soon after that portion of the town was also on fire, and I again directed my mortars to the navy-yard.

At dark, firing having ceased, except from mortars, I left to go to Fort Pickens. After I left, Sergeant Roder, of Company H, Second Artillery fired two shots, when you ordered the firing to cease for the night. On my way to the fort I stopped at Battery Cameron to inspect.

After being there about fifteen minutes I discovered a fire had broken out in the navy-yard, and men were distinctly seen endeavoring to put it out. I ordered Lieutenant Pennington to load and fire one of his columbiads, which he did with such good effect that the rebels instantly left, and the building was soon in a bright blaze.

At 7 o’clock p.m., by your order, I again opened with one of my mortars, dropping a shell into the navy-yard every fifteen minutes. At 8.30 p.m. a large fire was started near the north gate of the yard, which burned furiously till after midnight. At 11.30 p.m. another fire, still {p.479} larger than the first, broke out about one-fourth of a mile to the east of the first and was still raging at 2 o’clock a.m. the 24th. At 1 a.m. the 24th a third fire was started between the two first but it burned only a short time. At 2 o’clock a.m. the 24th, by your order, I stopped firing. Whether the fires on the night of the 23d and 24th were in the northern portion of the navy-yard or in the town of Woolsey I am unable to say, but from the size of the fires several large buildings must have been burned. During the night I had good opportunity of observing the falling of my shell, and found the practice admirable; every shell either burst just above or within one second after striking the ground, and scattered the pieces of port-fire in every direction. In many instances pieces of port-fire were seen to light on the roof of the buildings and burn as long as five seconds, but, the roofs being entirely of slate, it was impossible to ignite the buildings, unless when a shell, after passing through the roof, burst inside. The firing from my 42-pounder rifle on the 23d was much more satisfactory than the previous day. Five shots were seen to strike the battery, but with what effect I am unable (owing to the great distance) to say. During the first day’s firing many of the rebel shell burst near my battery and several splinters came inside. Several round shot and unexploded shell from the direction of Fort McRee, after passing over Pickens, came into the left of my battery, and passed down the whole line, but without doing the slightest damage.

During the second day only a few shell burst near me. After night on the 23d no fire was returned from the rebels, except from the one-gun battery on the pier-head, and that only once an hour. This fire was apparently directed on Fort Pickens, but every shell burst far short. During the whole bombardment all the non-commissioned officers and men of my command (Company H Second Artillery) and Captain Dobie’s company (G, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers) worked and behaved in that cool, cheerful, and deliberate manner which makes it impossible for me to mention any one in particular. All deserve, and I take this occasion to give them, my most sincere thanks. I have no casualties or damage to my battery to report, either from carelessness on the part of my own men or from the fire of the rebels. I have made no mention of the operations of Battery Cameron except in the one instance, as Lieutenant Pennington was in immediate charge, and will, I presume, make a special report.

Respectfully submitted.

J. M. ROBERTSON, Capt. Second Art., Comdg. Batteries Lincoln and Cameron.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Art., Comdg. Batteries Fort Pickens and Santa Rosa Island.

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No. 6.

Report of Capt. Harvey A. Allen, Second U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report the duties of Company K, Second Artillery, which I commanded during the bombardment on the 22d and 23d of the present month. Eight men were detached, 7 serving a mortar under Lieutenant Langdon, and 1 on the first day with Lieutenant Seeley’s rifled gun at the old Spanish Fort. The columbiad in bastion {p.480} C, barbette, was served by 14 men, two detachments, relieved every two hours and the three rifled guns in bastion D, casemate, by the remainder of the company; the columbiad firing every fifteen minutes and each rifled gun at the same rate a greater portion of the time and every half hour the remainder. The columbiad was pointed first on the navy-yard, but on account of the smoke, which concealed it entirely, an opening was made in the epaulement, and the gun turned on Fort Barrancas, where it continued to fire the first day. On the second day Lieutenant Seeley had charge of it, with the same detachments. The rifled guns were fired at two batteries near the light-house with the same charges and elevations. Shot were observed to fall in the water, to strike the battery, and sometimes, not being seen, were believed to pass over the object. The guns or shot appear to be defective, and not to be relied on. Great care was taken in pointing, and every shot watched by men on the parapet as well as below. The whole company were zealous and active, and gave entire satisfaction.

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

H. A. ALLEN, Captain, Second Artillery.

Major ARNOLD First Artillery, Commanding Batteries.

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No. 7.

Report of Lieut. A. C. M. Pennington, Second U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.

Pursuant to your instructions I have the honor to submit the following report of the service done by Battery Cameron, which I commanded during the bombardment of Fort Pickens on the 22d and 23d of November. My battery consisted of two 10-inch columbiads on the first day, and of the same, with the addition of a 10-pounder Parrott rifled gun, on the second day. With one of my columbiads I had a lateral field of fire from the eastern extremity of the navy-yard to a point a short distance west of a battery known as the church battery (a haxo-casemate, containing a heavy shell gun). With the other I had a field of fire from a point above the Marine Barracks, at the west end of the navy yard, to a short distance below a battery, consisting of three guns, known as Wheat’s battery.

The steamer Time making her appearance at the navy-yard about 9.30 o’clock a.m., I pointed my right-hand gun at it, and my other I directed at the church battery. At the signal-gun from the fort I opened the fire from my battery, but from the great number of shot fired I could not determine the effect of my fire. I kept up my fire with one gun on the steamer for some time, and I think with good effect, as several shells burst near her smoke-stacks, and others, I think, struck and burst near her bow. As Battery Lincoln was keeping up a fire upon her with rifled shell I turned this gun upon the church battery and the other I directed upon the Wheat battery, not, however, till it had done good service in doing considerable damage to the church battery while the other was firing on the steamer. Until late in the afternoon I kept the two guns on these batteries, keeping up a well-directed and very effective fire upon them. About an hour before sundown I again directed my right-hand gun upon the steamer, one shot {p.481} striking in her stern. Whether any serious damage was done to the guns in the batteries or the men serving them I am unable to state, owing to the great distance from my battery.

On the second day my guns were directed on the same batteries as the day previous almost uninterruptedly till late in the afternoon when I fired with one gun upon the battery at the end of the wharf, near the shears, with some effect. I fired with the 10-pounder rifled gun upon the two batteries alternately, nearly every shot striking in and around the battery at which it was directed as near as I could determine.

I had no casualties at the battery, which was ably and zealously served by Company I, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers. All the men behaved with great coolness and did good service at the guns. My thanks are due to Captain Bailey and Lieutenants Kaufman and Spence, of Company I, Sixth New York Volunteers, for their efficient co-operation during the two days’ firing. Lieutenant Kaufman had charge of one of the columbiads and made very effective shots. I had two privates and a corporal of Company H, Second U. S. Artillery, to attend to the service at the magazines, which duty they performed admirably. The corporal (Corporal Nolan) acted as gunner of one of the guns, directing his gun with great care and making effective shots.

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

A. C. M. PENNINGTON, First Lieutenant, Second Artillery, Comdg. Battery Cameron.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Regiment Artillery, U. S. Army, Comdg. Batteries.

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No. 8.

Report of Lieut. Francis W. Seeley, Fourth U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.

MAJOR: Pursuant to your instructions I have the honor to submit the following report of the participation of the guns which I commanded in the bombardment of the enemy’s position on the 22d and 23d of November, 1861:

On the morning of the 22d, pursuant to orders received from you, I took up my position with a Parrott 10-pounder rifled gun, a detachment of 11 artillery-men, and one company of New York volunteers commanded by First Lieut. Jacob Silloway, as a supporting force, at the old Spanish Fort opposite the navy-yard. At 8 o’clock a.m., on hearing the first gun from the fort, I opened fire on the steamer Time, then lying at the navy-yard, as were also the Neaffie and another armed tug-boat. I fired about fifteen shells in rapid succession, putting nearly every one of them into the steamer Time. Several shots from the fort also struck her, by which time she seemed completely disabled. One of my shots must have penetrated her boilers, as immediately after it was delivered the steam was seen escaping in dense clouds from under her guards. I also put a shell through each of her wheels. Two of the steamers (the Time and one of the tugs) were then abandoned by the enemy, but the Neaffie succeeded in making her escape up the bay towards Pensacola although I think she must have been seriously injured, as she moved very slowly and I distinctly saw two shots strike her.

The enemy by that time appeared to have abandoned the navy-yard, {p.482} and I contented myself with firing one shot every fifteen minutes, nearly every one of which took effect either on the buildings or steamers. At about 12 o’clock m. the enemy opened fire from the 10-inch columbiad stationed in battery on the large stone wharf of the navy-yard, and succeeded in firing two shots. I immediately fired three percussion shells in quick succession. Each one exploded inside of the battery and effectually silenced it for the remainder of that day. I continued firing until sunset, having fired during the day sixty-two shells into the steamers, the buildings, and the battery.

My men deserve great credit for their coolness and soldierly bearing during the whole day, especially Sergt, John J. Driscoll, of Company A, First Artillery, who about 2 p.m. was injured by a fall from his horse when riding through the shower of shot and shell then falling about the fort, where I had sent him with a message to the colonel commanding; also Private George W. Doyle, of Company H, Second Artillery, who was gunner of my piece and by his skill as an artillerist and his coolness greatly contributed to render our fire effective.

It may not be amiss here to state that from my experience with the Parrott rifled gun I consider it to be the most perfect rifled cannon that we have in our service, i.e., when the percussion shell (Reed’s) is used, which explodes on striking the object fired at. Shells fired from this gun with time fuses seldom explode. The reason of this is, as near as I can ascertain, that when fired, from the sudden expansion of the rim attached to the ball, there is not sufficient windage left to permit the flame to communicate with and ignite the fuse. Under these circumstances, therefore, the shells are no better than solid shot.

On the 23d November I was assigned to the command of the 10-inch columbiad in bastion C, with a detachment, consisting of a sergeant, corporal, and 14 privates, from Company K, Second Artillery. At 11 o’clock, on the signal being made to open fire from our batteries, I directed my piece on Fort Barrancas, and fired, as directed, one shot every fifteen minutes exploding a great number of shells immediately in and about the work. About 12 m. the flag on Fort Barrancas was shot away whether by one of my own shots or not I cannot say, as several guns besides mine were also firing on the fort at the time. About 1 o’clock p.m., Fort Barrancas having ceased to reply, only at long intervals, to the fire of our guns, I directed my fire on the battery stationed on the rising ground to the right of Fort Barrancas, and which had by the accuracy of its fire annoyed us considerably. After the first fire I succeeded in getting the range of that battery completely, and during the remainder of the day exploded nearly every shell that I fired inside of the work, and before I ceased firing at night had nearly succeeded in silencing its fire, as it only replied at long intervals and without much accuracy. There were one or two guns from the fort besides my own firing on this battery during the afternoon. I ceased firing by your order about 6 o’clock p.m.

My men all behaved well, especially Sergeant Jones, of Company K, Second Artillery, who, notwithstanding that the shot and shells from the enemy’s guns were flying in every direction, many of them exploding immediately in our bastion, maintained his position on the parapet during the whole time that he was on duty, watching the effect of our shot on the enemy’s batteries. I have no casualties to report.

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

F. W. SEELEY, First Lieutenant, Fourth Artillery.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Artillery, U. S. Army, Commanding Batteries.

{p.483}

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No. 9.

Report of Capt. Samuel F. Chalfin, Fifth U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.

MAJOR: In obedience to instructions from the colonel commanding I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the two batteries under my direction during the bombardment of the 22d and 23d instant:

One battery is in barbette, the other in casemate. The barbette battery consists of one 10-inch columbiad along the capital, one 42-pounder rifled gun and two 32-pounders on the north flank of bastion E, and of seven 32-pounders on curtain D E. The casemate battery comprised two 8-inch columbiads, one unchambered and one 42-pounder rifled gun. Both these batteries were served by Company A, First Regiment of Artillery. After the signal gun was fired, at 10 o’clock a.m. on the morning of the 22d, all the guns of the barbette battery except the rifle were opened on the navy-yard and the enemy’s boats lying at the wharves. Owing to the dense smoke which arose after the first discharge, and to the great distance (1 3/4 miles), it was almost impossible to observe with any certainty the effect of the 32-pounders. Before the firing commenced with these guns the elevating screws and their beds had been removed and quoins substituted, by means of which an elevation of 12° and 13° could be obtained. From an occasional observation it could be seen that the shots were not falling short. After about two hours’ firing with the 32-pounders the cannoneers were taken away from them and placed at the casemate guns and barbette rifle. The 10-inch columbiad, under charge of Second Lieut. F. E. Taylor, First Artillery, maintained a steady and effective fire throughout the day. The barbette rifle opened on Fort Barrancas about 12 m., and did good execution. The casemate guns opened about the same time, the rifle on Fort Barrancas and the columbiads on the enemy’s batteries near the Marine Hospital. The firing from these guns was generally very effective, and kept up steadily at the prescribed intervals until ordered to cease.

About 4 o’clock p.m. a shell from one of the enemy’s batteries lodged and exploded in the parapet immediately in front of the 10-inch columbiads, by which one of the cannoneers, Private Theodore Shauer, was slightly wounded on the head.

On the morning of the 23d the barbette rifle and 10-inch columbiad opened when the signal was given, the first on the barbette gun on the east face of Barrancas, the second on the Haxo, Boggs’, or Church battery (for it has been called by all these names). The fire from this latter gun was steady and effectively kept up throughout the day. The fire from the rifle was maintained steadily, but many of the shots fell short, and towards evening became decidedly uncertain, owing in a great measure, doubtless, to the giving way of the stone work under the traverse circle. After the fire opened in the morning six of the 32-pounders were used for throwing hot shot at the buildings in Warrington and the vicinity. About 12.30 o’clock the cannoneers were taken from five of these guns and put at the casemate guns, which they continued to serve regularly until night. About 3 o’clock p.m. the 32-pounder, still used for hot shot, burst the chase, throwing the fragments into bastions D and E, as well as amongst its own cannoneers, without, however, doing any injury.

About 4 o’clock a building in rear of the church battery was observed to be on fire, and soon after the steeple of the church was seen in flames.

{p.484}

From these the fire spread rapidly towards the navy-yard, and some buildings in its immediate vicinity are known to be burned. The firing from the casemate columbiads was steadily kept up with good effect on the same battery as the day before. The unchambered gun was used for throwing solid shot. The casemate rifle was admirably served by First Sergt Edward O’Brien, of Company A, First Artillery, and did good execution.

In conclusion, I take great pleasure in calling the attention of the colonel commanding to the zealous and efficient manner in which Second Lieut. F. E. Taylor, First Artillery, performed his duties throughout the bombardment. He was placed in charge of the 10-inch columbiad and the barbette rifle, where he displayed great coolness and remained constantly at his post. I have also the pleasure of directing the colonel’s attention to the good conduct coolness, and excellent services of First Sergt. Edward O’Brien and of Corporals John Feeney and John Clancy, of Company A, First Artillery. All of the men of the company behaved so well that it would be invidious to make a distinction between them.

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

S. F. CHALFIN, Captain, Fifth Artillery, Comdg. Company A, First Artillery.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Artillery, Commanding Batteries, Fort Pickens, Fla.

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No. 10.

Report of Capt. Loomis L. Langdon, First U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.

SIR: Pursuant to instructions from the colonel commanding I have the honor to report as correctly as I can the service rendered by the battery under my command during the bombardment of the 22d and 23d of November.

This battery, consisting of four 10-inch seacoast mortars was directed at the opening of the firing on the steamers lying at the navy-yard wharf. One or two effective shots were made, but the result of the firing being unsatisfactory, the mortars were directed to Fort Barrancas and the sand battery to the left of Fort McRee. The firing at the latter was the best. So many shots were being thrown at Fort Barrancas from other guns that I was unable to mark the effect of mine. In the afternoon the mortars were fired more slowly and greater care taken to distinguish the shots. A marked improvement in the firing was observed. The last shots were fired after dark, during the rain-storm, and were thrown at Fort Barrancas.

On the second day (the 23d) I had a table of fire carefully kept, and the range, charge, length of fuse, and effect of each shot accurately noted. The navy-yard and sand battery near Fort McRee received all my attention, two mortars being directed at each point the whole day, and the firing slow and regular. The effect was very satisfactory and after the signal was hoisted on the Niagara “Too great a range,” I succeeded in placing the shells with good effect.

The men behaved admirably, exposed as they were without a splinter-proof and to the falling bricks and earth from the parapet above. The fragments of bursting shells frequently came among them, and a shell {p.485} fell in their midst, but burst without injuring any one. The most exposed man was Private Arthur R. Kermer, of Company C, Third Infantry, quartermaster’s clerk, who, assisted by. Corporal Schonborn, of Company K, Second Artillery, remained on the parapet the whole of the second day, recording the shots, and they both rendered good service. Corporal Mulvihill, of Company C, Third Infantry; Corporal Baby, Company L, First Artillery; Sergeant Magnitzky, Company C, Second Artillery, and Privates De Bleeckere and De Meyers, of Company A, First Artillery, I would mention for their care, attention, and coolness. The non-commissioned officers bore the fatigue without being relieved during the whole time, and deserve much credit.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

LOOMIS L. LANGDON, First Lieutenant, Fifth Artillery, Commanding Battery.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Artillery, U. S. Army, Commanding Batteries.

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No. 11.

Report of Capt. John McL. Hildt, Third U. S. Infantry.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to instructions, I have the honor to submit the following report of the service of the guns under my charge on the 22d and 23d of November:

These guns viz, one 10-inch columbiad en barbette, bastion B; one 42-pounder rifled gun en barbette, bastion D, and two 8-inch columbiads (one new and one old pattern) in casemate, curtain C D, opened fire about 9.30 on the morning of the 22d. The rifled gun and 8-inch columbiads were directed exclusively at the lighthouse and adjacent batteries. The 10-inch columbiad, after firing a few shells at the steamer Time, was directed at Fort Barrancas, and so continued almost the entire time. The most accurate firing was made by and probably the best results obtained from the 10-inch columbiads. Many good shots were made, the shell exploding immediately over and near the barbette guns of Fort Barrancas. Any statement of results must, however, be mere speculation. I regret being obliged to report 6 men wounded, caused by a 10-inch shell entering the embrasure of the casemate battery. The shell knocked off a considerable quantity of brick from each side of the embrasure, and wedged between the carriage and chassis of the 8-inch chambered columbiads, destroying the carriage. The shell, fortunately, did not explode, the wounds being inflicted by brick. My men, non-commissioned officers and privates, performed their appropriate duty cheerfully and well. Being the only officer with the company, and my batteries being widely separated, the duties devolving on First Sergt. David Grier were necessarily such as usually fall to a commissioned officer. He performed them intelligently, and the ability displayed by him on this and other occasions merits advancement.

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

J. McL. HILDT, Captain, Third Infantry, Commanding Company E.

Major LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Artillery, U. S. Army.

{p.486}

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No. 12.

Report of Lieut. Alexander N. Shipley, Third U. S. Infantry.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 26, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report the services rendered by the batteries under my command during the bombardment of the 22d and 23d instant.

I had charge of one 10-inch columbiad in bastion D, barbette; two rifled guns, 42-pounders, James projectiles, in casemate in curtain D E, also one 8-inch columbiad, old pattern, in same curtain. The signal gun was fired at about 10 o’clock a.m. of the 22d, and, in obedience to instructions, the fire from the rifled-gun battery was directed on the rebel steamers lying at the navy-yard wharf. I used shells at an elevation of 6°30'; charge of powder, 8 1/2 pounds; range, 3,220 yards; fire inefficient; increased elevation to 8°, and subsequently to 9° and 9 1/2°, before the steamers could be reached, it being necessary to break the arch of the embrasures to procure this last elevation. With these last data, so far as I could judge, the fire was effective. The firing from the rifled-gun battery was directed during the remainder of the first day and all of the second at the rebel batteries on the beach betwixt Barrancas Barracks and the navy-yard; the charge of powder same as before; range, from 2,235 yards to 3,220 yards; elevation, 6 1/2° to 9 1/2°. Projectiles during the first day were shells, and during the second solid shot, except an occasional shell. The firing generally, I think, was effective.

The 8-inch columbiad was directed on the same batteries both days; charge, 8 pounds; range as above; projectiles, shells; fuses varying from 10” to 14”. The firing from this gun was much more accurate than that of the rifled battery. My 10-inch columbiad en barbette, bastion D, was directed on Fort Barrancas for the greater portion of the first day; range, 2,654 yards; charge, 12 pounds; projectiles, shells; fuse 13”, and the firing satisfactory. During the rest of the first day and all of the second I directed its fire on the rebel batteries adjacent to Fort Barrancas; range nearly the same; charge the same; fuse varying from 12” to 15”, and firing satisfactory.

I wish to speak well of the conduct of all my men, particularly my first sergeant, Francis C. Choate, and Sergts. William McClenzey and John Morris, and Corporals Theodore Kutcher and Nicholas Harper. I am glad to notice the coolness under a very heavy fire of the cannoneers of the columbiad en barbette and the alacrity and skill with which they discharged their duties. One of the rebel shells fell beside the gun, but fortunately failed to explode. A second buried itself in the magazine cover and exploded, setting fire to the sand bags and canvas cover. A third came through the splinter-proof erected for the shelter of the men, and, exploding, destroyed it, fortunately doing no serious injury to myself or the men beneath it. The firing of the casement guns I left principally in charge of Sergeants McClenzey and Morris. The magazine duties of the barbette gun I intrusted to my first sergeant, Choate.

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

A. N. SHIPLEY, First Lieutenant, Third Infantry, Commanding Company C.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First U. S. Artillery, Commanding Batteries.

{p.487}

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No. 13.

Report of Capt. Matthew M. Blunt, Twelfth U. S. Infantry.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.

MAJOR: In compliance with orders from the colonel commanding I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the service of the battery under my charge during the 22d and 23d of this month:

The battery consists of one 13-inch and one 12-inch seacoast mortar. Both mortars were ready on the morning of the 22d, and at the signal gun opened fire on the steamboat at the navy-yard, at which a rapid fire was kept up for about three-quarters of an hour, each mortar being discharged as soon as loaded. The majority of the shells then thrown went into the navy-yard, but on account of the very heavy fire in that direction (a large number of our guns and mortars firing at the steamboat at that time) I could not tell the effect of the shells thrown, but am confident that very few were lost by falling into the water. After firing at the steamboat for about three-quarters of an hour, my fire was directed, according to your orders, on Fort McRee, and was continued during the. day at intervals of twenty minutes. Several shells went inside the fort and others near the batteries on either side of it. This fire was continued until sundown, when a sudden thunder-storm put a stop to all firing. Early in the day the elevating screws began to bend, and by means of blocks and quoins the 13-inch mortar was kept at an elevation of about 40°, and was fired at that elevation during the afternoon, when the screw broke off entirely.

About 3 p.m. the elevating screw of the 12-inch mortar broke off, and the mortar rested on the bolster, and was not used for the rest of the day. At 5 a.m. on the 23d a party was set to work to arrange means for elevating the mortars, and by 7 a.m. everything was ready for action. During the 23d our fire was directed entirely on the navy-yard, and, with the exception of the first shell, which bursted at the edge of the water, all the others lodged within the yard, and several were observed to strike and enter the buildings in it. The fire was at an interval of half an hour and was continued until after sunset, and, having ceased for about an hour and a half, was renewed by your order, to prevent the enemy from putting out the fire, which, commencing in the village of Warrington, had then reached the vicinity of the yard. Our firing was continued until 11.30 p.m., when, the fire being well underway, I thought it useless to throw any more shells.

With respect to the conduct of the enlisted men under my command I can only speak well of all, as all did their duties promptly and efficiently. The service was of such a nature as not to call out any acts of daring or bravery, for though the enemy directed at least two mortars at us during the greater part of both days, the majority of the shells fell short or went to our right. Many of the columbiad shells intended for our fort passed over it and burst in our vicinity.

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

M. M. BLUNT, Captain, Twelfth Infantry.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Artillery, U. S. Army, Commanding Batteries.

{p.488}

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No. 14.

Report of Lieut. Walter McFarland, U. S. Corps of Engineers.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report as follows concerning the operations of the 10-inch columbiad in the salient of the covered way under my command during the bombardment of the 22d and 23d of November:

Firing was commenced about 10 o’clock a.m. on the 22d, directed upon the steamer Time, lying at the navy-yard wharf, 3,200 yards distant, and was continued for about two hours, with what effect I could not ascertain, other than that the steamer was several times hit. The piece was then directed upon Wheat’s battery, a little to the east of the Marine Hospital, and fired upon it uninterruptedly during the remainder of the day, making for that range (2,200 yards) some very excellent firing, but whether or not to the serious detriment of the enemy it was impossible for me to determine. Firing ceased at dark after we had thrown 59 shell, 50 of which were navy shell, the remainder 10-inch columbiad shell.

Firing was resumed the next morning at about the same hour, directed upon the same point (Wheat’s battery), limited by order to one round in fifteen minutes, and was continued with similar results until nightfall, when we stopped, having fired 31 rounds.

The conduct of the men was excellent, and though subjected to a heavy direct fire from six 10-inch guns, seven or eight guns of smaller caliber, and three or four heavy mortars, as well as a reversed fire from Fort McRee and the batteries adjoining, I have no casualties to report. Sergeant Ohlenroth, of Company C, Second Artillery, acted as gunner during the entire bombardment, and the excellent firing of the piece is chiefly due to his-exertions.

I beg leave to call your attention to the fact that neither the columbiad shells nor the fuses furnished were of the proper quality; the shells breaking so uniformly in the piece that I was compelled to reduce the charge 1 pound, making it 11 pounds, and the fuses, in perhaps a majority of cases, failing to ignite, though treated with the utmost care.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WALTER MCFARLAND, First Lieutenant, Engineers, Comdg. Battery in covered way.

Maj. LEWIS G. ARNOLD, First Artillery, Commanding Batteries.

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No. 15.

Reports of Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, Commanding Army of Pensacola.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., November 25, 1861.

SIR: As you were advised by telegraph at 9.30 a.m., on the 22d the enemy opened fire on our lines, without notice, from Fort Pickens and his sand batteries. Shortly thereafter his two large naval steamers off our harbor took up position and joined in the conflict. We responded from such of our guns as were best calculated to damage him in a contest {p.489} at long range. His fire was first directed on the navy-yard, where our transportation steamer had just arrived heavily loaded, but in a short time our whole line was enveloped in a terrific fire, which was kept up without intermission until darkness put an end to it. Fort McRee seemed to be the main point of attack, the ships, the heaviest out-batteries, and a large portion of Fort Pickens devoting their entire time to it. Knowing the condition of it, I felt great apprehension, but was strengthened in my hope by the confidence I had in its noble commander, Colonel Villepigue, and his brave garrison of Georgians and Mississippians.

Our casualties for the day, thanks to the enemy’s wild firing, were only 9 wounded, 2 mortally, 2 severely, and 5 slightly, Colonel Villepigue among the latter. Five valuable lives were lost in addition near Fort McRee by an unfortunate accident.

The conflict was renewed at 10 a.m. the next day, and continued on our part until dark, by the enemy until 12 at night, a few random shots only being fired after that until 4 a.m., when a single 10-inch shell from our side announced our wakefulness, but respect for the Sabbath and quiet reigned. The firing was steady and regular for the whole day, only one ship being engaged, the other apparently crippled. Thanks to the prudent care of their officers, the wild firing of the enemy, and, above all, to the visible and acknowledged preservation of a merciful Providence, not a casualty occurred for the whole day.

Yesterday and to-day the enemy has not renewed the contest, and, for reasons which the Department will appreciate, it is not my policy to do so. Their ships, both crippled, are withdrawn to their former anchorage, a miserable failure being their reward for commencing an engagement without notice, by firing into houses they knew to be occupied by women and children, and closing it by disgracefully violating the hospital flag, in accordance with a former barbarous threat.

When the more circumstantial reports of subordinates are received the Department shall have a detailed account of the whole, when I will endeavor to do justice to individuals and corps. It will suffice to say now that the conduct of my gallant little army fully equaled the high expectation I had formed of it. To Brig. Gens. R. H. Anderson and A. H. Gladden I am indebted for able support and prudent counsel during the whole time, and the army will pardon the single exception I make in giving credit at this time to Col. John B. Villepigue and his Georgians and Mississippians, for their heroic defense of Fort McRee.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., December 4, 1861.

SIR: The reports of subordinate commanders having been mostly received,* I am enabled to give you a more detailed account of our recent passage at arms with the enemy:

On the morning of the 22d of November, about 9.30 o’clock, he opened fire from Fort Pickens and all his outer batteries without the slightest {p.490} warning. His first shot were directed principally upon the navy-yard and Fort McRee, the former known to be occupied by women and children and non-combatants, and used by us for defensive purposes only. In less than half an hour we were responding, and the enemy distributed his fire on our whole line.

Soon after Fort Pickens opened two large naval steamers, supposed to be the Niagara and Hartford [Richmond], took position due west from Fort McRee and within good range, from whence they poured in broadsides of the heaviest metal throughout the day. From the defective structure of Fort McRee it was unable to return this terrific fire with any effect.

Assailed at the same time from the south by Fort Pickens and its outer batteries, the devoted garrison of this confined work, under the gallant Colonel Villepigue, Georgia and Mississippi regiments, seemed to be destined to destruction. Three times was the wood work of the fort on fire, threatening to expel its occupants, and as often extinguished.

The magazines were laid bare to the enemy’s shells, which constantly exploded around them, and a wooden building to the windward, on the outside of the fort, taking fire, showers of live cinders were constantly driven through the broken doors of one magazine, threatening destruction to the whole garrison.

In the midst of this terrible ordeal the coolness and self-possession of the commander inspired all with confidence, and enabled him to hold a position which seemed to others utterly untenable.

Towards evening our sand batteries appeared to have crippled the Hartford [Richmond], and she drew off, and did not again join in the combat. Darkness closed the contest, which had lasted for more than eight hours without an intermission. For the number and caliber of guns and weight of metal brought into action it will rank with the heaviest bombardment in the world. It was grand and sublime. The houses in Pensacola, 10 miles off, trembled from the effect, and immense quantities of dead fish floated to the surface in the bay and lagoon, stunned by the concussion. Our troops behaved with the greatest coolness and gallantry, and surprised me by the regularity and accuracy of their firing, a result which would have been creditable to veterans.

A dark cloud, accompanied by rain and wind, at 6 o’clock so obscured the night as to enable us to withdraw in safety our transport steamers, which had been caught at the navy-yard. The gunboat Nelms, Lieutenant Manston, Louisiana infantry, commanding, was also at the yard when the firing commenced; but she was gallantly backed out, and proceeded to Pensacola unharmed. The fire of the enemy, though terrific in sound and fury, proved to have been only slightly damaging, except to McRee. From Fort Pickens and the sand batteries we sustained very little injury. From the shipping, which fired with much greater accuracy, the fort and garrison of McRee suffered more.

Our loss from the enemy’s shot was 21 wounded-1 mortally, who died that night; 12 of the others so slightly as not to take them from duty. By an unfortunate accident-the caving in of a defective magazine, badly planned and constructed-we had 6 other gallant men smothered, who died calling on their comrades never to give up the fort. Our women and children escaped, through a shower of balls, without an accident.

The reports brought in during the night by my staff officers, dispatched to every point, were very satisfactory and encouraging, except from Fort McRee. Exposed in front, flank, and reverse with half its armament disabled and magazines exposed, without the ability to return {p.491} the enemy’s fire, it was proposed to blow it up and abandon it. Upon mature reflection as to the effect this would have on the morale of my own troops as well as the enemy, I determined to hold it to the last extremity. An engineer officer and large working party were dispatched to Colonel Villepigue with this decision. Though suffering from a painful wound, he devoted the entire night to the necessary repairs. It was not our policy to keep up this unequal contest at long range, so we awaited the enemy’s fire the next morning.

At about 10.30 he again opened, though much more slowly, and with only one ship. We responded, as before, with caution and deliberation. Their fire was so much slackened that our apprehension about McRee was greatly relieved, and our sand batteries played with a better prospect of success against the remaining ship. Towards evening the enemy, finding all his efforts foiled, that our guns were not silenced, and McRee not reduced, as he had predicted, turned upon the hospital, and put several shot into the empty building (the sick having all been removed in anticipation of this barbarous act). The evacuation, however, was not known to them. All the appearance of occupation was kept up; the yellow flag was still flying. After this he poured hot shot and shell into the empty dwellings of non-combatants in the villages of Warrington and Woolsey, by which considerable portions of each were burned. The navy-yard, too, received a large supply of these shot and a shower of mortar shells until past midnight, but only one unimportant building was fired, though many houses were struck and more or less damaged. Notwithstanding thousands of shot and shell fell in and around our positions, not a casualty occurred in the whole army for the day. Our fire ceased at dark, except an occasional shell, as a warning that we were on the alert, the last shot being ours, about 4 a.m., on the 24th.

We had fired about 1,000 shots, the enemy not less than 5,000. There are no means of knowing or conjecturing the loss or damage inflicted on them, but we believe it to have been very considerable. They certainly did not accomplish the object they had in view nor fulfill the expectations of their Government. The injury to our side was the loss in killed and wounded given above; a few hundred dollars’ damage done the navy-yard; the burning of two churches surmounted by the Holy Cross-the first buildings fired-and some twenty humble habitations of poor laboring men and women, mostly emigrants from the North; and, finally, a violation of our hospital flag, in accordance with a previous threat. This last act stamps its author with infamy, and places him beyond the pale of civilized commanders.

As they did not renew the action, and drew off with their ships in a crippled condition, our fire was not reopened on Fort Pickens, to damage which is not our object. A fair challenge, however, was offered them on the 27th, when a small row-boat, attempting to enter the harbor, was fired on by us and abandoned by them. Several of our shots necessarily passed very near their works, but they declined our invitation.

The reports of the brigade and regimental commanders and the chief of artillery are inclosed, with a tabular statement of killed and wounded. I can cordially indorse all that is said by them in commendation of the troops generally, and specially of the individuals mentioned. My thanks are particularly due to Brig. Gens. R. H. Anderson and A. H. Gladden for the able support given me throughout the engagement. It fell to the lot of the latter to have much the largest number of guns engaged, and in consequence a greater sphere of usefulness. The efficiency of the batteries shows the labor and care which have been bestowed, {p.492} and fully sustains their reputation as gallant veterans. Their reports specify the particular corps whose good fortune it was to be actively engaged. Col. H. D. Clayton, First Regiment of Alabama Volunteers (Gladden’s brigade), whose entire regiment served both days at the batteries, has received the just commendation of the general. This gallant regiment has toiled for near ten months in the construction and garnishment of the works they almost despaired of using. Having been the first on the ground, much the largest portion of the labor fell to their lot. When least expected the opportunity has been offered to test their skill, and most nobly have they availed themselves of it.

A mere narrative of the events at Fort McRee and its sand battery (Gladden’s brigade) expresses in eloquent simplicity the heroic conduct of Col. J. B. Villepigue, and his command of Georgians and Mississippians. An educated soldier, possessing in an eminent degree the love and confidence of his officers and men, he had been specially selected for this important and perilous post. The result fully vindicates the fortunate choice, and presents for our admiration, blended in perfect harmony, the modest but heroic soldier with the humble but confiding Christian.

Three companies of the regiment of Louisiana Infantry (Anderson’s brigade), under Lieutenant-Colonel Jaquess, served as many batteries throughout the action most efficiently and gallantly, fully sustaining the high reputation that excellent regiment has achieved for discipline and instruction. Captain Van Benthuysen, with his company Confederate States Marines, served a battery, with one 10-inch columbiad, at the navy-yard, which was constructed by them, in a handsome and efficient manner. All these batteries were exposed to very heavy fire from the enemy during the whole bombardment, and bear marks of having been very often struck, but not a man in either was injured, owing in some measure, no doubt, to the admirable manner in which they have been protected by the labor of the officers and men occupying them. The members of my personal staff, who have so long and faithfully served in the discharge of the important but monotonous duties at this station, have placed me under renewed obligations, personal and official, and it is but justice their names should appear in this report. Maj. George G. Garner, assistant adjutant-general; First Lieut. J. E. Slaughter acting inspector-general, Towson Ellis and Francis S. Parker, jr., aides-de-camp, and H. W. Walter, Mississippi volunteers, acting judge-advocate, were constantly with me throughout the engagement, and bore themselves most gallantly under-the heaviest fire in carrying orders and making observations for my use. Majs. L. W. O’Bannon, assistant-quartermaster, and T. M. Jones, commissary of subsistence, and Capt. W. R. Boggs, Engineers, when not otherwise engaged in their several departments, were in attendance on the field, sharing its dangers and aiding its operations.

The Hon. A. E. Maxwell, of Florida, a volunteer aide, joined me on the field soon after the action commenced, and participated in all the duties of my staff up to the close, Capt. H. Oladowski, C. S. artillery, chief of ordnance, a veteran of many European campaigns, was temporarily absent on duties of his department, but the results of his valuable services were everywhere conspicuous. The admirable manner in which he had supplied the batteries and regulated the affairs of his department generally reflects great credit on his skill and industry.

To First Lieut. J. E. Slaughter, C. S. Army, acting inspector-general, an officer of fifteen years’ unrequited service, I am more indebted, probably, {p.493} than to any other in this command for the patient labor and unceasing vigil he has given in its organization and instruction.

At the commencement of the firing immediate steps were taken by Surg. A. J. Foard, medical director, in accordance with previous instructions, to remove his sick and stores to a place of security already prepared in anticipation of this outrage upon our hospital flag. By the activity and energy of this indefatigable officer every patient and every article of value had been transferred before any damage occurred. After superintending this important duty he joined me in the field. The high professional attainments of this admirable officer, united to his gentleness of manner, kindness of heart, and untiring zeal, peculiarly adapt him for the very important post he fills with so much credit to himself and satisfaction to this Army. To his labors have been entirely due the admirable arrangements by which the sufferings of our sick have been so greatly alleviated. To him and to the officers of his department generally, to Father Pont and our good Sisters of Charity, who have labored in our hospital without money and without price, the Army and the country owe a debt of gratitude.

At the close of the engagement on Saturday night Maj. Thomas M. Jones, commissary of subsistence, with my approbation, volunteered to go to the assistance of Colonel Villepigue at Fort McRee, who was well-nigh exhausted by his painful wounds, anxiety, and long-continued watchfulness. His services were of the utmost importance in restoring the fort to its defensive condition, and in constructing an additional outwork, which it is hoped will render it less assailable in future. Colonel Villepigue, in his report, pays a just tribute to this excellent officer, whose sense of duty rose far above all personal considerations.

This would seem not an improper occasion to place on record an expression of the admiration and gratitude I feel for the noble, self-sacrificing spirit which has ever pervaded the whole of this gallant little army. Called suddenly from home, without preparation, to serve an unorganized Government, in the midst of a country destitute of supplies, it has patiently, and without a murmur, submitted to privations and borne labors which never can be appreciated. Consigned by fate to inactivity when their brothers elsewhere, later in entering the service, were reaping a harvest of glory, they have still nobly sustained their commander, and maintained a well-deserved reputation for discipline rarely equaled, never surpassed. With a people capable of such sacrifices we may defy the world in arms.

But in giving this praise to human virtue let us not be unmindful of an invisible Power, which has ruled all things for our good. The hand of disease and death has been lightly laid upon us at a place and in a season when we had reason to expect much suffering and great mortality. And in the hour of our trial the missiles of death, showered upon us by an infuriated enemy, respecting neither women, children, nor the sick, have been so directed as to cause us to laugh at their impotent rage. Verily, “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Richmond, Va.

* That of Brigadier-General Anderson the only one found.

{p.494}

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 130.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., November 25, 1861.

The signal success which has crowned our forty hours’ conflict with the arrogant and confident enemy, whose Government, it seems, is hourly looking for an announcement of his success in capturing our position, should fill our hearts with gratitude to a merciful Providence. This terrific bombardment, of more than a hundred guns of the heaviest caliber-causing the very earth to tremble around us-has, from the wild firing of the enemy, resulted in the loss of only 7 lives, with 8 wounded, but 2 of them seriously; 5 of the deaths from an accident, and but 2 from the enemy’s shot.

We have crippled his ships and driven them off, and forced the garrison of Fort Pickens, in its impotent rage, to slake its revenge by firing into our hospital, and burning the habitations of our innocent women and children, who had been driven therefrom by an unannounced storm of shot and shell.

For the coolness, devotion, and conspicuous gallantry of the troops the general tenders his cordial thanks; but for the precision of their firing, in this their first practice, which would have done credit to veterans, he is unable to express his admiration. Their country and their enemy will both remember the 22d and 23d of November.

By command of Major-General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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No. 16.

Report of Brig. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, Camp near Warrington, Fla., November 28, 1861.

MAJOR: At 10 o’clock a.m. on the 22d instant the enemy opened fire upon the navy-yard and the batteries in the Second Brigade. This attack was made suddenly and with great fury.

Capt. J. T. Wheat, Louisiana infantry, commanding Battery No. 2, was the first to return the fire. Capt. S. S. Batchelor, Louisiana infantry, commanding Battery No. 1, and Lieut. G. W. Mader, of the same regiment, commanding one of the mortar batteries, followed a few moments after, and they all replied to the attack as hotly as it had been begun, until the orders of the general commanding, regulating the rate of fire, were communicated to them, and it was then more moderately continued until after dark, when it was suspended on both sides.

Capt. A. C. Van Benthuysen, C. S. Marine Corps, who commanded the battery on the stone wharf misconstruing an order which had been given on the occasion of the Santa Rosa expedition, did not open until he received orders to do so. After firing two shots he was ordered to cease, on account of the damage which it was feared the steamer Time, lying at the wharf; would sustain, by provoking a continued fire in that quarter from the guns of the enemy. The steamer Time and the steam gunboat Nelms were both at the wharf when the attack began, and it seemed to be the design of the enemy to damage or destroy them, but the Nelms made her escape at once, and the Time, although struck by several balls, was not much injured, and effected her escape after dark.

The enemy reopened the fire at about 10 o’clock a.m. on the 23d, and was responded to until dark, when it again ceased, with the exception of {p.495} an occasional shell from the other side, directed against the navy-yard, and a reply from Van Benthuysen’s battery. Near daylight it was discontinued by both parties. The attack was not resumed on the following morning, and the batteries have consequently remained silent.

Agreeably with instructions previously given the troops not needed at the batteries retired from the navy-yard and its vicinity at the commencement of the attack and took a position outside the north wall. To be prepared for anything the enemy might attempt, Colonel Adams, commanding the Louisiana infantry, was ordered to post his regiment near the navy-yard. This order was executed with the utmost promptness, and the most commendable zeal was exhibited by the regiment, which remained on duty on the beach until near midnight.

The skill and enthusiastic spirit displayed by the officers and troops at the batteries is worthy of all praise, and I am happy to report that no casualty whatever occurred amongst them. While the troops withdrawn from the navy-yard were standing near the north wall, where they had been ordered to rendezvous, a shot penetrated the wall, and the fragments of brick wounded a soldier of Captain Cropp’s company, of Florida Regiment Volunteers, and two of Captain Thom’s company of Marines.

The batteries commanded by Captains Wheat, Batchelor, and Van Benthuysen were manned by the companies of these officers respectively. Lieutenant Mader’s mortar battery was manned by a detachment from the Louisiana infantry.

A trunnion was knocked off one of the 8-inch guns in Wheat’s battery, and slight damage was done to the carriage of Batchelor’s 42-pounder. One of the mortars in Lieutenant Mader’s battery was cracked and rendered useless after the seventeenth discharge. These comprise all the injuries sustained by the batteries of the Second Brigade. Very little damage has been done to the navy-yard. About fifty of the buildings in Warrington and Woolsey have been burnt.

The reports of Lieutenant-Colonel Jaquess, Louisiana infantry, and Captain Van Benthuysen C. S. Marine Corps, are herewith submitted.*

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. H. ANDERSON, Brigadier-General, P. A., Commanding Second Brigade.

Maj. GEORGE G. GARNER, A. A. G., C. A.

* Not found.

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JANUARY 1, 1862.– Bombardment of Forts McRee and Barrancas, Fla.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Col. Harvey Brown, Fifth U. S. Artillery, commanding Department of Florida.
No. 2.–Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, commanding Army of Pensacola.

No. 1.

Report of Col. Harvey Brown, Fifth U. S. Artillery, commanding Department of Florida.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, January 2, 1862.

GENERAL: Yesterday afternoon, about 3 o’clock, a steamer came to the wharf at the navy-yard within range of our guns. The enemy {p.496} having, under similar circumstances, fired into a small yawl-boat (which, desirous of avoiding continuous desultory warfare, leading to no results, I did not notice, although four shots were fired), and this being the first instance of a boat of any kind coming to the navy-yard or within the range of my guns since the last bombardment, I could only view it as bravado, or as done with an intention of drawing my fire. I therefore ordered her to be fired into, which was done three times while she lay at the wharf and was leaving it. A gun was fired from a neighboring battery at ours, which was returned, it being directly in range of the departing steamer, and here, as I supposed, the affair would rest; but in about three-quarters of an hour the enemy opened on me from most of his batteries, which was promptly returned, and a regular bombardment ensued, and which continued in our front until too dark to see, when I ceased, except an occasional fire from two or three mortars, the enemy continuing until about 9 o’clock, at which hour a bright light became visible from the yard, and in an hour the whole firmament was illuminated, several of the largest buildings being on fire. The fire continued to burn until towards morning, and the mortar firing continued on our part until 2 and on that of the enemy until 4 o’clock this morning.

I used only my heaviest guns, and not all of them, with an occasional fire from an 8-inch columbiad and a 42-pounder rifled gun. Our firing was much slower than before, and was excellent. I have rarely or never seen better; the officers and men being cool and collected, and doing their duty manfully, such as Yankee soldiers should do. The enlisted men seemed to consider it a New Year’s amusement.

Convinced by former experience of the great difficulty of harming or burning his buildings at so great a distance I took the affair very coolly and deliberately, firing seldom, but with great care, and using freely rock-fire and carcasses, with both of which I have been supplied since the last bombardment, and to which I attribute our present success in firing the navy-yard, and the failure of my doing so before to the want of them. The firing of the rebels was not so good as before, very few shot or shell having struck our walls or entered the fort, although the latter burst continuously all around us. He probably expended very considerably more ammunition than on either of the previous days, and with less effect.

I am impressed with the belief that General Bragg was not present, and that a less experienced and more hotheaded officer commanded. If he was, he certainly did not in this affair display his usual prudence and caution.

I had two men slightly injured-one a zouave, by a splinter hitting the calf of his leg, and the other a regular, by a contusion-both trifling; and the injury to the fort is of the most unimportant kind-a few shot on the scarp-wall and some few holes, made principally by the explosion of shells inside, neither of any consequence; and not a gun was disabled or injured, with the exception of one carriage, and, except the 2 named, not a man hurt.

I am more than satisfied with the result, as it has again clearly demonstrated that the immense batteries with which we are nearly surrounded (and to the number of which four have been added since the last bombardment) are unable to do us any serious injury.

We have burned several large buildings in the navy-yard, and must have seriously injured those which are fireproof, giving the best possible evidence of the superiority of our fire.

I respectfully and earnestly recommend to the executive justice the brave men who have now three times so faithfully defended their country’s {p.497} flag, and who for their reward have in several instances had the mortification of seeing their juniors placed over their heads, and who have never heard the first cheering word of approval for their former gallant deeds. The conduct of all was so uniformly gallant and meritorious that I will make no discrimination in naming them, except to express my thanks to Major Arnold, my executive officer, for his able assistance. They are Surgeon Campbell; Major Tower, Engineers; Lieutenant Todd, Ordnance Department; Assistant Surgeon Sutherland; Lieutenant McFarland, Engineers; Captains Allen, Second Artillery Chalfin, Fifth Artillery; Robertson, Second Artillery; Blunt, Twelfth Infantry; Hildt, Third Infantry; Duryea, Closson, and Langdon, First Artillery; First Lieutenants Shipley, Third Infantry; Jackson, First Artillery; Pennington, Second Artillery; Seeley, Fourth Artillery; and Taylor, First Artillery; and Second Lieutenants Heaton and Bradley, Second Artillery, and Duer, First Artillery, the three last named who now for the first time fleshed their maiden swords.

I also desire to express my decided approbation of the conduct of the non-commissioned officers and privates of my command. Every one did his duty manfully. I commend the former to the notice of the commanding general.

At the commencement of the bombardment the Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers took post at Camp Brown, and I ordered Colonel Dodge to march his regiment (the Seventy-fifth New York) beyond the range of fire. He moved 2 miles up, and guarded us from any attack the enemy might make during the night. This is a fine regiment, and will, I doubt not, do good service when they have the chance.

As I only fired on the steamer to drive her off, as the enemy had done with our boats, and as he opened his batteries on me, I have not deemed it advisable further to pursue the contest, and as he has not renewed it, I presume it for the present to be ended.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

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No. 2.

Report of Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, commanding Army of Pensacola.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., January 3, 1862.

SIR: On my way to this point from Mobile on the first instant I was privately advised by telegraph that firing was going on between our batteries and Fort Pickens. I hastened as rapidly as possible, and reached here at 4 a.m. the 2d. It appears a small private steamer had been imprudently allowed to run to the navy-yard, and was fired on by the enemy at Fort Pickens. This fire was returned by order of Brigadier-General Anderson, in temporary command, and a brisk cannonade was kept up on both sides until dark, when the enemy ceased. Ours was continued irregularly and apparently without effect or an object until stopped by my order. No casualty is reported on our side, and we can see no damage to the enemy. A large and valuable store-house, with considerable property, in the navy-yard, was burned by the enemy’s shells {p.498}

I regret exceedingly to add that the concurrent testimony of many officers of rank represent Brigadier-General Anderson as so much intoxicated as to be entirely unfit for duty, and that his conduct was very reprehensible. It is being investigated, and I fear that an arrest and prosecution will be necessary. Holding juniors to a rigid accountability, I shall not overlook a similar offense in a commanding general under such aggravating circumstances.

Not the least cause of regret was the large and criminal waste of means so necessary for our defense, and which we cannot replace.

I must again urge on the Department my request for a second in command here who could be intrusted with this army in my necessary absence. Mobile demands much of my time; indeed, the state of affairs there is alarming, but I am almost powerless for want of the proper officers for command. The material is here, but it cannot be used.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond.

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JANUARY 20, 1862.– Contest over the British schooner Andracita, on the coast of Alabama.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army.
No. 2.–Col. W. L. Powell, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. Bratton Bragg, C. S. Army.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Year Pensacola, Fla., February 1, 1862.

SIR: I inclose a copy of a report from Colonel Powell, Provisional Army, of a recent contest by a portion of his command with the enemy over a British schooner. The conduct of our troops was highly creditable, though they were unable to save the vessel from capture. Every facility has been extended to the British consul in prosecuting the case, and I hope he has succeeded, as he desired, in complicating affairs between the United States and Great Britain. A copy of an article from a Mobile paper, inclosed,* gives a very correct history of the vessel and her movements.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Richmond, Va.

* Omitted.

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No. 2.

Report of Col. W. L. Powell, C. S. Army.

CAMP BRAGG, January 21, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I avail myself of the boat from this point to-day to report that a sharp contest took place at the mouth of the lagoon yesterday {p.499} between two of the enemy’s steamers, with their boats, and Captain Cottrill’s command, for the possession of the schooner Andracita, formerly J. W. Wilder, which had been run on shore at that place, with the hope of saving her cargo. All the particulars of the affair cannot be given at this time, as I have not a report as to the part taken in it by the force, consisting of two field pieces and two companies ordered up from Fort Morgan and Camp Bragg, and which were on the west side of the lagoon, under Acting Assistant Adjutant-General Jones. Upon my getting on this side of the lagoon to put Captain Cottrill’s company in action, that officer had already moved his available force across the lagoon to within a short distance of the schooner, and there he kept up so sharp and well-directed a fire upon the schooner and the boats of the steamers as to drive those of the enemy, who had previously reached her below and prevented the boats from getting to their assistance, while he sheltered his men so securely behind the sand hills as to maintain his position, though it was only about 100 yards from the beach and not more than 600 or 800 yards from the steamers, without losing a life.

Captain Cottrill and his command deserve great credit for the skillful and daring manner in which they performed their parts in a defense which, judging from the effect of their fire while continued, must have been successful, if it had not been the case that the schooner was run on shore at low tide, and that the enemy succeeded in making a hawser fast to her before he got his men into position, by which she was hauled out of range after the tide, in rising, had caused her to float.

What loss the enemy met with I will not pretend to state, as I was not fortunate enough to reach the scene of action; but it must have been considerable, as two of their boats, one of which is now reported as on the beach and in the possession of our men, were sunk or turned over, and another had every oarsman shot or driven off their seats, and was towed out of range by another sent to her assistance.

As I mentioned above, there was no loss of life from this command so far as heard from, and we have only to regret that of the schooner and cargo, which I am sorry to say the captain neglected to fire in his desire to save it. Upon returning to Fort Morgan I shall be able to furnish any further particulars which may be brought to my notice.

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

W. L. POWELL, Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.

Capt. D. E. HUGER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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MARCH 27-31, 1862.– Reconnaissance on Santa Rosa Island, Ph.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. Lewis G. Arnold, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Capt. Henry W. Closson, First U. S. Artillery.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. Lewis G. Arnold, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, April 4, 1862.

I respectfully forward a report of Captain Closson, First Artillery, of an armed reconnaissance 40 miles up the island of Santa Rosa, made in {p.500} obedience to my orders, for the purpose of ascertaining the character of the upper end of the island and to punish and take prisoners any rebels he might meet, I having received information that about 200 armed rebels were encamped near the Southeast Pass, where they had a few days previously killed 2 sailors and wounded 2 others belonging to the blockading schooner stationed there.

Respectfully submitted.

L. G. ARNOLD, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

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No. 2.

Report of Capt. Henry W. Closson, First U. S. Artillery.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., April 2, 1862.

SIR: On the 26th of last month I received your instructions from the general commanding to make an armed reconnaissance of Santa Rosa Island, my command to consist of Company L, First Artillery, and Company K, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, rationed to include the 31st, and a 10-pounder Parrott rifle.

On the night of the 27th I camped 12 miles from here, and at midnight received an express, directing me to wait until 3 p.m. the next day for the arrival of Lieutenant Shipley with further instructions. He not arriving at that hour, I went into camp that night 8 miles beyond, when I was overtaken by Lieutenant Jackson, acting assistant adjutant-general of the department, with Company D, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, and a guide-Mr. Woods, a rebel refugee. Lieutenant Jackson informed me that I was to move up towards the east end of the island and surprise and capture a rebel force in that vicinity on the main-land-boats to be furnished from the naval volunteer schooner Maria Wood, on blockade duty at the East Pass-one part of my command with the rifled gun to shell the rebel camp from the island, one portion to cross the sound and move up the main-land, and one portion to enter the pass and move down the sound. The latter part of the plan I abandoned, on account of the distance of the pass from the point of attack, some 10 miles. All the necessary material and arrangements had been provided and made with the schooner at Fort Pickens by Acting Assistant Quartermaster Shipley.

At noon on the 31st I went into camp about 36 miles from here and 4 from the supposed location of the rebel force, having communicated with the schooner, and requested that at dark she would put three surfboats on the outside beach, where I should establish a signal fire. Lieutenant Jackson and Lieutenant Appleton made a thorough and close reconnaissance of the island and main-land at this point, selected where to put the gun and to cross the sound, giving 600 yards of boating.

At sunset, leaving animals, disabled men, and stores at camp, I moved with 170 men 2 miles up the beach to the crossing and lit the signal fire. Atil o’clock two surf-boats arrived. I had them hauled about 800 yards over the sand hills to the inside beach, and directed Lieutenant Jackson to march the volunteer battalion there and wait my arrival with the regulars and the third surf-boat. At 1 o’clock in the morning the third surf-boat made its appearance. The unaccountable lateness of their {p.501} arrival had now precluded all possibility of the surprise, and here I received a message by Lieutenant Gibbs from Lieutenant Jackson that two rebel spies had been in the vicinity of his command and a party had been detached for their capture-unsuccessfully. I directed the two boats to be returned to the outside beach, Company K, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, to proceed to my camp, while I took Company D, Sixth New York Volunteers, and the regulars, with the rifled gun, 2 miles farther up, crossed the island, and put the gun into position on the inside beach, directly opposite the rebel camp, and about 250 yards from it. I remained here until their huts could be seen in the dawn, and then directed Lieutenant Jackson to open fire. The shells burst right in their midst. Loud cries and yells were heard, and the rebels could be barely seen through the brush in their shirt-tails making rapidly into the back country. A scattering volley was fired from what I supposed to be their guard, who then disappeared also.

After shelling the vicinity thoroughly I returned to my camp. My supply of rations and forage was nearly exhausted, the mules nearly broken down by a very severe pull of 40 miles through the heavy sand on the beach. I therefore sent all my sick men (some 6) and all the bedding I could spare to the schooner, and started on my return. Late on Monday afternoon Lieutenant Appleton reported a schooner making its way up the sound. The rifled gun was taken over to the inside beach and Lieutenant Jackson directed to open fire. The range ran from 1,800 to 3,000 yards, but the firing was very satisfactory; the schooner was several times struck, her small boat hit, but after firing some twelve shots it became so dusky that she could be no longer distinguished.

On Tuesday afternoon I reached Fort Pickens.

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

HENRY W. CLOSSON, Captain, First Artillery.

Lieut. R. H. JACKSON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of Florida.

The instructions given me by Lieutenant Jackson interfered somewhat with any very close observation. The island varied in width, so far as I had an opportunity to notice, from half a mile to 500 yards; is cut up by sand ridges, so as to make the passage of teams across very difficult and generally impossible; furnishes good water in pools or by digging in the depressions; but very little grass indeed, and that very coarse. The only practicable road for teams, in the direction of its length, is along the outside beach, and that generally is excessively heavy and quite narrow, and in many places at full tide impassable for any ordinary load. The condition of the horses and mules of my command furnishes some evidence of the character of this road. In many places the island is perfectly open, in others screened from the main-land by ridges of sand hills and fringes of forest. The sound is in width from 3 miles to 300 yards, I should judge. The narrowest point is about 40 miles from the fort. Here the rebel camp was located. It is nowhere fordable; navigable for its whole extent for vessels of 7 feet draught, the channel running generally close along the main-land.

These remarks are the result of my own observation and information of the guides, and a thorough examination might not substantiate them.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

HENRY W. CLOSSON, Captain, First Artillery.

{p.502}

APRIL 3-4, 1862.–Affairs at Biloxi and Pass Christian, Miss.

Report of Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1 New Orleans, La., April 16, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 3d instant the enemy landed a force of 500 men at Biloxi, having three steamers off the town. We had seven companies of the Third Mississippi Regiment at Handsborough and three at Pass Christian. I arranged with Commodore Whittle that the steamers Carondelet, Pamlico, and Oregon should engage these vessels while we attacked their troops at daylight on the 4th, but their fleet was re-enforced by two vessels at night, which re-embarked their troops, and, having engaged our ships with superior forces, they proceeded to Pass Christian, landed 1,200 men, with several pieces of artillery, and drove away our three companies, burning their camp and destroying a portion of their clothing and stores.

Our men, finding themselves greatly overmatched and outflanked, retreated without loss of life to Gainesville. Colonel Deason proceeded with his seven companies of infantry, one of cavalry, and a battery of artillery to Biloxi, which he found abandoned by the enemy. I subsequently ordered the troops to rendezvous at Pass Christian, where they now remain, but on account of the difficulty of supplying them by water I shall probably bring them to this city.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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APRIL 7, 1862.–Affair at Saint Andrew’s Bay, Florida.*

* Belongs properly to Chapter XV, but report found too late for insertion there.

Report of Capt. R. S. Smith, Marianna Dragoons.

BLUE SPRING CAMP, April 16, 1862.

Brig. Gen. JOSEPH FINEGAN, Commanding Department:

SIR: In compliance with a telegraphic order (a copy of which is herewith inclosed) from Colonel Dilworth, then commanding, and received at my camp, 6 miles east of Marianna, at 12 o’clock m. on the 7th instant, I started at 3 p.m. of the same day with my command, and arrived at 3.02 p.m. the next day at Saint Andrew’s Bay, having been in the saddle twenty-four hours, with only a rest of two hours to feed our horses. I found that the enemy had succeeded in getting the steamer Florida from her anchorage up North Bay, and was then opposite the town of Saint Andrew’s. When about 3 miles from the town we heard a gun from the steamer, and, riding then at half speed, I met one of my advance guard just before reaching the town, who informed me that the enemy were landing from a small sloop about a mile from us. I then dismounted my command and advanced rapidly through the woods, hoping to capture them. But the enemy saw us when 200 yards off, and took to their boats. I then caused my command to open fire upon them. They were out of shot-gun reach, but a portion of my command, who were armed with Maynard rifles, killed or disabled four or five of the seven. Having only five cartridges to the rifle, our ammunition was soon exhausted. Had I had sufficient cartridges I am sure that I could have taken the {p.508} sloop, and probably have retaken the steamer, or at least burned her. The enemy fired on us with a long-range gun carrying round balls, which passed over our heads at a distance of half a mile. They also sent a few shell after us, but no one was hurt on our side. The steamer then left the bay, and, after remaining some days, I returned with my command to camp.

Yours, obediently,

R. S. SMITH, Captain, Commanding Marianna Dragoons.

[Inclosure.]

HDQRS. PROV. FORCES, DEPT. E. AND M. FLA., Tallahassee, Fla., April 7, 1862.

Capt. R. S. SMITH, Comdg. Marianna Dragoons, Marianna, Fla.:

CAPTAIN: You will immediately proceed in the direction of Saint Andrew’s Bay with your troops, and, if possible, recapture the steamer Florida, prevent all unnecessary communication with the enemy, and arrest any person which you may have found grounds to suspect of treason.

Respectfully, yours, &c.,

W. S. DILWORTH, Colonel, Commanding District.

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APRIL 18-MAY 1, 1862.– Bombardment and capture of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, and occupation of Now Orleans, La., by the Union forces.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–MAJ. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, U. S. Army, of co-operation with the naval forces, and occupation, May 1, of the city of New Orleans.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. John W. Phelps, U. S. Army, of the occupation of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.
No. 3.–Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell, C. S. Army.
No. 4.–Brig. Gen. Johnson K. Duncan, C. S. Army, of the bombardment and capture of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.
No. 5.–Lieut. Col. Edward Higgins, C. S. Army, of the bombardment and capture of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.
No. 6.–Capt. M. T. Squires, Louisiana Artillery, of the bombardment of Fort Saint Philip.
No. 7.–Brig. Gen. M. L. Smith, C. S. Army, of operations on the “Chalmette and McGehee Lines.”
No. 8.–Proceedings of the Confederate Court of Inquiry upon the fall of New Orleans.
No. 9.–Message from the President of the Confederate States, transmitting correspondence with the Governor of Louisiana and General Lovell.

No. 1.

Reports of Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, U. S. Army, of co-operation with the naval forces, and occupation, May 1, of the city of New Orleans.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, April 29, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that in obedience to my instructions I remained on the Mississippi River, with the troops named in my former {p.504} dispatch, awaiting the action of the fleet engaged in the bombardment of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip. Failing to reduce them after six days of incessant fire, Flag-Officer Farragut determined to attempt their passage with his whole fleet, except that part thereof under the immediate command of Captain Porter, known as the Mortar Fleet.

On the morning of the 24th instant the fleet got under way, and twelve vessels, including the four sloops of war, ran the gauntlet of fire of the forts and were safely above. Of the gallantry, courage, and conduct of this heroic action, unprecedented in naval warfare, considering the character of the works and the river, too much cannot be said. Of its casualties and the details of its performance the flag-officer will give an account to the proper Department. I witnessed this daring exploit from a point about 800 yards from Fort Jackson and unwittingly under its fire, and the sublimity of the scene can never be exceeded. The fleet pressed on up the river to New Orleans, leaving two gunboats to protect the quarantine station, 5 miles above.

In case the forts were not reduced, and a portion of the fleet got by them, it had been arranged between the flag-officer and myself that I should make a landing from the Gulf side on the rear of the forts at the quarantine, and from thence attempt Fort Saint Philip by storm and assault, while the bombardment was continued by the fleet. I immediately went to Sable Island with my transports, 12 miles in the rear of Saint Philip, the nearest point at which a sufficient depth of water could be found for them.

Captain Porter put at my disposal the Miami, drawing 7 1/2 feet, being the lightest-draught vessel in the fleet, to take the troops from the ship, as far as the water would allow. We were delayed twenty-four hours by her running ashore at Pass à l’Outre. The Twenty-sixth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Jones, were then put on board her and carried within 6 miles of the fort, where she again grounded. Captain Everett, of the Sixth Massachusetts Battery, having very fully reconnoitered the waters and bayous in that vicinity, and foreseeing the necessity, I had collected and brought with me some 30 boats, into which the troops were again transshipped and conveyed, by a most fatiguing and laborious row, some 4 1/2 miles farther, there being within 1 mile of the steamer only 2 1/2 feet of water. A large portion of this passage was against a heavy current, through a bayou. At the entrance of Manners Canal, a mile and a half from the point of landing, rowing became impossible, as well from the narrowness of the canal as the strength of the current, which ran like a mill-race. Through this the boats could only be impelled by dragging them singly, with the men up to their waists in water. It is due to this fine regiment and to a portion of the Fourth Wisconsin Volunteers and Twenty-first Indiana, who landed under this hardship without a murmur, that their labors should be made known to the Department, as well as to account for the slowness of our operations. The enemy evidently considered this mode of attack impossible, as they had taken no measures to oppose it, which might very easily have been successfully done. We occupied at once both sides of the river, thus effectually cutting them off from all supplies, information, or succor while we made our dispositions for the assault.

Meantime Captain Porter had sent into the bayou in the rear of Fort Jackson two schooners of his mortar fleet to prevent the escape of the enemy from the fort in that direction. In the hurry and darkness of the passage of the forts the flag-officer had overlooked three of the enemy’s gunboats and the iron-clad battery Louisiana, which were at anchor {p.505} under the walls of the fort. Supposing that all the rebel boats had been destroyed (and a dozen or more had been) he passed on to the city, leaving these in his rear. The iron steam battery being very formidable, Captain Porter deemed it prudent to withdraw his mortar fleet some miles below, where he could have room to maneuver it if attacked by the iron monster, and the bombardment ceased.

I had got Brigadier-General Phelps in the river below with two regiments to make demonstrations in that direction if it became possible. In the night of the 27th, learning that the fleet had got the city under its guns, I left Brigadier General Williams in charge of the landing of the troops and went up the river to the flagship to procure light-draught transportation. That night the larger portion (about 250) of the garrison of Fort Jackson mutinied, spiked the guns bearing up the river, came up and surrendered themselves to my pickets, declaring that as we had got in their rear resistance was useless, and they would not be sacrificed. No bomb had been thrown at them for three days nor had they fired a shot at us from either fort. They averred that they had been impressed and would fight no longer.*

On the 28th the officers of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip surrendered to Captain Porter, he having means of water transportation to them. While he was negotiating, however, with the officers of the forts under a white flag the rebel naval officers put all their munitions of war on the Louisiana, set her on fire and adrift upon the Harriet Lane, but when opposite Fort Saint Philip she blew up, killing one of their own men by the fragments which fell into that fort.

I have taken possession of the forts, and find them substantially as defensible as before the bombardment-Saint Philip precisely so, it being quite uninjured. They are fully provisioned, well supplied with ammunition, and the ravages of the shells have been defensibly repaired by the labors of the rebels. I will cause Lieutenant Weitzel, of the Engineers, to make a detailed report of their condition to the Department. I have left the Twenty-sixth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers in garrison, and am now going up the river to occupy the city with my troops and make further demonstrations in the rear of the enemy, now at Corinth.

The rebels have abandoned all their defensive works in and around New Orleans, including Forts Pike and Wood, on Lake Pontchartrain, and Fort Livingston from Barataria Bay. They have retired in the direction of Corinth, beyond Manchac Pass, and abandoned everything up the river as far as Donaldsonville, some 70 miles beyond New Orleans. I propose to so far depart from the letter of my instructions as to endeavor to persuade the flag-officer to pass up the river as far as the mouth of Red River, if possible, so as to cut off their supplies, and make there a landing and a demonstration in their rear as a diversion in favor of General Buell if a decisive battle is not fought before such movement is possible.

Mobile is ours whenever we choose, and we can better wait.

I find the city under the dominion of the mob. They have insulted our flag-torn it down with indignity. This outrage will be punished in such manner as in my judgment will caution both the perpetrators and abettors of the act, so that they shall fear the stripes if they do not reverence the stars of our banner.

I send a marked copy of a New Orleans paper, containing an applauding account of the outrage.**

{p.506}

Trusting my action may meet the approbation of the Department, I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

* See Butler to Stanton, June 1, 1862, in Chapter XXVII.

** Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULP, New Orleans, May 8, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report my further operations since my dispatch of the 29th ultimo.

I commenced the disembarkation of my men on May 1, when I took formal possession of New Orleans.

The Twenty-first Indiana was landed at Algiers, a small town on the right bank of the river, opposite New Orleans, at the inner terminus of the New Orleans and Opelousas Railroad. All the rolling stock of the road has been seized, and the road is now running under my direction, only for the purpose of bringing in provisions to the city. That regiment, under Colonel McMillan, on the 5th of May was sent to Brashear, 80 miles (the whole length of the railway), and Berwick Bay, and there captured two brass 6-pounder field guns, with ammunition for the same, some 1,500 pounds of powder, and some other ordnance stores, and dispersed a military organization there forming, captured and brought off two citizens who persisted in insulting our troops.

There are now no Confederate forces on the right or western bank of the Mississippi within possible reaching distance of which I have any intelligence.

The remainder of my troops which I had been able to take with me by means of any transportation which I had, to wit, Thirtieth and Thirty-first Massachusetts, Fourth Wisconsin and Sixth Michigan, Ninth and Twelfth Connecticut, with Manning’s and Everett’s Fifth and Sixth Massachusetts Batteries, and Holcomb’s Second Vermont Battery, and two companies of cavalry, I landed in the city proper, posting and quartering them at the custom-house, city hall, mint, and Lafayette Square. I thought it necessary to make so large a display of force in the city. I found it very turbulent and unruly, completely under the control of the mob; no man on either side daring to act independently for fear of open violence and assassination. On landing we were saluted with cheers for “Jeff. Davis” and “Beauregard.” This has been checked, and the last man that was heard to call for cheers for the rebel chief has been sentenced by the provost judge to three months’ hard labor at Fort Jackson, which sentence is being executed. No assassinations have been made of any United States soldiers, with the exception of a soldier of the Ninth Connecticut, who had left his camp without orders in the night and was found dead the next morning in an obscure street, having probably been engaged in a drunken brawl.

My officers and myself now walk in any part of the city where occasion calls by day or night, without guard, obstruction, or annoyance. There is, however, here a violent, strong, and unruly mob, that can only be kept under by fear.

On the 5th instant I sent Brigadier-General Phelps, with the Ninth and Twelfth Connecticut and Manning’s battery, to take possession of the rebel works on the north side of the city, which run from the river to the marshes of Lake Pontchartrain, about 7 miles above the city. I {p.507} could make no earlier movement, because all the steamers captured and in repair were claimed by the Navy, and were used either in towing their supply ships or tugging off the Rhode Island, which had gone on shore and detained us all three days. This point, in the judgment of the engineers on both sides, is a most defensible one on the northerly side, had been fortified by the rebels with heavy earthworks, and can be maintained with a few regiments against any force, however large, that may be brought against it.

The sloop-of-war Portsmouth and the gunboat Iroquois are anchored so as to enfilade the front of the embankments which were abandoned by the rebels. These can easily be put in defensible condition, although before the arrival of the army and after the evacuation by the enemy, who spiked the guns, a party from the advanced gunboats landed and burned the gun-carriages, which we must supply from those captured at the custom-house.

All the rolling stock of the Jackson Railroad was carried away by the retreating General Lovell, and he has cut the road 14 miles above the city. I am now taking measures to possess ourselves of the whole road to Manchac Pass. The fleet have gone up the river as far as Baton Rouge. The flag-officer started yesterday, and I have sent two regiments to accompany him and make any landing necessary.

The projected expedition from Vicksburg to Jackson, of which I spoke in my last dispatch, has become nugatory, because I am reliably informed from different sources that Beauregard has fallen back upon Jackson with his whole army, and is there concentrating his means of defense. My spies inform me that he is suffering greatly for want of food; that his army is daily becoming demoralized and leaving him.

As soon as all necessary points can be occupied here and my instructions carried out as regards Mobile, I will endeavor to march upon his rear with all the force I can spare consistently with reasonable safety of this point.

As in case of defeat he must retreat upon us, it will be perceived that I must be prepared to meet the débris of his army, or indeed, as he has ample rolling stock (the Telegraph says 13 miles of cars), he may precipitate any amount of force upon me at any moment; for which we will try to be ready. I have caused Forts Pike and Wood, the defenses of Lake Pontchartrain, to be occupied by detachments of the Seventh Vermont and Eighth New Hampshire Regiments. I have not yet occupied either the Chalmette, Tower Dupré, or Battery Bienvenue. Our boats hold the lake, and these are only defenses from exterior enemies; are in no need to occupy them at present. The same observation will apply to Fort Livingston.

I have the honor to inclose copies of a proclamation and the several general orders necessary in the administration of the affairs of so large a city.* The order most questionable is the one in regard to cotton and sugar, No. 22; but it has had a most salutary effect. Both cotton and sugar are now being sent for to be brought into this market, and the burning through the adjacent country has ceased.

My action in regard to provisions was made absolutely necessary by the starvation which was falling upon the “just and the unjust,” and as the class of workmen and mechanics on whom it is pressing most heavily, I am persuaded, are well disposed to the Union, I may have to take other measures to feed these.

It will become necessary for me to use the utmost severity in rooting {p.508} out the various rebel secret associations here, which overawe the Union men, and give expression to the feelings of the mob by assassination and murder, and usurping the functions of government when a government was here pretended to. I propose to make some brilliant examples.

I take leave to suggest whether it might not be well to send to this point or Mobile a large force by which to operate on the rebel rear, so as to cut him off completely.

I send this dispatch by Colonel Deming, a gentleman known to you, who is possessed of my confidence, and will present to you some matters of interest more at length than could be done in this form of communication. I desire, however, to add urgently to anything he may say that there is au immediate necessity for a paymaster here. As well for the spirit, health, and comfort of the troops, I have established the strictest quarantine at the proper point (the quarantine grounds), and hope to preserve the present good health of my command. I hope my action will meet the approval of the President and the Department of War. Much of it has been done in the emergencies called for by a new and untried state of things, when promptness and movement were more desirable than deliberation. I await with anxiety instructions from the Department for my guidance in the future.

I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General, Commanding.

The SECRETARY OF WAR.

* See “Correspondence, etc.,” poet.

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No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. John W. Phelps, U. S. Army, of the occupation of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.

TRANSPORT SHIP NORTH AMERICA, Mississippi River, April 30, 1862.

SIR: In compliance with General Orders, April 24, 1862, from your headquarters, received at the mouth of the river, to take possession of Forts Saint Philip and Jackson, with the Thirtieth Massachusetts and Twelfth Connecticut, I proceeded up to the Head of the Passes on the 25th instant, and joined those two regiments. All the mortar boats, steamboats, and sail vessels below the forts had already gone or were going down towards the Southwest Pass, except a few gunboats, which anchored just ahead of us.

I informed Commander Porter on the 26th, who was then at the Head of the Passes, of my readiness to occupy the forts, and directed Lieutenant Hall, my aide, to offer him any assistance that I could render.

The commander returned to the forts on the 27th. On the morning of the 28th he sent word by Captain Baldwin, of the gunboat Clifton, that the forts were about to surrender. As the wind was then favorable, I directed the North America, with the Thirtieth Massachusetts, Read’s cavalry, and Manning’s battery, under Colonel Dudley, to set sail, Captain Baldwin assisting to tow her, and sent word to Colonel Deming, with the Twelfth Connecticut, on board the Farley, to follow us. Our progress with sail vessels against the current of the Mississippi, swollen to its fullest height, was, as may readily be conceived, not rapid. On our way we observed suddenly, in the direction of the forts, {p.509} an immense column of smoke rising rapidly to the clouds, and after an interval heard an explosion. Transshipping three companies of the Thirtieth Massachusetts, one company cavalry, and part of Manning’s battery, on board the Clifton, with Colonel Dudley, Major Whittemore, and my staff, we left the North America at anchor just below the forts, and joined the flotilla at about 3 o’clock p.m. At this moment the rebel flags of the forts were hauled down and the national colors run up; a part of the ceremony which was greeted by our men with nine hearty cheers.

Continuing on a short distance above the forts, towards some steamboats that were bows ashore, on the right bank, we took aboard from them about 200 prisoners of the rebel Navy and artillery, who had treacherously, and with that peculiar wantonness which characterizes the conspiracy from its origin, set fire to and blown up the iron-clad gunboat Louisiana, thus killing one of their own men in Fort Saint Philip and endangering the lives and property of their own people, as well as of the Government forces there present.

Landing with these prisoners at Fort Saint Philip, we proceeded to take possession of the forts and garrison them with about 200 men each, that of Fort Saint Philip, under Major Whittemore, of the Thirtieth Massachusetts, and that of Fort Jackson, under Captain Manning, of the Fourth Massachusetts Battery, the former relieving Lieutenant-Commander Nichols, and the latter Captain Renshaw, of the Navy. While thus employed the United States steam-frigate Mississippi, Capt. Melancton Smith, came down the river with Colonel Jones, of the Twenty-sixth Massachusetts, who reported that he had landed with his regiment at the quarantine from the outside, and had captured several hundred prisoners who were fleeing from the forts.

Commander Porter had alone accepted of the surrender of the forts, and had granted terms of capitulation to their defenders, allowing them to go at large on their parole, excepting those implicated in blowing up the Louisiana.

On the 29th I placed Colonel Deming in command of Fort Jackson, designing to garrison it with his regiment, and to occupy Fort Saint Philip with the Thirtieth Massachusetts, under Colonel Dudley. While thus occupied I received orders from the major-general commanding the department, in person, to withdraw my troops and proceed up the river, leaving the forts to be garrisoned by the Twenty-sixth Massachusetts. Accordingly the garrisons were withdrawn, excepting small guards to take charge of the prisoners and property, and we got under way at about sunset, the Farley preceding us by about half an hour.

I transmit herewith copies of the reports rendered by officers engaged in occupying the forts.* I may state, in conclusion, that the forts appeared to be abundantly provided with all the material, including commissary stores, necessary for a long defense. I had not time to effect a perfect enumeration of it, but in general terms I may say that the artillery and small-arms of Fort Saint Philip consisted of 43 guns en barbette, 1 13-inch mortar, 4 10-inch seacoast mortars, 3 pieces of light artillery, 1 10-inch and 1 8-inch siege mortars; in all, 53 cannon, and about 45 stand of muskets, with equipments. Some of these latter were from Springfield, of the date of 1861.

One important rifle gun, bearing on the position of the mortar fleet, had been broken by its own discharge. Another gun had been broken short off a foot or two back from the muzzle by a shot which struck {p.510} squarely against it; another, and the 13-inch mortar, had been dismounted. In other respects not much harm was done either to the armament or Fort Saint Philip.

The armament of Fort Jackson consisted of 45 heavy guns en barbette, 20 in casemate, 2 pieces of light artillery, and 6 mortars; in all, 73 cannon, and 509 stand of small-arms, with equipments.

Fort Jackson had been very much injured by the bombardment. Of the some 7,000 13-inch shells which had been thrown at it, besides other large shots from our gunboats, many had either struck within it or burst over it. It was in a great state of disorder, the brick barracks inside being destroyed by fire, the parapets and terre-plein much pitted and torn by the shells, and the work partly flooded with water. The country generally is so flooded that a ferry-boat is necessary to reach the counterscarp of the works. Of the artillery en barbette several pieces had been dismounted. Three instances are reported where casemate arches had been broken through.

Some of the defenders of the forts whom I particularly noticed had been members of the garrison during a period of fourteen months the forts having been seized by the conspirators as early as the 21st February, 1861; they seemed to be generally foreigners, heartily tired and disgusted with the thralldom under which they have so long labored, and well satisfied with their recovered liberty. The only question is whether they can maintain it now that it has been restored to them.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. W. PHELPS, Brigadier-General, First Brigade, Department of the Gulf.

Maj. GEORGE C. STRONG, Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Gulf.

* Not found

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No. 3.

Reports of Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, Camp Moore, La., April 26, 1862.

SIR: The bombardment of Fort Jackson, which commenced Friday, the 18th instant, was continued day and night until about 3 a.m. on the 24th, when the whole of the enemy’s fleet came up abreast the forts, and while a portion of them engaged our batteries and vessels the remainder passed under the fire, our men being greatly worn and exhausted with an incessant fight of six days. General Duncan and Colonel Higgins were in command of the troops.

I had just arrived in a river steamer and was about to disembark as the engagement commenced. When the enemy’s fleet passed I was satisfied that New Orleans could not be held for more than twenty-four hours; I therefore started at once for the city, in order to remove as many of the troops and as large a quantity of stores as possible. I was well aware that my batteries of 32-pounders at the lower levees, manned by inexperienced troops, could not detain for any length of time the heavy ships of war of the enemy armed with 9 and 11 inch guns.

I will state that when the current and drift had carried away the obstructions in the river I became convinced that a portion at least of their fleet would pass whenever the attempt was made, and had already {p.511} given orders to prepare for removal a large portion of the Government stores, directing cars and steamers to be held in readiness for that purpose. On my arrival at New Orleans I gave orders to the few regiments that I was organizing there to be ready to move, and had the larger portion of the Government property placed on the boats and cars and started north. In this manner a very inconsiderable portion of our stores was left behind. The guns on the levees about the city could not be removed for want of transportation. Moreover, as soon as it became known that the enemy had passed the forts, laborers refused to work, and the larger majority of persons declined to take any more Confederate notes for property bought.

On the morning of the 25th thirteen of the enemy’s ships engaged our batteries 5 miles below the city, and after two hours’ firing, during which time they drove the men from one battery and disabled the other, they passed up and anchored abreast the city. General Smith had a few companies of his brigade at these works. At 11 a.m. our last batteries were passed.

I immediately ordered the troops and stores to be sent off rapidly by rail towards Jackson, Miss.

At 3 p.m. Captain [Theodorus] Bailey and another officer of the Federal Navy came ashore and demanded the surrender of the city, and that the United States flag be put up on the principal public buildings.

I declined peremptorily to surrender, saying to Captain Bailey that while they were too strong for us on the water, I felt abundantly able to beat them on the land; but that, as I did not feel willing to subject to bombardment a city filled with the wives and children of absent soldiers, I should evacuate, with my command, and turn the city over to the mayor; that, if they were willing to consent to this proposition, I would quietly withdraw; if not, they might commence the bombardment at once.

He said he would report to his commander and at his request I sent two of my staff with them to their boat, to protect them from the people.

I then continued the removal of troops and stores, and left the city at 5 p.m. in the last train of cars. I have been unable to receive any report from Generals Duncan or Smith, so am unable to give any details further than above stated, but will communicate with the Department as soon as possible.

I shall probably fall back to Jackson to prevent the enemy from going up to Vicksburg and coming in rear of Beauregard.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

P. S.-SIR: I will add, as a postscript to my letter, that, as far as I could see, the river-defense boats, six in number, made a very poor show-want of discipline, system, and training. I had but a few regiments, apart from the miscellaneous and half-armed militia of the city, and think I shall endeavor to collect such men as I can from the various forts in the department and fall back to Jackson, to prevent the enemy, now in possession of the river, from getting in rear of Beauregard,by way of Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad. I write this in great haste and without any facilities or conveniences.

Respectfully,

M. L.

{p.512}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, Jackson, Miss., May 27, 1862.

SIR: Herewith I have the honor to inclose my report of events attendant upon the fall of New Orleans; also the reports of Generals Smith and Duncan. Accompanying the latter is a diagram of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, the reports of Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins and Captain Squires, and a report of the killed and wounded at these points.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, Vicksburg, Miss., May 22, 1862.

SIR: Herewith I have the honor to transmit the reports of Brigadier-Generals Duncan and Smith, with the accompanying documents, of the operations preceding and attendant upon the fall of New Orleans.

The Department is fully aware, from my official correspondence and telegraphic dispatches, of the exact nature of the defenses erected for the protection of that city, consisting, in general terms, of an exterior line of forts and earthworks, intended to prevent the entrance of the armed vessels of the enemy, and an interior line in the immediate vicinity of the city, which was constructed almost entirely with reference to repelling any attack made by land with infantry. Where this line crossed the river below the city it was intended to have a battery of twelve 32 and ten 42 pounders, which it was considered would enable us to drive back any small number of ships that might succeed in passing the obstructions at the forts under the fire of their guns; but whether sufficient or not, no more were to be had, and subsequently, at the earnest request of the naval authorities, I transferred the 42-pounders to the steamers Carondelet and Bienville for service on Lake Pontchartrain in connection with Forts Pike and Macomb.

Immediately after I assumed command of the departments finding that there were no guns of the heaviest caliber, I applied to Richmond, Pensacola, and other points for some 10-inch columbiads and seacoast mortars, which I considered necessary to the defense of the lower river, but none could be spared the general impression being that New Orleans would not be attacked by the river, and I was therefore compelled to make the best possible defense with the guns at my disposal. Twelve 42-pounders were sent to Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, together with a large additional quantity of powder, and being convinced that with the guns of inferior caliber mounted there we could not hinder steamers from passing unless they could be detained for some time under the fire of the works, I pushed forward rapidly the construction of a raft which offered a complete obstruction to the passage of vessels up the river, except through a small opening, and then only one at a time. The forts had seventy-five or eighty guns that could be brought successively to bear upon the river; were manned by garrisons of well-trained artillerists, affording a double relief to each gun, and commanded by officers who had no superiors in any service. Under these circumstances, although I feared that the high water in the spring, with the accompanying drift, would carry away the raft, yet every confidence {p.513} was felt that the river would remain closed until such time as the ironclad steamers Mississippi and Louisiana could be finished, which I was confidently informed would not be later than February 1.

The first raft constructed was not carried away by the high water and drift until the latter part of February; but with funds placed at my disposal by the citizens of New Orleans another was placed in position in March by the energetic labors of Colonel Higgins and others, and the position was again temporarily secure. No heavy guns had yet been received, although strenuous applications were made by me to get some from Pensacola when that place was abandoned. The general impression of all those to whom I applied was that the largest guns should be placed above New Orleans, not below (although I had notified the Department on March 22 that, in my judgment, the fleet only awaited the arrival of the mortar vessels to attempt to pass up the river from below). By means, however, of an energetic and persevering officer, Maj. W. P. Duncan, commissary of subsistence, three 10-inch columbiads and five mortars were finally procured and brought over just in time to be put up as the firing commenced.

Thinking that the enemy’s troops at Isle Breton were intended to land at quarantine and act in the rear of Fort Saint Philip, I ordered Colonel Szymanski’s regiment of ninety-days’ men, armed with shot-guns, to that point as a protection. I had likewise organized two companies of sharpshooters and swamp-hunters, under Captains Mullen and Lartigue, which were sent down for operation upon the enemy’s vessels from the banks of the river; but the high water, keeping the men day and night nearly waist deep in the water, soon compelled them to abandon their positions.

I will here state that every Confederate soldier in New Orleans, with the exception of one company, had been ordered to Corinth, to join General Beauregard in March, and the city was only garrisoned by about 3,000 ninety-day troops, called out by the governor at my request, of whom about 1,200 had muskets and the remainder shot-guns of an indifferent description.

The river rose rapidly in April and soon drove out Szymanski’s regiment, which was removed to the west bank, about 6 miles above Fort Jackson. The whole country became one vast sheet of water, which rose in the forts and covered places heretofore safe from its encroachments.

Under the tremendous pressure of this current and a storm of wind and rain the second raft was broken away on the night of Friday, April 11, two days before the enemy first opened fire. The fourteen vessels of Montgomery’s River Defense Expedition had been ordered by the Department, when completed, to be sent up to Memphis and Fort Pillow; but, believing the danger of attack to be greater from below, I detained six of them at New Orleans, of which change the Department was fully advised.

At my suggestion Governor Moore had also fitted up two steamers, which were sent to the forts below the city. A large number of fire rafts were also constructed and towed down, and two small steamers were employed for the special purpose of towing these rafts into position where they could be most effective, so as to leave the armed vessels free to operate against the enemy.

I telegraphed General Beauregard to send down the iron-clad ram Manassas, and when the Secretary of the Navy ordered the steamer Louisiana to be sent also up the river I protested through the War Department, being satisfied that we required more heavy guns below. {p.514}

She was eventually permitted to go down the river on Sunday, April 20, but not in a condition to use her motive power with effect. It was hoped that, notwithstanding this, she would be able to assume a position below Fort Saint Philip, discovering the location of the mortar boats, and, being herself proof against direct fire, dislodge the enemy with her guns, which were of very heavy caliber. Knowing also that the incessant bombardment kept General Duncan closely confined to Fort Jackson, so that he could give no orders to the river defense steamers, I placed the whole under the control of Captain Mitchell-the armed steamers as well as the tugs intended to tow down the fire rafts.

I will here state that the river-defense fleet proved a failure for the very reasons set forth in my letter to the Department of April 15. Unable to govern themselves, and unwilling to be governed by others, their almost total want of system, vigilance, and discipline rendered them nearly useless and helpless when the enemy finally dashed upon them suddenly on a dark night. I regret very much that the Department did not think it advisable to grant my request to place some competent-head in charge of these steamers.

Learning subsequently that the Louisiana was anchored above the forts and that the fire rafts were not sent down, I telegraphed Captain Mitchell, requesting him to attend to it, and afterwards called upon Commodore Whittle and entreated him to order the steamer to take the desired position below the forts. This he declined to do, but telegraphed Captain Mitchell, telling him to “strain a point to place the vessel there if in his judgment it was advisable.” No change, however, was made, and on the night of April 23 I went down myself in a steamboat, to urge Captain Mitchell to have the Louisiana anchored in the position indicated, and also to ascertain why the fire rafts were not sent down. A few moments after I arrived the attack commenced, and the enemy succeeded in passing with fourteen ships, as described in General Duncan’s report, and the battle of New Orleans, as against ships of war, was over.

I returned at once to the city, narrowly escaping capture, and, giving orders to General Smith, in command of the interior lines, to prepare to make all possible resistance to the enemy’s fleet at the earthwork batteries below the city, instructed Colonel Lovell to have several steamers ready to remove, as far as possible, the commissary and ordnance stores, being satisfied that the low developments at Chalmette could offer no protracted resistance to a powerful fleet whose guns, owing to the high water, looked down upon the surface of the country and could sweep away any number of infantry by an enfilading fire. These lines, as before remarked, were intended mainly to repel a land attack, but in a high stage of water were utterly untenable by infantry against guns afloat. It having been reported to me that a sufficient number of desperately bold men could easily be got together to board the enemy’s vessels and carry them by assault, I authorized Major James to seize such steamers as might be necessary for his purpose and to attempt it. He called for 1,000 men, by public advertisement, but being able to find but about 100 who would undertake it, he abandoned the project.

On the morning of the 25th the enemy’s fleet advanced upon the batteries and opened fire, which was returned with spirit by the troops-as long as their powder lasted, but with little apparent effect upon the enemy. The powder intended for this battery of 32-pounders had been transferred by me to the steamer Louisiana a few days before, under {p.515} the supposition that it would render much better service from her heavy rifles and shell guns than with a battery of light 32-pounders.

For the operations at these works you are respectfully referred to General Smith’s report.

The greater portion of the ordnance stores, provisions, and quartermaster’s property were sent from the city by rail or steamer, and a portion of the volunteers also took the cars for Camp Moore, 78 miles distant, on the Jackson Railroad. The greater part of the ninety-day troops disbanded and returned to their homes. There were two or three regiments and smaller bodies of men raised for Confederate service in the city at the time, but being entirely without arms of any kind, they could be of no service, and were also ordered to Camp Moore.

I adopted this course, recognizing the perfect absurdity of confronting more than 100 guns afloat of the largest caliber, well manned and served, and looking down upon the city, with less than 3,000 militia, mostly armed with indifferent shot-guns. It would, in my judgment, have been a wanton and criminal waste of the blood of women and children, without the most remote possibility of any good result, for the enemy had only to anchor one of his ships at Kenner to command the Jackson Railroad, and he could have reduced the city to ashes at his leisure, without our being able to make any resistance whatever (or without firing a shot he could have starved the city into a surrender in less than three weeks, as there was not more than eighteen days’ food on hand for the population, from which my troops were almost entirely drawn*). Why he did not occupy Kenner and cut off all exit from the city immediately I do not understand. Presuming that he would do so, as a matter of course, I had requested Captains Poindexter and Gwathmey, of the Navy, to have all the steamers ready in Lake Pontchartrain to carry the troops over to Madisonville, whence they could march to Camp Moore. A portion of them were taken over by this route.

Knowing that the enemy would at once seize the Opelousas Railroad, and thus cut off the troops occupying the works on the coast of West Louisiana, I sent orders to the different commanding officers at Forts Livingston, Guion, Quitman, Berwick, and Chène to destroy their guns, and, taking their small-arms, provisions, and ammunition, join me at Camp Moore.

Major Ivey brought away the troops at the two latter forts in a very creditable manner, but those at the other works became demoralized, disbanded, and returned to New Orleans. I gave verbal instructions to Colonel Fuller to have the garrisons of Forts Pike and Macomb, Batteries Bienvenue and Tower Dupré ready to move at a moment’s notice, as their posts were dependent on the city for provisions and frequently for water. It was understood that the naval steamers, in connection with other vessels in the lake, should bring away these garrisons when called upon to do so, and after my arrival at Camp Moore orders were given, on the 26th, to go for them, as I had been informed that Forts Jackson and Saint Philip had been surrendered.

Finding that this report was untrue, I immediately countermanded the orders, giving instructions that they should be held until further notice; but before either order could reach Madisonville it was reported to me that the whole command was already at Covington. I advised Captain Poindexter to make his way to Mobile, with his armed steamers; but he concluded to destroy them. We, however, procured from them some of the guns and ordnance stores, which I ordered immediately to Vicksburg, to be put in position there.

{p.516}

On the 25th Captain Bailey, of the Federal Navy, demanded the surrender of the city, and that the flags should be taken down, and the United States flag be put up over the mint, custom-house, and other public buildings.

To this demand I returned an unqualified refusal, declaring that I would not surrender the city or any portion of my command, but added that, feeling unwilling to subject the city to bombardment, and recognizing the utter impossibility of removing the women and children, I should withdraw my troops and turn it over to the civil authorities.

This I did in compliance with the openly-expressed opinion of all the prominent citizens around me, that it would be a useless waste of blood, without being productive of any beneficial results to the cause for the troops to remain.

Captain Bailey then returned to his ship, under escort through the city (at his own request) of two officers of my staff, Colonel Lovell and Major James, and I then advised the mayor not to surrender the city, nor to allow the flags to be taken down by any of our people, but to leave it to the enemy to take them down himself.

This advice was followed by the city authorities; but the idea being held out, in their subsequent correspondence with the Federal officers, that they were placed in a defenseless condition by the withdrawal of the troops, but for which a different course might be pursued, I promptly telegraphed to Major James, of my staff, then in the city, offering to return at once, with my command, if the citizens felt disposed to resist to the last extremity, and remain with them to the end.

I had deliberately made up my mind that, although such a step would be entirely indefensible in a military point of view, yet, if the people of New Orleans were desirous of signalizing their patriotism and devotion to the cause by the bombardment and burning of their city, I would return with my troops and not leave as long as one brick remained upon another. The only palliation for such an act would be that it would give unmistakable evidence to the world that our people were in deadly earnest.

This determination, plainly expressed in my dispatches to Major James (herewith transmitted, marked A), was read by him to the mayor and also to the city council in the presence of one or more prominent citizens. The opinion was generally and freely expressed by the mayor and others that the troops ought not to return. (See report of Major James, hereunto appended, marked B.)

I went to the city myself, however, on the night of April 28, and, in order that there might be no mistake, made the same proposition in person to the mayor. He said he did not think it advisable for the troops to return; that such a step would only be followed by a useless sacrifice of life without any corresponding benefit, and urged decidedly that it be not done.

I, however, addressed him a letter (herewith appended, marked C), declaring my willingness to return and share a bombardment with them, and waited until the night of the 29th for an answer; but, receiving none in writing, returned to Camp Moore. The same proposition was made by me in the course of the day to several prominent citizens, but was invariably discountenanced by them.

For a week after the withdrawal of the troops I had a number of officers in the city and kept trains running regularly, which brought out a large amount of Government property and stores, as well as those of the State of Louisiana. Nearly everything was brought away except the heavy guns and some property which persons in their flight had destroyed, {p.517} and everything might have been saved had not persons refused to work for my officers, fearing that they might be subjected to punishment by the enemy. Many also refused to work for Confederate money, which occasioned some delay and difficulty in the removal of stores.

I feel gratified, however, in being able to state that we brought away all the troops that would leave, and, including the property of the State, a greater amount in value than belonged to the Government. What we failed to bring was from inability to get transportation.

In this duty I was mainly assisted by Colonel Lovell Majors James and Bell, Captain Venable, and Lieutenant McDonald, to whom the Government is greatly indebted for the safety of much valuable property.

It was a source of great distress to me to see the result of months of toil and labor swept away in a few hours; but it was, in my opinion, mainly attributable to the following causes, which I could not by any possibility control:

1st. The want of sufficient number of guns of heavy caliber, which every exertion was made to procure without success.

2d. The unprecedented high water, which swept away the obstructions upon which I mainly relied, in connection with the forts, to prevent the passage of a steam fleet up the river; and

3d. The failure, through inefficiency and want of energy of those who had charge of the construction of the iron-clad steamers Louisiana and Mississippi to have them completed in the time specified so as to supply the place of obstructions; and, finally, the declension of the officers in charge of the Louisiana to allow her, though not entirely ready, to be placed as a battery in the position indicated by General Duncan and myself. On these last points I could only advise and suggest, as they appertained to a separate and independent department, over which I had no control whatever. (See letter of Major James, hereunto appended, marked D.)

Opened fire on April 13, which was kept up at intervals for five days, when the mortars opened, and from that time, with but a single intermission of a few hours, a bombardment was kept up for seven days and nights, which for great rapidity and wonderful accuracy of range has no parallel. More than 25,000 shells were thrown, of which not less than one-third fell within the limits of Fort Jackson; yet the garrisons held out, although wet, without change of clothing, and exhausted for want of rest and regular food, with a heroic endurance which is beyond all praise. That the enemy succeeded in passing a large portion of his fleet by the flats on a dark night, under a heavy fire, is due to no fault of the garrisons of the forts. They did their whole duty nobly and heroically, and had they been seconded as they should have been by the defenses afloat, we should not have had to record the fall of New Orleans.

To the officers of my staff, who underwent months of severe and arduous labor collecting supplies, creating resources, with the most limited means, and preparing all sorts of materials and munitions of war by ingenious make-shifts, I return my warmest thanks. Left in the city with a small force of badly-armed militia, all opportunity for distinction or glory was cut off, yet they never flagged in their zeal and devotion to the cause. When the country knows all that was done and in what disadvantage it was accomplished, I feel confident that its verdict will do ample justice to those who shared equally in the labors of preparation, while they were denied the glory of taking part in the defense.

{p.518}

The battle for the defense of New Orleans was fought and lost at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.

The extraordinary and remarkable conduct of the garrisons of these forts, in breaking out in open mutiny after covering themselves with glory by their heroic defense, is one of those strange anomalies for which I do not pretend to account. The facts are recorded and speak for themselves. The causes will probably never be known in full.

For the detailed accounts of the bombardment of the forts and the engagements at the time of the passage of the fleets by them and the batteries at Chalmette, you are respectfully referred to the accompanying reports of Generals Duncan and Smith. There were no batteries except at these two points, for the reason that no guns could be procured to place in them.

I had frequent occasion to regret that it was found impossible to give me control of the defenses afloat as well as ashore. A single controlling head might have made all the resources more available and efficient in working out the desired results.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.

* See General Lovell’s letter of June 18, 1863, p. 518.

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RICHMOND, VA., June 18, 1863.

SIR: Observing several errors in the printed copy of my report of the evacuation of New Orleans, I compared it with the copy on file in your office and the latter with the original in my possession. I find an omission in the office copy, and have the honor to request that the proper alteration may be made, as without it the pertinency of the succeeding sentence is not apparent.

The following words were omitted after the word “whatever,” on page 8, line 20, viz,” or without firing a shot he could have starved the city into a surrender in less than three weeks, as there was not more than eighteen days’ food on hand for the population, from which my troops were almost entirely drawn.”*

By giving this attention you will much oblige, respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, &c.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* Correction made in the text.

[Inclosure A.]

CAMP MOORE, LA., April 28, 1862.

If the people are willing to stand the result, I will bring 4,500 men down as soon as I can give them arms and powder, and stay as long as a brick remains. It is their interest I am endeavoring to consult, not the safety of my men. I have nothing but infantry and two batteries of field artillery, which would be of no use against ships. I will come down myself if they wish it, and bring the men along as fast as ready. They are newly-raised regiments, and are being now armed and equipped, as you know. Can begin to bring them down to-morrow if that is the {p.519} desire of the citizens. Shall I come down myself to-night? Will do so if I can be of any assistance, and leave General Smith to complete the organization, and bring down the five regiments when ready. The citizens must decide as to the consequences. I will come, if it is wished, cheerfully.

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

Major JAMES, New Orleans, La.

CAMP MOORE, LA., April 28, 1862.

I shall start down myself; with an aide, now, and am perfectly ready, if it is the desire of the city,to hold it to the end. It is for them to say, not me.

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

Major JAMES, New Orleans, La.

[Inclosure B.]

JACKSON, MISS., May 24, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that while I was in the city of New Orleans, on April 27, executing your orders, to assist in removing the Government and State property, and while the negotiations were going on between the city authorities and the Federal officers for the surrender, I was informed that the nature of the replies to the naval commander was such as to throw some censure upon yourself for leaving them, as the mayor styled it, without military protection. I deemed it my duty to advise you of this immediately, the result of which was the inclosed dispatches from you, offering to return with your troops and afford them all the protection in your power, but that the responsibility of any results that might ensue must rest upon the citizens themselves.

I read your dispatches to the city council, which was then in session, in the presence of Mr. Pierre Soulé, who happened to be there at the time. That gentleman, who seemed to speak for the mayor and council, most emphatically declared that you ought not to return with your troops, as did also the mayor and members of the council. Several of them, however, declared that they would be glad to have you return alone and see matters for yourself, to which effect I telegraphed you.

You came to the city that evening with a single aide-de-camp and went with me to the mayor’s house, where you, in my presence, told him that the citizens of New Orleans should have no cause to say that they were obliged to submit for want of military protection; that you were ready and willing to bring your whole command into the city within twenty-four hours and undergo a bombardment with them if that was their desire; that you had withdrawn to enable the citizens to decide the matter for themselves, as it was they and not you who had their families and property at stake. In reply, the mayor earnestly declined your offer, stating that you had done all in your power, and that it would be a useless waste of life to bring the troops into the city. He also urged you by all means to retire from the city for your own safety, and subsequently asked me to persuade you to leave as soon as possible, as he would be hung if the United States authorities found you were at his house.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

S. L. JAMES, Volunteer Aide-de-Camp.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., April 29, 1862.

SIR: When the enemy, having succeeded in passing our defenses on the river with his fleet, anchored abreast the city, it was apparent that the infantry troops under my command could offer no effectual resistance, and their presence would only serve as a pretext and a justification for them to open their guns upon a city crowded with women and children, whom it was impossible to remove.

Under these circumstances I determined at once to withdraw my troops and leave it to the citizens themselves to agree upon the course of action to be pursued in relation to the welfare of their families and property.

I now beg leave to say that, if it is the determination of the people of the city to hold it at any and all hazards, I will return with my troops and share the danger with them. That my return will be followed by bombardment, is in my opinion certain, but if that is the conclusion come to, I will afford all the protection in my power.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. JOHN T. MUNROE, Mayor of New Orleans.

[Inclosure D.]

CAMP MOORE, LA., April 30, 1862.

GENERAL: At your request, upon my return from Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, I accompanied you to call upon Commodore [W. C.] Whittle, of the Navy, at his headquarters in New Orleans, for the purpose of getting that officer, if possible, to place the iron-clad gunboat Louisiana in a position below Forts Jackson and Saint Philip from which she could enfilade the position of the enemy’s mortar fleet and drive them from it, thereby relieving the forts, for a time at least, from the heavy bombardment then going on, which would allow Brigadier-General Duncan to make such repairs as were necessary, and, what was equally necessary, give the garrisons some rest.

The position designated for the vessel to be placed in was in an eddy upon the Fort Saint Philip side of the river, and under the protection of the guns of both forts, and entirely out of the line of the bombardment, and it would require a change of position of the mortar fleet to enable them to strike the vessel with shell, if she could have been struck at all.

All these facts were fully explained by yourself to Commodore Whittle, and he was requested by you by all means to place the vessel in question in said position, even if she was lost, as the maintaining the position then held by your troops in the forts, without this assistance, was merely a question of time.

To this earnest appeal upon your part Commodore Whittle telegraphed to Commander [J. K.] Mitchell, of the fleet stationed just above the forts, to strain a point, if; in his judgment, it was necessary, to comply with your request, and place the Louisiana in the position before spoken of. As the result shows, the request of Commodore Whittle to Commander Mitchell was not complied with.

I make this statement voluntarily, in order that, if ever the question of the defenses of New Orleans should arise, you can have every evidence {p.521} to show that it was not certainly the want of proper exertions on the part of the land forces which caused the fall of New Orleans.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. JAMES, Volunteer Aide-de-Camp.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, Commanding Department No. 1.

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No. 4.

Report of Brig. Gen. Johnson K. Duncan, C. S. Army, of the bombardment and surrender of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.

NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 30, 1862.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the bombardment of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, La., from April 16 to 24:

About March 27 I was informed by Lieut. Col. E. Higgins, commanding Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, composing a part of the coast defenses under my command, that the enemy’s fleet was crossing the bars and entering the Mississippi River in force. In consequence I repaired at once to that post, to assume the general command of the threatened attack upon New Orleans, which I had always anticipated would be made from that quarter.

Upon my arrival I found that Fort Jackson was suffering severely from transpiration and backwater, occasioned by the excessive rise in the river and the continued prevalence of strong easterly winds. Notwithstanding every effort which could be made the water kept daily increasing upon us, partly owing to the sinking of the entire site and to the natural lowness of the country around it, until the parade plain and casemates were very generally submerged to a depth of from 3 to 18 inches. It was with the utmost difficulty, and only then by isolating the magazines and by pumping day and night, that the water could be kept out of them.

As the officers and men were all obliged to live in these open and submerged casemates, they were greatly exposed to discomfort and sickness, as their clothing and feet were always wet. The most of their clothing and blankets, besides, were lost by the fire hereinafter mentioned. Fort Saint Philip, from the same causes, was in a similar condition, but to a lesser extent.

No attention having been previously paid to the repeated requisitions for guns of heavy caliber for these forts, it became necessary, in their present condition; to bring in and mount and to build the platforms for the three 10-inch and three 8-inch columbiads, the rifled 42-pounder, and the five 10-inch seacoast mortars recently obtained from Pensacola on the evacuation of that place, together with the two rifled 7-inch guns temporarily borrowed from the naval authorities in New Orleans. It was also found necessary to prepare the old water battery to the rear of and below Fort Jackson, which had never been completed, for the reception of a portion of these guns, as well as to construct mortar-proof magazines and shell-rooms within the same.

In consequence also of the character of the expected attack by heavy mortars, it was deemed advisable to cover all the main magazines at both forts with sand bags to a considerable depth, to protect them against a vertical fire.

{p.522}

After great exertions, cheerfully made by both officers and men, and by working the garrisons by reliefs night and day, this work was all accomplished by April 13. No sooner had the two rifled 7-inch navy guns been placed in position, however, than orders arrived to dismount one of them immediately, and to send the same to the city at once, to be placed on board of the iron-clad steamer Louisiana. I strongly remonstrated against this removal by telegraph, but was informed, in reply, that the orders were imperative, and that the gun must be sent without fail. It was accordingly sent, but with great difficulty, owing to the overflow and the other causes stated.

The garrisons of both forts were greatly fatigued and worn-out by these labors, performed as they were under pressure and within sight of the enemy and owing to the many discomforts and disadvantages we were laboring under in consequence of high water.

In the mean time I had called upon the general commanding the department for two regiments, to be stationed at the quarantine buildings, 6 miles above the forts, to act as a reserve force and to co-operate with the forts in case of a combined land and water attack. I also asked for Capt. W. G. Mullen’s company of scouts and sharpshooters, to be stationed in the woods below Fort Jackson, on the right bank of the river, for the purpose of picking off the officers and men from the enemy’s vessels when assuming their several positions of attack.

Captain Mullen’s company, of about 125 men, was sent down as requested, and stationed in part in the point of woods below Fort Jackson, and the remainder on the Fort Saint Philip side, opposite the raft obstructing the river.

The Chalmette Regiment, consisting of about 500 men, Colonel Szymanski commanding, was sent to the quarantine. A part of it was stationed there, and company detachments were placed at the heads of the several canals leading from the river into the bays back of the same, to guard against a land force being thrown in launches above us.

Four steamers of the river fleet protected, and to a certain extent made shot-proof; with cotton bulkheads, and prepared with iron prows, to act as rams, viz, the Warrior, Stonewall Jackson, Defiance, and Resolute, commanded by Captains Stephenson, Philips, McCoy, and Hooper, respectively, were sent down to report to and cooperate with me. The steamers Governor Moore and General Quitman, prepared as those before mentioned, and commanded by Capt. B. Kennon and A. Grant, were sent down in a like manner, to co-operate with the forts and ram such vessels of the enemy as might succeed in passing.

The naval authorities also sent down the Confederate States steam ram Manassas, Captain [A. F.] Warley, C. S. Navy, commanding. She was stationed a short distance above Fort Jackson, with her steam up constantly, to act against the enemy as the occasion might offer.

Subsequently, also, Capt. F. B. Renshaw, C. S. Navy, arrived, in command of the Confederate States steamer Jackson.

The raft of logs and chains which had formerly been placed across the river having proven a failure upon the rise in the stream and consequent increase of the velocity of the drift-bearing current, a new obstruction had been placed across the river, opposite Fort Jackson, by Lieut. Col. E. Higgins prior to his assumption of the command of the forts. This consisted of a line of schooners anchored at intervals, with bows up stream, and thoroughly chained together amidships, as well as stem and stern. The rigging, ratlins, and cables were left to trail astern of these schooners, as an additional impediment, to tangle in the propeller wheels of the enemy.

{p.523}

The schooner raft was seriously damaged by the wind-storm on April 10 and 11, which parted the chains, scattered the schooners, and materially affected its character and effectiveness as an obstruction. In addition to the wind, the raft was also much damaged by allowing some of the fire barges to get loose and drift against it, through the carelessness of those having them in charge. A large number of these fire barges were tied to the banks above both forts, ready at all times to be towed into the current and against the enemy, for the double purpose of firing his ships and to light up the river by night to insure the accuracy of our fire.

My instructions to the river fleet, under Captain Stephenson (see attached document A), were to lie in stream above the raft, with such boats as had stern guns, in order to assist the forts with their fire in case the enemy should attempt the passage, as well as to turn in and ram at all hazards all such vessels as might succeed in getting above the raft. He was also required to take entire control of the fire barges (see attached document B), to reconnoiter the enemy above the Head of the Passes, and to keep a watch boat below every night, near the point of woods, to signal the approach of the enemy. The accompanying diagram will illustrate all the points referred to in this report.

The same instructions were given to Captains Kennon and Grant, and upon his arrival Captain Renshaw was duly informed of the arrangements made, in which he promised heartily to co-operate.

While the enemy remained at the Head of the Passes, 22 1/2 miles below the forts, and subsequently, when he came up to the Jump, or Wilder’s Bayou, the boats of the river fleet took turns in running down and watching his movements. For a few nights, also, at this time one of them was kept below as a guard boat. We had telegraphic communication, besides, down to within half a mile of the Jump, 9 miles below the forts, which, together with scouts operating in the bays to the east and west of the river in skiffs and pirogues, kept us duly posted meanwhile of the enemy’s movements below as far down as the Southwest Pass.

The enemy was not idle in the interim. His larger vessels were worked over the Southwest Bar after failing to make an entrance at Pass à l’Outre, and the mortar fleet was brought up as far as the Southwest Pilot Station, where the mortars were scaled and afterward tested. From seven to thirteen steam sloops of war and gunboats were constantly kept at the Head of the Passes or at the Jump, to cover his operations below and to prevent our observing his movements by way of the river. By gradual and regular approaches he carefully closed upon the forts day by day, and opened the attack as hereinafter detailed.

April 9.-One of our reconnoitering steamers was chased and followed up by two of the enemy’s gunboats as far as the point of woods below Fort Jackson, but was soon forced to retire by a few shots from our batteries. This was his first reconnaissance, and our fire was not returned.

April 13.-Several of the hostile gunboats again came up to make observations. They would occasionally show themselves singly or in pairs above the point of woods and exchange a few shots with the forts and then retire again behind the point. Our sharpshooters obtained a few shots on this occasion, but with very partial success, owing to the lowness of the country and the extreme rise in the river. Many of the men were up to their waists in water, and in consequence sickness prevailed among them and unfitted them for duty. The enemy spent {p.524} the principal part of the day in firing grape and canister and in shelling the woods to drive them out. This was repeated the following day, the enemy not coming within range or sight of the forts, but confining himself to shelling the woods below. The sharpshooters were all driven out by this second day’s firing. Our telegraphic communication below was also broken up, as the wires were removed and many of the posts cut and torn down by the enemy.

There being no other point above or below where the sharpshooters could profitably act in that capacity, and as many of them were unfit for duty from exposure, I deemed it advisable to dispense with their services and send them to the city, which was accordingly done.

It being of the highest importance, however, to keep up the telegraphic connection below, Lieut. T. J. Royster, company of sappers and miners Twenty-second Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, volunteered his services, with 15 men of his company, to act as sharpshooters in pirogues, and cover the operator in repairing the line and re-establishing the connection with the forts above as well as to annoy the enemy.

This also failed from the great difficulty of managing the pirogues effectively in the dense undergrowth of the swampy woods below, and the telegraph and the sharpshooters had to be abandoned in consequence.

April 15.-The enemy brought up his whole fleet, extending the same from the Head of the Passes to the point of woods below the forts.

Orders were repeatedly given to Captain Stephenson, of the river fleet, to cause the fire barges to be sent down nightly upon the enemy; but every attempt seemed to prove a perfect abortion, the barges being cut adrift too soon, so that they drifted against the banks directly under the forts, firing our wharves and lighting us up, but obscuring the position of the enemy. In consequence, I turned the control of them, as well as the boats employed to tow them into the stream, over to Captain Renshaw, the senior naval officer present. I also directed Captains Kennon and Grant to report to him for orders, as I found great difficulty in communicating with or controlling the vessels afloat, and directed Captain Stephenson, with his four boats, to co-operate with Captain Renshaw in every possible way. These boats of the river fleet, it seemed, could not be turned over directly to the immediate command of naval officers, owing to certain conditions imposed by the Navy Department.

April 16.-From 7.30 a.m. the enemy’s gunboats came around the point repeatedly for observation, but were invariably forced to retire by our fire. In the mean time he was locating the position of the mortar flotilla, composed of twenty-one schooners, each mounting one 13-inch mortar and other guns, close against the bank on the Fort Jackson side and behind the point of woods.

At 4.15 p.m. the enemy ran out a gunboat and fired upon the fort, under the cover of which two of the mortar-boats were brought out into the stream.

These boats opened fire upon Fort Jackson at 5 p.m., which was continued for an hour and a half, the enemy under our fire retiring behind the point of woods.

April 17.-One fire barge sent down successfully against the enemy at 4 a.m., which drifted in among his vessels and was fired upon by them, creating considerable movement and perturbation.

During the day Captains Renshaw, Beverly Kennon, Grant, Stephenson, and Hooper passed in turns with their boats below the raft, {p.525} now very much disconnected and scattered, and exchanged a few shots with the hostile gunboats and mortar boats.

Two more abortive attempts were made to send down fire barges against the enemy during the night.

April 18.-At 9 a.m. the enemy opened upon Fort Jackson with his entire mortar fleet of twenty-one vessels and with rifled guns from his gunboats. Fifteen of them were concealed behind the point of woods and the other six hauled out in the stream at an angle with them (see diagram), just at the extreme range of our heaviest guns. Our fire disabled one gunboat and one mortar boat, causing those in the stream to retire behind the cover of the woods. Generally our shots fell short for lack of elevation and in consequence of the inferiority of our powder compared to that of the enemy. Even our nearest gun, a 10-inch seacoast mortar, would not reach his boats with the heaviest charges.

The enemy ceased firing at 7 p.m., having fired this day 2,997 mortar shells.

The quarters in the bastions were fired and burned down early in the day, as well as all the quarters immediately without the fort. The citadel was set on fire and extinguished several times during the first part of the day, but later it became impossible to put out the flames, so that when the enemy ceased firing it was one burning mass, greatly endangering the magazines, which at one time were reported to be on fire. Many of the men and most of the officers lost their bedding and clothing by these fires, which greatly added to the discomforts of the overflow. The mortar fire was accurate and terrible, many of the shells falling everywhere within the fort and disabling some of our best guns.

I endeavored to get the naval forces to carry down fire barges against the enemy so as to disperse them, but they were all let go above the raft and with such a lack of judgment that they only lodged under the forts and did not reach the enemy. (See attached document C.)

None of the boats acted as a guard boat below the raft at night, so that, in consequence, the enemy sent up two launches to examine the character of the raft obstructing the river.

April 19.-The mortar fleet again opened at 6 a.m. and the fire was constantly kept up throughout the day. Gunboats constantly came above the point during the day to engage the forts, but were as constantly driven back by our fire. One of them we crippled, which was towed behind the point of woods. The enemy’s fire was excellent, a large proportion of his shells falling within Fort Jackson. The terreplein, parade plain, parapets, and platforms were very much cut up, as well as much damage done to the casemates. The magazines were considerably threatened, and one shell passed through into the casemate containing fixed ammunition. One 10-inch and one 8-inch columbiad, one 32 and one 24 pounder, and one 10-inch siege-mortar were disabled in the main work, also two rifled 32-pounders in the water battery. Bombardment continued very regularly and accurately all night. Failures again were made in sending down fire barges.

April 20.-Some rain in the morning. Bombardment constant throughout the day, with occasional shots from the gunboats around the point. Wind very high. No fire barges sent down to light up the river or distract the attention of the enemy at night. In consequence, between 11 and 12 p.m., under cover of the heaviest shelling during the bombardment thus far, one of the enemy’s gunboats came up in the darkness and attempted to cut the chains of the raft and drag off the schooners. A heavy fire was opened upon her, which caused her to {p.526} retire, but not until she had partially accomplished her purpose. The raft after this could not be regarded as an obstruction. The fire continued uninterruptedly all night.

April 21.-Firing continued all day and night without interruption. Several guns were disabled. Disabled guns were repaired as far as practicable as often as accidents happened to them or their platforms. Fort Jackson by this time was in need of extensive repairs almost everywhere, and it was with extreme pleasure that we learned of the arrival during the night of the iron-clad steamer Louisiana, under the cover of whose heavy guns we expected to make the necessary repairs.

April 22.-By the direction of the major-general commanding the department everything afloat, including the tow-boats and the entire control of the fire barges, was turned over to Capt. John K. Mitchell, C. S. Navy, commanding the Confederate States naval forces Lower Mississippi River. I also gave Captain Mitchell 150 of our best men from Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, under Lieutenants Dixon and Gaudy and Captain Ryan, to serve a portion of the guns of the Louisiana and to act as sharpshooters on the same vessel.

In an interview with Captain Mitchell, on the morning of this date, I learned that the motive power of the Louisiana was not likely to be completed within any reasonable time, and that in consequence it was not within the range of probabilities that she could be regarded as an aggressive steamer or that she could be brought into the pending action in that character. As an iron-clad invulnerable floating battery, with sixteen guns of the heaviest caliber, however, she was then as complete as she would ever be.

Fort Jackson had already undergone and was still subjected to a terrible fire of 13-inch mortar shells, which it was necessary to relieve at once to prevent the disabling of all the best guns at that fort, and, although Fort Saint Philip partially opened out the point of woods concealing the enemy and gallantly attempted to dislodge him or draw his fire, he nevertheless doggedly persisted in his one main object of battering Fort Jackson. Under these circumstances I considered that the Louisiana could only be regarded as a battery, and that her best possible position would be below the raft, close in on the Fort Saint Philip shore, where her fire could dislodge the mortar boats from behind the point of woods and give sufficient respite to Fort Jackson to repair in extenso. This position (X on the accompanying diagram) would give us three direct cross-fires upon the enemy’s approaches and at the same time insure the Louisiana from a direct assault, as she would be immediately under the guns of both forts. Accordingly, I earnestly and strongly urged these views upon Captain Mitchell in a letter of this date (copy lost), but without avail, as will be seen by his reply, attached as document D.

Being so deeply impressed myself with the importance of this position for the Louisiana and of the necessity of prompt action in order to in sure the success of the impending struggle, I again urged this subject upon Captain Mitchell, during the latter part of the same day, as absolutely indispensable and imperative to the safety of New Orleans and to the control of the Lower Mississippi. My efforts were ineffectual to get him to move the boat from her original position above the forts. His reply is attached as document E, in which he is sustained by all the naval officers present having the command of vessels.

I also addressed him two other notes through the day-one in regard to sending fire barges against the enemy and the other relative to keeping a vigilant lookout from all his vessels, and asking for co-operation {p.527} should the enemy attempt to pass daring the night. (See attached document F.)

Bombardment continued throughout the day and night, being at times very heavy. During the day our fire was principally confined to shelling the point of woods from both forts, and apparently with good results, as the mortar fire was slackened towards evening. The casemates were very much cut up by the enemy’s fire, which was increased at night.

There was little or no success in sending down fire barges as usual, owing in part to the condition of the tow-boats Mosher, Music, and Belle Algerine, in charge of the same, explained by attached document G. This does not excuse the neglect, however, as there were six boats of the river fleet available for this service, independent of those alluded to, and fire barges were plentiful.

April 23.-The day broke warm, clear, and cloudless. No immediate relief being looked for from our fleet, the entire command was turned out to repair damages under a very heavy fire of the enemy.

The bombardment continued without intermission throughout the day, but slackened off about 12 m., at which hour there was every indication of an exhaustion on the part of the mortar flotilla; hence it became evident that the tactics of the enemy would necessarily be changed into an attack with broadsides by his larger vessels. In consequence, these views were laid before Captain Mitchell, and he was again urged to place the Louisiana at the point before mentioned, below the raft and near the Fort Saint Philip bank of the river, to meet the emergency. (See attached document H.) Captain Mitchell’s reply is attached, in documents E, I, J. and K, wherein he positively declines again to assume the only position which offered us every possible chance of success, and Captains [Chas. F.] McIntosh, [Thomas B.] Huger, and Warley sustain Captain Mitchell in his views of the case.

Just before sundown, under a very heavy mortar fire, the enemy sent up a small boat, and a series of white flags were planted on the Fort Saint Philip bank of the river, commencing about 350 yards above the lone tree upon that shore. (See diagram.)

This confirmed my previous views of an early and different attack from the usual mortar bombardment, especially as I presumed that these flags indicated the positions to be taken up by the several vessels in their new line of operations.

As nothing was to be expected from the Louisiana after the correspondence during the day, I could only inform Captain Mitchell of this new movement of the enemy (see attached document L), and particularly impress upon him the necessity of keeping the river well lit up with fire barges, to act as an impediment to the enemy and assist the accuracy of our fire in a night attack.

Lieutenant [Geo. S.] Shryock, C. S. Navy (Captain Mitchell’s aide), came on shore about 9 p.m. to inform me that the Louisiana would be ready for service by the next evening-the evening of the 24th. I informed him that time was everything to us and that to-morrow would in all probability prove too late. Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins warmly seconded my opinion, and warned Lieutenant Shryock that the final battle was imminent within a few hours.

In regard to lighting the river lieutenant Shryock stated that fire barges would be regularly sent down throughout the night every two hours and as none had been sent up to that hour (9.30 p.m.), he left, informing me that this matter would be attended to as soon as he arrived on board. To my utter surprise not one single fire barge was sent down the river, notwithstanding, at any hour of this night. It was {p.528} impossible for us to send them down, as everything afloat had been turned over to Captain Mitchell, by order of the major-general commanding, and the fire barges and the boats to tow them into the stream were exclusively under his control. In consequence of this criminal neglect the river remained in complete darkness throughout the entire night. The bombardment continued all night and grew furious towards morning.

April 24.-At 3.30 a.m. the larger vessels of the enemy were observed in motion, and, as we presumed, to take up the positions indicated by the small flags planted by them on the previous evening. I then made my last and final appeal to Captain Mitchell, a copy of which is attached as document M.

The Louisiana was still in her old position above Fort Saint Philip, surrounded by her tenders, on board of which was the majority of her cannoneers and crew, and the other boats of the fleet were generally at anchor above her, excepting the Jackson, Captain Renshaw, C. S. Navy, commanding, which had been sent the day before at my suggestion to prevent the landing of forces through the canals above.

The McRae lay near and above the Louisiana, and the steam ram Manassas, with her tender, remained in her constant position above Fort Jackson, both with steam up and ready for immediate action.

The enemy evidently anticipated a strong demonstration to be made against him with fire barges. Finding, upon his approach, however, that no such demonstration was made, and that the only resistance offered to his passage was the expected fire of the forts (the broken and scattered raft being then no obstacle), I am satisfied that he was suddenly inspired for the first time to run the gauntlet at all hazards although not a part of his original design. Be this as it may, a rapid rush was made by him in column of twos en échelon, so as not to interfere with each other’s broadsides.

The mortar fire upon Fort Jackson was furiously increased, and in dashing by each vessel delivered broadside after broadside of shot, shell, grape, canister, and spherical case to drive the men from our guns.

Both the officers and men stood up manfully under this galling and fearful hail, and the batteries of both forts were promptly opened at their longest range with shot, shell, hot shot, and a little grape, and most gallantly and rapidly fought until the enemy succeeded in getting above and beyond our range.

The absence of light on the river, together with the smoke of the guns, made the obscurity so intense, that scarcely a vessel was visible, and in consequence the gunners were obliged to govern their firing entirely by the flashes of the enemy’s guns.

I am fully satisfied that the enemy’s dash was successful mainly owing to the cover of darkness, as a frigate and several gunboats were forced to retire as day was breaking. Similar results had attended every previous attempt made by the enemy to pass or to reconnoiter when we had sufficient light to fire with accuracy and effect.

The passage by was of short duration, having been accomplished between 3.30 a.m. and daylight, under a very rapid and heavy pressure of steam.

Of the part taken in this action by the Louisiana, Manassas, and other vessels comprising the co-operative naval forces, I cannot speak with any degree of certainty, excepting that the Louisiana is reported to have fired but twelve shots during the engagement; but to the heroic and gallant manner in which Captain Huger handled and fought the McRae we can all bear evidence.

{p.529}

The Defiance, Captain McCoy commanding, was the only vessel saved out of the river fleet.

Shortly after daylight the Manassas was observed drifting down by the forts. She had been abandoned and fired, and was evidently in a sinking condition.

The McRae was considerably cut up in this action by shot and grape. The Resolute was run on shore about a mile above the forts, where she hoisted a white flag, but by the prompt action of the McRae she was prevented from falling into the hands of the enemy. She was subsequently wrecked and burned.

The Warrior was run ashore and fired on the point just above Fort Saint Philip.

Nothing was known by us of the movements of the Stonewall Jackson, the Governor Moore or the General Quitman.

The steamers Mosher, Music, and Belle Algerine, in charge of the fire barges, were all destroyed. So also was the Star.

The heroic courage displayed by the officers and men at both forts was deserving of a better success, especially after the fortitude which they constantly exhibited through the long tedium of a protracted bombardment, unsurpassed for its terrible accuracy, constancy, and fury.

Thirteen of the enemy’s vessels out of twenty-three succeeded in getting by, viz: The Hartford, Pensacola, Richmond, Brooklyn, Mississippi, Oneida, Iroquois, Cayuga, Wissahickon, Sciota, Kineo, Katahdin, and Pinola.

In addition to the foregoing and to the Varuna and such other vessels as were sunk, there were 6 gunboats and 1 frigate engaged in this action besides the mortar flotilla. Heavy chains were flaked along the sides of the most of these vessels as an iron-proof protection.

The extent of the damage which was done to the enemy we had no means of ascertaining.

The vessels which passed all came to an anchor at or below the quarantine, 6 miles above the forts, where they remained until about 10 a.m., when they all passed slowly up the river, with the exception of two gunboats, left at the quarantine as a guard.

Shortly after the fleet above got under way a gunboat from below made her appearance with a flag of truce, and verbally demanded the surrender of the forts in the name of Commander D. D. Porter, U. S. Navy, commanding the mortar flotilla, under the penalty of reopening the bombardment (which had ceased shortly after the passage) in case of refusal.

The demand was rejected, and the bombardment was reopened about 12 m. It continued until near sundown, when it ceased altogether. The entire mortar fleet and all the other vessels except six gunboats then got under way, and passed down the river and out of sight under full steam and sail. A vigilant lookout was kept up above and below during the night, but all remained quiet. So long as the mortar fleet remained below, the position wherein the Louisiana could render the greatest assistance to the forts was the one below Fort Saint Philip, hereinbefore mentioned, where the fire of her batteries could dislodge the enemy from behind the point of woods.

After the mortar fleet had left, however, and when the enemy had got in force above the forts, the question was materially changed, in consequence of the fact that all of our heavy guns at both forts had been mounted to bear upon the lower approaches and not on those above. The most effective position which the Louisiana could then take as a battery was in the fight above Fort Jackson, where her guns could protect {p.530} our rear and sweep the long reach of river above towards the quarantine. This would still insure her safety, as she would be under the guns of both forts. This is evident by a reference to the point (XX) on the diagram.*

In several personal interviews and by correspondence with Captain Mitchell, on this date (see attached documents N, O, P, Q, and R), I requested him during the morning of the 24th, while the mortar fleet was below, to place the Louisiana below the raft and dislodge it; and later in the day, when the mortar fire was nearly exhausted, to place her in the position (XX) above Fort Jackson, to assist in repelling an attack from the vessels above.

During the day she was in an unfit condition to assume either position, for the reasons given by Captain Mitchell in his letters to me.

The intoxicated volunteers referred to were none of my men, nor did they get their liquor at the forts, as there was none on hand there during the bombardment excepting the small supplies of hospital stores in the medical department.

April 25.-No attack attempted during the day by the enemy either from above or below. The gunboats from the quarantine above and from the point of woods below occasionally showed themselves for observation, but without firing.

During the day all the principal guns that would admit of it at both forts were prepared at once so as to traverse in a full circle and bear above or below, as necessity might require. Some of the 24-pounder barbette guns at Fort Jackson were also replaced by guns of heavier caliber to bear on the river above.

Permission was granted by the enemy to the Confederate States steamer McRae to proceed to New Orleans under a flag of truce with the wounded. Availing ourselves of the offer of Captain Mitchell, the seriously wounded of both forts were sent on board of her. As it was late when the wounded were all gotten on board, the McRae did not get off until the next morning.

Still failed during the day in getting Captain Mitchell to place the Louisiana in the bight above Fort Jackson, where she could act against the enemy from above.

One of the raft schooners was burned during the night to light the river, and all remained quiet.

April 26.-A gunboat, with a white flag, dropped down from the quarantine to escort the McRae on her mission. The McRae did not return again to the forts.

Four of the enemy’s steamers were in sight at the quarantine at dawn. A gunboat occasionally showed herself below to reconnoiter.

In the direction of Bird Island, and back of the salt-works, a large steam frigate and an ordinary river steamer appeared in sight, the latter working her way up the bay behind Fort Saint Philip, apparently towards the quarantine.

During the day Captain Mitchell communicated with the enemy above under a flag of truce, and learned that the city had surrendered, and that the Confederate States steam ram Mississippi had been burned by our authorities. The wreck of the floating dock or battery drifted by the forts about 4 p.m.

The Louisiana was not placed in the position required of her during the day, Captain Mitchell promising to put her there the next day, the 27th. Another raft schooner burned for light, and all quiet during the night. No shots exchanged during the day.

April 27.-At daylight the steamer which had been observed the day {p.531} before working her way up in the back bays was in view, immediately in the rear of Fort Saint Philip, and near the mouth of Fort Bayou. A frigate and five other vessels were also in sight towards Bird Island, one of which was seen working her way up the bay. From ten to thirteen launches were visible near the boat back of Fort Saint Philip, by means of which troops were being landed at the quarantine above us.

About 12 m. one of the enemy’s gunboats from below made her appearance under a flag of truce, bearing a written demand for the surrender of the forts, signed by Commander David D. Porter, U. S. Navy, commanding mortar flotilla. (See attached document S.) The forts refused to surrender. (See attached document T.)

About 4 p.m. the French man-of-war Milan, Captain Clouet, commanding, passed up to the city, after asking and obtaining permission of the forts to do so. The position of the Louisiana still remained unchanged.

So far, throughout the entire bombardment and final action, the spirit of the troops was cheerful, confident, and courageous. They were mostly foreign enlistments, without any great interests at stake in the ultimate success of the revolution. A reaction set in among them during the lull of the 25th, 26th, and 27th, when there was no other excitement to arouse them than the fatigue duty of repairing our damages and when the rumor was current that the city had surrendered and was then in the hands of the enemy.

No reply had been received from the city to my dispatches sent by couriers on the 24th and 25th, by means of which I could reassure them. They were still obedient, but not buoyant and cheerful. In consequence, I endeavored to revive their courage and patriotism by publishing an order to both garrisons, attached hereto as document U.

I regret to state that it did not produce the desired effect. Everything remained quiet, however, until midnight, when the garrison of Fort Jackson revolted in mass; seized upon the guard and posterns; reversed the field pieces commanding the gates, and commenced to spike the guns, while many of the men were leaving the fort in the mean time under arms. All this occurred as suddenly as it was unexpected. The men were mostly drawn up under arms and positively refused to fight any longer, besides endeavoring by force to bring over the Saint Mary’s Cannoneers and such other few men as remained true to their cause and country.

The mutineers stated that the officers intended to hold out as long as possible, or while the provisions lasted, and then blow up the forts and everything in them; that the city had surrendered, and that there was no further use in fighting; that the enemy were about to attack by land and water on three sides at once, and that a longer defense would only prove a butchery. Every endeavor was made by the officers to repress the revolt and to bring the men to reason and order, but without avail. Officers upon the ramparts were fired upon by the mutineers in attempting to put a stop to the spiking of the guns.

I am greatly indebted to the Rev. Father Nachon for his efforts to quell the mutineers, through some of whom he learned that the revolt had been discussed among them for two days, and yet there was no one man among them true enough to communicate the fact to his officers. Signals also were said to have been passed between the forts during the night and while the mutiny was at its height. Being so general among the men, the officers were helpless and powerless to act. Under these circumstances there was but one course left, viz, to let those men go who wished to leave the fort, in order to see the number left and to ascertain what reliance could be placed upon them. About one-half of the garrison left immediately, including men from every company excepting {p.532} the Saint Mary’s Cannoneers, volunteers and regulars, non-commissioned officers and privates, and among them many of the very men who had stood last and best to their guns throughout the protracted bombardment and the final action when the enemy passed. It was soon evident that there was no further fight in the men remaining behind; that they were completely demoralized, and that no faith or reliance could be placed in the broken detachments of companies left in the forts.

In the mean time we were totally ignorant of the condition of affairs at Fort Saint Philip, and as all our small boats had been carried away by the mutineers, we could not communicate with that fort until the next morning. As the next attack upon the forts was likely to be a combined operation by land and water, and as Fort Saint Philip was the point most threatened, from the nature of the country around it and from the character of the work itself, with narrow and shallow ditches, and but little relief to the main work, it was self-evident that no reduction could be made in its garrison to strengthen that of Fort Jackson, even if all the men there remained true. In fact, two additional regiments had been asked for at the quarantine in anticipation of such an attack, to act as a reserve to strengthen the garrisons of both forts.

With the enemy above and below us, it will be apparent at once to any one at all familiar with the surrounding country that there was no chance of destroying the public property, blowing up the forts, and escaping with the remaining troops. Under all these humiliating circumstances there seemed to be but one course open to us, viz, to await the approach of daylight, communicate then with the gunboats of the mortar flotilla below under a flag of truce, and negotiate for a surrender under the terms offered us by Commander Porter on the 26th instant, and which had previously been declined.

April 28.-A small boat was procured and Lieutenant Morse, post adjutant, sent over to convey the condition of affairs at Fort Saint Philip, as well as to Captain Mitchell, on the Louisiana. Captain Mitchell and Lieutenant Shryock, C. S. Navy, came on shore and discussed the whole question, after which they left, remarking that they would go on board and endeavor to attack the enemy above, at the quarantine, notwithstanding that reasons had been given from time to time for not moving this vessel into her proper position, only a few hundred yards distant.

Captains Squires and Bond, Louisiana Artillery, and Lieutenant Dixon, commanding the company of Confederate States regular recruits, came on shore shortly afterwards from Fort Saint Philip, and concurred with us that, under the circumstances, we could do nothing else than surrender, as they were not at all confident of the garrison there after the unlooked-for revolt at Fort Jackson, although none of their men had left or openly revolted. For these reasons a flag of truce was sent down to communicate with the enemy below and to carry a written offer of surrender under the terms offered on the 26th instant. (See attached document V.)

This communication brought up the Harriet Lane and three other gunboats opposite the forts, with white flags at the fore, white flags being displayed from the yards of the flag-masts at both forts, while the Confederate flags waved at the mast-heads.

While negotiations were pending on the Harriet Lane, it was reported that the steamer Louisiana, with her guns protruding, and on fire, was drifting down the river towards the fleet. As the wreck in descending kept close into the For Saint Philip shore the chances were taken by the enemy without changing the position of his boats. The guns of the {p.533} Louisiana were discharged at random as she floated down, and the boat finally blew up near Fort Saint Philip, scattering its fragments everywhere within and around the fort, killing 1 of our men and wounding 3 or 4 others.

Captain McIntosh, C. S. Navy, who had been severely wounded in the discharge of his duty on the night of the enemy’s passage, and who was then lying in a tent at that fort, was nearly killed also.

As far as I could learn, however, the Louisiana was fired prior to the time that the enemy’s boats with white flags came to an anchor abreast of the forts to negotiate. She was fired in her first and original position without a change of any kind since her arrival at the forts.

The terms of the capitulation are attached hereto as document W; in addition to which Commander Porter verbally agreed not to haul down the Confederate flag or hoist the Federal until the officers should get away from the forts.

The officers of Fort Jackson and the Saint Mary’s Cannoneers left about 4 p.m. for the city, on board of the United States gunboat Kennebec, and arrived on the morning of the 29th in New Orleans. The officers of Fort Saint Philip, were sent up the next day, and all the men subsequently within a few days, as transportation could be furnished, excepting the men who revolted on the night of the 27th, many of whom enlisted with the enemy.

Upon my arrival in the city I found that the enemy’s vessels were lying off the town, and that no flag, excepting that of the State of Louisiana, on the city hail, was visible upon the shore. I also learned that Flag-Officer Farragut had directed it to be hauled down and the United States flag hoisted in its stead, upon the penalty of shelling the city within forty-eight hours if the demand was not complied with, and that he had warned the city authorities to remove the women and children within the time specified. I therefore deemed it my duty to call at once upon the mayor at the city hall and inform him of the fate of the forts below, which I did accordingly.

Learning there from one of his aides that the major-general commanding the department was still in the city, I called upon him in person and verbally reported the main incidents of the bombardment, the passage of the enemy, and the capitulation of the forts.

I have the honor to inclose herewith the report of Lieut. Col. E. Higgins, Twenty-second Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, commanding Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, as well as the several reports of Capt. M. T. Squires, Louisiana Artillery, senior officer in charge of Fort Saint Philip, and those of the different company and battery commanders, together with the surgeons’ reports of the killed and wounded.

The report of Colonel Szymanski, commanding the Chalmette Regiment at the quarantine, has not been received by me, so that I am unable to report upon his operations.

I fully indorse the just praise bestowed in the inclosed reports upon all the officers at both forts, and warmly return them my thanks. They all distinguished themselves by cool courage, skill, and patriotism throughout the entire bombardment, and by the patient fortitude with which they bore the several trying ordeals of water, fire, and the energetic fury of the enemy’s protracted and continuous fire.

I must also bear testimony to the cheerful courage and prompt and willing obedience with which the men performed their duties throughout the bombardment and up to the sad night when they took the rash and disgraceful step of rising against their officers, breaking through all discipline, and leading to such disastrous and fatal consequences. I {p.534} can charitably account for it only on the grounds of great reaction after the intense physical strain of many weary days and nights of terrible fire, through which they were necessarily subjected to every privation from circumstances beyond our control, but which they had not the moral courage to share and sustain with their officers, all of whom were subjected to the same hardships in every particular.

To Lieut. Col. E. Higgins, commanding the forts, my thanks are especially due for his indefatigable labors in preparing his heavy batteries preparatory to the attack, almost in the face of the enemy, and for the quiet, skillful, and judicious manner in which he caused them to be fought. He was present everywhere, and did his whole duty well and thoroughly.

Capt. M. T. Squires, Louisiana Regiment of Artillery, as senior officer in charge of Fort Saint Philip, under the orders of Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins, commanding, fully sustained every anticipation entertained of his gallantry, skill, and efficiency.

During the first day’s bombardment, when Captain Anderson was wounded, my aide-de-camp (Lieut. William M. Bridges, Louisiana Artillery) volunteered to command the two 10-inch columbiads on the main work,and I return him my thanks for the gallant and efficient manner in which he fought them during the rest of the action.

I take great pleasure in making personal mention of my volunteer aides, Capts. William J. Seymour and J. R. Smith, for the valuable assistance which they rendered me at all times.

My thanks are also due to Drs. Bradbury and Foster, who volunteered their services to assist Assist. Surgs. S. Burke and C. D. Lewis at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, respectively, and most efficiently did they aid in this department. Dr. Bradbury remained at Fort Jackson until its fall, and was paroled. Dr. Foster, at my request, accompanied the wounded soldiers to the city on the Confederate States steamer McRae.

Messrs. Fulda and Stickney and Sergt, J. E. Poindexter, Fourth Mississippi Volunteers, telegraph operators, rendered the most valuable services in keeping open our communication above and below under the most dangerous and difficult circumstances.

Although we have failed in our mission of keeping the enemy’s fleet from passing the forts, and have been subjected to the deep humiliation of surrendering the charge intrusted to our keeping to the enemies of our country, I must nevertheless state, in common justice to myself and those under my command, that to the very best of our ability, with the means at our disposal, our whole duty was performed faithfully, honestly, and fearlessly. If all had to be gone through with again, under similar events and circumstances, I know that we should be forced to the same results and consequences.

Great as the disaster is, it is but the sheer result of that lack of cheerful and hearty co-operation from the defenses afloat which we had every right to expect and to the criminal negligence of not lighting up the river at night when the danger was imminent and the movements of the enemy absolutely known almost to the hour of the final attack. Except for the cover afforded by the obscurity of the darkness I shall always remain satisfied that the enemy would never have succeeded in passing Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General, late Commanding Coast Defenses.

Maj. J. G. PICKETT, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Department No. 1, Camp Moore, La.

* See p. 546.

{p.535}

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New ORLEANS, La., May 13, 1862.

MAJOR: In addition to the foregoing report, I wish to add that upon the arrival of the paroled enlisted men from Forts Jackson and Saint Philip in the city I endeavored, to the best of my ability, to see that they were properly cared for until such time as they could be sent out of town.

As far as it could be done, they were paid in part for the time due, and arrangements were also made through the city authorities and the city safety committee to have them boarded and lodged temporarily, all with the view of preventing them from going over to the enemy through distress and starvation. In this I was very much assisted by Capt. M. T. Squires and First Lieut. L. B. Taylor, Louisiana Regiment of Artillery. Notwithstanding that they were thus amply provided for, scores of them have been daily going over to the enemy and enlisting since, until now there are but a very few left from either fort not in the ranks of the enemy. Although I really did think at the time of the surrender that some few of the men were loyal, the facts which have since come to light have perfectly satisfied me that nearly every man in both forts was thoroughly implicated and concerned in the revolt on the night of April 27, with the exception of the company of Saint Mary’s Cannoneers, composed mostly of planters.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General, late Commanding Coast Defenses.

Maj. J. G. PICKETT, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Department No. 1, Camp Moore, La.

[Inclosure A.]

FORTS JACKSON AND SAINT PHILIP, LA., April 6, 1862.

CAPTAIN: Keep your boats in constant readiness at all times for the enemy’s approach. Should he attack, all of your fleet must be kept above the raft, and such of your boats as have stern guns should lie in the middle of the stream, above the raft and without the field of our fire, and use these guns against the enemy. Should any boat of the enemy by any means get above the raft, you must instantly ram it with determination and vigor at all risks and every sacrifice. All signal masthead lights should be kept extinguished at night or never hoisted.

Trusting to your known energy and to the great expectations anticipated of the river fleet by your friends, I have every confidence that your whole duty will be thoroughly performed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General.

Capt. JOHN A. STEPHENSON, Commanding River Fleet, present.

[Inclosure B.]

HDQRS. FORTS JACKSON AND SAINT PHILIP, LA., April 9, 1862.

CAPTAIN: Keep one of your boats constantly below night and day opposite the wooded point, where you can watch the movements of the enemy. Signal us his approach and the number of vessels seen coming up, and give me a copy of the signals for our government at the forts.

{p.536}

I wish you to take the entire control of the fire rafts, and you will be assisted therein by the steamers Star, Algerine, and such other boats as I can procure from the city for the purpose. Your own knowledge of the river and the currents will enable you to set them adrift at such time as your judgment warrants.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General, Commanding Coast Defenses.

Capt. JOHN A. STEPHENSON, Commanding River Fleet, present.

[Inclosure C.]

GUNBOAT JACKSON, April 18, 1862.

DEAR SIR: Yours just received. The fire barge was sent down, as I supposed, by your order. Captain Grant accompanied me to select a proper place to let her go. She was fired by my order, but was not aware that she was too close to the fort; but the eddy current, after firing, probably brought her into close proximity to the fort. I regret the affair was an abortion.

Respectfully,

F. B. RENSHAW C. S. Navy.

Colonel HIGGINS.

[Inclosure D.]

CONFEDERATE STATES STEAMER LOUISIANA, Off Fort Jackson, La., April 22, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours of this date, asking me to place the Louisiana in position below the raft this evening, if possible. This vessel was hurried away from New Orleans before the steam power and batteries were ready for service, without a crew, and in many other respects very incomplete, and this condition of things is but partially remedied now. She is not yet prepared to offer battle to the enemy, but should he attempt to pass the forts we will do all we can to prevent it, and it was for this purpose only that she was placed in position where necessity might force her into action, inadequately prepared as she is at this moment.

We have now at work on board about 50 mechanics as well as her own crew and those from other vessels doing work essential to the preparation of the vessel for battle. Under these circumstances it would, in my estimation, be hazarding too much to place her under the fire of the enemy. Every effort is being made to prepare her for the relief of Fort Jackson, the condition of which is fully felt by me, and the very moment I can venture to face our enemy with any reasonable chance of success, be assured, general, I will do it, and trust that the result will show you that I am now pursuing the right course.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces Lower Mississippi.

General JOHNSON K. DUNCAN, Commanding Coast Defenses, Fort Jackson, La.

P. S.-The Jackson, with launch No. 3, will go up to the quarantine this afternoon to watch the enemy, as suggested in your note this morning.

Respectfully, &c.,

J. K. M.

{p.537}

[Inclosure. E.]

CONFEDERATE STATES STEAMER LOUISIANA, Near Fort Jackson, La., April 23, 1862.

GENERAL: On the receipt last night of your second communication of yesterday’s date, asking me to place this vessel under the fire of the enemy, I consulted the commanding officers of the Confederate States naval vessels present on the subject, and herewith annex a copy of their opinion, sustaining my own views on the subject.

I feel the importance of affording relief to your command as soon as possible; but, general, at the same time I feel, and I believe that I know, the importance to the safety of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip and the city of New Orleans of having this vessel in proper condition before seeking an encounter with the enemy. If he seeks one or attempts the passage of the forts before this vessel is ready I shall meet him, however unprepared I may be.

We have an additional force of mechanics from the city this morning, and I hope that by to-morrow night the motive power of the Louisiana will be ready, and that in the mean time her battery will be in place and other preparations will be completed so as to enable her to act against the enemy. When ready you will be immediately advised.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces Lower Mississippi.

General JOHNSON K. DUNCAN, Commanding Coast Defenses, Fort Jackson, La.

–––

CONFEDERATE STATES STEAMER LOUISIANA, Near Fort Jackson, La., April 22, 1862.

Two communications having this day been received from Brigadier. General Duncan (herewith attached, marked Nos. 1 and 3, and also the answer of Commander J. K. Mitchell, No. 1, marked No. 2), requesting that the Louisiana be placed in position below the raft in the river, near Fort Jackson, a consultation was held by Commander J. K. Mitchell with Commander McIntosh and Lieutenants Commanding Huger and Warley, who fully sustained the views of Commander Mitchell, as expressed in his reply (marked No. 2), declining to comply with the request of Brigadier-General Duncan.

C. F. MCINTOSH, Commander, C. S. Navy. T. B. HUGER, Lieutenant Commanding. A. F. WARLEY, Lieutenant Commanding.

Lieut. GEORGE S. SHRYOCK, C. S. NAVY, Aide to Commanding Officer.

[Inclosure F.]

CONFEDERATE STATES STEAMER LOUISIANA, Fort Jackson, La., April 22, 1862.

GENERAL: Your two notes of this date have been received. A fire has been ordered to be built below Saint Philip, as you requested, except that it will be on the beach,and a raft will be kept ready to fire and turned adrift, as you requested, near Fort Jackson, in the event of the apprehended attack being made by the enemy to-night. I shall also {p.538} direct a vigilant lookout to be kept by all the vessels, and co-operate with you to prevent his passage of the forts at every hazard.

Your request respecting the report of the bad condition of the engines of the Mosher will claim my attention as soon as possible.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Nasal Forces Lower Mississippi.

Brig. Gen. JOHNSON K. DUNCAN, Commanding Coast Defenses at Fort Jackson, La.

[Inclosure G.]

CONFEDERATE STATES STEAMER LOUISIANA, Off Fort Jackson, La., April 22, 1862.

GENTLEMEN: The steamers Mosher and Belle Algerine having been represented as being unfit for service, you will please to examine them carefully without delay, and report to me in duplicate their condition. In the performance of this duty please state the cause of any damage you may discover, with such recommendations as in your judgment you may deem proper.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces Lower Mississippi.

Lieutenant HUGER, Asst. Engr., Comdg. C. S. steamer McRae, off Fort Jackson, La.

P. S.-Lieutenant Huger will fill up the blanks with the names of the two engineers he thinks most suitable for the service belonging to the McRae.

J. K. M.

CONFEDERATE STATES STEAMER LOUISIANA, April 22, 1862.

SIR: In obedience to your order we have held a survey upon the steamer Belle Algerine and the tug Mosher. The latter has, we think, loosened the after-bearing of her shaft. This we can, I think, obviate in a few hours. The Belle Algerine leaks badly in the bows, from two holes knocked in her, the captain reports, while working at the raft and also while landing guns at Fort Saint Philip. This we can also remedy, and are now doing so. I trust by to-night both vessels will be serviceable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. B. HUGER, Commanding the McRae. SAMUEL BROOK, Senior Engineer McRae.

GENERAL: Above you will see the report on the vessels reported to you as unfit for service. I send it for your information.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces.

Brig. Gen. JOHNSON K. DUNCAN, Commanding Coast Defenses.

{p.539}

[Inclosure H.]

FORT JACKSON, LA., April 23, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I am of the opinion that the mortar practice of the enemy against Fort Jackson must be nearly exhausted, and that there is every indication that the enemy, as the next plan of attack, is about to move his large vessels to the point of woods and open upon us with his broadsides. One of the large vessels has already been brought up and placed in position. Should the above prove to be the case, it is imperatively and absolutely necessary that the batteries of the Louisiana should be brought into action at all hazards, as well as those of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.

A proper position for the Louisiana would be on the Fort Saint Philip side, a short distance below the raft and close to the shore, which will give us three direct and cross fires upon the point of attack.

Earnestly calling your attention to this subject, as you can see from your position the movements of the enemy, and can consequently know when to act, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General, Commanding Coast Defenses.

Capt. J. K. MITCHELL, Commanding Naval Forces Lower Mississippi River.

[Inclosure I.]

CONFEDERATE STATES STEAMER LOUISIANA, Near Fort Jackson, La., April 23, 1862.

GENERAL: I am in receipt of your letter of this date, in which you express your belief that the enemy is about to change his place of attack and open the broadside of his larger ships on the forts, and in which you make certain suggestions as to the position to be taken by this ship.

By reference to a letter of mine to you of yesterday’s date, and of No. 1 of this date, you will be apprised of the condition of this ship. Should an attack be made, as anticipated, I shall be governed by circumstances and do all I can against the enemy.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces Lower Mississippi.

Brig. Gen. JOHNSON K. DUNCAN, Commanding Coast Defenses, Fort Jackson, La.

[Inclosure J.]

CONFEDERATE STATES STEAMER LOUISIANA, Off Fort Jackson, La., April 23, 1862.

SIR.: I inclose herewith a copy of a communication received on the 21st instant from Captain Stephenson, from which you will perceive that, notwithstanding General Lovell’s order to him, this letter so qualifies my authority as to relieve me from all responsibility as to the movements of the vessels of the river fleet under his command.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Forces Lower Mississippi.

Brig. Gen. JOHNSON K. DUNCAN Commanding Coast Defenses Fort Jackson, La.

{p.540}

[Inclosure K.]

RIVER DEFENSES, C. S. GUNBOAT WARRIOR, Fort Jackson, La., April 21, 1862.

SIR: I am in receipt of an order from Maj. Gen. M. Lovell, dated 20th instant, in which I am directed to place myself and my whole command at this point under your orders.

Every officer and man on the river defense expedition joined it with the condition that it was to be independent of the Navy, and that it would not be governed by the regulations of the Navy or be commanded by naval officers. In the face of the enemy I will not say more.

I will co-operate with you and do nothing without your approbation, and will endeavor to carry out your wishes to the best of my ability, but in my own way as to details and the handling of my boats; but I expect the vessels under my charge to remain as a separate command. All orders for their movements addressed to me will be promptly executed if practicable, and I undertake to be responsible for their efficiency when required.

I suppose this is all that is intended by the order of Major-General Lovell or that will be expected from me by you.

Respectfully, yours, &c.,

JNO. A. STEPHENSON, Senior Captain, Comdg. River Fleet at Fort Jackson, La.

Commander J. K. MITCHELL, C. S. Navy.

P. S.-Our signals should be made to assimilate at once. Captain Renshaw and myself could arrange this if you wish, as no doubt you are greatly fatigued and still have much to do and arrange. Anything I can do, rely on its being done promptly and cheerfully.

Yours, &c.,

J. A.

[Inclosure L.]

FORT JACKSON, LA., April 23, 1862.

CAPTAIN: The enemy has just sent up a small boat and planted a series of white flags on the Fort Saint Philip side, commencing about 360 yards above the lone tree. It is the probable position of his snips in the new line of attack, which in my opinion he contemplates for attacking Fort Jackson with his large vessels. As you may not have seen this operation, I furnish you with the information.

Please keep the river well lit up with fire rafts to-night, as the attack may be made at any time.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General, Commanding Coast Defenses.

Capt. J. K. MITCHELL, Commanding Naval Forces Lower Mississippi River.

[Inclosure M.]

FORT JACKSON, LA., April 24, 1862-3.30 a.m.

CAPTAIN: As I anticipated and informed you yesterday, the enemy are taking up their position at the present moment with their large {p.541} ships on the Fort Saint Philip shore, to operate against Fort Jackson. They are placing themselves boldly, with their lights at their mastheads. You are assuming a fearful responsibility if you do not come at once to our assistance with the Louisiana and the fleet. I can say no more.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General, Commanding Coast Defenses.

Capt. J. K. MITCHELL, Commanding Naval Forces Lower Mississippi River.

[Inclosure N.]

CONFEDERATE STATES STEAMER LOUISIANA, Near Fort Saint Philip, La., April 24, 1862.

GENERAL: On returning to the Louisiana I find that we have no tender on whose steam power we can rely, and many of the volunteer troops on board of the W. Burton are intoxicated. These circumstances, as well as the exhausted condition of our own crew and excessive difficulty in handling the vessel, will prevent our taking the position, at least to-day, that I proposed and was arranged between us this forenoon. I will, however, as you suggested in your communication, take up a position above to protect the approaches in that direction. Having no adequate motive power of our own, it will be an easy matter for the enemy’s vessels that have it to take up such a position that our guns cannot reach him for want of elevation or be brought to bear upon him. I will, however, do all I can to keep him back from above. The McRae has lost her 9-inch guns; of course we cannot expect much assistance from her.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully your obedient servant,

JNO. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces, Lower Mississippi.

Brig. Gen. JOHNSON K. DUNCAN Commanding Coast Defenses; Fort Jackson, La.

[Inclosure O.]

CONFEDERATE STATES STEAMER LOUISIANA, Fort Saint Philip, La., April 24, 1862.

GENERAL: Your second and third notes of this date are at hand. We are in a helpless condition for the want of tug-boats. The W. Burton is crippled and the Landis also, and the gunboat Defiance will not do anything for us. If she comes within my reach I will deprive her captain of his command by force, if necessary. The anchor we have down cannot purchase, and we are afraid to ship it to move about 300 yards higher up, where we can be better secured. We shall probably remain where we are, and do all we can to defeat the enemy should he attack us again. It will be out of our power, I am afraid, to light up the bank below Saint Philip to-night or to set adrift fire boats, as none are at hand and they have all disappeared, apparently.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces, Lower Mississippi.

Brig. Gen. JOHNSON K. DUNCAN Commanding Coast Defenses Fort Jackson, La.

{p.542}

[Inclosure P.]

FORT JACKSON, LA., April 24, 1862.

CAPTAIN: From all we can see and learn, the enemy, with the exception of one or two gunboats, has passed up the river, so that there will be no use in changing your present position to one farther above. I regret to learn the condition of the volunteer troops on board the W. Burton; this, together with the exhausted condition of your crew, will prevent your taking up the position below which was agreed upon this morning for the present. You may be able to take it up, however, when your crew recover from their fatigue and when you are able to control the irregularities of the volunteers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General, Commanding Coast Defenses.

Capt. J. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces, Lower Mississippi River.

[Inclosure Q.]

FORT JACKSON, LA., April 24, 1862.

CAPTAIN: As I have no boats of any kind, I must ask of you to light up the river with fire barges to-night if it possibly lies in your power., The absence of light greatly impairs the accuracy and effectiveness of our fire upon the enemy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General, Commanding Coast Defenses.

Capt. J. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces, Lower Mississippi River.

[Inclosure R.]

FORT JACKSON, LA., April 24, 1862.

CAPTAIN: The lower schooner will be lighted by firing her from a fire-boat from Fort Saint Philip at early dusk. As this light dies away the next one above will be fired, and so on all night.

Unless you can better yourself materially, I would not advise any movement on your part from your present position, owing to all the adverse circumstances mentioned in your letter.

In regard to the Defiance, the authority over her which I formerly had has been transferred to you, but we will freely lend you any assistance which you may require in deposing her commander or in exercising your authority over her.

Keep a vigilant lookout for another attack to-night, when we will mutually support each other and do all that we possibly can.

Captain Squires has been directed by Colonel Higgins to furnish you such assistance as you may require.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General, Commanding Coast Defenses.

Capt. J. K. MITCHELL, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces, Lower Mississippi River.

{p.543}

[Inclosure S.]

U. S. STEAMER HARRIET LANE, Mississippi River, April 26, 1862.

SIR: When I last demanded the surrender of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip I had no positive assurance of the success of our vessels in passing safely the batteries on the river. Since then I have received communications from Flag-Officer Farragut, who is now in possession of New Orleans. Our troops are or will be in possession of the prominent points on the river, and a sufficient force has been posted outside of the bayous to cut off all communication and prevent supplies.

No man could consider it dishonorable to surrender under these circumstances, especially when no advantage can arise by longer holding out, and by yielding gracefully he can save the further effusion of blood. You have defended the forts gallantly, and no more can be asked of you.

I feel authorized to offer you terms sufficiently honorable to relieve you from any feeling of humiliation. The officers will be permitted to retire on parole, with their side-arms, not to serve again until regularly exchanged. All private property will be respected; only the arms and munitions and the vessels lying near the forts will be surrendered to the United States Government. No damage must be done to the defenses. The soldiers also will be paroled and be permitted to return to their homes, giving up their arms.

I am aware that you can hold out some little time longer, and am also aware of the exact condition, as reported to us by a deserter, which convinces me that you will only be inflicting on yourself and those under you unnecessary discomforts without any good results arising from so doing.

Your port has long been closed to the world, by which serious injury has been experienced by many loyal citizens. I trust that you will not lend yourself to the further injury of their interests, where it can only entail calamity and bloodshed without any possible hope of success or relief to your forts.

Your surrender is a mere question of time, which you know is not of any extent; and I therefore urge you to meet my present proposition. By doing so you can put an end to a state of affairs which will only inflict injury upon all those under you, who have strong claims upon your consideration.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

DAVID D. PORTER, Commanding Mortar Fleet.

Col. EDWARD HIGGINS, Comdg. Confederate Forces in Forte Jackson and Saint Philip.

[Inclosure T.]

HEADQUARTERS FORTS JACKSON AND SAINT PHILIP, April 27, 1862.

SIR: Your letter of the 26th instant, demanding the surrender of these forts, has been received. In reply thereto I have to state that no official information has been received by me from our own authorities that the city of New Orleans has been surrendered to the forces of Flag-Officer

{p.544}

Farragut, and until such information is received no proposition for a surrender can be for a moment entertained here.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARD HIGGINS, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Commander DAVID D. PORTER, U. S. Navy, Commanding Mortar Fleet.

[Inclosure U.]

FORT JACKSON, LA., April 27, 1862.

To the Soldiers of Forte Jackson and Saint Philip:

You have nobly, gallantly, and heroically sustained with courage and fortitude the terrible ordeals of fire, water, and a hail of shot and shell wholly unsurpassed during the present war. But more remains to be done. The safety of New Orleans and the cause of the Southern Confederacy, our homes, families, and everything dear to man yet depend upon our exertions. We are just as capable of repelling the enemy to-day as we were before the bombardment. Twice has the enemy demanded your surrender and twice has he been refused. Your officers have every confidence in your courage and patriotism, and feel every assurance that you will cheerfully and with alacrity obey all orders and do your whole duty as men and as becomes the well-tried garrisons of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip. Be vigilant, therefore, and stand by your guns, and all will yet be well.

J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General, Commanding Coast Defenses.

[Inclosure V.]

HEADQUARTERS FORTS JACKSON AND SAINT PHILIP, April 28, 1862.

SIR: Upon mature deliberation it has been decided to accept the terms of surrender of these forts under the conditions offered by you in your letter of the 26th instant, viz, that the officers and men shall be paroled, officers retiring with their side-arms. We have no control over the vessels afloat.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARD HIGGINS, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Commander DAVID D. PORTER, U. S. Navy, Commanding Mortar Fleet.

[Inclosure W.]

U. S. STEAMER HARRIET LANE, Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, Mississippi River, April 28, 1862.

By articles of capitulation entered into April 28, 1862, between Commander David D. Porter, U. S. Navy, commanding the United States mortar flotilla, of the one part, and Brig. Gen. J. K. Duncan, commanding the coast defenses, and Lieut. Col. Edward Higgins, commanding Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, of the other part, it is mutually agreed:

First. That Brigadier-General Duncan and Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins shall surrender to the mortar flotilla Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, {p.545} the arms, munitions of wart and all the appurtenances thereunto belonging, together with all public property that may be under their charge.

Second. It is agreed by Commander David D. Porter, commanding the mortar flotilla, that Brigadier-General Duncan and Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins, together with the officers under their command, shall be permitted to retain their side-arms, and that all private property shall be respected. Furthermore, that they shall give their parole of honor not to serve in arms against the Government of the United States until they are regularly exchanged.

Third. It is further agreed by Commander David D. Porter, commanding the mortar flotilla, on the part of the United States Government, that the non-commissioned officers, privates, and musicians shall be permitted to retire on parole, their commanding and other officers becoming responsible for them, and that they shall deliver up their arms and accouterments in their present condition, provided that no expenses accruing from the transportation of the men shall be defrayed by the Government of the United States.

Fourth. On the signing of these articles by the contracting parties the forts shall be formally taken possession of by the United States naval forces composing the mortar flotilla, the Confederate flag shall be lowered, and the flag of the United States hoisted on the flag-staffs of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.

In agreement of the above we, the undersigned, do hereunto set our hands and seals.

DAVID D. PORTER, Commanding Mortar Flotilla. W. B. RENSHAW, Commander, U. S. Navy. J. M. WAINWRIGHT, Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. Steamer Harriet Lane. J. K. DUNCAN, Brigadier-General, Commanding Coast Defenses. EDWARD HIGGINS, Lieutenant-Colonel, C. S. Army, Commanding Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, La.

Witnessed by-

ED. T. NICHOLS, Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. Gunboat Winona. J. H. RUSSELL, Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. Gunboat Kennebec.

{p.546} {p.547}

No. 5.

Reports of Lieut. Col. Edward Higgins, C. S. Army, of the bombardment and capture of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.

HDQRS. FORTS JACKSON AND SAINT PHILIP, LA., April 27, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on Friday, the 18th instant, the naval force of the United States, which has been for some weeks in the river making preparations for an attack on these forts, commenced the bombardment of Fort Jackson. Fire from their mortar fleet was opened at 9 a.m.

The force employed by the enemy against us consisted of twenty-one mortar vessels and a fleet of about twenty-one steam vessels of war, carrying more than 200 guns of the heaviest caliber.

The mortar vessels, when they opened fire, were all concealed from our view save six, which took position in sight of the forts and within our longest range. These we soon forced to retire. They joined the rest of their fleet behind the point of woods, and, concealed from sight, renewed their fire.

Orders had been issued to the officers and men of my command to retire to the casemates of the fort the moment the bombardment commenced. The order being obeyed, nothing was left for us to do but receive the furious storm of shell which was hailed upon us. Our citadel was soon destroyed by fire. All buildings around and in connection with the fort shared the same fate.

From Friday morning until the following Thursday we sustained this terrible battering. Several times during the bombardment the enemy’s gunboats attempted to pass up the river under cover of their mortar fire, and on each occasion our batteries were promptly manned and the enemy’s advance gallantly repelled.

At 3.30 a.m. on Thursday it was observed that the mortar fire was increased to an intensity of fury which had not been previously reached. At the same moment a movement was observed in the steam fleet below. Our batteries were instantly in readiness and were at once engaged in a most terrific conflict with the enemy’s fleet of fourteen steamships, which, dashing by the fort in the darkness of the night, pouring in their broadsides of shot, shell, grape, canister, and shrapnel, succeeded in getting beyond our range and in our rear.

During the forenoon a demand was made by Commander Porter, commanding the mortar fleet, for a surrender of the forts. This proposition was promptly refused, and the bombardment was again commenced and continued until 4 p.m., when all firing ceased.

I inclose you the reports of company and battery commanders,* also the surgeon’s report of killed and wounded.**

I fully indorse the encomiums of the company commanders upon the officers under their command, and feel myself in duty bound to record my high admiration of the coolness, courage, skill, and fortitude of all the officers of both forts.

Capt. J. B. Anderson, Company E, Louisiana Artillery, was wounded early in the conflict, while most heroically fighting his guns. Notwithstanding his severe wound, he rendered the most gallant and efficient service to the last.

Capt. W. B. Robertson, who commanded a detached work called the {p.548} water battery, remained with his command during the whole or this protracted ordeal without cover of any kind, although suffering from severe physical disease and scarcely able at times to walk around his battery. He was most ably and gallantly assisted by Capt. R. J. Bruce, of the Louisiana Artillery.

First Lieut. Eugene W. Baylor, Louisiana Artillery, who was in command of the 42-pounder barbette battery, and First Lieut. Richard Agar, of the same battery, did all that gallant officers and men could.

The officers stationed at the heaviest batteries on the river front were the greater part of the time, fatigued as they were, obliged to be constantly with their detachments at their guns to prevent surprise. Lieuts. A. N. Ogden, Beverly C. Kennedy, and William T. Mumford, of the Louisiana Artillery, particularly distinguished themselves in this service.

Although not under my immediate command, I cannot omit to mention the devoted conduct of your aide-de-camp Lieut. William M. Bridges, who upon the disability of Captain Anderson immediately volunteered his services, and took charge of the two 10-inch columbiads, and fought them night and day with ceaseless energy.

Lieut. J. W. Gaines, in command of the 32-pounder battery on the river front, assisted by Lieut. E. D. Woodlief; Capt. S. Jones, Company I, Twenty-third Regiment Louisiana Volunteers; Capt. F. Peter, Company I, Twenty-second Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, fought their batteries gallantly and well.

Lieut. Thomas K. Pierson, Twenty-third Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, was killed in the thickest of the fight, while gallantly fighting his guns.

The Saint Mary’s Cannoneers, Capt. F. O. Cornay, have my warmest gratitude and admiration for their whole conduct, both in face of the enemy and in the, severe and arduous fatigue duties, which they discharged always and at all times, day and night, with alacrity and energy. They are an honor to the country, and well may their friends and relatives be proud of them.

The report of Capt. M. T. Squires, who was the senior officer at Fort Saint Philip, is inclosed, with the reports of the other officers. Captain Squires fought the batteries of Fort Saint Philip most gallantly. He was in charge of that fort during the whole bombardment, the severe work at Fort Jackson requiring my constant presence there. I had every confidence in the coolness, courage, and skill of Captain Squires and his officers, and most satisfactorily did they discharge their duties. I refer you to his report for the mention of the individual conduct of his officers.

The floating battery Louisiana, the steam ram Manassas, and the Confederate steamer Manassas, together with a number of vessels which had been fitted up by the Confederate and State Governments, were in the river above the forts at the time the enemy dashed by. I am unable to state what assistance, if any, was rendered by the greater portion of these vessels.

At daylight I observed the McRae gallantly fighting at terrible odds-contending at close quarters with two of the enemy’s powerful ships. Her gallant commander, Lieut. Thomas B. Huger, fell during the conflict severely but, I trust, not mortally wounded.

The Manassas I observed under way, apparently in pursuit of one of the vessels of the enemy, but I soon lost sight of her.

I would here observe that I think an investigation should be demanded into the conduct of the authorities afloat, whose neglect of our urgent entreaties to light up the river during this sad night contributed so much to the success of our enemies.

{p.549}

My adjutant, Lieut. C. N. Morse, was indefatigable in the discharge of his important duties, which required his constant presence near my person, and has my sincere thanks.

Surg. Somerville Burke, C. S. Army, and Dr. Bradbury, who kindly volunteered his services when he became aware of the attack on the forts, were unremitting in their attention to the wounded, fearlessly exposing themselves at all times in the discharge of their duties.

Lieut. Charles Wermes, ordnance officer, distinguished himself by the most self-sacrificing attention to arduous and important duties. Day and night he was at his post, and by his great exertions our magazine was saved from being flooded, the water having risen considerably above the floor.

Lieutenants Mann and Royster, of Captain Ryan’s company, rendered fearless and efficient service. Captain Ryan was, with a detachment of his company, on board the Louisiana during a portion of the bombardment and in the fight of Thursday morning. At all times his services were most promptly rendered.

Mr. James Ward rendered me the most important services during the bombardment. In charge of the firemen, he made almost superhuman exertions during the burning of the citadel. He has my warmest gratitude.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARD HIGGINS, Lieutenant-Colonel, C. S. Army, Commanding Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, La.

Lieut. WILLIAM M. BRIDGES, A. A. A. G., Second Brig., Dept. No. 1, New Orleans, La.

* Not found.

** Tabulated on p. 550.

–––

NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 30, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the morning of April 27 a formal demand for a surrender of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip was made by Commander David D. Porter, commanding United States mortar fleet.

The terms which were offered were of the most liberal nature; but so strong was I in the belief that we could resist successfully any attack which could be made upon us, either by land or water, that the terms were at once refused.

Our fort was still strong; our damage had been to some extent repaired; our men had behaved well, and all was hope and confidence with the officers, when suddenly at midnight I was aroused by the report that the garrison had revolted, had seized the guard, and were spiking the guns. Word was sent us through the sergeants of companies that the men would fight no longer. The company officers were immediately dispatched to their commands, but were driven back. Officers were fired upon when they appeared in sight upon the parapet. Signals were exchanged by the mutineers with Fort Saint Philip. The mutiny was complete, and a general massacre of the officers and a disgraceful surrender of the fort appeared inevitable.

By great exertions we succeeded, with your influence, in preventing this disgraceful blot upon our country, and were fortunate in keeping the passions of the men in check until we could effect an honorable surrender of the forts, which was done by us jointly on the morning of the 28th instant.

As the facts and documents relating to this matter are in your possession, {p.550} it is unnecessary for me to dwell longer on this humiliating and unhappy affair.

I wish to place on record here the noble conduct of Capt. S. O. Cornay’s company, the Saint Mary’s Cannoneers, which alone stood true as steel when every other company in Fort Jackson basely dishonored its country.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARD HIGGINS, Lieutenant-Colonel, C. S. Army, Late Commander Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.

Lieut. WILLIAM M. BRIDGES, Aide-de-Camp and Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brigade.

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Return of casualties in the Confederate garrisons of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, April 1862.

Command.Killed.Wounded
Fort Jackson935
Fort Saint Philip24
Total1139

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No. 6.

Report of Capt. M. T. Squires, Louisiana Artillery, of the bombardment of Fort Saint Philip.

FORT SAINT PHILIP, LA., April 27, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor respectfully to submit the following report:

Early on the morning of Friday, the 18th instant, perceiving by the movements of the enemy that they were about taking up their position, the heavy guns were ordered to open upon them, to annoy them in the execution of their purpose as much as possible, but, the distance being great and the range extreme, with but very little success, the enemy taking little or no notice of our fire, only answering by a few rifle shells at long intervals. The 13-inch mortar, after the thirteenth round, became useless, the bed giving way under it, breaking in two, and the mortar coming upon the ground. The enemy retired from our sight at 8 p.m. and nothing more was heard of him that night.

At an early hour on the morning of the 19th instant the enemy again took up a position identical with that of the day previous, excepting that no mortar boats were on this shore, all keeping close behind the point of woods, and opened fire upon Fort Jackson, which was allowed to continue without interruption from this side until 11 a.m., when, finding the fire concentrated upon the other side, fearing the effect, and having ascertained the exact range and distances, I determined to open upon them and draw off some of the fire to this side if possible. It was immediately done and with partial success, three of the mortar boats opening upon us with but little effect.

On the 20th, 21st, and 22d the fire of the enemy still continued from their mortar boats, with an occasional shot from the gunboats. The only damage done during these days was the damaging of the platform of the 24-pounder gun in the salient near the main magazine, the shell {p.551} passing under and throwing it up, but not rendering it useless. Our fire was slow and deliberate, with no visible results more than the driving back of two of the mortar boats, which were partially exposed, around the wooded point. The fire of the enemy, although warm, well directed, and sustained, was for the most part either short or very much over.

Up to this time the only guns used were the columbiad battery, in the main work, and the 13-inch mortar, disabled on the first day. In the lower water battery one 8-inch columbiad and one 7-inch rifled gun, worked by Capt. R. C. Bond’s company, and four 10-inch seacoast mortars, by Capt. J. H. Lamon’s company.

On the 23d the enemy still kept up a regular fire, to which we did not reply all day.

At 3.30 o’clock on the morning of the 24th the men were ready and standing at their guns, having received information that there was a movement by the enemy. No vessels were to be seen, and the first notice of an enemy nearing us was the reply to the shots from Fort Jackson, and the gunners were ordered to fire by the flashes of the enemy’s guns, which was done; but the fire was entirely too high and passed over them.

Immediately after this a vessel came in sight, and they followed each other in rapid succession, seemingly in pairs, one of the two keeping back far enough to enable her to deliver her fire from her broadsides. The fire from our guns was rapid, and from the little that could be seen and heard was accurate; but after the first discharge the smoke almost hid them from sight, and we were again compelled to judge by the flashes of their guns. As to the effect of the fire, it is impossible to state what it was, as the darkness, aided by the smoke, rendered seeing out of the question.

A three-masted propeller ran ashore during the engagement above the upper water battery, and, remaining there several minutes, with a fire barge alongside, her rigging had caught fire, but was immediately extinguished. We were not able to open upon her, as one of the columbiads had been previously dismounted and the other could not be brought to bear; besides, their hands were full with other vessels coming up, and the 24-pounder in the salient of the upper water battery, bearing directly upon her, had been broken in two near the trunnions. The vessels passed close under our guns, taking advantage of the eddy which runs up with considerable force, and it was found impossible to get more than one or two shots at any one vessel, they passed with such rapidity.

All our guns were worked with courage, energy, and skill, excepting the upper water battery, where some confusion arose, caused by the men not being so thoroughly drilled as they should have been. Company C of the Confederate recruits, Lieut. J. K. Dixon, was fully prepared to work the guns of this battery, and would have done so with effect, but was two days before ordered on board the floating battery Louisiana, and its place was supplied by Captain Assenheimer’s company (B), Twentieth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, which had only been drilled a few times, and Captain Massicott’s company (D), Chalmette Regiment, which was raw, undrilled, perfectly ignorant even of the use of the shot-guns with which it was armed, and had never been drilled as artillery.

As soon as it was seen that the guns did not open, Lieut. A. J. Quigley, with such men as could be gathered, was sent to attend to them, which was done, so far as they were concerned, to the satisfaction of that officer.

{p.552}

The company of Confederate recruits, under Lieutenants Dixon and Blow, were detailed to report to Captain Mitchell C. S. Navy, for duty on board the Louisiana, as per instructions dated Headquarters Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, April 21, 1862, where they remained until the evening of the 24th instant.

Captain Lartigue’s company did good service as scouts and sharpshooters, many of them being out both night and day, and some of them being out at all times. On the night of the 23d seven of them were sent to ascertain the movements of the enemy, and all returned without accomplishing anything. Two other scouts, one from Company K and the other from Company F, were out on the same mission, and had it not been for the failure of the rocket, which by an accident became wet, would have signaled their approach much sooner. As it was, the only intimation I received was the firing of one of their muskets.

The following is the number of projectiles used, &c.:

8-inch solid shot675
8-inch shells171
13-inch shells from columbiad battery, &c., in main work13
10-inch mortar shells from lower mortar battery142
Shot, shell, and grape from lower water battery470
Shot, grape, and canister from upper water battery120

Capt. R. C. Bond, assisted by First Lieuts. Carleton Hunt and William C. Ellis, and his company (K); Capt. J. H. Lamon, with the assistance of First Lieut. H. W. Fowler, with his company (C), in the lower battery, manning the 42 and 32 pounders respectively; Lieuts. Lewis B. Taylor and W. B. Jones, with Company F, at the columbiad battery, and Lieut. A. J. Quigley, with supernumeraries of Company F, taken from the main work to man the guns of the upper battery, behaved with gallantry, energy, coolness, and bravery worthy of imitation; and all, both officers and men, deserve the highest praise that could be given to any one for the honorable part they performed during the whole time since the commencement of this trying conflict.

Capt. Charles Assenheimer’s company (B) did their best, both his officers and men.

Individual acts of heroism are numerous, but where all did so well it would appear invidious to mention names. Suffice it to say that were everything to be done again, or anything else required to be performed, one could ask no other privilege than to have the same men to do it, feeling satisfied it would be as well carried out as possible.

The injury to the fort was slight. Of the guns, one banded 7-inch rifle was burst by the explosion of a shell in its bore near the muzzle, and one 24-pounder gun was broken in two, about 14 inches in front of the trunnions, by being struck by a solid shot. An 8-inch columbiad was dismounted, but only temporarily useless, the gun being uninjured and soon remounted. The platform of one 24-pounder gun was undermined by a shell, but was not rendered entirely useless. One of the uprights of a 42-pounder gun-carriage was partially shot away, but can still be of service.

With many thanks to all officers and men for their assistance and efficient aid, and humbly bowing before the will of Almighty God, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. T. SQUIRES, Captain, Louisiana Artillery.

Lieut. CHARLES N. MORSE, Post Adjutant, Fort Jackson, La.

{p.553}

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No. 7.

Report of Brig. Gen. M. L. Smith C. S. Army, of operations on the “Chalmette and McGehee Lines.”

CAMP MOORE, TANGIPAHOA, LA., May 6, 1862.

MAJOR: I herewith submit a report of the operations of the troops under my command at the Chalmette and McGehee lines on the approach of the enemy’s vessels from Forts Jackson and Saint Philip to the city of New Orleans. These interior lines of defense are constructed with special reference to an attack by land, but terminating them at the river banks were two batteries, calculated for twelve and twenty guns, respectively, and at the time of the action containing five and nine. Ten 42-pounders, intended for this battery, were turned over to the Navy for the defense of the city by water.

As you are aware, the defense of New Orleans by water has been considered as depending upon the forts mentioned, which are well constructed permanent works, rather well armed, and far stronger than any others that could be hastily erected. With this view all the available material, both of guns and ammunition, had been concentrated there prior to the bombardment, and during its continuance was being added to in such quantities daily as the means of the department admitted of, it being evident that the decisive struggle was there to be made.

As soon, therefore, as it became certain that the large vessels of the enemy had succeeded in passing, there no longer existed a chance of preventing them from reaching New Orleans, and the short resistance made by the few guns mounted on the two batteries of the interior lines was made through a sense of duty, but without any expectation of success, the enemy numbering as many vessels, less one, as we had guns.

On the side of the river where I was in person during the action were stationed three companies of Lieutenant-Colonel Pinkney’s battalion, to man the nine guns, and one company of sharpshooters. With the five guns on the other side were Captain Patton’s company of the Twenty-second Louisiana Volunteers; one company from Fort Pike, under Lieutenant Butler, and one company of the Beauregard Battery, besides two battalions of infantry collected in camp for instruction, as well as to guard the line in case of the enemy’s landing and attacking by land, all under the immediate command of General Buisson.

The enemy’s vessels had approached to within about the fourth of a mile before we opened on them, the first gun being from Colonel Pinkney’s battery, and immediately followed by several from the battery on the opposite side, and as promptly replied to from the enemy’s vessels. The engagement lasted until every round of ammunition on hand was fired, both officers and men displaying a coolness and intrepidity that was gratifying, especially as regards the men, who then for the first time in their lives discharged a heavy gun. The firing on our side was spirited, perhaps a little uncertain; on the enemy’s, heavy and rather well directed. During the engagement their vessels gradually lessened the distance until near enough to open with grape and canister. The ammunition being expended and every sense of duty satisfied permission was given to Colonel Pinkney to withdraw his command along the line of field works affording shelter, which was done deliberately, officers and men retiring together.

The casualties were 1 killed and 1 wounded.

{p.554}

The battery on the Chalmette side seemed well served, and no doubt was so, judging from the character of the officers present.

The enemy, steaming up between us and the city, prevented the retreat of the troops to that point. They were accordingly directed to gain the Opelousas Railroad and reach Camp Moore via La Fourche or such route as might be found best. Lieutenant-Colonel Pinkney has already reported with his command, but somewhat reduced in numbers.

In concluding the report I wish particularly to call attention to the admirable assistance rendered by Lieutenants MacDonald and B. M. Harrod, on engineer duty, both before and after the action. Their conduct could not have been better.

Lieutenant Frost, on special duty, was also of material assistance, but in carrying out some instructions was accidentally absent during the engagement.

Having received no report from General Buisson concerning the operations on his side of the river, I am unable to refer to them more particularly.

Respectfully submitted.

M. L. SMITH, Brigadier-General, Commanding Third Brigade.

Maj. J. G. PICKETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

No. 8.

Proceedings of the Court of Inquiry upon the fall of New Orleans.

RICHMOND, VA., June 8, 1864.

To the House of Representatives:

In response to a resolution of the House of Representatives, of January 15, 1864, I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War, covering a copy of the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry relative to the capture of New Orleans.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

[Inclosure.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., June 6, 1864.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT:

SIR: In response to a resolution of the House of Representatives, adopted at its last session, I have the honor to forward for transmission to Congress a copy of the record of the Court of Inquiry on the fall of New Orleans, with accompanying documents, the preparation of which was not quite completed at the adjournment of the last Congress.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War.

{p.555}

PROCEEDINGS OF A COURT OF INQUIRY, ASSEMBLED AT JACKSON, MISS., PURSUANT TO THE FOLLOWING ORDERS:

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 41 ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., February 18, 1863.

...

XVI. By direction of the President, on the application of Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell, a Court of Inquiry, to consist of Brig. Gens. I.* T. F. Drayton, T. C. Hindman, and W. M. Gardner, will assemble at Jackson, Miss., on the 10th day of March next, or as soon thereafter as practicable, to examine into the facts and circumstances attending the capture of the city of New Orleans by the enemy in April, 1862, and the defense of the city and the evacuation of the same by our troops, under the command of Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell, Maj. L. R. Page, assistant adjutant-general, is appointed judge-advocate and recorder of the court. The Court of Inquiry appointed in Special Orders, No. 177, Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office, July 31, 1862, paragraph XX, is hereby revoked.**

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* An error; see proceedings of the court of April 6, 1863.

** Under that order Maj. Gens. L. Polk and Sam. Jones, and Col. B. Huger constituted the court.

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 43.

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., February 20, 1863.

...

XXIV. The Court of Inquiry directed in paragraph XVI, Special Orders, No. 41, current series, will sit without regard to hours, and will consider itself authorized to adjourn from place to place for the convenience of taking testimony of witnesses serving with the Army, in the field or elsewhere and whose testimony may not be otherwise conveniently obtained, without embarrassment to the interests of the service.

The court will finally report the facts resulting from the investigation, together with their opinion thereon, for the information of the President.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 46.

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., February 24, 1863.

...

XXIV. A mistake having occurred in paragraph XVI, Special Orders, No. 41, current series, designating General T. C. Hindman as brigadier-general, he is hereby announced as major-general, and senior officer of the Court of Inquiry convened in said order and paragraph.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.556}

APRIL 4, 1863-12.30 p.m.

The court met pursuant to the above orders.

Present, Maj. Gen. T. C. Hindman, Brig. Gens, T. F. Drayton and W. M. Gardner, and Maj. L. R. Page, judge-advocate. Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell also present.

The judge-advocate, having read the orders convening the court, asked Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell if he had any objections to any member named therein, to which he replied he had none. The court was then duly sworn by the judge-advocate, and the judge-advocate was duly sworn by the presiding officer of the court in the presence of Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell. It was then resolved by the court to sit with closed doors, and ordered that W. H. Houston be employed as clerk to aid the judge-advocate.

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. the 6th instant.

JACKSON, MISS., April 6, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Major. General Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over. It was then ordered by the court that the letter “I,” prefixed to the name of Brig. Gen. T. F. Drayton in the order convening the court, should be hereafter omitted in the records, it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that the insertion of the said letter “I” was a clerical error.

It was then ordered by the court that the word “accused” should not be used to designate Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell in these proceedings, there being no accusation or imputation against him before the court; and it was further ordered that the evidence in the case should be introduced without regard to the mode or order of proof governing in courts-martial or courts of inquiry when charges are made and an issue joined.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. When did you assume command of the city of New Orleans?

Answer. On October 18 1861, pursuant to paragraph VIII, Special Orders, No. 173, Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office, October 7, 1861.

(The original of the order was read to the court and a copy thereof appended as document No. 1.)

Question. State for the information of the court the limits and extent of Department No. 1, its topographical features, and the various approaches to the city of New Orleans.

Answer. Department No. 1 embraced the State of Louisiana and the southern half of the State of Mississippi, except that part of the latter State on the Mississippi River included between the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad and the river, on which are situated Natchez and Vicksburg, they belonging to Department No. 2. Department No. 1 extended on the seacoast more than 300 miles, from Texas on the west to Pascagoula Bay on the east. The city of New Orleans is situated in an alluvial delta on the left or northern bank of the river, about 100 miles from the month. From below New Orleans to Donaldsonville, a distance of about 90 miles, the river runs in nearly an east course almost parallel with the Gulf coast. Bounding the city limits on the north lies Lake Pontchartrain, which is almost 40 miles long by 25 broad, its southern shore being nearly parallel to the Mississippi River for more than 20 miles, thus forming a strip of land between the two of an average width of 5 or 6 miles, on which New Orleans is situated, thus placing it on an island, except this narrow strip of land, through which runs the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad; the only line of land communication the city has with the interior. The river, before {p.557} reaching New Orleans, finds its way through the alluvial country in various channels to the sea (as will be further described), which in high water offer facilities for navigation. Lake Pontchartrain is also in immediate connection with the Gulf of Mexico, independent of all other approaches to the city. Lake Borgne, likewise connected with the Gulf, gives us water approach to within a few miles of the Mississippi River at a point not far below the city. This was the route taken by the British in 1815. These are the general features of the location of New Orleans.

The coast line of Department No. 1 is penetrated by passes and streams navigable in high-water season at not less than twelve or fifteen different points, many of which, as the enemy had entire command of the sea, required immediate attention. Commencing at Pascagoula, on the east, the coast could be entered by water at Biloxi flay and [Bay] Saint Louis and Pearl Rivers, which latter empties itself into the Gulf of Mexico by two months outside that entrance to Lake Pontchartrain, on which Fort Pike was located, to be hereafter described. A short distance up the Pearl River a bayou connected the river with the lake, thus avoiding entirely the guns of Fort Pike, beside which a fair road led west to the Mississippi River, giving access to the Jackson Railroad, as well as the whole northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain. This lake was connected with the Gulf by two outlets-the Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass-on the former of which was located Fort Pike and on the latter Fort Macomb, formerly called Fort Wood. From the shore of Lake Borgne four bayous put in to the land, through which access could be had by water to points near to and convenient for attack on the city. Two of them had small works upon them (Bienvenue and Phillippon) and others (Gentilly and Ciletche) were unguarded. Proceeding west, three large streams gave access directly from the ocean to firm ground near the river more than 40 miles above Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, via: Bayous l’Outre, Terre aux Boeuff, and Ann Chène, the enemy occupying Breton Isle with land forces directly off the months of these bayous. The next main point of entrance is the Mississippi River, which enters the Gulf by five months or passes. Forts Jackson and Saint Philip are located on opposite sides of the river, about 25 miles above the Head of the Passes and 75 below New Orleans. Further west is Barataria Bay, at the entrance of which is an island, on the west end of which Fort Livingston is situated. The pass at the east end is not defended. From Barataria Bay there is a direct water communication with the river just above New Orleans via Bayous Barataria and Families and a short canal. The next principal inlets are Bayous La Fourche and Grand Caillou, the former of which is one of the months of the Mississippi River, from which it offsets at Donaldsonville and crosses the Opelousas Railroad at Thibodeaux; the other heads near that railroad. Atchafalaya Bay and River afford the next important water approach. This river also connects with the Mississippi through Bayou Plaquemine above Donaldsonville, and, besides, gives access, via Bayou Teche and other streams, to a very rich and important section of country, as well as to the terminus of the Opelousas Railroad at Brashear City. West of this are Bayous Sayle and Dead Cypress, and Calcasieu Bay, the latter of which gave entrance to a large cattle-range country. Besides these important points there are numerous smaller creeks and bayous through which an enterprising enemy could penetrate and obtain access to important approaches above the defenses.

West of Lake Pontchartrain, and between it and the Mississippi River, is situated Lake Maurepas, connected with Pontchartrain by the North and South Manchac Passes, which are separated by an island, and with the river by Bayou Manchac, in former years leveed so as to destroy the river connection. The New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad runs through the narrow strip of land between Lake Pontchartrain and the river, skirting the southern and western shores of the lake, and passing between it and Maurepas across the North and South Manchac Passes goes northward into the interior. The New Orleans and Opelousas Railroad starts from Algiers, opposite New Orleans, and runs westward, crossing Bayous La Fourche, Des Allemandes, and others, terminating at Brashear City, on the Atchafalaya, about 80 miles, where the great road led to Texas. This road was the principal means of transportation for beef cattle and supplies from Texas for New Orleans and the East, and its security was a matter of great importance.

The Mexican Gulf Railroad connected the city with Proctorsville, on Lake Borgne, distant 28 miles. There were also two short railroads from the compact part of the city to Lake Pontchartrain, besides a water connection with the lake by the new canal and the Bayou Saint John, both of which led into the heart of the city. Through the latter the Confederate States steamers Bienville and Carondelet were taken from their place of building to the lake. There were two good roads from the city to Lake Pontchartrain one along the Bayou Saint John and the other on the Metairie Ridge. Also a road following Gentilly Ridge to Fort Macomb, near which road heads Bayou Gentilly, emptying into Lake Borgne, by which route the forts would be avoided. The city could also be approached by the enemy’s fleet from the Upper Mississippi descending the river.

New Orleans is situated on low, flat ground, which is the character of all the surrounding {p.558} country. To protect it against the annual rise of the river, which commences usually in January and lasts through the spring, embankments of earth, called levees, have been thrown up along its course, which levees extend from a long distance above the city in its front and for 30 miles below. The tops of these levees are much above the surface of the country, so that when the river rises to the height of the levees it is above the level of the adjacent land. Below these levees the river, in years of very high water, overflows the adjoining country almost entirely. The land above the city, with the exceptions indicated is generally low and swampy, the city itself extending for miles immediately along the banks of the Mississippi River, butt he inhabited part not extending far back towards the swamp.

For further answer of this question, and as explanatory of the above, I submit the accompanying map, which, while not correct in all minor details, gives all the general features of the country with sufficient accuracy to enable the court to understand the numerous routes by which the department could be entered.

(The map above referred to was inspected by the court, and is hereto appended as document No. 2.*)

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. 7th instant.

JACKSON, MISS., April 7, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL continued.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. What instructions, if any, did you receive on assuming command, from the War Department? What report was made to you by your predecessor of the existing state of affairs at the time; and what was the general military condition of Department No. 1 as you found it?

Answer. I received no specific instructions whatever from the War Department. The subject was referred to by the Secretary of War, and Adjutant-General Cooper, but they seemed to think it not necessary, expressing confidence in my judgment and ability to do what was right and proper. I requested authority to control all matters for the defense of my department, naval and military, on the water as well as on land, assigning my reason therefor; but this authority was declined, as will appear by the letters of the President and Secretary of War hereunto appended. (Marked documents Nos. 3 and 4.) When I arrived in New Orleans, my predecessor, Major-General Twiggs, made no official report of the condition of affairs, but stated to me verbally that the department was almost entirely defenseless; that he had been unable to get anything done, and that at many points we could not make an hour’s fight. He dwelt particularly upon the want of guns and ammunition. He gave me little or no information, as he said his feeble state of health had prevented him from making personal inspections of the various points of the department.

I assumed command on October 18, and in order to acquaint myself with the exact condition of the defenses, the topography of the country, the approaches, &c., of all of which I was entirely ignorant, I made personal inspections and critical examinations throughout the whole extent of the department. These inspections, together with the details of the office, occupied me night and day for more than two weeks. I found matters generally so deficient and incomplete, that I was unwilling to commit their condition to paper for fear of their falling into wrong hands, and so stated to the Secretary. The troops (three regiments) on the Mississippi coast were badly armed and had very little ammunition-one of the regiments not more than five rounds per man. The entrances to Pearl River were entirely unobstructed, as, indeed, were all the other inlets and approaches into the country. In addition to the works hereafter to be named, there was an open battery of ten 24-pounders on Bayou Bienvenue, one of five on Phillippon, and two small earthworks, intended for five guns each, had been thrown up guarding the approaches to Berwick Bay, but had not been completed.

The forts in the department viz, Pike, Macomb, Saint Philip, Jackson, and Livingston, were originally small works of a very inferior class, built of brick and earth, {p.559} and, having been unoccupied for many years, had become much dilapidated, and in places I found them crumbling with their own weight. On inspection I found them armed principally with smooth-bore 24 and 32 pounders, there not being in the whole department more than nine guns mounted of a greater caliber than a 32-pounder, and, indeed, but twenty-six of them mounted. Seven or eight of the 32s had been rifled but there was neither shot nor shell for them. The gun-carriages were generally old and defective from long exposure to the weather. Many of them were so decayed that I could insert a penknife with ease into the wood. There was likewise a very great deficiency in all the implements and equipments necessary for the service of heavy suns, as sponges, rammers, priming-wires, friction-tubes, primers, haversacks, handspikes, hot-shot implements, budge-barrels, &c. The ammunition did not average more than twenty rounds per gun.

Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, owing to the exertions of General (then Colonel) Duncan, were in a better state of preparation than the other works, but still sadly deficient in very many respects for their full defense, and much of the ammunition on hand was so inferior in quality as not to give more than half range. The Macomb had nothing but 24-pounders, which, indeed, composed the main armament of all the works. There were no guns or works at Pass Manchac, or Bayou La Fourche, Grand Caillou, or on the approaches, or Barataria Bay, to the river near the city. No measures had been taken for obstructing any of the rivers or passes, either by felling timber, driving piles, or making rafts, except that the materials had been collected in part for making a raft, to be placed in the Mississippi River at the forts, and work on it had been commenced. A line of intrenchments around the city itself had been planned, and was commenced some weeks before my arrival, by Maj. (now General) M. L. Smith, but it was entirely unfinished; not a gun was mounted, a magazine built, nor a platform laid. The length of this line was more than 8 miles. General Twiggs had, shortly before being relieved, received from the Norfolk navy-yard more than 100 old navy guns, many of which had been long in use and the rest so worn as to be unfit for friction tubes. Many of the guns had been cast more than forty years. There were none above a 42-pounder, and a number were 32-pounder carronades, a gun entirely useless except for firing grape and canister at short distances. No carriages, chassis, or implements came with these guns, and none of them were mounted when I took command. There was a vast amount of engineer and ordnance work to be done and both of these important branches were imposed upon Major Smith, who found it impossible to do justice to them both.

On the water there were two small vessels, the McRae and the Joy, and the ram Manassas, with one gun. Two river steamboats were being strengthened and ironed for service, the keels of two iron-clad ships-the Louisiana and Mississippi-had been lately laid, and two smaller gunboats, for service on Lake Pontchartrain, were on the stocks in the Bayou Saint John.

This is about the condition of the preparations on November 1, about the time I assumed command. I would add that several new regiments were in process of organization and preparation at Camp Moore, 78 miles north of the city, but were only partially armed and equipped. There were in all five new regiments, which were unfit to take the field.

The court adjourned to 10 a.m. the 8th instant.

JACKSON, MISS., April 8, 1863.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present all the members, the judge-advocate, and Major-General Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of Major-General LOVELL continued.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. What steps did you take to organize and perfect the defenses of the department? Give a full account of your preparations and administration up to the time of the evacuation of the city.

Answer. Thinking it probable that an attack would be made sometime in January, I commenced at once, with all the available means at my disposal, to supply the deficiencies and to provide against the dangers indicated in my last answer. In making these preparations, however, I was materially delayed by the want of a sufficient number of competent officers of experience and detailed knowledge. This deficiency was made known to the War Department and relief asked on several occasions, but without success. (See my letters to the War Department of various dates.)

{p.560}

Having completed my inspection in the early part of November, I telegraphed on the 5th to Colonel Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance, at Richmond, for mortars and columbiads. He replied the next day that he had no mortars or columbiads to spare at present. I then telegraphed General Bragg, at Pensacola, to send me, if possible, some 10-inch guns and mortars. He answered, “Not a gun to spare.” Knowing that there was no other point to look to for guns, I then turned my attention to making arrangements in New Orleans with Messrs. Leeds & Co., Bennett & Surges, and S. Wolfe & Co. for putting up reverberating furnaces and making other preparations for casting 5 and 10 inch columbiads and 10-inch seacoast mortars. I procured all the large chains and anchors that could be had from Pensacola, Savannah, and other places, for the purpose of constructing rafts and booms to place in the various water approaches, giving particular attention to that in the Mississippi River; contracted for the building and sinking of an obstruction in Pearl River; had Salt Bayou, as also Gentilly and Ciletche Bayous, with rows of piles driven across the channels, and Bayous l’Outre, Terre Aux Boeuff; and Ann Chène obstructed by fulling the timber on the banks, and eventually, with the assistance of the Safety Committee of New Orleans, had two rows of piles, each more than 1,000 yards long and braced at the top, driven in the channel, under the guns of Fort Pike, where the water was nearly 50 feet in depth. The channel leading into Atchafalaya Bay was also filled up by sinking green live-oak trees, forming an obstruction 40 feet wide at the base and 5 at the tops, and a raft was placed on the river just below Fort Berwick. Judge Baker, of Louisiana, superintended this latter work.

I replaced the 24-pounders en barbette, bearing on the water, at Forts Jackson, Saint Philip, Pike, and Macomb, with the 42 and 32 pounders received from Norfolk, and added materially to the strength of the various garrisons. Obtaining sulphur and saltpeter wherever it could be found, I pressed to completion a large powder-mill, under charge of Messrs. Hobart & Foster, and soon commenced the manufacture of powder, which was submitted to the éprouvette test before it was received. Having arrangements made with the founderies in New Orleans for casting shot and she proceeded, with the permission of the Secretary of War, to convert one-half of the large new Marine Hospital into an arsenal, where I had a steam-engine put up for driving the machinery, small-arms prepared, and the various implements, equipments, and munitions made for the service of heavy guns. A cartridge manufactory was established, in which a number of hands were employed, and which not only supplied my department, but enabled me to send more than 1,000,000 rounds to the army in Tennessee.

A considerable quantity of powder was brought in by the steamers Vanderbilt, Miramon, and Victoria, but it was all old and unfit for use, and every pound was remanufactured in New Orleans; and from this source I transferred to the Navy 25,000 pounds, sent 17,000 pounds to other departments, and 12,000 pounds to Richmond, besides furnishing ammunition to all the troops sent to General A. S. Johnston in Tennessee, and giving the river-defense fleet what they required.

Earthwork forts, mounting from two to six guns each, were commenced on the Grand Caillou and on Bayou La Fourche; on Bayou Barataria, at the Manchac Passes, and at Proctorsville; and two forts on Berwick Bay were almost entirely reconstructed. On the Mississippi River works were also put up above the city and on the southern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain.

The general plan adopted was to have two lines of works-an exterior line passing through the forts and earthworks erected to defend the various water approaches, and an interior line, embracing New Orleans and Algiers, which was intended principally to repel an attack by land. Commencing at the swamp on the west side of the river, about 4 1/2 miles below Algiers, this interior line extended across the firm ground of the right bank of the river, and from the right bank, at a point just opposite across the dry ground, to a swamp which occupied the space between it and Gentilly Ridge, where the line extended across the ridge to the adjoining swamp. It was resumed at the various points of firm ground on the railroad, canal, and roads, when they issued through the swamp in rear of the city, towards Lake Pontchartrain. Above the city it also extended from the swamp to the left bank of the river again, and from the opposite side it ran along the Barataria Canal from the bank of the river to the swamp above Algiers. The total length of the intrenchments on this line was more than 8 miles, and, when completed, it, in connection with the swamp, put New Orleans in an impregnable position so far as regarded any attack by land. It mounted more than sixty guns, of various calibers, and was surrounded by wide and deep ditches. One regiment of troops was taken from the Mississippi coast and stationed at Berwick Bay, a point of vital importance, where I also located a battery of field artillery and a company of cavalry. Twenty independent companies of infantry, raised by my predecessor, were organized by me into regiments, placed as garrisons in the various works of the exterior line, and thoroughly drilled in the heavy artillery service. The infantry at Camp Moore was brought to the city and placed in camp, and when General Ruggles (after four weeks of severe illness) reported for duty he was charged with {p.561} the organization of a brigade out of these troops. They were, after much difficulty, well armed, equipped, and provided in all respects, and held at the central position, to be sent to any point of the exterior line required or to defend the interior line if attacked. I laid a railway track in the city between the Pontchartrain and Mexican Gulf Railroads, so as to transfer troops rapidly from point to point, and established telegraph lines to Proctorsville and to Brashear City, on Berwick Bay. We were already in telegraphic communication with Forts Pike, Macomb, Saint Philip, and Jackson, and the Passes at the mouth of the Mississippi River. I also made every effort, through the citizens, to endeavor to accumulate a supply of flour and meat sufficient for sixty days for the whole city, to enable the inhabitants to stand a siege; but from causes beyond my control their efforts failed entirely, and this want of provisions for more than 150,000 inhabitants was an important element in determining the evacuation of the city in April. In addition to the great amount of labor imposed upon myself and the small number of experienced officers with me, by the details of the works above indicated, I received orders about January 15, 1862, from the Secretary of War, to seize fourteen steamers, then at New Orleans, which were to be strengthened, protected with cotton bales, armed, mounted, and equipped, under my general supervision, by Captains Montgomery, Townsend, and others named by them. For this purpose $1,000,000 was placed to my credit, and, although not favorably impressed with the plan myself, I labored assiduously to carry out the view of the Department. Montgomery and Townsend were sent from Richmond, and the twelve other captains were selected by them, the matter being placed in their hands by instructions from the Secretary of War. All these vessels were completed and put in service before April 1, eight of them being sent up the river to Fort Pillow and the other six retained for reasons indicated by me in my letter of March 10 to the Secretary of War, hereto appended.

Immense requisitions of all kinds were constantly made on my department, and provisions, clothing, camp and garrison equipage, powder, and munitions of war of various kinds were sent to the different parts of the Confederacy. My chief quartermaster, chief commissary, and ordnance officer not only performed their department duties, but acted as agents for the heads of their respective bureaus at Richmond. I had twelve launches fitted up and armed with one gun each, for service on the small bayous and canals by which the department is intersected in all directions. This was mainly fur the purpose of preventing marauding expeditions and to keep negroes and others from communicating with the enemy.

I reported, quite in detail, to the War Department my progress in the duties of my command on December 5, 1861. During the succeeding four weeks I was directed from Richmond to send out of the department twenty-two heavy guns to Tennessee and Charleston, S.C. (see dispatches herewith, marked 5, 6, and 7), and to provide one gun each for the fourteen vessels of the river-defense fleet intended for service on the upper river. I also turned over to the Navy ten 42-pounders for arming the steamers Bienville and Carondelet for service in Lake Pontchartrain and Mississippi Sound; besides which I supplied them with powder and the men to serve their guns, as they had neither guns powder, nor crews to make the ships available. I reported to the Secretaries of War and the Navy that I had turned over these ten guns. I also notified the former that I had sent two regiments of troops to Columbus, Ky., upon the urgent request of the general in command there.

In February I was ordered by the War Department to send 5,000 men also to Columbus, which took away all my available force in New Orleans, leaving me without a single armed regiment of Confederate troops in the city. Every vessel of war ready for service in the river was also ordered up to the same point, and the department left without ships or men, except the garrisons of the works on the exterior line.

On February 25 I made requisitions on the governor of Louisiana for 10,000 militia for the defense of the city, but the adjutant-general of the State reported that in November, 1861, he had only about 6,000 arm militia available, and that since that time 3,000 of the best armed of these troops had been sent to re-enforce the army in Tennessee upon the requisition of General Beauregard. This gave me for the defense of New Orleans less than 3,000 militia, of which 1,200 had muskets, and the remainder very indifferent shot-guns. These troops were commanded by their own State officers and apart of them, when ordered to the support of Fort Jackson, mutinied and refused to go, and had to be forced on board the transports by other regiments.

I reported to the War Department the manner in which my district had been stripped of men, guns, and ships, and objected thereto. (See my letters to the Secretary of War, February 12 and March 6, 9, 10, and 22, hereto appended, marked documents Nos. 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, as well as subsequent letters to the Department.**)

The strength of the land defenses around the city was, however, so great that I felt confident of repelling, even with the troops at my disposal, any attack that might be {p.562} made by land, and I felt sure that the enemy was well posted as to the strength of our works.

With regard to the water approaches, I had put every gun in position that I could get and had obstructed every river of any size leading into the department, relying upon the Navy to have such iron-clad ships and other gunboats as would enable us to oppose successfully every attack by water.

I desire to state that there were two separate and distinct organizations for the defense of Department No. 1, viz, that under the control of the Secretary of War, of which I was the senior officer, and that under the Secretary of the Navy, of which Commodore Hollins and afterwards Commander Whittle were the seniors. We were entirely independent of each other, but were directed to co-operate cordially for the defense of the city. I had no control whatever over them, but the best feeling existed, and there was very seldom any difference of opinion between us as to what should be done. I made requests at various times of them that they were unable to comply with. They complained frequently of the inadequacy of the means and material placed at their disposal to assist me and regretted that they had no power to hasten the completion of the proper ships for our defense. What few they had were sent up the rivers, and the others were directed to follow as soon as completed. Against this I protested by telegram on April 11 to the Secretary of War. (See dispatches, hereunto appended, marked document No. 13.) These vessels, however, were never entirely finished. On land we had, for the defense of the department, sixteen different forts, large and small (seven of which were built before the war), upon the various water approaches, besides an intrenched line, with numerous batteries, around the city, in all of which there were in position nearly 300 guns of various calibers, while on April 24 there was not a single war vessel of any great size or power afloat on the Mississippi River in serviceable condition for the defense of Department No. 1. There was an additional part of my administration of affairs which cost much time and labor.

On March 15, 1862, by direction of the President, New Orleans and the adjacent parishes were placed under martial law. Eight provost-marshals were appointed, four for the city and four for the parishes, and for valid reasons I felt compelled to give a good deal of time and attention personally to their plans and course of action.

In the latter part of February the great raft in the Mississippi River began to show signs of giving way. The drift had accumulated greatly and the river was higher than ever known before. I employed steamboats and skiffs to remove the drift, but it gained on us so rapidly that the attempt was given up. The raft gave way at various points, and by the end of the first week in March the main chains snapped, and it ceased to be any longer an obstruction. I determined, therefore, to detain six of Montgomery’s boats at New Orleans, contrary to orders from the War Department, but reported the fact and the reasons therefor on March 10 by letter to the Secretary of War.

Previous to taking command at New Orleans I had verbally stated, both to the President and Secretary of War, that, in my opinion, batteries on shore could be passed by ships of war under steam with the loss of but few vessels, and had repeated this opinion to the latter in my letter of November 19, 1861.

As soon as the raft had given way I applied for and got $100,000 from the city council of New Orleans, by whom the money for the previous raft had been furnished, and sent Colonel Higgins, an able and efficient officer, formerly of the U. S. Navy, down, to endeavor to repair the raft. I gave him full authority to take or hire steamers, employ men, and do anything that might be necessary to accomplish his purpose. It was found impossible to restore the raft; but a new obstruction was made of parts of the old raft and with schooners anchored and fastened together by chains. This obstruction was, however, far inferior to the other, and was by no means satisfactory, but heavy chains for anchoring a more formidable obstruction could not be obtained by the most strenuous endeavors. I had prepared and sent down forty or fifty fire rafts loaded with lightwood and mixed with cotton, rosin, and tar oil, which were placed above and below the new obstruction. This second obstruction was pretty much broken up and carried away before the final attack. I also sent to Memphis and procured the services of Mr. J. B. Cook, who had much experience with torpedoes, and endeavored to have them placed in the river; but the great depth (more than 130 feet) and the powerful current rendered such attempts nugatory. I ordered a Drummond light to be made and sent to Fort Jackson; but it was destroyed by one of the enemy’s shells during the bombardment.

Governor Moore, at my request, took two steamers, lying in the river, had them strengthened with cotton bales and provided with officers and crews, which he placed under my orders. I armed them with two heavy guns each and furnished them with ammunition, &c., and sent them to Fort Jackson, under Captains Kennon and Grant. The arrangements for casting heavy guns were meanwhile pressed forward under my frequent supervision, but many difficulties presented themselves. Pits for casting could not be used on account of water, which in that low, flat country rapidly filled {p.563} them. It became necessary to make casings in the pits to exclude the water, but I succeeded, just before the evacuation in having two 8-inch columbiads and two 10-inch mortars completed and the model for 10-inch columbiads was ready.

Learning by accident in the early part of March that Pensacola was to be abandoned, I renewed my application to the War Department for some of the columbiads and mortars, of which there was a large number there. I telegraphed Mr. Benjamin, Secretary of War, March 7, 1862, as follows: “In case of evacuation of points now fortified, please order 10-inch guns and mortars here.” To this telegram I received no reply. On March 15 I telegraphed to Maj. Gen. S. Jones, commanding at Mobile, to send me 10-inch mortars, and also wrote on the 21st. (See letter marked document No. 14.) Receiving no answer, I telegraphed the Secretary of War, requesting him to order General Jones to send the columbiads and mortars promptly; to which he replied by telegraph that he had ordered them to be sent as requested. On the 29th I telegraphed the Secretary of War that the enemy were in force at the mouth of the river, and to please order the commanding officer at Mobile to send immediately. General Randolph, who in the mean time had become Secretary of War, telegraphed me on March 29 to know what guns I meant, whether guns in battery or guns on the way to me. I replied, “A part of the 10-inch columbiads and seacoast mortars which were at Pensacola;” that New Orleans had only one of the former and none of the latter. On April 4 the Secretary of War telegraphed me that he had endeavored to get from Pensacola columbiads and seacoast mortars, bat found that all had been sent to Mobile that could be spared. Finding I could not obtain guns by authority, I sent Major Duncan, an energetic officer, to get possession of as many guns of that caliber as he could and to bring them through unless stopped by some superior officer. Major Duncan is now dead. He reported to me that General Jones at Mobile, would let me have two 10-inch guns if he were in command, but that he had been ordered away; that he telegraphed General Bragg, who replied that the commanding officer was authorized to give the guns if he thought proper, but that they regarded the points above Memphis as the best for the defense of New Orleans. The commanding officer at Mobile refused to give them. Major Duncan then went to Pensacola and took three guns, which he brought to New Orleans. I also telegraphed and wrote to General Beauregard to request General Bragg to order me the guns. (See letters hereunto appended, marked documents Nos. 15, 16, and 17.) I borrowed some guns from Commander Whittle in the latter part of March, which were intended for the iron-cads Louisiana and Mississippi, and on April 4 suggested that the remaining guns of the Louisiana be sent to Fort Jackson, as I feared that vessel would not be ready in time for the fight. On the 11th the commodore demanded the return of the guns, against which I protested. (See letters on these points hereunto appended, marked documents Nos. 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.) I urged the completion of the Louisiana and Mississippi upon Commander Whittle; but he replied that they were not under his control, the contracts being made independent of his order by the Secretary of the Navy.

I sent a regiment of troops, under Colonel Szymanski, to the quarantine to prevent an approach to the river bank above Fort Saint Philip by the enemy; but the unprecedented high water dislodged the troops, who were removed to the west bank, where they were located until they were captured by the enemy’s fleet. Sharpshooters were also organized by my orders for service on the banks of the river below the forts. Obtaining a few heavy guns from Pensacola, I got 120 negroes from the planters on the river and sent them to General Duncan for mounting those guns in an additional water battery outside of Fort Jackson. General Duncan, lately promoted, had been placed by me in command of all the works of the exterior lines and made his headquarters at Fort Jackson. I also sent to General Beauregard for the ram Manassas, which he finally sent down, and she took part in the battle of the 24th.

Commodore Hollins came down in April with the McRae, and, after consultation with Commander Whittle, I telegraphed the Secretary of War, on April 17, to try and have Hollins put in command afloat below until he could strike a blow. (See document No. 23, hereunto appended.) This, however, was not done. The water meanwhile had risen in the river to an extraordinary height. Places heretofore free from overflow were entirely submerged, and the water was nearly 2 feet deep even in Fort Jackson. For miles above the forts the river formed one vast sheet of water in connection with the Gulf of Mexico, and nearer the city, where the banks are leveed, the surface of the river was not less than 8 or 9 feet above the level of the land adjacent, Maj. M. L. Smith, whose promotion I had urged for some time was promoted a brigadier-general in April, and assigned by me to the command of the interior line.

Ten 32-pounders, smooth bore, and two 8-inch columbiads, just finished in New Orleans, were mounted at the interior line where it abuts upon the river below the city (half the guns on each side), and they were provided with seventy rounds of ammunition per gun.

On April 20, Commander Whittle informed me that the Louisiana, although not entirely ready with her motive power, would down at once to the forts, but he could get no powder for the guns, except the 3,000 pounds which I had already turned {p.564} over to him. As she was an iron-clad ship, mounting sixteen guns, a number of which were rifled, of the heaviest caliber and longest range, I determined, in the emergency, to take 50 rounds from my battery of smooth-bore 32s on the lower line, which would give the Louisiana 5,000 pounds additional, but only left 20 rounds at the interior line battery. I thought that the powder would do better service on the Louisiana than with my light guns and new recruits, on the inner line. I issued no ammunition to the militia at the camp near the interior line because they were utterly useless against ships; no land attack was anticipated, and, above all, they had, in some regiments, manifested such an insubordinate disposition, that I felt unwilling to put ammunition in their hands. I had, however, 600,000 rounds of shot-gnu cartridges made up for their use, and put in the arsenal ready for use when the proper time should arrive.

I employed two small steamers, with officers selected by myself and sent them to General Duncan, for towing the fire-rafts into position for setting them adrift. Several other steamers were also employed to carry down sand bags, already filled, for protection to the magazines, &c., of the forts. For full particulars of the long and arduous contest at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip reference is made to General Duncan’s official report.

On April 20, in consequence of the heavy fire, I turned over to Captain Mitchell the control of the fire rafts, the steamers for towing them, and all other floating defenses at the forts, as General Duncan found it impossible to take proper charge of then. I sent orders to that effect to Captain Stephenson, the senior officer of the six boats of the river-defense fleet, and to the captains of the two ships turned over to me by Governor Moore.

This, I believe, answers the question in the most material points. A vast number of smaller matters gave me much trouble and labor and took up a great deal of my time. I refer the court especially to my correspondence with the War Department for additional particulars as to all that was done by me in the administration of the affairs of Department No. 1.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. the 9th instant.

JACKSON, Miss., April 9, 1863.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and also Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

Examination of Major General LOVELL continued.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Describe particularly the obstruction of the Mississippi River near Forte Jackson and Saint Philip, and state what, if any, confidence you placed in that obstruction as a permanent work.

Answer. The obstruction in the Mississippi River was placed just under the guns of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, and work upon it had been begun before my arrival. It consisted of cypress trees 40 feet long and averaging 4 to 5 feet at the larger end. These were placed longitudinally in the river, about 3 feet apart, so as to leave a water-way. They were held together by (or rather strung upon) two 2 1/2-inch chain cables, which were passed through mortises in the under side of the logs and held in place by heavy iron staples. To give it stiffening large timbers, 6 by 4 inches, were securely pinned down transversely to the upper side of the logs. This raft was placed in the river by securing the chains on the left bank to large trees, and on the right bank, where there were no trees, they were fastened to crab capstans and to immense anchors buried in the ground and held by heavy timbers. In addition, all the anchors that could be had were got from various points in the Confederacy, and the raft was anchored up stream, the large anchors being laid singly and the smaller ones backed by a second anchor. The depth of the river being about 130 feet at that point, this required an immense amount of chain, which was difficult to procure, as well as a sufficiency of anchors.

The difficulty of anchoring a heavy mass in the Mississippi arises from the fact that the bottom is a shifting sand, and in high water the swift current soon cuts out the anchors or other obstruction placed on the bottom. In this manner the raft began to sag by the drifting of the anchors, and the whole weight was thrown upon the chains; and, when an immense amount of drift-wood bad accumulated above the raft, these eventually parted. This occurred about the early part of March. I employed steamers to remove the drift, but it accumulated much faster than it could be removed. I then authorized General Duncan to employ 50 or 100 boatmen, with skiffs, to assist in the operation; but only a few boats could be obtained. Persons well acquainted with the {p.565} river told me that any obstruction of such character could not be made to hold in the Mississippi River for the reason above indicated; but I thought it possible that I could make it so that it would hold for several months; at all events until the middle of January, at which date I was informed by those superintending their construction that the iron-clad vessels would be completed.

In constructing this raft I employed the best engineering and nautical ability at my command Major Smith and Colonel Duncan, and Colonel [W. S.] Lovell (formerly of the U. S. Navy), being charged with its construction and anchorage. Its position was fixed upon after consultation with General Beauregard, who, as an engineer in the U. S. Army, had been in service in that country for many years. I had a long boor, constructed to stretch diagonally across the river above the forts, so as to shed the drift over through the opening; but all my endeavors to get chains and anchors to secure it in position proved futile.

I omitted stating that on April 23 I requested Commander Whittle to order the ironclad steamer Louisiana to take position just below Fort Saint Philip, and endeavor to dislodge the enemy’s mortar boats, so as to give some relief to the garrisons and enable them to repair damages. He said she was not in condition for effective service, and she would probably be lost. I told him we had better lose her than the city of New Orleans, and he telegraphed Captain Mitchell to strain a point to endeavor to comply with my request. The naval commanders held a consultation on the subject, and, for reasons which they considered satisfactory, declined to place the vessel in the position indicated.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. to-morrow, the 10th instant.

JACKSON, MISS., April 10, 1863.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Major-General Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of Major-General LOVELL continued.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. State your reasons for the evacuation of the other forts and works of the exterior line and the city of New Orleans after the passage of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip by the enemy’s fleet; the measures you adopted for the removal of public property; the amount of such property, and the number of troops removed from the city; state also the facts and circumstances attendant upon the evacuation.

Answer. I was present in a small river steamboat at the engagement which resulted in the passage of the forts by the enemy’s fleet on the morning of April 24, and proceeded immediately to the city. I had taken down on the boats with me to Fort Jackson a number of large cartridges, already made up, for General Duncan’s heavy guns, which I was unable to deliver. On my return I directed them to be left at the batteries on the lower interior line, stopped there myself, and told the officers that the cartridges must be reduced to 5 pounds each for service with their guns, which were 32-pounders, which, I believe, was not done. I had already determined upon the course to be pursued in case of the passage of the forts, and had made arrangements to meet the emergency, having particularly directed my chief commissary (Major Lanier) to send out quietly from the city several hundred thousand rations, which were deposited at Covington and at points on the Jackson Railroad. I had also, through Colonel Lovell, of my staff, made arrangements to have several large steamers kept in such a state of preparation that they could be made available at a few hours’ notice.

I determined to evacuate the city when the enemy succeeded in passing the forts for the following reasons: The principal concentration in men, guns, and ships had been made at this point. It had been selected as the spot where the battle or the defense of New Orleans against a fleet coming up the Mississippi River should be fought, and everything available for the defense below, both ashore and afloat, had been collected there, except the twelve guns on the river at the lower interior line which were put there to flank that line. The obstacles had been placed there and swept away and had been a complete bar to the passage of a hostile fleet, and the naval and river defense officers had brought to bear at that point all the available strength, and although New Orleans was still in a condition to resist an attack by land, yet when, after six days and nights of incessant conflict, the forts were passed {p.566} and all our defenses afloat were either burned or sunk, I knew there was no material obstacles to prevent the fleet from proceeding at once to the city, and that all the guns, forts, and men on the other ten or twelve water approaches would go for naught. The twelve guns in the upper earthworks on the lower line had but 20 rounds of powder each (the remainder having been given to the steamer Louisiana, for reasons which I have already stated, and could offer no serious resistance to a fleet which had already passed more than 100 guns in masonry works, better mounted and amply supplied with powder. The city was surrounded by swamps, and there was but one outlet by land, viz, through the narrow neck, heretofore described, between the river and Lake Pontchartrain.

At Kenner, on the Mississippi, 10 miles above the city, the firm ground between the river and the swamp which borders the lake is narrowed to about three-quarters of a mile, through which passes the Jackson Railroad. The river at this time was full to the top of the levees, and a single one of their large ships of war anchoring at this point would have commanded with her broadside, at point-blank range, the only land exit from the city, sweeping with her guns (which would have been higher than the surface of the country) every foot of and between the river and the lake. The obstructions placed across the Rigolets at Fort Pike had been swept away in a storm shortly before, by some vessels which had broken adrift, and there was an open channel, fully as wide as the Mississippi River, into Lake Pontchartrain, which could easily be passed by the enemy at night. Such a movement in connection with the placing of one or more ships at Kenner, would have completely surrounded New Orleans, cutting off all communication, by land or water, with the interior. (See the map heretofore submitted.) My efforts to accumulate provisions enough in the city to feed the population had proved abortive, and an examination, made a few days previous to the evacuation, had satisfied me that there were not in the city provisions enough to sustain the population for more than eighteen days. Taking it for granted that the enemy would occupy Kenner, as indeed he did, in a few days, we should have been starved into a surrender in less than three weeks; for when the hostile fleet anchored in front of the city we were entirely cut off from Texas and the Red River, our main source of supply. I had more than three months’ rations available for my troops (less than 3,000 men), but this would have answered but a few days for a population of more than 150,000 persons. Some of the steamers on the levee had been destroyed and a number had fled up the river, so that the Jackson Railroad was the only means of transportation for removing the women, children, and non-combatants from the city, which removal it would have required months to accomplish.

In the vicinity of New Orleans and for many miles above there was nothing but swamps filled with water in which the families could take refuge, and, moreover, a great portion of the male protectors of these families were absent with our armies in Tennessee and Virginia, and of course could not superintend their removal. The plan, therefore, of removing the non-combatants and remaining with the troops was entirely impracticable. Thirteen of the enemy’s ships were anchored abreast of the city, with their guns looking down upon the streets, which they could have swept to the swamps in rear of the houses or set on fire at a number of points; and, had I continued to occupy it with troops, they would have been justified, by the laws of war, in opening fire, after due notice to the women and children to withdraw from danger. I knew that they had not, and could not have for several days, land forces to take possession, and having determined, for the reasons above stated, to evacuate the city, I thought it best to remove the troops at once and speedily, and thus convert New Orleans from a military position into that of an ungarrisoned city. By so doing I should deprive the enemy of all pretext for a wanton and useless sacrifice of life and property, and, as they were unable to occupy it, I would have a number of days for the undisturbed removal of the vast amount of public property which was on hand at the time. My troops, however, were placed at Camp Moore, only four hours’ run from the city by rail, and I could have reoccupied it at any time for several days after the evacuation, if it had been deemed advisable. Had I regarded the outside popular clamor that would ensue, I should have subjected the people of New Orleans to a bombardment; but I did not think myself justified, for such a purpose, in spilling the blood of women and children, when I knew that in two or three weeks at furthest want of food for the inhabitants would compel me to evacuate the city,or, if that had been impossible, to surrender. I spoke to the mayor, several members of the city council, and many prominent citizens on the subject and, while none seemed unwilling to undergo the an era, If by so doing they could arrive at favorable results, yet all, without exception under the circumstances, approved of and advised the withdrawal of the troops. In determining upon the evacuation, I, necessarily, as soon as the enemy’s fleet had passed the forts regarded the position the same as if both their Army and Navy were present before the city, making due allowance simply for the time it would take them to transport their army up. Inasmuch as their ships had passed Forts Jackson and Saint Phillip, they could at once place themselves in open and uninterrupted communication with their army at points from 6 to 20 miles above the forts through {p.567} various small water communications from the Gulf, made more available by the extraordinary height of the river, and which, while they were in possession of the latter, I had easily and without risk defended with launches and a part of the river-defense fleet. I had also stationed Szymanski’s regiment at the quarantine for the same object. These were, however, all destroyed or captured by the enemy’s fleet after they got possession of the river between the forts and the city. There was a further and very important reason for the course which I pursued. I knew that if I remained in New Orleans we should, in all probability, lose, in a short time, troops, guns, and supplies of all kinds, and the enemy would then be in full possession of the river as far as Memphis, which eventually fell also into their hands. By withdrawing my command, however, I would be enabled to fortify, arm, and organize Vicksburg, a strong and defensible position.

On April 17 I had written to General Beauregard (see document No. 24, hereunto appended) recommending the fortification of Vicksburg, and asking him for an engineer officer, and two days after the evacuation I advised the Adjutant-General at Richmond, General Cooper, that I should occupy that place and Jackson. (See document No. 25, hereunto appended).* I sent thither a number of heavy guns and quantities of ammunition with the artillerists from the various forts near New Orleans, and sent General Smith, with a brigade of infantry, to take command of the whole. The officers, troops, and guns which held Vicksburg last summer were almost entirely the same which I withdrew from New Orleans rather than remain and submit to an inevitable surrender. Results have fully proved the wisdom of the military policy pursued by me of collecting all the means in Department No. 1 and taking a new and stronger position on the Mississippi River. The evacuation of New Orleans and its occupation by the enemy would necessarily be followed sooner or later by the abandonment of the various forts and small works of the exterior line, which were erected principally to defend the approaches to that city, and after its evacuation could no longer serve any useful purpose. As the position of the enemy (in the river abreast of the city) gave him control of the Opelousas Railroad, thus enabling him to get in rear of the works on Barataria Bay, Grand Caillou, Bayou La Fourche, and at Berwick Bay, by which he could cutoff and capture all the garrisons, with small-arms, ammunition, and stores, all of which were greatly needed at that time, I directed them to be abandoned at once. The officers in command were ordered to report with their troops and all transportable supplies at Camp Moore or Vicksburg Some of them complied with this order, but a portion of the garrisons, after marching part of the way, refused to go farther and, in spite of their officers, disbanded and went to New Orleans.

Forts Jackson and Saint Philip surrendered in consequence of a mutiny among the men on April 28. (See General Duncan’s report).** Forts Pike and Macomb were abandoned without my orders. When I returned to the city from the lower forts, on the 24th, I directed Colonel Fuller, who was in command of the works on the lakes, which comprised Forts Pike and Macomb, to have everything ready to abandon those forts in case I should order it.

Supposing that the enemy would occupy Kenner and thus deprive me of the use of the Jackson Railroad, it was my intention to remove the troops, supplies, &c., across Lake Pontchartrain to Pass Manchac and Madisonville, holding the entrance to that lake by forts as long as possible. The enemy, however, did not interfere with the railroad at Kenner, and the greater part of the men and public property were removed by rail.

I went to Camp Moore on the night of the 25th to arrange matters there, and on the morning of the 27th received information that Colonel Fuller had arrived at Covington, La., with the garrisons of Forts Pike and Macomb. This was the first knowledge I had of the abandonment of those works. I immediately directed them to be reoccupied and sent a letter to Captain Poindexter, of the Navy, in command of the ships on the lake, requesting his co-operation in this movement. Colonel Fuller replied, on the 28th, that the forts had been dismantled, the guns spiked, and the carriages destroyed, and that it was impossible to reoccupy them.

I was officially in formed of the surrender of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip on the 29th, and deemed it, therefore, useless to make any further attempts to reoccupy Forts Pike and Macomb. The cisterns in the two last-named works only held water enough to serve the garrison a short time, and had to be supplied by steamer from a distance. They could not have held out for any great length of time for this reason, and I deemed it best to save their garrisons (composed of well-drilled artillerists) for the works at Vicksburg, where they have ever since rendered such good service, but it was not intended to abandon them so soon, nor, indeed, until I had transferred all the public property from New Orleans.

* A duplicate of report printed on p. 510.

** Page 521.

The court adjourned to meet to-morrow at 10 a.m.

{p.568}

APRIL 11, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

It was ordered by the court that the examination of Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell as a witness be suspended, so that the testimony of S. L. James, an important witness, now en route to Europe, might be taken.

S. L. JAMES was then duly sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Were you an officer in the C. S. Army, under the command of General Mansfield Lovell, at the time of the evacuation of New Orleans? If yea, how long had you been under his command and what position did you hold?

Answer. I was in New Orleans at that time and in the service, but only as a volunteer aide to General Lovell, with the nominal rank of major. My services as such began April 24, 1862, the day before the evacuation.

Question. State what orders you received from General Lovell; what services were rendered by you in obedience to those orders, and the circumstances attendant upon their execution.

Answer. On the afternoon of April 24 General Lovell ordered me to detain all the steamboats at the landing until they could be loaded with Government stores. I gave notice of this at once to the captains and owners of these steamboats. During the day there were large quantities of Government stores placed upon these boats by the ordnance officers, but during the excitement of the evacuation some of the engineers and pilots deserted their posts and left the boats at the mercy of the enemy or the people. Those that were loaded went up the river, leaving some nine or ten at the levee. During that evening General Lovell, to gratify the people, ordered me to call for 1,000 men to man these boats for a hand-to-hand fight with the enemy’s vessels, although General Lovell said it was impracticable.

The citizens promised to have the men ready the next morning at 9 o’clock. I was authorized to take the boats that were left and make such arrangements as I thought necessary to carry out the plan. I published this order (with an appeal of my own to the people) in all the city papers. In the mean while I sent down cotton bales to protect the boats, and molasses barrels to put in their hulls to keep them afloat in the event they were penetrated by shot. I called upon General Lewis and other militia officers to assist me in carrying out this scheme, which they failed to do, and I only received in response to the call 140 men, without arms, under Captain Dupiere.

Hearing that the enemy’s vessels were at Camp Chalmette, about 5 miles below the city, I sent an officer to the landing, who ascertained that the citizens had burned a number of the boats and the owners of the others had gone off with them. I then ordered these 140 men to proceed to the Jackson Railroad depot to go to Camp Moore, and I then went to Camp Moore.

The morning of my arrival at Camp Moore General Lovell ordered me to return to New Orleans, and take with me Major Bell, Captain Venable, and Mr. Caul Rives, and remove what Government property there was in the city, stating that the railroad authorities would give me every facility for its removal. I went to New Orleans the same day in a special train, and hired drays, wagons, &c., to remove the Government property to the depot, whence it was removed out of the city by the railroad authorities. There were many citizens who assisted me and pointed out private property which would be of use to the Government, which was also removed. I obtained funds from the Committee of Public Safety to pay for drayage and other charges incident to the removal. I also used the mayor’s office.

After delivering at the depot all the Government property I could find, I ordered the military property of the State to be seized and removed. After that I removed such supplies as were in the hands of contractors for the Government. We also moved two batteries belonging to the State, two guns of which had been spiked. We were engaged four days and nights in removing from the city property available for military purposes. Some 18 or 20 mounted men were sent over to the city to get such military supplies as might have been taken by citizens. There was, however, but little found in this way.

I requested the mayor to give me an order upon General Paul Juge for the arms in the hands of the Foreign Brigade. This he would not do, but gave me a request for them to the general, which was refused. All the property available for military uses {p.569} that I could find was removed, except some heavy guns, which had to be left because I could not get the men and sling-carts necessary to their removal.

Question. Did you make any communications with the mayor and council of New Orleans on behalf of General Lovell? If so, what was the substance of those communications and what was their result?

Answer. On April 28 General Lovell telegraphed me to inform the mayor and council that he would return with his forces to the city if they desired it, provided they would incur the hazards of a bombardment. They replied that General Lovell could do nothing further with his troops; that if they were brought back it would only cause a bombardment of the city, which would result in the death of many women and children; but they told me they would like the general to come down. I notified the general, and he came down that night. We went together to the mayor’s house, where the general repeated the proposition he had made to him through me. He replied as before, and asked the general to remain, so that he might have the benefit of his counsel.

During the morning of the 29th the mayor received a communication from the commander of the Federal fleet, stating that it was useless to hold out longer, that the forts had fallen, and demanding the surrender of the city. In the afternoon the enemy landed their forces to take down the State flag. General Duncan also arrived in the city, a paroled prisoner of war. About this time a policeman told me that the mayor of the city was anxious to see me. I immediately called upon him, when he asked me for God’s sake to get General Lovell out of town.

Question. Were you present at any interview between General Lovell and Commander Whittle in reference to the location of the steamer Louisiana? If yea, state where such interview occurred and what passed between them.

Answer. On the morning of April 23 I was present at such an interview, in which General Lovell stated to Commander Whittle, commanding the naval station, that he had received intelligence to the effect that the forts and magazines had been very much damaged and the sand bags over the magazines, and that the latter were in danger of being blown up by the enemy’s shells, and that the sally-ports were injured to such an extent that it was impossible to replace the sand bags under the enemy’s heavy fire. General Lovell then said he was satisfied that by placing the iron-clad gunboat Louisiana on the Fort Saint Philip side, about half a mile below the raft, where she would be under the protection of the cross-fire of both forts, she could enfilade the position of the enemy’s fleet and drive them off, when the men in the forts could get some rest and replace the sand bags. The commander replied that he had every confidence in the officers in command of our fleet below, and that he did not like to interfere with them. General Lovell then stated to him that Captain Mitchell had already refused to make the desired change, and that he came to him as chief in command. Commander Whittle replied that the vessel was not entirely ready with her motive power, and that by placing her there he was afraid she would be lost. The general answered, saying that he did not wish her to be sent down and the enemy’s fleet, but that she could be towed down and placed in position as a battery; that the necessity was such that it was better to lose the vessel than the city of New Orleans. Commander Whittle then dispatched Captain Mitchell, which dispatch I saw and heard read. As near as I can recollect it was in these words: “I am Informed by General Lovell that the garrisons need relief, and that by placing the Louisiana in position in the eddy on the Fort Saint Philip side of the river, below the fort, under the protection of the cross-fire of both forts, she can dislodge the mortar boats and relieve the garrison. If in your judgment this can be accomplished strain a point to do so.” He then turned to General Lovell and asked if that would do. The general replied that nothing short of placing her in the position indicated would answer his Purposes, and remarked to the commander that he was going down in a special boat to the forts that afternoon, and asked him to go with him and judge for himself. The commander replied that his business in the office was such that he could not spare the time.

Question. Were the steamboats that you say were burned by the citizens at the levee private property? State how many there were, and whether other vessels than those steamboats, private property, were destroyed.

Answer. The gunboat Yankee was also burned, and, to the best of my knowledge and belief, with her armament aboard. I do not know by whose, if anybody’s, order she was burned. The remaining vessels were private property.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. April 13.

{p.570}

JACKSON, MISS., April 13, 1863-l0 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of the 11th instant were read over.

Examination of General M. LOVELL resumed.

Answer (continued). In answer to the latter part of the question asked previous to the examination of Major James, as to the removal of public property, I will state, in general terms, that I gave orders to my staff officers to employ every means, by vessels on the Mississippi River and the lake, and by the Jackson Railroad, to remove the public property in their charge. I also sent from Camp Moore several active and energetic officers, who were well acquainted with the city, to search cut and to transport from thence all the Government property and all property of the State of Louisiana available for war purposes. Before the arrival of the enemy’s fleet several steamers had been sent up the river loaded with ordnance and commissary stores and with the machinery of the rifle factory and powder-mills. I took possession of all the rolling stock of the Jackson Railroad, and, with the co-operation and assistance of the superintendent, Mr. Williams, kept the whole force of the road moving night and day, employed in bringing cut such property as my agents collected for transportation. Majors James, Venable, and Bell, with Captains McDonald and Caulkins, were busily employed in this matter under my orders until they reported to me that they had brought everything that could be found belonging either to the State of Louisiana or the Government, or that was in the hands of contractors, that could be made available for military purposes. For details I will have to refer the court to other witnesses. I know that an enormous amount of property was brought from New Orleans, which I should estimate to be worth several millions of dollars. I advised the officer in command of the gunboats on the lake to take his ships to Mobile, but he determined, for his own reasons, to destroy them. I then got from there ten or twelve heavy guns, with ammunition, which I sent up and put in position at Vicksburg.

On the afternoon of April 24, after my return to the city, it was intimated to me that 1,000 volunteers might be got, who, if placed on steamers, partly protected by cotton bales, would undertake to board and take possession of the enemy’s ships by a hand-to-hand fight. I did not think it practicable, because I did not believe that the requisite number of desperately bold men could be had; but I concluded to make the attempt, and published an order calling for the volunteers, placing the whole matter in charge of Maj. S. L. James. Advertisements to that effect were published in all the papers of the city, but less than 150 men volunteered for the enterprise, and it was accordingly abandoned.

I returned to the city from Camp Moore on the evening of the 25th, three days after the evacuation, as it was intimated to me that the citizens intended to resist the enemy at all hazards, and had they concluded to do so I determined to support and assist them at any cost. I found, however, that no such idea was entertained. I was at the mayor’s house when Commodore Farragut announced by letter the surrender of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip and demanded the surrender of the city. Soon after I met General Duncan, who confirmed the news of the surrender of the forts. The flag was taken down from the city hail on the same day and replaced by the United States flag while I was yet in the city. I remained six or eight hours after that event took place, and finally returned to Camp Moore on the night of the 29th, as my presence could no longer be of any use in New Orleans. Three days later I addressed the following letter to the Adjutant-General:

CAMP MOORE, LA., May 2, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to request that the Department will appoint a board of competent officers to examine into and report upon the circumstances preceding and attendant upon the evacuation of the city of New Orleans, as well as the passage of the forts (Jackson and Saint Philip) by the fleet of the enemy, which brought about the evacuation. This is necessary as an act of Justice to myself and officers, as well as to vindicate the truth of history.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.

M. LOVELL Major-General, Commanding.

No official notice was taken of this application.

The court adjourned to meet at 12 m. the 14th instant.

{p.571}

JACKSON, MISS., April 14, 1863-12 m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Major-General Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

The judge-advocate then read in evidence to the court a certified copy of the official correspondence between Maj. Gen. M. Lovell and the War Department (hereto appended, and marked document A),*** and certified copies of the official reports of Major-General Lovell and Brigadier-General Duncan upon the fall of New Orleans and the passage of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip. (Hereto appended, and marked documents B and C.****)

General Lovell then offered in evidence the letter-book of Department No. 1, for the purpose of supplying the omission of certain letters he had written to the War Department, already referred to and hereafter to be mentioned in his testimony, and to show his conduct while in command of said Department No. 1, special reference to be made to such of its contents as will be used for the purposes indicated.

The judge-advocate admitted the genuineness of said letter-book, when it was received in evidence by the court.

The court adjourned to meet at 7 p.m. the 15th instant.

JACKSON, MISS., April 15, 1863-7 p.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Major-General Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

It was ordered by the court that Mr. R. Hammett be employed as an additional clerk, to aid the judge-advocate.

The judge-advocate then stated to the court that a question would arise as to the jurisdiction of this court to inquire into the conduct of naval officers on duty in Department No. 1, at the time Forts Jackson and Saint Philip were passed by the enemy’s fleet, and that he was of opinion that the court had no jurisdiction to make such inquiry. It was thereupon ordered by the court that the judge-advocate communicate the question for decision to the Adjutant and Inspector General by telegraph, and in the following words:

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL.: The court of inquiry instruct me to ask whether it is intended to restrict them in their investigation and opinion to the conduct of officers of the Army, or is it their duty to inquire into and express their opinion upon the conduct of the officers of the Navy, so as to embrace the whole subject of the capture, defense, and evacuation of New Orleans?

L. R. PAGE, Major, Adjutant-General’s Department, Judge-Advocate.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. to-morrow.

APRIL 16, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

{p.572}

The examination of Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL continued.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. State what preparations, if any, were made by you, and, if so, when begun, to resist the progress of the enemy’s fleet up the river, after the raft ceased to be an obstruction, and when you believed the passage of the forts could be accomplished.

Answer. I made my preparations, from the beginning, on land, to resist the passage of the fleet up the river to the city, precisely as if there had been no obstructions in the river, and brought everything to bear that I could obtain for that purpose. I never did believe that the forts could have been passed if those who had charge of the construction of the vessels of war which were intended to co-operate with me in the defense had had them ready at the time named to me by themselves, as two powerful iron-clad steamers, heavily armed and manned, could have averted the necessity of any obstructions; with this assistance, which I was informed would undoubtedly be afforded, I did not think the enemy could get up the river. When the first obstructions were carried away, I, having done all I could by way of defense on land, I endeavored to urge forward the completion of the iron-clad steamers, and was told by the builders that they would undoubtedly be ready about April I. Previous to this time I endeavored to get the heavy guns from Pensacola, as mentioned already in my testimony.

Question. When you considered the passage of the fort practicable, did you then or at any time urge upon the Government the speedy completion of the iron-clads, which were then being built in New Orleans, as necessary to its successful defense, and did you at any time advise the War Department of any tardiness on the part of those building them?

Answer. I did not. I had been distinctly informed by the Secretary of War and President that I was to have no control over those matters. The Navy Department had experienced officers at New Orleans in charge of its affairs, and I should have considered it a reflection upon these officers for me to undertake their duties. I did, however, represent the matter frequently and forcibly to the naval officer in command of New Orleans, who informed me that it had been represented by him to Richmond. It was also stated day after day that the Louisiana would be ready, and she did go down the river on the 20th to the forts, and I supposed that with her assistance the enemy could be driven off. When she got there she proved not to be ready.

Question. What officers informed you from day to day that the Louisiana would be ready; and did you not know before she went down that she was not ready?

Answer. Various persons connected with her construction and her crew. I did know that she was not entirely ready, but supposed she was all prepared, except some works upon the propellers, for the completion of which work she took down a number of mechanics, and I was informed that she would be entirely ready in less than two days by some of her officers or master-mechanics.

Question. When it became evident to you that the security of New Orleans required that the Louisiana should be placed as indicated by you to Commander Whittle, and that officer declined to give a positive order to that effect, did you or not communicate the fact to the War Department? If not, what were your reasons?

Answer. I did not. From information received I felt convinced that the final passage would be attempted within twenty-four hours, and, if so, I knew it was too late to communicate with Richmond, and went down myself to endeavor to effect the change by personal application to Captain Mitchell, and arrived a few moments before the battle commenced, and was unable to see him.

Question By what considerations were you induced not to attempt the construction of defensive works on the river between Forts Jackson and Saint Philip and your interior line?

Answer. I had no guns wherewith to arm them and could get none. I had concentrated almost all the guns for the defense of the river at those forts after consultation with General Beauregard, who understood well the nature of the country, because I {p.573} could put men and guns there under the protection of masonry works, and because I intended to obstruct the river at that point, and wished to bring to bear upon the enemy’s fleet, when checked by such obstructions, the greatest possible weight of metal. The country for many miles above the forts offered no location for guns in high stages of the river, and nearer to New Orleans, where the banks are leveed, guns aboard ship in high water would command guns ashore. There was also great deficiency of earth for the erection of works, and had I located guns there the position could have been overflowed by breaking the levees; besides, I had not troops enough to act as a protecting force to a number of detached works.

Question. When did you make the arrangements with Leeds & Co. and S. Wolfe & Co. in regard to the erection of the reverberating furnaces? State what those arrangements were, and, if you know, where S. Wolfe & Co. and Leeds & Co. are.

Answer. I cannot state the precise time. It was soon after I became satisfied that if I wanted heavy guns I must have them made myself in New Orleans, The arrangements were to put up the necessary furnaces, and to get for S. Wolfe & Co. the large lathe at the Bellville Iron Works. Mr. Leeds, the member of Leeds & Co., with whom I made the arrangements, is since dead, and Mr. Wolfe is at Columbus or Athens, Ga.

Question. Did not the War Department uniformly approve and, when necessary, ratify every step taken by you in perfecting the defenses of New Orleans, and were you not authorized to adopt such measures as you deemed essential to its safety?

Answer. In answer to the first part of the question, I answer yes; to the latter part I answer that I was unauthorized by the department to adopt many, but not all, of the measures which I thought essential to the safety of New Orleans. I wanted control of the defenses afloat as well as ashore, and of their preparations, and I wanted guns transferred from points that I considered of minor importance (for instance, Pensacola) to New Orleans. There were other smaller points of difference, which appear fully in my correspondence. I had no funds placed under my control for river obstructions, although I directed Major Smith to make estimates, who reported that they had been made and sent forward. He may have obtained some money for this purpose, but the bulk of the money expended upon the obstructions was obtained from the city of New Orleans, amounting in all to nearly a quarter of a million of dollars. The estimates made by General Smith were not forwarded until I had been in New Orleans some months, because when I assumed command the city had already placed at my disposal nearly $100,000, which I could apply to the making of obstructions.

Question. Did not the Safety Committee of New Orleans repeatedly desire to know your necessities, and tender you money and every other means in their power to strengthen and perfect its defenses?

Answer. The Safety Committee several times offered me any assistance in money that I might desire, or their personal services, and desired to know more of the necessities of my position than I thought proper to confide to fifty persons (the number of the committee), many of them unknown to me. I availed myself of their personal services in many instances, and got from them about $250,000 in money. They offered me more money, to which I replied that I could not use the additional funds, as the articles of which I stood most in need-to wit, guns of heavy caliber, anchors, chains and small-arms-were not to be had in the Confederacy; but I urged them to obtain these things by running the blockade and to apply their funds to laying in a sufficient store of provisions to supply the population in case of a siege. In reply to my last call on them for funds, which they stated that I should have immediately upon my requisition, they waited several days, and then sent a sub-committee to me to know what I intended to do with the money before they would grant the request. This I declined to do, as I did not wish to make public the weak points of my department.

Question. When you ceased to feel secure as to the defense of the city why did you not begin the removal of public stores; and did you or not advise the removal of the iron-dads, particularly the. Mississippi, to some other point?

Answer. Believing that the iron-dads would probably be completed before the enemy would make his final attack, I did not feel so insecure as to justify me in removing the public stores, which removal I knew would not be kept secret and would create a great panic among our own people, and also convey to the enemy the impression that we despaired of holding our position. I did not advise the removal of the iron-clads, because {p.574} there were naval officers of age and experience present who were as well or better able than myself to decide as to what steps should be taken with regard to the property intrusted to their charge. I did, however, make arrangements, as already stated, to remove the property under my control in case of disaster at the lower forts.

Question. Give the names of the officers commanding the exterior lines of defense in your department and the names of the officers upon your staff. State also their rank and specific duties.

Answer. The whole exterior line was under the command of Brig. Gen. J. K. Duncan (now dead), Colonel Fuller commanding, under him, the works on Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne. Major Clinch commanded at Fort Pike Captain Capers at Fort Macomb; Captain Robertson at Battery Bienvenue; Captain Plaznier at Tower Dupré; Captain Patton at Proctorsville works; Colonel Higgins at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, the latter being under the immediate command of Captain Squires; Colonel Heard at Fort Livingston and Little Temple. The works on Bayou La Fourche and Grand Caillou were under the command of two captains named Marks. Major Fry commanded at Forts Berwick and Chène, and Captain Davis commanded at Calcasieu Pass, where I had placed two guns, which fort I omitted to state previously in my testimony. General Duncan’s headquarters were at Fort Jackson.

My staff was composed as follows: Majors Pickett and Palfrey, assistant adjutants-general; Lieut. J. G. Devereux, acting assistant adjutant-general; Major Pickett disbursed recruiting funds for the army generally; Maj. M. L. Smith wan my engineer and ordnance officer for several months, and acted also as the agent of the Ordnance Department at Richmond, purchasing supplies for the Army at large; Lieut. Col. W. S. Lovell relieved him subsequently as ordnance officer, and, in addition, was charged by me with the general supervision of the preparations of the river-defense fleet; Maj. W. L. Larice, my chief commissary, acted also as the general agent of the Commissary Department; Major Winnemore was the chief quartermaster, assisted by Captains Powell and Banks, the latter acting as paymaster; my quartermaster was the general agent of the department at Richmond for the supplies pertaining to his office, which devolved an immense additional labor upon him; Surgeon Hayden was the medical director, and Surg. Howard Smith the general medical purveyor. My aides were First Lieuts. J. Lovell and A. J. Toutant, besides whom I had several volunteer aides.

Question. Who informed you that the iron-dads would be finished by the January rise of the river?

Answer. One of the Messrs. Tift, shortly after I assumed command.

Question. What were the names of the contractors building the iron-clad steamers, and who was the principal naval constructor?

Answer. Mr. Pearce was the principal naval constructor, as I was informed. I do not know the names of the contractors.

Question. Who were the Navy officers who regretted that they had not sufficient means at their disposal to assist you in hastening the completion of the iron-clad steamers?

Answer. Commodore Hollins, Commander Whittle, and Captain Mitchell often spoke of the insufficiency of the means under their control.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. to-morrow, the 17th instant.

APRIL 17, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of Maj. Gen. M. LOVELL continued.

By a MEMBER OF THE COURT:

Question. Did you at any time order all non-combatants, women, and children to leave the city of New Orleans?

Answer. I did not.

{p.575}

The following statement was then made by General Lovell:

I desire to add, that when I have stated in my testimony I have done thus and so, it is to be understood that in many instances these matters were personally attended to by officers of my staff or members of the Safety Committee, but under my orders or with my knowledge and advice.

A certified copy of certain letters, a part of the official correspondence between the War Department and Maj. Gen. M. Lovell, was then offered in evidence by the judge-advocate, which said copy was read to the court, and is hereto appended as document N.*****

Surg. D. W. BRICKELL was then duly sworn and examined as a witnesses.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Were you in New Orleans during the six months prior to its capture by the enemy in April, 1862? If yea, state what, if any, public duties were devolved upon you in that time.

Answer. I was in New Orleans during that time, and my only public duty was as a member of the Committee of Public Safety, from its organization to the fall of the city, a period of about sixty days.

Question. State by what authority this committee was organized, the number and character of its members, and what it did or endeavored to do while in existence.

Answer. The committee consisted originally of about fifty persons: several members of the city council and other persons were, however, added to it, until the number was probably more than sixty. It consisted of persons from all classes and pursuits, selected for their worth, usefulness, and intelligence, and was created by authority of the city council. Its object was to co-operate in every possible way with the Confederate and State authorities to defend and preserve the city. The first act of the committee was to tender to the commanding general its services, pecuniary aid, and every other aid in its power to render. The committee took charge of and urged the piling of the passage of the Rigolets. It also waited upon and urged the governor to have Messrs. Cook & Brothers’ factory of small-arms enlarged so as to have 100, instead of 25, Enfield rifles turned out per day, and to this end we induced the governor to appropriate $40,000; but this he would not do until the committee had appropriated a like sum. The establishment at that time was making guns for the State of Alabama alone. We wanted that contract executed in the shortest time, so that the State of Louisiana might have the benefit of its works. The committee ascertained that the work on the Mississippi, an iron-clad gunboat, was almost at a dead stand, and we proposed to the Messrs. Tift money without limit. We proposed also to light up the sides of the vessel at night, so that the work might be pressed forward both day and night, and also tendered them mechanics, both white and black, to relieve their hands and to be entirely under their control. It was offered to do these things at the expense of the city, without cost to them; but every single proposal was rejected, and we were uniformly assured that the vessel would be completed within thirty days after our organization. They declined the service of negro mechanics, stating that the hands would not work in the day if negroes were employed at night. To this we replied that we would form military organizations and compel his hands to work.

As a member of the sub-committee to inquire into the condition and progress of the Mississippi, I found that the contracts made for engines, sheet-ironwork, and other material of construction by the Messrs. Tift were with men altogether secondary in their lines, of limited capital, generally in great need of money, and wholly unable to fulfill their contracts. There were two or three machinists in the city of much larger capital and works-Messrs. Leeds & Co. and Bennett & Surges-who stood much higher with the citizens than these men. The committee sent an agent-Mr. James Beggs-to various places between Atlanta and New Orleans to collect the iron that was being made for plating the vessel, who brought it to the city. The committee also sent Major James to Richmond to bring the center shaft, which he did bring to the city. A large quantity of lightwood was collected by the agents of tin committee for the purpose of making fire rafts to send down to the forts. Large quantities of iron and other metals were brought by the agents from various points on the Mississippi, contributed by the planters, and turned over to the military authorities. Every requisition for money made by the commanding general and his subordinates was promptly {p.576} complied with by the committee. The same course was pursued towards those in charge of naval affairs; their bills were paid and money furnished them to go ahead. We discovered that the naval department was largely indebted, without credit, and we sent a special agent to Richmond to obtain for it the necessary relief. The committee also sent out agents through the country obtaining food for the citizens, keeping a capital of $250,000 in circulation, and selling the supplies thus secured at cost. The committee never refused assistance to any reliable man who was endeavoring to develop the strength of the city.

By the COURT:

Question. Did the Committee of Safety communicate to any persons in authority the result of their inquiries as to the contractors Tift & Co.? If so, to whom, when, and what was the exact purport of such communication?

Answer. The committee did communicate the results of their investigations, particularly in regard to the Mississippi, to Captain Mitchell, Commander Whittle, and General Level. They all replied it was a matter not under their control. The Tifts replied to the sub-committee, after they had waited upon them many times, that they were responsible to nobody in New Orleans, and exhibited a paper to that effect.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. State all you may know, and your means of knowing, of the ability of the founderymen in New Orleans to cast guns of heavy caliber.

Answer. When the committee organized, some of our earliest efforts were directed to obtain such guns. We found all the founderymen willing to undertake the manufacture of large guns, but Bennett & Surges was the only firm ready to go to work upon them immediately, and they would only work upon condition that no army officer should have anything to do or say about the matter, except to test the guns after they were complete. They might subject them to any test they pleased; if the guns stood the test we should pay for them; if they burst it should be their loss entirely. They were then ready to make 8-inch guns, and they were willing to make models for and begin the manufacture of guns of any caliber that we might call for. We at once contracted with them, without stipulation as to price, for all the 8-inch guns they could make until ready to make larger ones. At the time the city fell they had cast five 8-inch guns, two or three of which were completed and the others on the lathes in process of completion. The models for 9-inch rifle guns were in a forward state. The guns that where completed were immediately turned over to the military authorities. I was on the sub-committee that superintended the construction of the heavy 8-inch guns; not at first, but taking the place of a member who had retired. I was in the foundery nearly every day and saw the work progressing. Messrs. Bennett & Surges complained that they had not been patronized by the Government. In my opinion heavy guns could have been made in the city from the beginning of the war. Bennett & Surges were most anxious to engage in such work. They had made a heavy gun, which was mounted at Columbus and Is and No. 10. They complained that they had always been willing and able to make heavy guns, but had received no encouragement from the Government. Messrs. Bujac & Bennett, by their individual efforts, built air-furnaces, had six lathes all abreast for making guns up to 11 inches in caliber, and when the city fell they were engaged in casting their first heavy guns. Their machinery and works had been begun and completed within the six months prior to the fall of the city.

Question. Were you present in the city during the evacuation and the removal of public stores by our troops? If yea, state all you may know on these subjects.

Answer. I was there. On the day in which the enemy’s vessels were coming up to the city, hearing that the Marine Hospital, which had been converted into a factory for the repairing of arms and the making of cartridges, had been broke open by the populace, I went in that direction. I found them carrying off arms and everything pertaining to an establishment of that sort. In the foundery of Bennett & Surges several brass pieces, nearly completed, were left, also a heavy gun, and these should have been removed. After the troops under General Lovell had been removed, the foreign guard, at the instance of the city council, was keeping guard over many of the Government warehouses, to prevent the people from breaking into them. This is all I know of my own knowledge on these subjects. On the day of the arrival of the enemy’s ships, but previous to their arrival, I saw large quantities of sugar, molasses, {p.577} bacon, and some corn being seized and carried off from the town by the populace-men, women, and children; black and white-and all without restraint; on the contrary, with the encouragement of a man on horseback, dressed in Confederate uniform. This same man on horseback ordered a pile of corn to be burned. I personally remonstrated, telling him it was corn, the bread the people required. He repeated his order, and the corn was burned. I saw private individuals trying to save the sugar, &c., from the depredations of the populace, claiming some of it as their own, but they were disregarded.

Cross-examination by Major-General LOVELL:

Question. What was the quality of the iron offered by Messrs. Leeds & Co., Bennett & Surges, and others for casting heavy guns when you made inquiries on the subject, and what amount had they on hand that was fit for that purpose?

Answer. The best opinion I can offer as to the quality of that used by Bennett & Surges is that it was good, as a gun made by them had been tested by the military authorities and approved. Messrs. Bujac & Bennett had a large amount of Tennessee iron, part of which they tendered to us to be used by other founderies, so as to expedite the making of heavy guns in the event of such shops getting out of iron. I know nothing more as to the quantity and quality of iron to be used in making heavy guns.

Question. How many such lathes and furnaces had Bennett & Surges, and what time is necessary to cast and bore an 8-inch columbiad?

Answer. They had no lathes completed, but one was nearly done for boring large guns. I do not know that they had more than one furnace. A lathe in the machine-shop of the Jackson and Great Northern Railroad and another in the Shakspeare foundery, through the exertions of the committee, were placed at their disposal. I am a novice in such matters, but should think that thirteen days would be sufficient to cast and bore such a gun-five days and nights.

Question. Do you know whether the committee advised and consulted with General Lovell on the subject of engaging Bennett & Surges in making heavy guns?

Answer. I cannot say whether they did or not. Bennett & Surges said that they would not make a heavy gun under the direction of a military officer.

Question. Did Bennett & Surges inform the officers engaged in the removal of property that they had some unfinished guns?

Answer. I cannot say.

Question. Do you know whether any attempts were made to carry away heavy guns, and why those attempts did not succeed?

Answer. I do not.

Question. Were Bennett & Surges largely engaged in making other war material for the Government?

Answer. They were.

Question. Are you aware that the piling at Fort Pike was carried away on April 9?

Answer. I never heard.

By the COURT:

Question. Did the Committee of Safety delegate any person to represent to the Confederate Government at Richmond the condition of the defenses of New Orleans? If so, state the name of the person sent, with the date what representations he was instructed to make, and what action, if any, was taken by the Government or any Department thereof in consequence of such representations.

Answer. About six weeks before the fall of the city the committee sent Mr. William Henderson to Richmond, to represent to the President and other authorities their conviction that the city was insecure and the deplorable condition of naval affairs, the want of credit from which that department suffered, and its extraordinary indebtedness, {p.578} which the committee ascertained to amount to $600,000. This latter point received the attention of the President and the matter was arranged. I do not know that any other action was taken upon the representations of the committee.

Question. Did the Committee of Safety urge the launching of the steamer Mississippi? When and by whom was it undertaken? State all the facts connected with the launching of this vessel from first to last, with names of the parties engaged.

Answer. About four weeks before the city fell the Committee of Safety, through the sub-committee, as well as various members who certainly visited the Mississippi, became convinced that the vessel should be launched without delay, and for the following reasons:

1st. That the vessel was in such a condition of completion that to launch her would not at all interfere with subsequent work on her, and then, in case of the fall of the city, she could at any moment be towed off to a place of safety.

2d. That the river was rising rapidly; the stern of the vessel was being deeply immersed in the water; the bottom on which she lay was being softened, and the least giving way of the mud would result in “logging” her on the ways, thereby rendering it impossible to launch her.

They made these representations to Mr. Tift, and repeatedly urged him to launch her. He positively refused. Desiring to do only that which was right, and willing to admit the judgment of Mr. Tift in opposition to their own, they called his constructor (Mr. Pearce) before them, and asked his opinion on the subject. He unqualifiedly approved our recommendation to launch her, and assured the committee that he had personally urged the launching of the vessel. He expressed the greatest anxiety for the safety of his vessel, and expressed his fears that she would never be launched. The committee then appointed a special committee, composed of eminently practical and intelligent men, mostly outside the committee, to survey the vessel and report forthwith. The survey was cheerfully and promptly made, and the committee unanimously reported in favor of launching, and for the reasons stated. This report was sent to Mr. Tift, with renewed application for the launch. He refused ultimately, and, as I firmly believe, under the pressure of public opinion, a few days before the city fell he attempted the launch by attaching steamers to the ram, which steamers were to pull her off her ways. He worked all day before a large crowd, of which I was one, and utterly failed. That he would fall was the opinion of every intelligent man I met on the ground, as the vessels pulling were lower than the vessel pulled, and the mechanical effect was to pull the ram more and more firmly down on her ways at every effort. A conference was held with our practical men, and the result was that they went to the ship next morning with hydraulic rams and pushed her right out into the river. Bitterly disappointed by the persevering refusal of Mr. Tift to launch the vessel, and despairing of even her safety, the committee was on the eve of making a public announcement of the condition of things and calling on them to take the matter in hand when one of its members (Mr. J. M. Marks, if I am not greatly in error as to name) received a private note from the commanding general, telling him that he was apprised of the probable action of the committee; that such an act on their part would apprise the enemy of our weakness, and intimating clearly that he would not permit such an act on the part of the committee. This note was read to the committee and I read it personally. The committee then abandoned all idea of the safety or utility of the ram.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. the 18th instant.

APRIL 18, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

T. S. WILLIAMS was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. M. LOVELL:

Question. What is your present occupation and how long have you been engaged in it?

Answer. I am general superintendent of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad; have been such for four years, and engaged on the road for the last ten years.

{p.579}

Question. Describe the country for the first 10 or 12 miles above New Orleans, over which the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad runs.

Answer. From the city limits to the four-mile post on the railroad the country is a swamp; from that milepost which is about a mile and a half from the river, the road passes over a narrow strip of firm land; from the six to the seven mile post it is about a mile in width; and at Kenner the railroad is about 1,500 feet from the river. From the river to Lake Pontchartrain the distance at Kenner is about 4 miles, 3 miles of which country is a swamp. The ridge upon which the road runs extends 2 miles north of Kenner.

Question. State when the enemy’s ships of war took position at or near Kenner and cut off the communication from New Orleans by the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad.

Answer. I think it was about seven days after the city was evacuated before the enemy’s vessels compelled the stoppage of the trains at Kenner.

Question. State what arrangements were made with you by General Lovell, or by his order, and what work was done in removing public property and military stores at and after the evacuation of New Orleans.

Answer. On Thursday, April 24, I received orders to hold everything in readiness for the removal of troops and Government property, and as it was necessary that this should first be removed, to allow no citizens or private property to be transported upon the trains. The next morning I ordered all trains coming south to be unloaded and sent to Kenner to await further orders.-For four days and nights we had every train and engine on the road at work for the Government, removing its property. Some of this property was put on at Kenner Carrollton Crossing, and Manchac; that at Manchac having been brought across the lake.

Question. Give, if you can, a general idea of the value of the property removed over your road.

Answer. I do not know its value, but it required three or four trains a day for three weeks to take from Camp Moore the property which we had removed from the city.

Cross-examination by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Was there any unnecessary delay or confusion in loading the trains at the depot?

Answer. There was some confusion, but it was unavoidable. No delay. The trains were sometimes loaded before I was able to move them.

Question. Was the property it took three or four trains a day for three weeks to move from Camp Moore all of it Confederate and State property?

Answer. It was.

Col. J. SZYMANSKI was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. Where were you at the time of the fall of New Orleans, and what, if any, position did you hold in the C. S. Army?

Answer. I commanded a regiment, which was then located about 5 miles above Forts Saint Philip and Jackson, on both sides of the river. One of my largest companies was in Fort Saint Philip.

Question. Where were you first located and what were your instructions?

Answer. I arrived at the quarantine station, on the left bank of the river, on April 5. I was ordered there to guard the approaches to the city from the sea through the bayous and canals. Afterwards Brigadier-General Duncan ordered one of my companies at Fort Saint Philip; the others were assigned to duty at the various bayous and canals that intersect the country that lies above the forts.

{p.580}

Question. Was it practicable for the enemy, after the forts had been passed, to transport his army through these bayous and canals to New Orleans without encountering the forts?

Answer. It was practicable to do so. A portion of the enemy did come that way after his fleet passed the forts.

Question. How long have you lived in that country, and what was the state of the river at that season compared with other years?

Answer. I have lived in Louisiana upwards of a quarter of a century, and for many years owned a plantation 15 miles below the city. I was very familiar with the whole country. I never have known the river so high as it was that year.

Question. What was the condition of the country above the forts for 30 or 40 miles in regard to the overflow?

Answer. On the left bank of the river the whole country was one vast sheet of water from the river to the Gulf commencing at Point à la Hache, about 40 miles below New Orleans. On the other side the country was not overflowed, but, on account of the high water and the transpiration resulting therefrom, the road (there being but the one) was impassable. The country was such that when the river was high no earth could be had for a levee in the rear without letting in water from the Gulf. In the front an alluvial mud from the river, when low, might be had for levees. While General Lovell was in command at New Orleans the water was high, and no earthworks could be put up in that neighborhood. Even at Fort Jackson, at the time of the bombardment, the water was from a foot and a half to two feet deep.

Cross-examination by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. State the reasons for the surrender of yourself and a portion of your command.

Answer. When the forts were passed, just about break of day, the fleet came upon my small camp and opened fire. After losing some 30 men killed and wounded, without a possibility of escape or rescue-perfectly at the mercy of the enemy, he being able to cut the levee and drown me out-I thought it my duty to surrender. A single shell could have cut the light embankment.

Question. Could not earthworks have been put up on the river banks a distance of 20 or 25 miles below New Orleans?

Answer. They might have been put up at English Turn, a commanding position, where the river makes a sharp turn, commanding, not from its height, but from the course of the river.

Question. State the elevation of that point above the water in high stages of the river.

Answer. It was not more than 6 inches above high water, but the ground was firm, and would have supported heavy works.

Question. Is English Turn above the debouches of the bayous and canals through which the enemy might have turned Forts Saint Philip and Jackson?

Answer. It is; but there is above that point water communication through Lake Borgne with the Gulf of Mexico by other bayous and canals of the same character, principally by Bayou Bienvenue.

Examination by Maj. Gen. M. LOVELL:

Question. In that high stage of water, during the year 1861, was not the river higher than the surface of the country below New Orleans? If so, state about how much.

Answer. It was, varying in depth from 2 to 14 feet.

{p.581}

The deposition of R. F. NICHOLS, a citizen, taken at Jackson, Miss., pursuant to an order of the court, Maj. Gen. M. Lovell and the judge-advocate being present at the time, was then read to the court.

JACKSON, Miss., April 18, 1863.

R. F. NICHOLS, having been duly sworn by the judge-advocate, testified as follows: Question. Where did you reside in the years 1861 and 1862, up to the time of the evacuation of New Orleans, and what was your occupation previous to October 18 1861?

Answer. I resided in New Orleans. My occupation was that of a merchant, engaged in the Mediterranean trade. About the month of August, 1861, I was solicited by Governor Moore to procure chains and anchors for him. I was engaged in this when General Lovell look command of New Orleans.

Question. State, when General Lovell took command at New Orleans, whether you were employed by him in any capacity if so, what; and state fully what steps were taken by you under his orders or under those of his staff to procure chains and anchors, cordage, and other materials.

Answer. Immediately on General Lovell’s taking command I was introduced to him by Governor Moore, and General Lovell thereupon employed me at once to procure chains, anchors, cordage, and other necessary materials which would be required for constructing and anchoring rafts or obstructions that might be necessary for the protection of New Orleans in the water approaches. I immediately proceeded to procure all the chains and anchors suitable in the city of New Orleans which could be found in all the stores or otherwise, and also all on board of each and every ship, bark, schooner, and steamboat in port, as well as on all the plantations and saw-mills on the coast and in the city of New Orleans. I further was authorized and did take one of the tow-boats for the purpose of taking the mooring chains from all the crafts afloat then in port, which I did, securing these vessels by such other means as I could, to wit, by cordage and chains of smaller dimensions. I continued incessantly at this business day by day up to the time of the passage of the forts, having in my employ a large number of seamen and stevedores to assist me. Oftentimes I encountered serious difficulty in effecting my object by the parties owning or controlling the chains and anchors concealing them from me. In several ships I found from 500 to 600 fathoms of chains laid under 10 to 15 feet of ballast and some were sunk in the Mississippi River under the wharf, which I discovered and obtained. I further state that it was then, and is now, my firm belief that, through the means I adopted, I did obtain and turn over to General Lovell all the articles above named which were in and about the city of New Orleans that were in any way useful for the purposes required. After I had exhausted all that could be found, and more being required, as a last resort I did, under the advice of General Lovell, procure from the mayor of the city permission to take the chains from around the parks in the city, which, although far too small and not suitable for the purpose, was thought to be the best that could be done in our extremity.

The court adjourned to meet at Vicksburg, Miss., on Tuesday, the 21st instant, at 12 m. or as soon thereafter as practicable.

VICKSBURG, MISS., April 22, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, Maj. Gen. T. C. Hindman, Brig. Gen. T. F. Drayton, and W. M. Gardner, Maj. L. R. Page, judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of the 18th instant were read over.

Maj. Gen. M. L. SMITH was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Were you in the Army of the Confederate States during the years 1861 and 1862? If yea, state what was your rank where you were located, and to what duty you were assigned from May, 1861, to May, 1862.

Answer. I entered the service early in April, 1861, as a major of engineers. I was located in New Orleans from May, 1861, until April 26, 1862. I was assigned to engineer and ordnance duty until April 11, 1862, when I was made a brigadier-general, and placed in command of the interior line of works around New Orleans.

{p.582}

Question. State generally your knowledge of the condition of the defenses in Department No. 1 at the time General Lovell assumed command of it.

Answer. The defenses consisted of Forts Pike and Macomb, guarding the approaches to New Orleans by way of Lake Pontchartrain; of Battery Bienvenue and Tower Dupré guarding the streams leading from Lake Borgne to the main-land between the city; of a field work at Proctorsville, prepared for six guns, but not armed, guarding the approach to the city by way of the Proctorsville Railroad; of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, guarding the approach to the city by way of the river from the Gulf; of Fort Livingston, guarding the approach by way of Barataria Bay; of Forts Berwick and Chène, on Berwick Bays guarding the approach by the Opelousas Railroad, and a little work called Fort Guion, on La Fourche, was nearly completed and ready for guns. These constituted the outer line of defense.

In July, 1861, the inner line of defense was projected and in about the following condition when General Lovell assumed command, viz: It consisted of a continuous line across the Gentilly Ridge, prepared for artillery and infantry (this work was, I think, finished, but no guns mounted); of a continuous line at Chalmette, stretching from the swamp to the Mississippi, also intended for artillery and infantry (about half completed, the contractor with his full power, being at work upon it); of a continuous line on the right bank of the river, known as the McGehee line, also stretching from the river to the swamp, and prepared for artillery and infantry (not more than one-sixth of the line was finished, but the contractor was at work upon it); of a line above the city, known as the Barataria line, on the right bank of the river, also stretching from the river to the swamp (not more than a sixth of the line was completed; the contractor at work upon it); of a continuous line of works about a mile and a half above Carrollton, on the left bank of the river, then known as the Victor line, intended to mount fourteen guns between the bank and the swamp (this work was about half done; the contractor at work with full force; no guns mounted); of a two-gun battery, guarding the Carrollton Railroad from Lake Pontchartrain, together with supporting infantry works (I do not think this work was then commenced); of a battery and short infantry line, guarding the shell road and canal leading from Lake Pontchartrain to the city (no work had been done upon this line); of a battery and infantry line guarding the road Bayou Saint John, from Lake Pontchartrain to the city (the contractor had just commenced upon this, he being the same who had finished the Gentilly work); of a battery and supporting infantry works guarding the Pontchartrain Railroad, leading into the city (I do not think this work had been commenced). These works constituted the interior line.

A raft was projected, to prevent the ascent of the river, by Colonel (now Brigadier-General Hébert and myself, in July, 1861, which was completed and swung into place about the middle of September, stretching from Fort Jackson to Saint Philip, where it remained until March or April,when it was swept away. Much labor was expended by General Lovell in securing this obstruction by additional chains and anchors; in keeping it stretched in position; in additionally securing it to the banks, and in preventing a too great accumulation of drift against it. Fort Pike, guarding the Rigolets, was a complete work in April, 1861, as originally designed, as also Forts Macomb and Jackson. The inner or main work of Saint Philip had once been complete, but on account of the insecure foundation it had settled; the walls had cracked and were insecure in the rear. An encircling outwork had been projected by the Engineer Department of the United States, upon which about one season’s work had been done. This was unfinished at the time General Lovell assumed command.

At Fort Livingston one cistern had been repaired; the other two were incapable of repair; the pintle-block and traverse circles were laid, and it had five or six guns mounted. The fort was gradually sinking, and the counterscarp gallery was constantly filled with water, and remained so. All these forts on the exterior line were armed, except Fort Guion. Their precise armament you can better ascertain from the officers stationed there at that time, as also the amount of ammunition on hand. The materials of war-guns, powder, projectiles, &c.-had to some extent been sent away from New Orleans and Baton Rouge to Pensacola, and, I think, everything of material remaining, except some guns, recently arrived from Richmond for the interior line, had been distributed to the forts before mentioned. The department was originally poorly supplied.

Question. State your knowledge of the causes of the fall of New Orleans, and how it might have been prevented, if at all, with the means at the disposal of the commanding general.

Answer. New Orleans, in my judgment, fell of necessity when thirteen of the enemy’s vessels succeeded in passing Forts Jackson and Saint Philip. These vessels, in my judgment, were able to pass at any time after the river was free from obstructions. {p.583} Owing to the narrowness of the neck of land above Carrollton, separating the Mississippi from the impassable swamp and marsh bordering Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans may be considered as situated on an island and subject to all the conditions of a place surrounded by water. The force controlling the water controls the supplies which subsist the island, and it can neither be approached nor left except by consent. This I understand to have been precisely the case with the city. Not a barrel of flour, not a pound of bacon or beef, could have been brought there with the Federal vessels in possession of the river above the forts and of the lakes as they practically were. Without firing a gun, without making a single hostile demonstration other than keeping out supplies, the city would most probably have been surrendered in a month or two from starvation. Had the fall of New Orleans depended upon the enemy’s first taking Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, I think the city would have been safe against an attack from the Gulf. The forts, in my judgment, were impregnable so long as they were in free and open communication with the city. This communication was not endangered while the obstruction existed. The conclusion, then, is briefly this: while the obstruction existed the city was safe; when it was swept away, as the defenses then existed, it was within the enemy’s power. I do not now think it was possible for General Lovell or any other person to have kept the obstruction in place during the continuance of high water and drift, and after it was swept away there was neither time nor materials for building another on a different plan.

Question. In the evacuation of New Orleans were any means neglected which should have been taken to save the public property or any part thereof, and was the evacuation well conducted?

Answer. My command lay below the city. I was not in it during the evacuation; in fact, was not aware that it was evacuated until after the soldiers and officers had all left. As to public property, I had none in charge, and am not sufficiently familiar with the means used to save it to give an opinion as to whether or not any means necessary to save it were neglected.

Question. Was it possible to save the gunboat Mississippi, and could she not have been removed to some other point when the raft ceased to be an obstruction?

Answer. I have no positive knowledge of my own regarding the gunboat Mississippi, was never on board of her, and am not cognizant of the efforts made to remove her.

Cross-examination by Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. What kind of works were Forts Berwick and Chène, and what were their condition and that of their armament when General Lovell assumed command?

Answer. They were the ordinary clam of field works, intended to mount three or four guns. The parapet had sunk considerably at the time of his arrival and required fitting up again. From the character of the soil they required a good deal of work from time to time, and had already been repaired once or twice. After his arrival one or more gun-carriages had been substituted, and the equipments, upon his order, had been duplicated. There were three, perhaps four, guns mounted. There was one rifled 32-pounder; whether the others were all 32-pounder smooth bores or 24-pounders I do not recollect. There were no projectiles for the rifled 32-pounder in the department, the kind of projectile having not then been decided upon. These pieces had been but recently rifled by direction of General Twiggs.

Question. Were any platforms for guns laid, magazines built, or hot-shot furnaces erected for the interior line at that time?

Answer. I think not.

Question. You say Fort Jackson was completed as originally designed. Was there not a water battery, which was subsequently put in order, guns mounted, and used by direction of General Lovell?

Answer. I believe there was an advanced outwork, not then ready for use, put in order and guns mounted by General Lovell; but not being done under my directions I cannot say positively.

Question. What orders were given by General Lovell at Fort Livingston {p.584} in relation to the preparation of the covered way for guns, and what time did the work occupy?

Answer. He directed the gallery to be pumped out and prepared for two flank howitzers, which were mounted. This took the garrison two or three weeks, but the water continued to flood the gallery.

Question. What was the general caliber of guns mounted at the various forts when General Lovell took charge of the department?

Answer. The general armament of Forts Pike and Macomb was 24-pounders; of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip 24 and 32 pounders, the majority, I think, being 24-pounders, together with seven 8-inch columbiads; Battery Bienvenue and Tower Dupré had 24-pounders; Fort Livingston had 24-pounders and a rifled 32-pounder.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. to-morrow.

APRIL 23, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of Maj. Gen. M. L. SMITH continued.

Cross-examined by Major-General LOVELL:

Question. Did you make any attempt to have heavy guns made by Leeds & Co.; and if so, with what success? Was their foundery employed to its full capacity by the Government, without intermission, in other work?

Answer. About June, 1861, Leeds & Co. cast an 8-inch columbiad for a private party in New Orleans. This fact becoming known, I was directed by the Ordinance Bureau to test it with a specified charge and continue the firing until it burst, the object being to ascertain the quality of the metal used. The charge was the ordinary service charge-single shot. This was done by laying the gun upon a piece of timber in the ordinary way. It burst at the sixty-third or sixty-fifth round. In proofs of this kind metal is unhesitatingly condemned that will not stand from 800 to 1,000 discharges. It is considered inferior if not standing over 1,200; fair when standing from 1,800 to 2,000, and excellent when beyond this last number of discharges. I reported against that firm as being unable at that time to cast guns of that caliber. The firm subsequently conceded that without changing their furnace they could not cast heavy guns. My report was fully indorsed, I believe, by the Ordnance Bureau. I think that foundery, during my entire stay in New Orleans, had about all it could do making light guns, casting shot, shell, &c., for the Confederate Government; but about the time of the evacuation they were putting up reverberatory furnaces.

Question. Why were not arrangements made with Bennett & Surges and Bujac & Bennett to cast heavy guns in New Orleans?

Answer. Bujac & Bennett were erecting works with a view of making small-arms, and would not take contracts for making heavy guns until near the time the city was evacuated. Bennett & Surges were fully employed by the Navy. These, I think, were the only founderies of any capacity in the city.

Question. Was any foundery and rifle factory set on foot in New Orleans subsequent to the arrival of General Lovell and used entirely for Government work? If so, whose was it, and did it furnish any heavy ordnance?

Answer. Subsequent to General Lovell’s arrival Wolfe & Co. had undertaken the manufacture of heavy ordnance exclusively for the Government, as far as I know. There was in connection with this foundery a rifle factory, manufacturing exclusively for the Government. At the time of the evacuation they had made two mortars and were making other heavy guns.

Question. What was the condition of the interior line of works at the time of the evacuation as to guns, magazines, hot-shot furnaces, implements, {p.585} and equipments? State your opinion as to its impregnability against land attacks.

Answer. This line of works was all completed; provided with magazines and hot-shot furnaces on the river. On the whole series of works there were probably from fifty-five to sixty guns mounted. I considered them of the very best class of field works, and, if manned and properly defended, capable of resisting any force that could be brought against them. The implements and equipments for the pieces that were mounted were generally in duplicate.

Question. What works were constructed after the arrival of General Lovell?

Answer. There was one inclosed field work opposite the Victor line; there were two advanced works higher up the river, about half completed at the time of the evacuation; a work about midway between New Orleans and Fort Livingston, known as the Little Temple; three batteries were put up at Pass Manchac, mounting two guns each, and five one-gun batteries on the western shore of Lake Pontchartrain There was a large brick fire-proof magazine erected below the city and inclosed with substantial walls with a railroad leading from it to the river, a well-constructed breakwater protecting the river bank where the Chalmette line touched it. Pearl River was obstructed and three bayous leading from Lake Borgne in the direction of the city. These were the main works that I now recall.

Question. At the time of the evacuation were there more platforms, pintles, and traverse circles ready in position bearing on the river below New Orleans than there were guns to mount on them?

Answer. There were.

Question. What orders in regard to the occupation of Vicksburg did you receive from General Lovell shortly after the evacuation of New Orleans, and what means were placed at your command to carry out those orders?

Answer. About May 2 or 3 I was directed to send the Twenty-sixth Louisiana to Jackson and the Twenty-seventh Louisiana to Vicksburg. About May 7 I was directed to proceed to Vicksburg and take command of the line from Vicksburg to Jackson. In addition to these two regiments mentioned there was placed at my disposal, about May 20, the Twenty-eighth Louisiana, the First Louisiana Artillery, and the Eighth Louisiana Battalion, also what was left of the Twenty-second and Twenty-third Louisiana Regiments and the Third Mississippi, in all about 2,632 men, and about 23 heavy guns, ranging from 32-pounders to 8 and 10 inch columbiads, all of which were mounted by me except some six or eight.

Re-examined by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Where were you on the day the city was evacuated?

Answer. I was in command of the forces on the Chalmette and McGehee lines, about 4 miles below the city. These forces numbered about 1,000 infantry and five companies of artillery.

Question. At or near the time of the evacuation did you receive any orders from General Lovell in regard to the abandonment of the Chalmette line and the removal of the troops under your command? If so, state what those orders were.

Answer. I received no orders from General Lovell at any time on these subjects; no guns or implements were brought away; the ammunition was exhausted in resisting the passage of the gunboats; the camp equipage was not saved because we had no wagons and were dependent upon the river for transportation, which was in possession of the enemy.

Question. Was it practicable for General Lovell to communicate with you after the enemy’s fleet passed the Chalmette fortifications?

Answer. I cannot say that it was impracticable, as I crossed the river myself, as did also three other officers. I did not consider that I ran any risk in making the crossing. Orders would not probably have reached me after the enemy’s fleet passed Chalmette.

{p.586}

Question. Did you see and have conversation with General Lovell after the enemy’s fleet had passed Forts Saint Philip and Jackson?

Answer. I saw him on the afternoon of April 24, 1862, the evacuation being on the 25th.

By a MEMBER OF THE COURT:

Question. Were you at any time delayed or embarrassed in the discharge of your duties as engineer and ordnance officer by the want of funds?

Answer. As ordnance officer I was embarrassed for want of funds, but not materially delayed, because I borrowed money of the State of Louisiana. I made no requisition for money to expend on obstructions already alluded to, the expenses being borne by the State of Louisiana. Subsequent to General Lovell’s arrival I did receive funds from the Government on requisitions, which were applied to obstructions and defense of the river; the amount received was, I think, $25,000.

Maj. HENRY A. CLINCH was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Were you in command of Forts Pike and Macomb at the time General Lovell assumed command of New Orleans? If so, state their condition at that time.

Answer. On January 19, 1861, I was ordered to the command of Fort Pike, and a few days thereafter I took possession of Fort Macomb also and garrisoned it. The armament and general condition of these works were nearly similar. They each mounted some thirty smooth bore 24-pounders en barbette and casemate, together with nine 24-pounder howitzers in flank defenses. For several years these forts had been under charge only of military storekeepers and their general condition was far from good. I at once made every effort to place them in fighting order, but owing, doubtless, to the then deranged condition of our Ordnance Bureau the work progressed slowly. Major-General Lovell assumed command of the department in October of that year. At that time I had received from Ship Island one 9-inch Dahlgren and one 8-inch shell gun. These were in position, but required several fixtures and appurtenances for their proper working. The garrison consisted of two companies, A and I, First Artillery. I at once urgently requested General Lovell as well for heavier guns as a general outfit for the fort. These, I think, were supplied to me as fast as possible. He sent me two rifled 32-pounder guns and four 42-pounders, together with a 10-inch seacoast mortar. The carriages and chassis were replaced by new ones; new cisterns sent down and the old ones repaired, and a full supply of ammunition of all kinds and implements supplied. The garrison was also re-enforced by three companies, making five in all-all large companies. Such was the condition of Fort Pike on the date of its evacuation in April, 1862.

Question. If you know, state what, if any, work was done in obstructing the Rigolets and the bayous in the vicinity of Fort Pike after October, 1861.

Answer. The Rigolets at Fort Pike was 3,750 feet wide and ranging in depth from 15 to 50 feet. In February, 1862, General Lovell determined to throw a raft as an obstruction across the pass, and charged me with the general superintendence of the work. It was extremely difficult to obtain logs of sufficient size and buoyancy for our purpose. These were obtained at a heavy cost and from long distances. One or two steamers were placed at my disposal by General Lovell, and the work went on night and day. When nearly ready to be laid across the channel, it was ascertained that a sufficiency of chains and anchors could not be had to secure it in its destined position. About this time several members of the Safety Committee, as it was called, came down, took soundings, and proposed to secure the raft by driving heavy piling on either side. A few days after they returned with all necessary apparatus for piling, and with orders from General Lovell for me to furnish them all the assistance in my power-an order very cheerfully, and to a large extent, obeyed by me. After a month’s work, and only a very few days after the raft had been got into position, there came on a heavy blow of wind. One or two steamers and schooners lying above the raft dragged anchor and lodged against the structure. The consequence was that by next morning the whole affair was a wreck, and at least one-half of the piling broken off and washed away. I at once reported to General Lovell. He promised assistance and we were in a fair way to renew the experiment, when further labor was rendered futile {p.587} by the fall of New Orleans. By orders from department headquarters I obstructed, by very heavy piling, Salt Bayou, connecting West Pearl River with Lake Pontchartrain, and avoiding the guns of Fort Pike. This bayou was some 10 miles long, 60 feet in width, and with an average depth at high tide of 9 or 10 feet. There was also Mill Bayou, connecting West Pearl and West Middle Rivers. The mouth of West Pearl having been obstructed by rafting, it became important to secure the approaches to it from other rivers not so obstructed. Mill Bayou, 3 1/2 miles long, 40 feet wide, and 10 feet deep, was thoroughly obstructed under my personal direction by cutting down heavy trees on either bank across The channel for nearly its whole length.

Question. From whom did you receive orders to evacuate Fort Pike? State also the condition of that fort at the time of its evacuation.

Answer. It was on the morning of April 26, I think, that I received a telegraphic order to prepare to evacuate my fort. This I prepared to do by impressing one or two steamboats and schooners lying at the wharf or in the stream, and holding them in readiness for any emergency. I do not remember exactly how the order referred to was signed, but it must have been signed by order of Major-General Lovell, as otherwise I would have paid no attention to it. On the same afternoon I received another telegraphic order, I think, to the effect that I was to spike my guns and abandon the fort at once. This order was signed by C. A. Fuller, colonel, commanding First Louisiana Artillery, and dated New Orleans. I declined obeying this order, for the reason that I had never reported to or received orders from Colonel Fuller in my official capacity as commander of the fort, and I refused to recognize his authority in so grave a matter as abandoning a fortified position without fighting for it. I at once telegraphed Major Devereux, assistant adjutant-general, for written orders, and, if it was decided to abandon the fort, I asked for transportation, if possible, for my best guns at least. About 12 o’clock that night a steamer arrived from the city, and the officer in charge handed me a written order to immediately evacuate the fort. This order was signed by C. A. Fuller, colonel, commanding Third Brigade. I supposed that some accident had occurred to General Duncan, and that Colonel Fuller had assumed command of the brigade by seniority. Regarding, therefore, the order to be in form and from an authoritative source, nothing was left to me but to obey it. I embarked on board the transport all of my ammunition, implements, &c., all quartermaster and commissary stores (ninety days’ supply), and in fact everything of value save the guns, for which I had no room on board. These, the moment before leaving the fort, I thoroughly spiked and destroyed in various ways-burning the carriages and chassis and setting fire to all the outbuildings. I left the fort with my whole command at daylight on the 27th.

At the date of its abandonment Fort Pike was in as good fighting trim as it was possible to place it, with the serious exception of the lightness of most of its armament. Had the raft held its intended position all water craft would have been forced within 50 yards of the walls of the fort in order to effect a passage, which fact would have rendered each 24-pounder gun nearly as destructive as guns of much heavier caliber. My orders had been to fight the fort to the last extremity. These orders I would at least have obeyed, and with the most sanguine confidence of a successful result.

Lieut. WILLIAM M. BRIDGES was then duly sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. What position did you hold at the time of the evacuation of New Orleans in April, 1862, and where were you stationed for the previous six months?

Answer. I was first lieutenant in the First Regiment Louisiana Artillery, and aide-de-camp to General J. K. Duncan; stationed at Fort Jackson at the time General Lovell assumed command, and was there at the time the fort was surrendered.

Question. What additions, if any, were made in new guns and munitions of war to Forts Jackson and Saint Philip after General Lovell assumed command of Department No. 1?

Answer. Several companies of artillery were added to their garrisons. Three 10-inch columbiads, five 8-inch columbiads, two 7-inch rifled guns, two unbanded rifled 32-pounders, twelve 42-pounders, some smooth-bore 32-pounders (their exact number I do not recollect), and five 10-inch seacoast mortars were added to the armament of both forts. A large quantity of implements were added to these after General Lovell assumed command, amply sufficient for the working of his guns. When General

{p.588}

Lovell assumed command we had about 18,000 or 20,000 pounds of powder, some of which was worthless, and was sent to New Orleans and reworked. This supply was trebled by him.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. the 24th instant.

APRIL 24, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Col. EDWARD HIGGINS was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. When did you first enter the service of the Confederate States? State your rank at that time; your present rank; where and to what duty you have been assigned from date of your entry into service.

Answer. I think I entered the service in April, 1861, as captain of the First Louisiana Artillery. I served as aide-de-camp to General Twiggs during his command of New Orleans. After this general was relieved I was placed in command of a light battery. About this time I resigned and remained out of service for about a month, when I was reappointed lieutenant-colonel of the Twenty-second Regiment Louisiana Volunteers. My first duty as lieutenant-colonel was, in obedience to orders from General Lovell, to save the raft between Forts Saint Philip and Jackson. I was assigned by General Duncan to the command of those forts. I was engaged upon this raft about two weeks with all the force that could be possibly had; it was a tremendous job.

Question. Were you in the service of the United States before the secession of the South? If so,in what capacity and for what length of time?

Answer. I was in the Navy of the United States from 1836 to 1854, when I resigned, a lieutenant. The last two years of my service under that Government was spent in commanding an ocean steamer, in which command I remained four years after leaving the United States service.

Question. State generally your knowledge of the causes of the fall of New Orleans, and whether or not the same might have been prevented by Major-General Lovell with the means at his disposal.

The judge-advocate, being told informally by the witness that the inefficiency and incompetency of the naval officers in command at or near Forts Jackson and Saint Philip was the principal cause of the fall of New Orleans, here asked the court to direct the witness to exclude from his reply to the foregoing question the expression of any opinion touching the efficiency or inefficiency of the officers of the C. S. Navy, because the court has no jurisdiction to inquire into and pronounce an opinion upon the official conduct of such officers.

In support of this proposition the judge-advocate submitted the following

ARGUMENT.

The ninety-first article of war, by which courts of inquiry are authorized, declares that they are “to examine into the nature of any transaction, accusation, or imputation against an officer or soldier.” Their jurisdiction, both as to subject-matter and person, is thus clearly defined. The person must be an officer or soldier; the subject-matter must be the transaction of such officer or soldier or the accusation that may be made against him but, as if to remove all doubt or uncertainty as to parties within the jurisdiction of army courts, their character is specifically {p.589} designated in the ninety-sixth article of war, and in that specification naval officers are not mentioned. It should also be observed that the Articles of War are acts of Congress, declared to be for the government of the armies of the Confederate States. If, however, this court, composed exclusively of army officers, can go beyond these limits to hear testimony impeaching the official conduct of naval officers and pronounce judgment upon such conduct, the solecism in law and justice is presented of men being tried without notice and condemned without a hearing. Such a construction of the order convening this court is less to be justified when it is borne in mind that officers of the Navy belong to another and different arm of the service, and are responsible by law to a separate and distinct Department, clothed with full power and every facility to ascertain and punish its own delinquents. Again, such a course is not necessary to determine whether or not General Lovell has discharged the duties devolved upon him, nor does he ask it to be taken. He was directed by the President to concert and co-operate with the naval officers on duty in his department. If he obeyed this direction and was faithful to his other well-known trusts he should be acquitted of blame. The President and the Secretary of War also informed him that he had no control over officers of the Navy, which fact of course exempts him from all responsibility for their acts or failure to act. It is admitted that the witness may testify that General Lovell sought the co-operation of naval men and suggested certain measures for their adoption, and that this co-operation was refused and the proposed measures designated. To be more specific, it may be shown, and the court may report, if proven, that the Louisiana was not placed in the position desired by General Lovell, and that Commander Mitchell did not make such use of the fire rafts and guard boats as he had been requested and had promised to make. Should such facts appear in the report of the court, the basis of future action is furnished to the Government. It is submitted that this line of procedure is in accordance with the law, the requirements of the order, and substantial justice. The court does that which all courts of inquiry are designed to do; it enables the Government to determine whether or not further proceedings shall be had. A different course tends to excite strife and contention, arraying one arm of the service against the other when the public defense demands unity of spirit and action.

The court, however, declined to make the direction, as requested by the judge-advocate, for reasons set forth in the following opinion:

OPINION OF THE COURT.

On the 16th instant, with the view to remove all doubt upon the point raised by the judge-advocate, a telegram was sent by the order of this court to the Adjutant-General at Richmond, asking specific instruction in the premises. No reply has been received. It therefore remains for the court to act upon its own judgment. The order convening the court does not restrict its investigations to the conduct of Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell and the troops of his command except as to the mere evacuation of New Orleans. In relation to the capture of the city the words of the order preclude the idea of such restriction, and they do not imply it in respect to the defense. It is required of the court, too, in those matters, to examine into the attending facts and circumstances, without any limit as to persons or arm of the service. If a partial examination were intended, that intention would doubtless have been expressed. It is the {p.590} duty of the court to obey the order under which it acts. It does not belong to it to account for the consequences of so doing.

The witness then answered as follows:

Answer. I have no personal knowledge as to the extent of General Lovell’s authority over the defenses afloat. The inefficiency and incompetency of a majority of those commanding the defenses afloat were, in my judgment, the causes of its fall, but among them were some exceptions. The chief officer in command of the Confederate States steamer Louisiana, and all of those in command of the river fleet, they being unused to heavy guns and ships, with no idea of discipline, are those whom I consider inefficient and responsible for the fall of the city. On the day and evening of the passage of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip I sent three verbal communications to Capt. J. K. Mitchell, C. S. Navy, informing him that the enemy’s vessels of war were making disposition to unite with his mortar fleet in an attack upon the forts or in an attempt to pass them that night, and requested him to place the steamer Louisiana in position before Saint Philip so that she could enfilade the mortar fleet, thereby enabling the men in the forts to stand to their guns to resist the passage of the enemy’s vessels of war. The last of these communications was under these circumstances and to this effect. I went into General Duncan’s quarters, who remarked to me that Commander Mitchell had sent him word that he (Mitchell) would move the Louisiana in twenty-four hours. The message was brought by Commander Mitchell, and I immediately turned to the latter officer and said to him: “Tell Commander Mitchell that there will be no to-morrow for New Orleans unless he immediately takes up the position assigned to him with the Louisiana; if he does not do so the city is gone, and he will be responsible to the country for its loss. The forts are powerless to prevent it.” The commanding officer afloat turned a deaf ear to all our warnings and entreaties, and did not coincide with us in the belief that the enemy would have the temerity to attempt the passage of the forts, and that they were not prepared to resist it. It was fully twenty minutes from the time that the enemy rounded the point below the forts before the vessels of our fleet could move; most of these were run ashore and burned as the enemy passed.

I am of the opinion that if the vessels sent down from New Orleans to co-operate with the forts in the defense of the city had been properly officered and commanded, and had been under the control of an efficient head, we would now be in possession of New Orleans. The Louisiana was invulnerable, as was demonstrated by the fact that one of the heaviest of the enemy’s ships poured broadside after broadside into her at a distance of 20 or 30 feet without the least damaging effect. The fleet would render us no assistance. We entreated Commander Mitchell to draw the enemy’s fire for a short time, to enable us to secure one of our magazines, which was in danger, and to repair our damages and remount guns. He refused. One reason which he assigned for not taking up his position was that he had but two weeks’ provisions. Another was that he was not bomb-proof above, and a shell might hit him. I was obliged to move the powder from one of the magazines under fire of the enemy and when their shells were bursting every two or three minutes in the fort. The river fleet, commanded by Stephenson, refused to obey orders from Mitchell; there was no authority and no concert of action afloat. There were twelve vessels in all, including the Louisiana. Three of these were commanded by Commander Mitchell; six by a New Orleans merchant and former steamboat captain, named Stephenson; one by Capt. Beverly Kennon, formerly of the U. S. and C. S. Navies, and one by Captain Grant, a steamboat captain. They were all placed under the command of Mitchell, but he failed in making the river fleet yield obedience to him.

Question. Was anything done by you in preparing launches for additional defense of water approaches in Department No. 1, and under whose orders?

Answer. I was ordered by General Lovell to seize twelve fishing boats and fit them up as small gunboats. I seized them, and his orders for fitting them up were being carried into execution when I was assigned to other duty in fitting up the raft. I know that some of them were completed.

By the COURT:

Question. State what was done in the forts after the enemy’s fleet had passed up the river. Were any preparations made to defend the forts from an attack above; and what co-operation, if any, did you receive from the defenses afloat?

Answer. All damages were repaired as far as possible; dismounted guns were remounted; the heavy guns in the lower front were traversed round so as to bear upon {p.591} the fleet above in case of attack; a return of all the provisions in the forts was made, a demand for surrender by Commodore Porter was refused, and Commander Mitchell was requested by me to move his vessel to the opposite side of the river, above Fort Jackson, to assist in the defense from an attack which was expected from above, which he would not do or attempt to do.

Question. Under whose command were the fire rafts and guard boats before and after the time of the passage of the forts, and were they used as they should have been?

Answer. Previous to the arrival of Commander Mitchell (the second or third day of the bombardment) the river fleet was under the order of General Duncan; when he came down, the fire rafts, gunboats, the river fleet, and everything afloat was turned over to him. The fire rafts were not lighted up the night of the passage of the enemy’s fleet, although Commander Mitchell had promised to have it done. While General Duncan commanded the floating defenses fire rafts and guard boats were regularly sent down, but not afterwards, to the best of my knowledge.

Question. Did General Lovell ever send you to Baton Rouge to induce the legislature of Louisiana to make appropriations for the building of gunboats for the defense of New Orleans? If yea, state at what time this mission was undertaken, and was it practicable to have constructed the gunboats and had them ready for service before the fall of the city?

Answer. General Lovell did send me to Baton Rouge on such duty in December, 1861. There was ample time and material obtainable to have provided a fleet sufficient for such purpose. A bill making an appropriation of $2,500,000 passed the senate and was defeated in the house.

Question. Were you sent by General Lovell, in the early part of March, 1862, to endeavor to replace the obstructions at Fort Jackson? If so, state what were your instructions, and give a general idea of what was done by you.

Answer. Yes; about that time. At the time spoken of I was informed by General Lovell that the raft had broken from its fastenings, on the Fort Jackson side of the river, and left about one-third of the river open. He instructed me to go down with a number of barges and fill up the gap, by placing them in the open space and using them as buoys to stretch chains across from the raft on the shore. Upon arriving at the fort I found the raft had also broken from the Fort Saint Philip side, and had nagged several hundred yards below its first position (it was then hanging by its heaviest anchors, which held it lengthwise of the river). I commenced immediately to cut it into sections, and telegraphed to the general to send me tow-boats to assist in replacing it by sections. I found it impossible, however, on account of the strength of the current, to hold all the sections in position after replacing them; the immense weight of the chains, together with the pressure of the water forced them under the surface, and slowly dragged them down the river, except three sections, of about 100 yards each, one on the Fort Jackson side and two on the Fort Saint Philip side, which remained where placed. I then went up to New Orleans and reported the fact to General Lovell, who directed me to seize a number of vessels, take them down between the forts, and anchor them in line across the river, stretching chains across over them. I accordingly seized a number or heavily-built vessels, and carried cut my instructions. They were anchored across the river, as nearly as possible, in the position occupied by the raft, and dismantled, their masts and rigging left to trail astern in order to catch the propellers of any vessel which might attempt to pass. Each vessel had two anchors down and 60 fathoms of chain to each anchor, and three 1-inch chains were stretched across all of them, connecting them with the raft sections remaining in position, forming a barrier which I am confident none of the enemy’s ships could have forced under fire from the forts.

Question. What number of fire rafts were sent to Fort Jackson for use by General Lovell?

Answer. I do not remember the number; there were a great many.

Question. What was the immediate cause of the surrender of the forts on April 28, 1862?

Answer. Mutiny of the garrison.

Question. What amount of powder was expended in the fight at Forts {p.592} Jackson and Saint Philip and what amount turned over to the enemy; what the number of the garrisons, and the amount of provisions on hand?

Answer. About 70,000 pounds of powder; I think about 30,000 remained in our magazines when we left the fort. There were about 1,100 men in the two forts. Provisions for sixty days were on hand at the time of the passing up of the Federal fleet

Question. Did you supply the artillerists to serve the guns on the steamer Louisiana? If so, how many?

Answer. Yes; about 150 picked men, under Captain Ryan and Lieutenant Dixon.

Question. Were the defenses strengthened by sand bags, &c., previous to and during the bombardment, and at what time and under what circumstances were the last heavy guns mounted?

Answer. Yes; very considerably by sand bags and cotton bales. The last heavy guns were mounted a few days before the bombardment by the Northern fleet and under fire from the gunboats.

Question. Was it possible to place sharpshooters on the bank of the river near the enemy’s fleet to endeavor to dislodge them?

Answer. We placed sharpshooters in the swamp below, but they could not exist there on account of the high stage of water. The river at this time was so high that the parade ground of the fort was covered with water, and we had 9 inches of water in the casemates. Traverses were built around the magazine doors, and an engine and a large detail of men with buckets were kept constantly at work day and night during the bombardment to keep the water out of the magazines.

Capt. EDWARD HOBART was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. What business were you engaged in at New Orleans while General Lovell was in command of Department No. 1?

Answer. Mercantile profession. We also furnished capital for the erection of the Louisiana powder-mills.

Question. What assistance, if any, did you receive from General Lovell in getting into operation the powder-mills near New Orleans?

Answer. General Lovell rendered important aid in enlarging and hastening the erection of the mills, ordering the founderies to give the necessary work precedence. He also, through means at his disposal, afforded material aid to complete the re-erection after the first explosion. By his direction the mills, originally located at Handsborough, Miss., were removed to New Orleans, the former location being deemed insecure. He also rendered valuable assistance in supplying the mills with materials.

Question. Was the machinery of these mills removed at the time of the surrender? If so, how was that effected and what has become of the mills?

Answer. The machinery of the powder-mills was entirely removed after the passage of the enemy’s ships by the forts. It was taken by steamer to Vicksburg, and subsequently located at Selma, Ala., where it has been since in operation when material could be obtained. The boat was furnished by General Lovell.

Question. What was the daily capacity of your mills when completed?

Answer. Five thousand pounds of powder in twenty-four hours. The mills were never pushed to their capacity for want of material.

Capt. J. BRIEN was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE ADVOCATE:

Question. What position did you hold in New Orleans at the time of the evacuation in April, 1862?

Answer. I held the position of assistant ordnance officer and had charge of the main magazine, and was charged by Maj. Gen. M. Lovell with the proof of all powder manufactured and imported at New Orleans.

{p.593}

Question. Did you bring away the powder, cartridges, and other public property belonging either to the State of Louisiana or the Confederate Government?

Answer. I brought away every pound of ammunition and other public property in my charge. The following is a list thereof:

Question. What was the quality of the powder brought to New Orleans by the steamers Vanderbilt, Merrimac, and Victoria in the winter of 1861? What was done with it?

Answer. The powder brought by these steamers was damaged and totally unfit for service. A portion was reworked, and the saltpeter extracted from the remainder and made into new powder.

Capt. W. C. CAPERS was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. What command did you have previous to and at the time of the evacuation of New Orleans?

Answer. I was in immediate command of Fort Macomb, one of the defenses of Lake Borgne.

Question. What additions, if any, had been made to the strength of Fort Macomb after General Lovell assumed command of Department No. 1, in guns, powder, munitions, &c.?

Answer. The additions to my armament were one 8-inch columbiad, four 42-pounder guns, six 32-pounder smooth-bore guns, one 32-pounder rifled gun, and one 10-inch seacoast mortar, all in place of 24-pounder guns. I also received, in place of old and worthless powder, an ample supply of the best powder then to be had, with all the munitions necessary for the complete equipment and defense of the fort. In addition to these, all the timber bordering the pass above the fort, and which would have completely masked the enemy’s vessels, thereby rendering my fire comparatively ineffective, was felled, presenting an open field of fire, both by land and water, to the mouth of the pass. General Lovell furnished me everything necessary for placing the fort on a firm war footing.

Question. Under what orders did you evacuate Fort Macomb?

Answer. On the morning of April 25, 1862, I received an order from Colonel Fuller to hold myself in readiness to abandon the fort, which was signed by order of General Lovell. This order I did not obey, as I wished the order to come through General Lovell’s assistant adjutant-general. During that afternoon I received another order, signed C. A. Fuller, colonel, commanding Second Brigade, requiring me to destroy my guns and report to him at Madisonville. This order I had to obey, as my fort was in his district.

Question. What official conversation, if any, took place between yourself and General Lovell relative to the evacuation of Forts Pike and Macomb immediately after your arrival at Camp Moore, after that evacuation?

Answer. I had a conversation with General Lovell at Camp Moore on the subject of the evacuation of the forts, sought by myself, as I desired to know whether Colonel Fuller really had authority for his act. During that conversation General Lovell informed me that he had not issued any such order, and that Colonel Fuller had only been required to have the forts in readiness in the event it became necessary to abandon them. He also said that, hearing the forts had been evacuated, he issued orders to have them reoccupied This is as near as the frailties of memory will allow me to say concerning this particular point.

{p.594}

Lieut. Col. EDWARD FRY was next sworn and examined as a witness. By Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. What position did you occupy in October, 1861, when General Lovell took command of Department No. 1.?

Answer. I was assistant adjutant-general at Camp Moore, the camp of organization and instruction in Louisiana.

Question. What was the condition of the troops at Camp Moore at that time as to numbers, arms, equipments, and ammunition? Were they subsequently put in complete order, and what became of them?

Answer. The Thirteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Regiments Louisiana Volunteers, averaging 900 men each, were organized at Camp Moore, rather poorly armed and equipped, and transferred to the Confederate States service during October, November, and December, 1861. They were not supplied with ammunition when transferred. I know nothing, of my own knowledge, in regard to them troops after they were transferred to the Confederate States service.

Question. Were you stationed, at the time of the evacuation of New Orleans, at Forts Berwick and Chène? If yea, what was the condition of those works when abandoned?

Answer. I was in command of both forts. The works were in fair condition.

Question. What property was brought away and what disposition was made of the remainder?

Answer. About 5,000 pounds of powder, over 12,000 rounds of musket cartridges, all of the infantry arms and accouterments, and fully two months’ supply of commissary stores for about 160 men. All this property was turned over to the proper officers at Camp Moore, La. The remainder-the heavy guns, carriages, chassis, &c.-was destroyed or rendered unfit for service in obedience to orders from General Duncan.

Maj. W. H. DEVEREUX was then duly sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. What position did you hold at the time General Lovell took command of Department No. 1 and from that date to the evacuation of New Orleans?

Answer. I held the position of chief of staff to Major-General Twiggs at the time General Lovell arrived to take command of Department No. 1, and continued in that capacity under Major-General Lovell until his own staff was organized, when, being ranked by Major Palfrey, I performed the duties of acting assistant adjutant-general in immediate and confidential connection with Major-General Lovell.

Question. What was the general condition of the department as to its defenses, as shown by the official reports, when General Lovell took command?

Answer. The general condition of the defenses of the department when General Lovell assumed command was not one of strength commensurate with the interests to be protected, nor yet hopelessly inadequate to encounter the force of the enemy then in the Gulf. The armament of the forts on the exterior line was light in caliber and insufficient in the number of guns; some of the gun-carriages were reported weak; implements were wanting, and the ammunition was inferior and very scarce. The interior line of defense for the immediate protection of the city of New Orleans was well advanced, but not completed. For this interior line a number of guns, perhaps 125, were arriving from Richmond, but unaccompanied by any equipment; these guns were also of light caliber. They had been secured by General Twiggs, and their equipment ordered to be prepared, before the arrival of Major-General Lovell.

Question. Were you present at interviews between General Lovell and members of the Safety Committee? If so, state substantially what passed at these interviews.

Answer. I was present at many interviews between General Lovell and members of the Committee of Public Safety, and affirm, as the substance of their conversations, {p.595} that the general accepted their offers of material, anchors and chains for rafts, iron and copper for castings, and, briefly, those articles for military purposes and construction which at that time could only be obtained readily by private enterprise, but declined a part of their tenders of money, as he was not embarrassed for want of funds, but retarded by the deficiency of procuring through Government agents articles of prime necessity, which had grown to be scarce. The general also declined many suggestions of military plans.

Question. What was the number and composition of the troops in the city at the time of the evacuation and how were they armed?

Answer. There were two brigades of State troops, under Generals Tracy and Buisson, in New Orleans at the time of its evacuation. These numbered in all, perhaps, 3,000 men; were new levies, chiefly composed of the men of the families resident in and about the city. They were indifferently armed, shot-guns being I believe the prevailing weapon. Two-thirds of them belonged to the French class of the population. Included in the above estimate was a battalion of some 400 men, Orleans Guards, which was well armed and equipped. There were, besides, the Confederate Regiment State Troops, about 700 strong, well armed and equipped, and the Pinkney Battalion (now Eighth Louisiana Battalion), heavy artillery, 500 unarmed men, newly enlisted, occupying the works on the river above and below the city; also the Thomas Battalion Confederate Troops, numbering about 350 men, also unarmed.

Question. State what was General Lovell’s habitual routine of business while in command of Department No. 1. Was he ever absent from his office a single day during his administration except while engaged in personal inspections of the troops or works of his department?

Answer. General Lovell’s hours of business were habitually from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., during which he was always in his office. Most frequently he returned at 7 or 8 p.m. and continued in the transaction of public affairs until very late hours of the night. During the interval between 3 and 8 p.m. General Lovell was ordinarily occupied in personal inspections of the troops and lines of defense, visits to the founderies and work-shops, examinations of proper means-in the construction of Montgomery’s and the State fleets and the rams Mississippi and Louisiana. His tours of inspection through his department were frequent, and I believe thorough. The restless activity displayed by the department commander was a subject of general remark.

Question. What was the general military character of the population in New Orleans at the time of its fall?

Answer. It was indifferent. The better part of the fighting material had volunteered and been ordered elsewhere. The young men were all gone from the city with a few glaring exceptions.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. the 25th instant.

VICKSBURG, Miss., April 25, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

Capt. W. B. ROBERTSON was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Where were you when the Federal fleet passed Forts Saint Philip and Jackson, in April, 1862, and what, if any, position did you hold in the Army of the Confederate States?

Answer. I was in command of the water battery at Fort Jackson; a captain in the First Regiment Louisiana Artillery.

Question. What orders did you receive from Colonel Higgins on the afternoon previous to the passage of the forts by the enemy’s fleet on the morning of April 24, 1862?

Answer. I received a written order from Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins, commanding Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, that there was a movement among the enemy’s gunboats {p.596} and ships of war below his mortar boats and that he was planting signals on the Saint Philip shore, indicating that they would probably take up position and bombard in conjunction with the mortar boats, and, if a favorable opportunity presented, would attempt the passage of the forts. He charged me to prepare for such events. He also stated that the river would be lit up. The order from Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins is now in Louisiana, near the enemy.

The court adjourned to meet at Jackson, Miss., April 27, 1863, at 10 a.m.

JACKSON, MISS., April 27, 1863.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and also Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of the 25th instant were read over.

The following communication was then read to the court by the judge-advocate, to wit:

RICHMOND, VA., April 21, 1863.

Maj. L. R. PAGE:

The court is required by the order to examine into the facts and circumstances attending the capture of New Orleans, the defense of that city, and the evacuation of the same. The inquiry is broad and not restrictive, and will embrace every fact and every officer, whether of Army or Navy, connected with the object of inquiry. It is fully competent for the court, and it is expected of it, to report all the facts of the whole subject of the capture, defense, and evacuation of New Orleans, which included the defenses on the river below the city, and to report their opinion thereon.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

Lieut. Col. W. S. LOVELL was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. What duty were you assigned to in New Orleans by General Lovell in November, 1861? State what was done by you.

Answer. I reported for duty to General Lovell at New Orleans on or about November 8, 1861. Was ordered immediately to take charge of the raft between Forts Jackson and Saint Philip; to repair, replace it in position, and anchor it properly. I found the raft had, by either dragging its anchors or parting its moorings, drifted so far down the river that the end towards the Fort Jackson side was about the middle of the river, leaving the river open between them about 400 yards; many of the gun rails, which were joined on top of the logs forming the raft, were broken, and the end towards the Saint Philip side very much broken up. Most of the anchors which had been used in mooring the raft were very small, and had rope attached to them instead of chain. Some of the ropes were so short as to lead almost up and down, not having sufficient scope. A number of the anchors were not recovered, having parted the moorings. Most of the gun rails, or stringers, were broken or wrenched out of place. I pinned down new ones. I secured the end on the Fort Saint Philip side by planting a large anchor, about 3,000 pounds, with what are called “dead men,” or longer logs placed in front of each arm. The anchor was then backed by chains to a stump, and the stump backed by a small anchor from the main anchor. Mooring chains were secured to the end of the raft; there were no other means of securing the raft to the shore. The raft was then hauled back into position on this side by steamers and anchored. The heaviest anchors, from 2,500 to 3,000 pounds, were placed in the deepest water, with chains from 45 to 60 fathoms each. To the best of my recollection there were between twenty-five and thirty anchors used in anchoring the raft, and each with a sufficient scope of chain. A number of the anchors were between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds. The end of the raft on the Fort Jackson side was secured by two heavy chains running to two “crabs,” also by heavy chains, made fast to a large anchor, planted as the one on the other side, so that they might be slacked up or lengthened if necessary. When the drift got to be heavy against the raft steamers were employed to endeavor to haul it out, which was found impossible. I built, by General Lovell’s order, a raft or boom above the city of New Orleans, about 1,000 yards long, which was ready to be thrown across should it be required. I had charge, for a time, of a raft to be placed across the lake at Fort Pike. I also fitted up the steamers Oregon and Arrow as gunboats for the lake. The former vessel carried two guns, one 8-inch gun and one 32-pounder rifled; the latter, one 32-pounder. I also fitted up the yacht Corypheus with one gun, to be used in the lake.

{p.597}

Question. What duty was performed by you, under orders of General Lovell, in connection with the river-defense fleet; also with ships fitted out at the expense of the State of Louisiana?

Answer. I was appointed ordnance and disbursing officer of the river-defense fleet by General Lovell. As ordnance officer, I superintended the necessary work on vessels of the fleet, to receive and place in position their armament, 32 or 24 pounders, furnished by General Lovell. I also furnished them ammunition and small-arms, and established a system of signals. As disbursing officer, I had to examine and pay the many bills incurred in fitting out the fleet. When the steamers Charles Morgan, Galveston (afterwards the Governor Moore), and General Quitman were taken by Governor Moore to be fitted out as gunboats, they were immediately, by General Lovell’s consent, turned over to me, to be altered, protected, armed, officered, and manned as I might deem proper. I had the whole charge of these two steamers. All that was done by the State was to pay the bills approved by me. The captains appointed by me (and confirmed by Governor Moore) to the command of these vessels were Capts. Beverly Kennon, of the Governor Moore, and Alexander Grant, of the General Quitman.

Question. When the raft at the lower forts was completed and put in position did you consider it an effective obstacle to ships ascending the river as long as it remained in place?

Answer. When the raft was in position, after I had taken charge of it, I considered it an effective obstruction to vessels coming up the river, and that it would have so remained had it not been for the extraordinary high water and drift. By the water overflowing the banks the ground was softened, which prevented the anchors from holding. I did not think it possible for the enemy to remove the raft under the guns of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip. If the raft had not been carried away I do not believe it possible for the enemy to have passed the forts.

Question. What measures were taken by you under authority of General Lovell previous to the passage of the forts, previous to the evacuation in case of such passage, and what use was made of such means at the time of the evacuation?

Answer. Some days before the enemy passed the forts, by General Lovell’s directions, I got ready, for any move that might be necessary, the three steamers Magenta, Peytona, and Pargoud. These vessels were in such condition that they could all be ready to move at four hours’ notice. I ordered these three vessels to get ready to move at 7 o’clock the morning the enemy passed the forts-April 24, 1862. I turned over the largest steamer (the Magenta) to Major Lamar, for the purpose of removing Government commissary stores. The next largest steamer (the Peytona) I turned over to Captain St. Clair, at his urgent request, to assist in towing the Mississippi. The third steamer (the Pargoud) was used to remove commissary and ordnance stores. Among the latter stores she had one 32-pounder and a number of battery forges; I think six. The cabin of the boat was filled with persons-many women and children-who wished to leave the city.

Cross-examination by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. What was your occupation before April, 1861?

Answer. I was an officer in the Navy of the United States for nearly twelve years. I resigned from that service in 1859. I entered the Naval School at Annapolis as a midshipman in 1847 and graduated in 1853. During the last three years of my service in the U. S. Navy I was in command of steamers.

Question. Did you not succeed General M. L. Smith as ordnance officer of Department No. 1? If you were acting as such at the time of the evacuation of New Orleans, state the amount of ordnance you then had on hand and what became of it.

Answer. I did succeed him as such. I cannot state the amount on hand without reference to my ordnance papers; there was a great deal of ordnance stores at the various forts. Of that in the city, under my immediate charge, the larger proportion was saved; very little was lost. Many supplies of ordnance stores were furnished to various works for which I received no receipts, and had to report them in my return as lost. To illustrate my meaning, the powder reported by me to be lost was sent to the fort below the city (Chalmette) and to the upper batteries, and two or three 8-inch columbiads reported as lost were used at Chalmette in the fight.

{p.598}

Question. State your knowledge as to the effectiveness of the river-defense fleet. In what respect and by what means, if any, might the same have been made more efficient in the defense of the city?

Answer. The boats were fitted up generally very well for use as rams. I considered most of them as better for that purpose than the Queen of the West, a ram taken from the enemy, which I have well examined since her capture. There was no discipline, no organization, but little or no drill of the crews. I frequently requested the commanding officers (Montgomery and Townsend) to drill their men at a gun I placed on one of the vessels expressly for that purpose. I offered to employ a Navy officer to drill them. I also employed a person who had been a gunner in the U. S. Navy to act as such to the fleet; to mount the guns; to have a general superintendence of everything belonging to the gunner’s department; also to teach the officers and men of the fleet how to use and manage the guns. I do not believe one of the officers in command of any of the vessels of the fleet knew how to load or manage heavy guns. Some of the vessels had men employed as gunners. Some of the captains told me they knew nothing about heavy guns and must have gunners.

Question. Were there in Department No. 1 any vessels not of the river-defense fleet which might have been fitted up similarly for resisting the enemy?

Answer. In my opinion the best steamers were taken and fitted out for the river defense; there were a number of other steamers that might have been fitted out as rams and gunboats.

Question. Were the rams of the river-defense fleet and such other vessels as were in Department No. 1 capable of being fitted out as rams or gunboats? Was it practicable, after October 1, 1861, to have prepared a fleet sufficient to cope with the war vessels of the Federal fleet or which passed the forts?

Answer. In my opinion no fleet could have been fitted out in New Orleans since October 1, 1861, out of the steamers there, to be able to cope with that of the enemy. One might have been fitted out to assist greatly regular gunboats like the Mississippi had they been properly officered and manned.

Question. Were as many shipwrights employed upon the Mississippi as could have been worked to advantage and could they have worked at night?

Answer. I am unable to say how many were employed. Work could have been done at night on the vessel with great advantage. She could have been lighted up very easily with gas or by light-wood torches from a steamboat anchored on the outside of her and by torches from the shore or the inside. I suggested this latter plan to Mr. Tift two or three times. I have seen the workmen quit the vessel by sundown, when they ought to have worked an hour or two longer.

Question. Could the Mississippi have been saved; if so, how?

Answer. My opinion is that she could and ought to have been saved by having vessels ready to tow her off, and there was an ample number of steamers at New Orleans that could have been used for that purpose. In my opinion, had they begun to make these steamers ready as soon as the report of the passage of the forts had reached the city, the Mississippi could have been removed. I received information about 5 o’clock on the morning of the 24th that the enemy’s fleet had passed the forts; it anchored before the city about 12 m. the next day. About 11 a.m. on the 24th Captain St. Clair applied to me for the steamers I had gotten ready. I refused him all but one-the second largest of the three; the largest was I think, then being loaded with commissary stores.

Question. Was the Star of the West at New Orleans at that time; if so, describe her, as also the Peytona and St. Charles.

Answer. She was there, a regular seagoing side-wheel steamer, of good power for towing. The Peytona was a river steamboat of flue power. The St. Charles was an old tow-boat, one that I had discharged as not strong enough to work on the rafts, and the two were, in my opinion, unable to tow the Mississippi. The Star of the West, the Peytona, and another strong boat could have done it.

Question. As the result of your knowledge, military and nautical, {p.599} what is your opinion as to the ability of land defenses to resist vessels of war under steam?

Answer. My opinion has always been that steam vessels of war can pass forts in an open channel free from obstruction.

Question. How many guns of caliber of 8-inch and above that were mounted for the defense of Pensacola Harbor?

Answer. When I left Pensacola, about November 5, 1861, there were at least fifteen 8 and 10 inch columbiads; also a number of 10-inch and two 13-inch mortars. Three of the 10-inch guns were brought to New Orleans after April 1, 1862.

Capt. BEVERLY KENNON was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. What position did you hold when General Lovell assumed command of Department No. 1, in October, 1861?

Answer. I was in charge of the Ordnance Department of the Navy.

Question. Did you make arrangements with Bennett & Surges to cast heavy guns? If so, how many, and when were they to begin work?

Answer. I did make arrangements with the firm of Bennett & Surges to cast guns. This was about October 1, 1861. They could not make the guns I wanted then because they had not the proper iron. I ordered fifty heavy 8-inch smooth-bore guns. This party was to commence work when they procured the proper material, but the Secretary of the Navy broke all my contracts before any one firm was really ready to commence work.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Why was not the arrangement spoken of in regard to heavy guns executed by Bennett & Surges? State all the facts connected with this matter.

Answer Because the Secretary of the Navy ordered that all work that I had ordered should be stopped. He gave as a reason that the expenditures in the Ordnance Department were enormous and must be curtailed. This note, or order, or whatever it may be termed, came from the Confederate States Naval Ordnance Department I suppose with Mr. Mallory’s indorsement.

Question. State generally what other contracts made by you, if any, were stopped by order of the Secretary of the Navy.

Answer. All contracts were stopped, and in the majority of cases all purchases returned. By all contracts, I mean the manufacture of guns and carriages, shot, shell, spherical case, and pretty much everything belonging to an ordnance department. Mr. Mallory or his subordinates would not take the lead, copper, block tin, zinc, and flannel that I had purchased. As an instance of my purchases, in the line of flannel I must have gotten $50,000 worth, yet Mr. Mallory would not take it. I procured it at an average price of 45 cents per yard. He afterwards bought the same article at four times’ the price. All other articles rose in price in the same ratio. He found he had to have them, but paid a much greater price fur them. Had Mr. Mallory allowed the founderies and other establishments in New Orleans then working for the Navy to continue their work, I am sure the city would not have fallen. There was an abundance of guns and projectiles of all sorts making and made when he stopped work. Among the contracts or work in progress I had 300 submarine batteries, which Mr. Mallory would not use or allow to be completed for use. I furnished General Polk with 150 of them. I know not what became of the rest. I made no contract for fuses, fire-works, rockets, &c., as they were made in the Confederate States naval laboratory. I started a powder-mill, which was broken up by order from Richmond. To bring this answer to a close, every contract was more or less broken in upon by Mr. Mallory’s order until just before New Orleans fell, when it was too late to repair damages.

Question. Did you take part in the engagement with the Federal fleet before the passage of the forts? If so, in what capacity and with what result?

Answer. I did take part in the engagement below New Orleans with the Federal fleet. I was then commander of the steamer Governor Moore, and with her sunk the {p.600} United States steam sloop-of-war Varuna. I afterwards destroyed my ship to prevent her falling into the hands of the enemy. I lost 74 men out of 93; besides this, the ship was completely disabled.

Question. What assistance that was not rendered might have been given by the vessels of the C. S. Navy or of the river-defense fleet or by fitting out vessels then at New Orleans belonging to private parties?

Answer. There were no Confederate States naval ships of war in our neighborhood; therefore no assistance could come from them, unless, of course, I except those in the fight. Had all our vessels been at the forts, and had all the vessels alongside the wharves been fitted up properly, I am sure that the enemy would not have passed us. All the assistance was given by the Confederate States naval vessels present that could be given, but Mr. Mallory ordered Commander Mitchell to take command near the forts at an hour too late to do much service. As to the river-defense fleet, they behaved very shamefully; every single vessel ran away or was deserted by all hands without fighting. The vessels belonging to private parties or companies at New Orleans in the fall of 1861 numbered somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty tow-boats, strong and comparatively fast, which would and could have made excellent rams. There were about as many large ocean steamers, which in smooth water could have carried on an average twenty heavy guns. There were also about a dozen ships, brigs, &c., which on an average could have carried six heavy guns each; yet Mr. Mallory did not take any of these vessels. They were taken by the State, but it was then too late. I was making preparations to arm and equip all these vessels when I was relieved of my command in New Orleans and ordered to Richmond. I then resigned my commission as a naval officer. After I resigned, the State of Louisiana took many of these vessels, but there was too little time then to fit them, man, and officer them. Regular naval officers, even at that late hour, would have done better than the river steamboat captains who were on board of them.

Question. What was the character of the vessel you commanded, and what was the character of the Federal vessel Varuna, as to construction, armament, &c.?

Answer. My ship was an ordinary merchant mail steamer-strong, fast, and of much weight. Her battery was only two 32-pounder rules. The Varuna was a regular man-of-war built ship, with a crew of 259 men, and eight 8-inch guns, four heavy 32-pounders, two 20-pounder Parrotts, and one 12-pounder howitzer.

The court adjourned to meet at Charleston, S. C., at 12 m. May 15, 1863, or as soon thereafter as practicable.

CHARLESTON, S. C., May 18, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, Maj. Gen. T. C. Hindman, Brig. Gens. T. F. Drayton and W. M. Gardner, Maj. L. R. Page, judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield LOVER.

The proceedings of the 27th ultimo were read over.

Gen. G. T. BEAUREGARD was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. What was your rank in the U. S. Army, and were you while in that service stationed at or near New Orleans, and what were your opportunities to form an acquaintance with the topography of that section of country?

Answer. I was a brevet major of Engineers in the United States service, and in charge for about fifteen years of the works defending the approach to New Orleans, which made me thoroughly acquainted with the topography of that section of Louisiana.

Question. From your knowledge of the country and its peculiarities would you think it the proper plan to concentrate the main strength in artillery at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip in connection with obstructions at that point, rather than to place the guns at many points along the river which the enemy would have to pass in succession?

Answer. The true plan for the defense of a river from the passage of steamers, &c. is, when practicable, to obstruct its navigation with rafts, piles, torpedoes, &c., {p.601} the most favorable points for such obstructions; then to defend the latter by a concentration of the greatest number of heaviest guns at one’s command, separating them, however, from each other by traverses when necessary to protect them from enfilade fires. Such was the system proposed by Generals Bernard and Patton, Majors Chase, Delafield, &c., when they planned Forts Jackson and Saint Philip and the batteries contiguous to those works. Detached batteries are very good when properly located and supported; otherwise they are apt to be overpowered successively by a naval attack or to be taken in rear by a land force. It is evident that since the enemy’s steamers and gunboats passed the concentrated fires of Forts Jackson, Saint Philip, &c., without much injury, they would have done so even more easily if our guns bad been scattered over 75 miles from those works to New Orleans. Moreover, the river being very high and the country between those two points being low, it could easily have been submerged by cutting the levees at night near any batteries which might have been constructed along the river, thereby cutting off their garrisons from succor or retreat. I will remark that Forts Jackson and Saint Philip were placed that low down the river to protect from the enemy’s depredations as much of the country liable to cultivation as practicable, and also to increase the obstacles to a regular siege resulting from the lowness of their sites, which does not admit of the construction of bayous and parallels, especially when the river is high.

Question. The battle having been fought at the forts, and the fleet having passed, do you consider New Orleans a tenable military position, and did its evacuation by the infantry forces necessarily follow as a matter of course when the enemy was in full possession of the river?

Answer. The forts commanding the river having been passed, New Orleans necessarily lay at the mercy of the enemy’s heavy guns afloat, which, owing to the high stage of the river, commanded the banks on both sides to the swamps skirting the river at a distance varying from a half to one mile. An army of 50,000 men or more could not then have saved the city from destruction. Whether the latter was desirable at the time before New Orleans had experienced Butler’s iron rule could only have been determined by the State or Confederate authorities, who should have considered whether the destruction of so large a city would have done more injury to the enemy than to ourselves. It is evident that to him Baton Rouge is a better strategic point than New Orleans, and the destruction of the latter would have relieved him of the necessity of keeping a garrison of 5,000 or 6,000 men there to guard it. This act would have been a mere empty bravado, a wanton destruction of an immense amount of private and public property, which would have shaken at the time the Confederacy to its very foundations and thrown upon its Government a helpless population of about 160,000 non-combatants (men, women, and children) to feed and provide for when already overburdened to supply the wants of the armies in the field. When the Russians burned Moscow it was for the purpose of annihilating Napoleon’s army of 300,000 or 400,000 men, which had invaded their country. When they again consented to the slow but certain destruction of Sevastopol it was to prevent the allies from taking possession of its immense docks, arsenals, military stores, and the fleet which had sought refuge under the guns of its forts. The possession of the harbor of Sevastopol would also have afforded them a magnificent base for their future operations in the Crimea. As I have already stated, the Mississippi River being extremely high, the streets of New Orleans could have been swept from one extremity to the other by the heavy guns of the enemy’s fleet; or had Commodore Farragut preferred reducing the place to submission without using his guns, it would have been only necessary to have cut the levee above and below the city, and the whole population would have been utterly defenseless and in a starving condition in a few days. Without the command of the Mississippi River New Orleans is not worth holding as a military or strategic position.

By a MEMBER OF THE COURT:

Question. Was the land on the sugar plantations below New Orleans high enough for the construction of batteries upon them?

Answer. From Point à la Hache, about 40 miles below the city, batteries could have been constructed along both sides of the river, provided there were no crevasses. Such batteries would be liable to be submerged by breaks in the levee.

Question. What was the width of the levee in front of New Orleans?

Answer. Immediately in front of the center of the city the levee will average about 150 feet in width. Opposite the extremities of the city the levee varied from 5 feet in width at the crest to 10 or 12. The slopes of the levee have about an angle of 45 degrees; their height varies from 5 to 8 feet.

{p.602}

Question. Would the water let in from above the city through a crevasse have submerged the whole city or only that portion next the swamp and lakes?

Answer. The crevasse at Carrollton about 6 miles above the city, several years ago, submerged the city to about Bourbon street, the fifth street on Canal street from the river. A crevasse nearer to the city than Carrollton would probably have submerged it to a greater extent. The water would have remained in the city as long as the river remained at high stage. I have known the city to be in danger of submersion without any crevasse of the levee, owing to the exceeding high stage of the river, and, in the event of a crevasse, the depth of water arising from the submersion would be proportioned to the height of the river and the width of the crevasse.

Question. Could Forts Jackson and Saint Philip have held the river against a hostile fleet without obstructions in the channel? What should have been the character of these obstructions? By what means could the accumulation of drift have been prevented?

Answer. I am decidedly of the opinion that Forts Jackson and Saint Philip could not have prevented a certain number of steamers out of a fleet from passing up the river in a dark night or a foggy day. A boom obstruction is, in my opinion, the only kind that could have answered the purpose of preventing the enemy’s steamers from passing those forts; but the problem of constructing those booms so as to enable them to resist the pressure of the drift-wood is a difficult one, which would require very thorough examination and study to solve it satisfactorily. Knowing the importance of a boom for the defense of New Orleans, when the State seceded I had made the drawings and estimates of a boom to be put across the river between these two forts. When, in February, 1861, I left New Orleans for Montgomery, at the call of the Confederate States Government, I placed the drawings and plans referred to in the hands of Col. Paul Hébert, for the use of the State Military Board, calling their attention to the urgent necessity of having the boom constructed and put in position at the earliest moment practicable; but I am informed that it was never done, on account of its cost (less than $100,000), and the time required for its construction, probably three months. It was designed to make it in two sections, of several layers of logs, strongly bolted together; each section strongly anchored at one extremity to each bank of the river; their other extremities were then to be brought together down-stream, near the Fort Jackson side about one-third the width of the river, by means of steam power, chains, and anchors; these chains were to be slackened when the drift-wood accumulated too much above the boom, and hauled taut again after its passage.

Question. As against a naval force of, say, twenty mortar vessels and thirty steam vessels and a land force of 15,000 men, what works, guns, obstructions, and troops would be necessary to the successful defense of New Orleans, and what naval co-operation would be required?

Answer. This question is so important and difficult that I do not feel competent, away from the locality, to give it a reliable or satisfactory answer. In October, 1861, when General Lovell was ordered to Louisiana, he called upon me for my general views as to the defense of that State, which I furnished him in writing. He informs me that he has it now in his possession. It was hastily written, but it, or so much as may be deemed proper by the court, may be annexed as a part of this answer.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. to-morrow.

CHARLESTON, S. C., May, 19, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

Lieut. A. F. WARLEY, C. S. Navy, was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. State your rank in the Navy, and where you were on duty in April, 1862.

Answer. I am first lieutenant in the C. S. Navy, and was in command of the Confederate States ram Manassas, between Forts Saint Philip and Jackson, in April, 1862.

{p.603}

Question. State, if you know, the condition of the Confederate States steamer Louisiana at the time the forts were passed by the enemy’s fleet.

Answer. I was not attached to her, but joined her the morning after the fight, when my vessel had been destroyed. The Louisiana was without motive power, and was made fast to the bank and had an anchor down. She was to have been propelled by a submerged wheel and two propellers. The submerged wheel had proved to be useless and the propellers were unfinished. I know but little of her armament. There are other persons who can give you full information on this subject. Commander Mitchell and Lieutenants Shryock and Bowen were attached to the vessel.

Question. Were you one of the officers of the naval council convened to consider and determine a location for the Louisiana in the effort to resist the attack of the enemy’s fleet upon and their passage of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip? If so, state why she was not placed in the position desired by Generals Lovell and Duncan.

Answer. I was one of that council. The vessel was not put in the position desired by Generals Lovell and Duncan because the vessel had no propelling power of her own, and to have taken that position she would have been under the fire of the mortar boats of the enemy, while she would not have been able to have reached them. Her port-holes were so constructed that her guns could not have had sufficient elevation to bring their fire within range. In my opinion she would have been sunk in that position in half an hour without effecting a particle of good. In that opinion the senior officers of the council concurred without a dissenting voice. I was the junior member of the council. The practice of the enemy’s mortar fleet was perfect. As an illustration, I was satisfied before the bombardment commenced that they had been taking observations of the Manassas. I had orders to remove my vessel to the other side of the river as soon as the fight commenced. At the explosion of the first shell I hauled out of my position, but had not removed a ship’s length before two mortar shells fell in the position I had held, and I subsequently counted sixty shots that struck within a short time the place the Manassas had retired from. The Louisiana presented a much larger surface than the Manassas, and one shell falling perpendicularly upon her upper deck would have been sufficient to have sunk her. The upper deck was flat and only covered with very thin iron. She was built to fight against vessels throwing broadsides at close range. We hoped to be able in three or four days to propel her at the rate of three knots an hour, which, if done, would have enabled her to have destroyed everything in the river. The port-holes were small, so as to present as small an aperture as possible to the guns and musketry of the enemy. Her range was not designed to be greater than 1,500 or 1,000 yards.

Question. Could the Louisiana have been finished had she not been removed from New Orleans in time to have resisted the passage of the forts or to have protected the city? State also why she was removed to the forts before her motive power was effective.

Answer. I think she could have been completed sufficiently to have protected the city had she not been removed. The day she was blown up (April 25) she was to have been finished at 12 m. I think the mechanics could have worked to better advantage at the city than while the vessel was in motion and at the forts. I had telegraphed Commander Whittle that it was necessary to make a naval demonstration in order to save the forts. He, I presume, sent her down, hoping that she might be got ready on her way down and assist in such demonstration. I also informed him at the same time that the Montgomery fleet was giving the forts no assistance whatever.

Question. If the ram Manassas and one or two other war steamers had been placed in position at the bar below the forts, do you think the enemy would have attempted to lighten over their ships of war while thus exposed to our fire?

Answer. I do not think they would; but at that time the Manassas had been sent up the river and had her propellers broken to pieces.

Question. What measures, not adopted, might have been taken that would have been effective for holding the Mississippi River against the Federal fleet?

Answer. If the river-defense fleet with the Governor Moore and General Quitman had co-operated with the Manassas as rams, they might have prevented the passage of the forts. One of the river fleet (the Defiance) never left the bank, and all the other {p.604} boats, except the McRae, steamed up the river without firing a gun or taking any part in the fight. The next morning the Stonewall Jackson and Governor Moore came down to the quarantine and ran into a Yankee gunboat and sunk her. Had they acted in the same manner the night before, making their power available, they could have kept the enemy’s fleet under the fire of the forts, and the city would have been saved. If the fleet could have been held fifteen minutes under the fire of the forts I believe we might have sunk every vessel they had. Had there been proper use of the fire rafts it would have conduced greatly to the safety of the city. I know of but one fire raft carried down to the fleet, which came near destroying the Hartford, the flagship of the enemy. This was taken down by the Mosher, commanded by a Captain Sherman, who was wounded and had his vessel sunk. There were a large number of these rafts (thirty or forty of them) which were not used, and which, even if not set on fire, would have been useful in blockading the channel had they been sent down. Stephenson (generally called Commodore Stephenson), of the Montgomery fleet, in attempting to carry down some fire rafts on the other side of the obstructions, permitted them to drift upon the obstructions, which caused them to-be broken in the center, so that the middle of the river was a free and open channel.

Captains Grant, of the General Quitman, and Hooper, commanding the Resolute, of the river-defense fleet, came aboard the Manassas the evening before the fight, and, in the course of conversation, denied that they were under the command of Generals Lovell and Duncan, or of any one except the Secretary of War; that they were there to show naval officers how to fight.

Cross-examination by Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. If the Montgomery defense fleet had been properly officered and manned would they not have been of very great effect in resisting the passage of the forts?

Answer. It would have been very effective to that end.

Question. State in general terms your opinion of the means placed at the disposal of the naval officers at New Orleans to enable them to cooperate with the land forces in preventing the passage of the forts on April 24, 1862, mentioning each vessel and its efficiency.

Answer. We had the Louisiana, a formidable vessel, with a powerful battery, but without motive power. Her crew was of mixed character, some good men and some indifferent; at least such is my opinion, based upon the fact that some of her crew were from the Army, others from the lake fleet, &c. The McRae was a light vessel, with a fine crew; her battery consisted of one heavy 9-inch gun and six light 32-pounders; the 9-inch gun burst early in the action; for her size she was a very efficient vessel. The Jackson was only a river boat, with two 32-pounders; she was not in the fight; and the Manassas, a tug-boat that had been converted into a ram, covered with half-inch iron, and had a 12-pounder carronade; her crew consisted of thirty-five persons, officers and men. She was perforated in the fight by shot and shell as if she had been made of paper. These vessels constituted the entire naval force.

By a MEMBER OF THE COURT:

Question. Were any torpedoes placed in any of the passes leading into the Mississippi, and could they have been there used to advantage?

Answer. I do not know of any being used there; if they could have been used to advantage anywhere they might have been there.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. to-morrow.

CHARLESTON, S. C., May 20, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Lieut. C. B. POINDEXTER, C. S. Navy, was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. M. LOVELL:

Question. State your rank and position at and before the evacuation of New Orleans, in April, 1862.

Answer. I was a lieutenant in the C. S. Navy, and in command of Confederate States gunboat Bienville, on Lake Pontchartrain, at that time.

{p.605}

Question. What assistance, if any, was furnished by General Lovell in arming and fitting the Bienville for service?

Answer. General Lovell furnished five of the six guns that she carried and the powder, and was always willing and anxious to assist me in every way.

Question. At the time of the evacuation of the city what services were you requested to render in assisting General Lovell?

Answer. When I came up to the city from Fort Pike I found the naval commandant of the station had left, when I in company with Lieutenant Gwathmey, of the Carondelet, tendered my services to General Lovell, who requested me to detain the gunboats at the lake end of the Pontchartrain Railroad, and to seize all the private steamers I could find in the neighborhood, and there to await further directions from him. That took place on the night of April 24.

Question. From whom did you receive the order or request which induced you to go to Forts Pike and Macomb and bring away the troops, and were you ever requested by General Lovell to do more than hold yourself in readiness for that duty?

Answer. From Colonel Fuller. I received no order from General Lovell to remove the troops until after they had been withdrawn.

Question. Did you observe any indecision, confusion, or want of coolness and energy on the part of General Lovell in your interviews with him during the evacuation of the city?

Answer. I did not. He was so cool and collected that I congratulated him.

Question. Were you ever requested by General Lovell to re-enter the lake in connection with a proposed reoccupation of the forts by our troops?

Answer. I was, on April 27 or 28.

Question. What disposition, if any, of the vessels under your command was suggested by General Lovell after the evacuation of the city?

Answer. General Lovell advised me by letter to go to Mobile, if I deemed it practicable.

Question. What disposition did General Lovell request you to make of the guns and ammunition of the gunboat Bienville, and when were they destroyed, and what was done with them?

Answer. On my arrival at Camp Moore, when I reported to General Lovell, I had the guns (eleven in number), ammunition, and projectiles saved from the gunboats. He asked me to take them immediately to Vicksburg, which I did, and assisted in putting them in position.

By the COURT:

Question. Did you command the Confederate naval forces on Lake Pontchartrain?

Answer. I did not; I commanded the Bienville.

Question. How many steamers were you able to collect at the Pontchartrain end of the railroad, and what services did you render in compliance with General Lovell’s request?

Answer. I collected three or four steamers, which were used in withdrawing the troops from the forts, but under the immediate orders of Colonel Fuller. I also carried over two batteries of artillery and 1,500 or 2,000 troops from the city to Covington.

Question. Why did you not carry out the instructions of General Lovell to re-enter the lake?

Answer. The withdrawal of the troops, the dismantling of the forts, the burning of the gun-carriages, &c. rendered it unnecessary; besides, I believed at the time that entrance was completely obstructed by the sinking of the Oregon.

{p.606}

SAMUEL WOLFE was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. M. LOVELL:

Question. What business were you engaged in at New Orleans for some months prior to its evacuation, in April, 1862?

Answer. I was first a merchant and then engaged in the foundery business.

Question. State what suggestions and aid you received from General Lovell in your operations, and what results, if any, were achieved.

Answer. General Lovell suggested that the necessities of the Government were such as to require the full use of the foundery. We set a number of men at work to make the patterns for field pieces and 10-inch mortars, and at last patterns for 10-inch columbiads; also the requisite shot and shell for those guns. The patterns of the 10-inch mortars and field pieces were begun in November, 1861. The patterns for the columbiads were completed about the time the city fell. We cast quite a number of field pieces (probably six were finished) and several 10-inch mortars, one of which was completed. We had employed over 100 men. I was not acquainted with the business myself, but my employés were. Among them was an artillery officer, who was skilled in the fabrication of arms, &c. General Lovell called very frequently at the foundery and urged forward the completion of the guns ordered by him and the ordnance officer. Our supply of iron best suited for guns was quite limited, and General Lovell gave us an order for 100 very large water-pipes, a portion of which we used. General Lovell also found that we needed a very large lathe for the working of heavy guns, and provided us with one from the other side of the river, by permission of the Government. General Lovell, early in March, issued an order to the effect that the foundery was in the hands of the Government and the employés in its service, for the purpose of protecting them from the militia officer and to secure the entire services of the foundery; but that was unnecessary, as it had been purchased for Government use alone. At the suggestion of General Lovell we were putting up reverberatory furnaces, which were nearly completed when the city fell. General Lovell frequently tendered me money, which I declined to take.

Question. Were any attempts made to remove the property at your works at the time of the evacuation? State what was removed and your reasons for not removing the whole.

Answer. We were ordered on April 24 or 25, 1862, to remove all work at our shop, finished or unfinished. There were, I think, about eight brass pieces (part finished and part unfinished) sent up the Jackson Railroad. The mortars that were unfinished were thrown into the basin of the new canal. Some of the mortar beds were buried in the ground at the foundery. The reasons for these acts were that we could not get men and vehicles to carry then to the railroad depot. Men were afraid to be seen working about such an establishment upon the arrival of the enemy.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. to-morrow.

CHARLESTON, S. C., May 21, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. M. Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

The judge-advocate then informed the court that certain witnesses whom he had summoned from Savannah, Ga., had left that city for Richmond before the arrival of the summons, and that there were no other witnesses to examine at Charleston.

The court was then adjourned to meet at Richmond, Va., June 1, 1863, or as soon thereafter as practicable.

RICHMOND, VA., June 2, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, Maj. Gen. T. C. Hindman, Brig. Gens. T. F. Drayton and W. M. Gardner, Maj. L. R. Page, judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

{p.607}

Lieut. W. H. WARD, C. S. Navy, was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. State your profession and what duty you were on in April, 1862.

Answer. I was a lieutenant in the Navy, on duty at New Orleans; attached to the Confederate States steamer Louisiana at that time.

Question. Were you on duty aboard the Louisiana when the enemy’s fleet passed Forts Jackson and Saint Philip? If yea, state what part she bore in resisting its passage and her location during the action.

Answer. She was fought to the best advantage under the circumstances; her guns were fired with her bow down-stream, the starboard battery bearing upon the channel. She had no effective motive power, and her location on the east side of the river was the best, in my judgment, that she could have taken.

Question. State all you know touching the request of Generals Lovell and Duncan to have the vessel placed in a particular position before the passage of the forts; and, if you know, why their suggestions were not heeded. State, also, when and why the Louisiana was destroyed by our forces.

Answer. I know nothing of my own knowledge as to such request being preferred by those gentlemen. On the morning of April 28, about 6 o’clock, Commander Mitchell sent for the commissioned officers of the vessel, and said to them, when they had assembled, that he had just received a communication from Fort Jackson, stating that General Duncan was about to surrender the forts to the enemy; that he had no previous information that such a course would be pursued; that a large Federal fleet had passed up the river; that if the forts surrendered we would be immediately under the fire of their guns; that we would be attacked from above and below by the enemy’s vessels; that we had no motive power of our own, being dependent altogether upon two high-pressure river steamboats, which would have most likely been disabled or destroyed by the enemy’s first fire, and could not, therefore, withdraw from the fire that would be opened upon us by the forts. He then asked the officers what was the best course to pursue. The unanimous opinion was that the vessel should be destroyed rather than that she should fall into the hands of the Federals. In pursuance of this conclusion, she was fired about 10 o’clock that morning and in a short time blown to pieces. The Louisiana was the only vessel of the defenses afloat that was left, except a tow-boat (the Defiance), which had been abandoned by her officers and crew.

Question. State the condition of the Louisiana with respect to her fighting capacity at the time she was destroyed; and state how long it would have required to have completed her for effective service.

Answer. When we left New Orleans, by some mistake or mismanagement some of the guns-about three or four-were mounted on carriages that did not belong to them, and could not be worked efficiently in the forts. All the time we had was devoted to the correction of the mistake. There was also one gun lying in the dock that was not mounted at all. In my division, owing to an improper mounting of an 8-inch shell gun, it was ineffectual. The facilities for mounting the guns were very indifferent; it had to be done by blocking them up. Her motive power was also incomplete. She had to depend on wooden tugs to give her motion. Her wheels, which were designed as her chief motive power, were wholly inadequate, and I think they could never have been made serviceable. Her propellers, which were merely auxiliary, it was said would have been done that day, but I do not think they would have moved her; their chief value would have been to assist in steering the vessel. I looked upon her as a total failure, except that she might have been used as a floating battery; but even then her accommodations were so inferior that it would have been difficult to have lived on her. It may be well to state that the crew of the Louisiana was not full, and of a mixed and indifferent character. A company of artillery from the Crescent Regiment constituted a larger part of the crew, and were not skilled in the use of heavy guns.

Cross-examination by Major-General LOVELL:

Question. In your opinion was the Louisiana, or could she have been {p.608} made within a reasonable time, an efficient war vessel for service in the Mississippi River?

Answer. I do not think she could have been made efficient for such purposes within a reasonable time. I regarded her an entire failure.

Commander ARTHUR SINCLAIR, C. S. Navy, was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. State your rank in the C. S. Navy; your length of service as a naval officer, and the duty you were on in April, 1862.

Answer. I am a commander in the C. S. Navy, and held the same rank when I resigned from the Federal service. I have been forty years in the Navy, twenty of which I spent at sea. In the early part of April, 1862, I was ordered by the Secretary of the Navy to New Orleans, to superintend the fitting out of the Confederate States steamer Mississippi, then on the ways, and when finished I was to take command of her.

Question. State generally the condition of the Mississippi upon your arrival at New Orleans, your means of knowing such condition, and the length of time you deemed requisite to complete her for service.

Answer. She was on the ways at that time, and was not launched until about April 20; she was not near complete then nor at the time of her destruction. She had been ironed as high as her knuckle, but had no iron upon her flush deck, either forward or aft, at the time she was destroyed. I was daily aboard superintending her construction-often three or four times a day. A small part of the iron for her roof or shield had been laid down, but not bolted; one of three propellers was in position, the others lying upon the wharf; her rudder was just commenced; a box had been just begun to fit around the vessel (a sort of dry-dock and a very tedious and heavy piece of work), which had to be constructed to enable the remaining propellers to be shipped. A portion of her machinery was on board; her armament had not arrived; shot and shell were in process of manufacture, but only a small quantity cast; not a grain of powder was on board; her port frames had not arrived, which had to be put in before the plating was bolted down. The day the vessel was launched I borrowed from Commander Whittle, commanding the station, four old-fashioned smooth-bore 32-pounders and mounted them and from General Lovell I borrowed 1,000 pounds of powder, and endeavored to get them ready, so that if the enemy came up I might, if possible, make some resistance with the workmen aboard, she having no crew, not a man having been shipped for her, no complement of men had been assigned; but I thought 500 men requisite for her crew. In attempting to mount these guns I found there was not a ring-bolt, or eye-bolt, nor any iron work on the ship by which a gun could have been secured. To be within bounds I have said that six or seven weeks were required to finish the vessel, but I believe it would have taken three months. In support of this opinion I may mention that I left a ship at Savannah recently which I had observed for three months; when I was ordered there the work upon her was much more advanced than that of the Mississippi, and, although she is scarcely one-fourth the size of the Mississippi, she is not yet done, though the work upon her has been prosecuted with energy.

Question. Was the work upon the Mississippi prosecuted with diligence and effect by those charged with her construction during the time that you superintended her?

Answer. The work during that time was pushed forward with great zeal, energy, and skill; all was done that could be done to finish her.

Question. As the officer supervising her construction and to command her when completed, what, if any, authority or control had you over the constructors and builders of the Mississippi?

Answer. I had no authority over them, but could and did make suggestions, which were followed. I could also have reported them to the commander of the station or the Navy Department for any dereliction of duty.

Question. Did General Lovell ever say to you that there was a probability of the enemy’s fleet passing the forts, and did he ever recommend {p.609} to you precautionary measures for the removal of the Mississippi in such event?

Answer. He never did, that I remember.

The court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. to-morrow.

RICHMOND, VA., June 3, 1863-10 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. M. Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of Commander ARTHUR SINCLAIR continued.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. State what measures were taken to remove the Mississippi, and whether or not she could have been saved.

Answer. The Mississippi might doubtless have been launched and towed up the river many days previous to the enemy’s passing the forts, and there finally completed, but her completion would have been greatly retarded, as all the workshops, material, workmen, in fact the whole naval establishment, would have had to be transferred from New Orleans to the place of transfer, and there was no place of safety above, that I know of, short of Fort Pillow, and all above on the river was then menaced by the enemy. Her completion was a momentous affair, and therefore the work was prosecuted up to the last moment with all the energy within our power. I received no orders from the commander of the station, Commander Whittle, under whose orders I was, or from the Navy Department, to remove her until the morning of April 24, the day upon which the enemy passed the forts. On that day Commander Whittle sent for and informed me that the enemy had passed the batteries and were coming up, at the same time directing me to take the ship up the river, if possible, to some place of safety, but not to let her fall into the hands of the enemy. I immediately sent orders to the steamers engaged by the Messrs. Tift to proceed at once up to the ship-yard for the purpose of taking the ship in tow. The officers sent by me upon this duty returned and informed me that the steamers referred to had been detained by order of General Lovell. I called myself upon Colonel Lovell, the general being out of his office upon business, and obtained from him the release of two of the three, which were engaged for this purpose, the Peytona and the St. Charles. Although directed to proceed at once, they did not reach the ship-yard until late in the evening. The captains of these boats showed every disposition, in fact, determination, to thwart me in my wishes, and to accomplish my ends I had, with my own officers, to lash and secure them alongside, and furnished one of them the steamer St. Charles, with an engineer, as the captain said he had only one. I finally succeeded in getting off, but found, after many hours of hard tugging against a powerful current, that I could not succeed. Assistance was promised me by Colonel Baggs (or Biggs) of the Safety Committee, but none was received. Still unwilling to give up the ship, I went myself back to the city in the Peytona, and urged the aid of the steamers, but in vain. Every variety of excuse was offered by their captains, and no disposition manifested to help me; in fact, a fixed determination not to move in the matter. While thus negotiating the enemy hove in sight, and I at once started back for the ship, 4 miles above, intending to fire her, but the officer in charge, Lieutenant Waddell, anticipated me and applied the torch. After remaining in the stream until the ship was nearly consumed I held a council of war with my officers, and it was determined to return to the city and offer our services to General Lovell. I was on my way back when I met Lieutenant McCorkle, of the Navy, who informed me that the enemy were off Canal street, and that General Lovell had marched his troops out. I then proceeded up the river with my officers to Vicksburg. I will also state that the assistance of several steamers, which passed up the river, while engaged in towing the Mississippi, was asked and refused. I also engaged the services of Navy workmen to accompany me up in the ship to try and finish her, and put on board, while awaiting the arrival of the steamers, much of the material for her completion. Some was afterwards put aboard the steamer St. Charles, before firing the ship, and taken up to Vicksburg and saved.

The Mississippi was launched on Saturday, April 19, and burned the Friday following. In this connection I would state that on my arrival at New Orleans there was a great desire upon the part of many persons expressed that the ship should be launched. The Tifts objected, and I agreed with them that to launch her in her then condition would cause much delay in shipping her propellers and involve the expense of building {p.610} the box or dry-dock fox that purpose of which I have already spoken; but finding the attack about to be commenced I recommended her being launched to her builders, the Tifts, in which Commander Mitchell joined me; the suggestion was heeded, but not until many days after, for reasons which they assigned.

Question. If the Mississippi had been completed, and with her armament and men on board, could she alone have held the river against the entire Federal fleet coming up from below?

Answer. I think she could. She would have been the most formidable ship that I ever knew or heard of-very creditable to her projectors, builders, and country.

Cross-examination by Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. You have been asked whether General Lovell recommended to you precautionary measures for the removal of the Mississippi. Did you consider that he was the proper person to give you advice or instructions as to your official acts and duties and did you look to him for such?

Answer. I did not. Although I would have respected very highly his suggestions, I should have felt it my duty to lay them before Commander Whittle, my immediate commander, before acting upon them. My orders were to report to Commander Whittle for the command of the ship.

Capt. GEORGE N. HOLLINS was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. What position did you hold at New Orleans and in the West in the latter part of 1861 and the first part of 1862?

Answer. At New Orleans I commanded all the vessels afloat and the naval station. In the West, near New Madrid and Island No. 10, I only commanded the vessels afloat. I left New Orleans in January or February, 1862, Commander Whittle then assuming command of the station, but not the vessels afloat.

Question. State the force you took with you from New Orleans above and what force you left there.

Answer. I took with me from New Orleans eight vessels, averaging six guns each, except the Manassas; that had but one gun. I left no naval force at New Orleans. General Lovell urged me to leave some of the vessels there, but this I could not do, as my orders from the Navy Department were to take them all above.

Question. What conversation, if any, passed between General Lovell and yourself shortly before the fall of New Orleans relative to a proposed co-operation of your fleet with his forces for the purpose of driving the enemy from the Lower Mississippi River?

Answer. General Lovell Commander Whittle, and myself had a conversation at that time, in which we agreed that such an expedition should be made. I had often passed the Yankee batteries and knew that they could pass ours, and I was anxious that my squadron, which was up the river, should be ordered down to resist Farragut, feeling satisfied that I could have cut him up. I should have fought him to the greatest advantage. Farragut’s ships would have been exposed bow foremost to my broadsides and the sides of his vessels to the fire of the forts. Had he exposed the sterns of his vessels to the fire of the forts they would have been sunk in a short time. I had previously presented this plan to the Secretary of the Navy, but it was rejected, he replying that the main attack on New Orleans was to be from above and not below. The enemy had never passed our fortifications until they had been reduced, and I know there would have been time enough to have gone below and returned to assist the land forces at Fort Pillow.

Question. State, if you know, what steps were taken by General Lovell, in connection with Commander Whittle, to have your fleet ordered below for such purpose.

Answer. Being detached from the command of the squadron, General Lovell and Commander Whittle prevailed upon me to remain a day longer in New Orleans while {p.611} they could communicate with the Secretary of the Navy and urge his consent to such an expedition. I did remain twenty-four hours, but no reply was received.

Cross-examined by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. While you were in command of the naval station at New Orleans had you opportunity of observing General Lovell’s official conduct? If so, state his habits as an officer in command.

Answer. I had good opportunities of observing him, living in the same house with him and seeing him day and night. I thought him active, zealous, and most attentive to his duties.

Question. While in command of the defenses afloat at New Orleans were your requisitions promptly filled, and were zeal and energy manifested by the Navy Department in perfecting the naval defenses at that point?

Answer. All the powder I used was obtained from General Lovell. I could scarcely ever get money. I borrowed from the merchants of the city $45,000 in bankable funds, which the Departments, after a delay of four months, wanted to refund in Confederate bonds, which were then at a heavy discount, and I believe the debt was so settled. I was all the time cramped to pay even the smallest debts due to the wives of soldiers who were making cartridge-bags. I had no control whatever of the Louisiana or Mississippi. The work generally seemed to progress well, although I think at one time it was delayed for want of iron. There was but little energy or promptitude displayed by the Navy Department in the conduct of naval affairs at that station. My ordnance officer (Lieut. Beverly Kennon) made contracts for naval supplies of all sorts at low rates, but many of these contracts were annulled by the Secretary of the Navy. Such articles would now bring seven or eight times the price that they were contracted for then. I rather avoided any close inspection of the working upon the Louisiana and Mississippi; special agents, not naval officers, were assigned to that duty. The general custom is that bills for construction of ships are always to be approved by the officer commanding the station, who has a general supervision of ships building within the limits of his command; but such was not the case with regard to these steamers.

Question. From what failure, if any, to take necessary and possible measures of defense did the capture of New Orleans result?

Answer. Had my squadron been at the mouth of the river I could have kept the enemy from crossing the bar; their heavier ships had to be lightened very greatly; their armament, &c., taken out before they could have been put over; I could then have whipped their smaller craft with my squadron, and have prevented their larger vessels from getting over if it had not been in my power to have destroyed them. Subsequently, when the enemy’s fleet was in the river, if I had been permitted, I could have taken my squadron and have driven him back at the time he passed the forts. The refusal of the Secretary of the Navy to allow these measures to be carried out is the cause, in my judgment, of the fall of New Orleans.

Commander J. K. MITCHELL was then duly sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. State when and by whose order you were assigned to the command of the defenses afloat at or near Forts Saint Philip and Jackson.

Answer. On April 10 I received my orders from Commander Whittle.

Question. State the number of vessels, their armament, condition, &c., constituting your command.

Answer. The principal vessel of my command was the steamer Louisiana, iron clad, mounting sixteen guns; was without sufficient motive power even to stem the current of the Mississippi without the aid of her two tenders, the Landis and W. Burton. Her two propellers were not ready for use, and were designed more to assist in steering than in the expectation of adding to her speed, and her rudders had little, if any, power to control her movements. Most of her guns had to be dismantled after arriving at Fort Saint Philip and shifted to points where they could be worked, and one of them was not in position in the action of April 24, being dismounted. The crew of the Louisiana, aided by men from the McRae, was employed constantly, night and day, in {p.612} arranging the battery for action. The decks were thus, from this cause and the presence of numerous mechanics employed in completing machinery for the propellers, the ironing of the decks, and calking wheel-houses, much incumbered and being very cramped at best for room, prevented the proper exercise of the men at their guns. This condition of her motive power and battery rendered her not only unfit for offensive operations against the enemy, but also for defense, as, being immovable, her guns all around could only command about 40 degrees of the horizon, leaving 320 degrees of a circle on which she could have been approached by an enemy without being able to bring a gun to bear upon him. Her guns, from the small size of her ports, could not be elevated more than 4 to 5 degrees, which with our best guns would not have given a range probably of more than 2,000 yards. The means for purchasing her anchors were inadequate, and it was utterly impossible to weigh them, when once they were let go, either from the bow or stern, and, indeed, her steering apparatus prevented her being anchored by the stern in the middle of the river, a position, under all the circumstances, I should have preferred to being tied to the river bank, by which more guns might have been used against the enemy, and the vessel might have been warped or sprung, so as to bring some of her guns to bear upon any given point. The quarters for the crew of the Louisiana were wholly insufficient, and for her officers there were none at all, except on the shield deck or roof, under a tented awning. Most of the officers and crew had to live on board two tenders, which were also required as tugs, without which the vessel could not be moved at all. The shield of the Louisiana was effective, for none of the enemy’s projectiles passed through it; but as it only extended to the water line, a shot between wind and water must have penetrated the perpendicular pine sides. In addition to the Louisiana, the following vessels of the C. S. Navy were under my command at the forts, viz: The steamer McRae, Lieut. Commanding Thomas B. Huger, with six light 32-pounder smooth-bore broadside guns, and one 9-inch shell gun pivoted amidships-total, seven; the steamer Jackson, Lieut. Commanding F. B. Renshaw, two pivoted smooth-bore 32-pounders, one forward and one aft; the iron-plated ram Manassas, Lieut.-Commanding A. F. Warley, one 32-pounder in bow; launch No. 3, Acting Master Telford, and one howitzer, 20 men; launch No. 6, Acting Master Fairbanks, one howitzer, and 20 men. Also the following converted sea steamers into Louisiana State gunboats, with pine and cotton barricades to protect the machinery and boilers, viz: The Governor Moore, Commander Beverly Kennon, two 32-pounder rifled guns; the General Quitman, Captain Grant, two 32-pounder guns. All the above steamers, being converted vessels, were too slightly built for war purposes. The following unarmed steamers belonged to my command, viz: The Phoenix, Captain -, tender to the Manassas; the W. Burton, Captain Hammond, tender to the Louisiana, and the Landis, Captain Davis, tender to the Louisiana. The following-named steamers, chartered by the Army, were placed under my orders, viz: The Mosher, Captain Sherman, a very small tug; the Belle Algerine, Captain , a small tug; the Star, Captain La Place, used as telegraph station, and the Music, Captain McClellan, tender to the forts. The two former were in bad condition, and were undergoing such repairs as could be made below previous to the 24th. On arriving below I delivered to Captain Stephenson written orders from Maj. Gen. M. Lovell requiring him to place all the river-defense gunboats under my orders, which consisted of the following converted tow-boats, viz : 1st, the Warrior, under the immediate command of Captain Stephenson; 2d, the Stonewall Jackson, Captain Philips; 3d, the Resolute, Captain Hooper; 4th, the Defiance, Captain McCoy; and, 5th, the General Lovell - -. The R. J. Breckinridge, - -, joined the evening before the action. All of the above vessels mounted from one to two pivot 32-pounders each, some of them rifled. Their boilers and machinery were all more or less protected by thick double pine barricades, filled in with compressed cotton, which, though not regarded as proof against heavy solid shot, shell, and incendiary projectiles, would have been a protection against grape and canister, and ought to have inspired those on board with sufficient confidence to use their boats boldly as rams, for which they were in a good measure prepared with flat bar-iron casing around their bows. In thus using them their own safety would be best consulted, as well as the best way of damaging the vessels of the enemy.

Question. Did you have any control or authority over the Montgomery or river-defense fleet?

Answer. None. Captain Stephenson, who commanded them, on receiving General Lovell’s orders, addressed me a communication to the effect that all the officers and crews of the vessels under his command had entered the service with the distinct understanding or condition that they were not to be placed under the orders of naval officers; and, therefore, while willing to co-operate with my forces, he could receive no orders from me himself, nor allow any vessel of his command to do so; that he reserved to himself the right of obeying or not any orders I might issue. His attitude with respect to my authority was one of absolute independence of action and command, {p.613} and very embarrassing in the face of the enemy. A copy of his communication was sent by me to General Duncan, and one, through Commander W. C. Whittle, to General Lovell, informing them at the same time that the position assumed by Captain Stephenson relieved me from all responsibility for the conduct of the vessels under his command. Not knowing what moment an attack might be made by the enemy, I endeavored to agree upon a plan of co-operation with his forces by the arrangement of signals and concert of action, and the particular service to be performed by him-an endeavor which he himself seemed disposed zealously to second in many respects.

Question. If the fire rafts and guard boats were under your command, state why they were not used to watch the enemy’s movements the morning the enemy’s fleet passed the forts.

Answer. The fire boats were under my control, and Captain Stephenson reported to me the evening of the 23d that each one of his vessels and the two tugs had a fire boat secured to her, ready for firing, and to be towed against the enemy’s vessels in the event of an attack. I was getting, however, most of the fire boats into position to be chained or strung together, and so made to form a cordon, if possible, entirely across the river on the enemy’s attempting to pass the forts, for which purpose they had been specially prepared, chiefly under my direction, and with some aid from General Smith, before they were sent down from New Orleans, the chains for which had, however, been scattered about so that the fire boats could not be made ready in this manner before the attack of the enemy. The little unarmed tug Mosher, it is thought, was the only one that succeeded in towing one of the fire boats against a vessel of the enemy by which she was set on fire, but it was soon extinguished, and the Mosher sunk by the enemy’s shot. I am not aware of more than one or two of the fire boats having been fired during the passage of the enemy. The night of April 20, on my way down in the Louisiana, the enemy’s boats are said to have visited the raft obstructions and cut the chain. To prevent further injury to it, and to break up the night reconnaissances of the enemy, and to watch and report all his movements, I was unsuccessful in my efforts to get Captain Stephenson to employ one or two of his gunboats below the obstructions at night. Although favoring the idea, he seemed to have no confidence in the fitness of his commanders for the service, and I could not induce him to give the necessary orders to them. I had no suitable vessels for this duty under my command-the only one that would have answered (the Jackson) having been sent with launch No. 3 5 miles above to the quarantine station, at the request of General Duncan, to watch the enemy in that neighborhood and prevent his approach through any of the adjacent bayous and canals. The vessels under Captain Stephenson having guns aft, and being converted tow-boats, were well calculated for the duty of making reconnaissances or keeping guard below from their light draught, easy management in the river, and being comparatively low in the water. The McRae, Manassas, Governor Moore, and the General Quitman were all converted sea steamers of a deep draught, great length, high out of the water, except the Manassas, and very difficult to handle, and none of them, I think, had after guns; One of the two launches (No. 6) was kept near me, for the special purpose of acting as a guard boat for the two nights preceding the action, and was well provided with the means for signaling the approach of any unusual movement of the enemy by firing its howitzer and setting off rockets. She was stationed below Saint Philip, but on the appearance of the enemy, or sooner, her commander deserted his station, returned clandestinely to the Louisiana, made no report of it, and, consequently, no alarm was given, at least by him.

Question. Was the river-defense fleet of any service in resisting the enemy’s fleet in passing the forts?

Answer. I am not aware that the river-defense fleet did any service in resisting the enemy; if they did, it did not come under my observation, nor has it in any way been brought to my notice. I understand that four were destroyed by the enemy or set on fire and abandoned by their own crew; also the Louisiana State gunboat General Quitman. The Resolute was run ashore and abandoned, and finally burned by my order, to prevent her falling into the enemy’s hands, as it was impossible to float her off, on account of shot-holes through her bows. The Defiance was discovered in our immediate vicinity after the action, having escaped without any material damage.

Question. State why you did not comply with the request of Generals Lovell and Duncan to place the Louisiana in the position they desired her to take prior to the passage of the forts.

Answer. The chief reasons for not placing the Louisiana in the position desired by Generals Lovell and Duncan below Fort Saint Philip were that she would at once be {p.614} under the fire of the enemy’s mortar fleet, the position proposed being about the same distance from his fleet as Fort Jackson, and he would only have to change slightly the direction of his fire to throw his shells with speedy and fatal effect on the deck of the vessel, while her guns, as stated in my answer to the first question, would not have a range probably greater than 2,000 yards, which was of course too short to reach his mortar fleet; for the 7-inch navy rifle in Fort Jackson, mounted on high parapets, and with an elevation of about 13 degrees, could not reach them, as I was credibly informed. For these reasons alone the position proposed would have been an improper one for the Louisiana; but her battery was not ready for use, and parties of mechanics were busy day and night preparing the propellers for service, and, besides, the strong current, deep water, and coming immediately under fire of the enemy, she could not have been secured properly. I made a reconnaissance the afternoon of the 23d, and determined that the proper position for the ship was below Fort Jackson, where the current and anchorage would admit of her being secured before the enemy could open his fire with effect, and from whence he could be in effective enfilading range of the Louisiana’s guns. This position I purposed taking with the Louisiana as soon as she was in condition to be placed under fire of the enemy, which I hoped would have been the next day.

Question. Who was in immediate command of the Louisiana in the conflict with the enemy’s fleet, and was the ship, in your opinion, fought to advantage?

Answer. Commander Charles F. McIntosh was in immediate command of the Louisiana, and the ship, in my opinion, was fought to the best advantage, under the very disadvantageous circumstances which have been detailed in my previous answers.

Question. Why was the Louisiana destroyed? Could she not have been saved?

Answer. The Louisiana was destroyed by my order on the unanimous advice of all the commissioned sea officers within my reach, because the forts were about being surrendered to the enemy, under the close fire of which she lay, with a heavy naval force both above and below her, from which it would have been impossible to escape or to attack, for want of motive power, and, if not destroyed, she must inevitably have fallen into his hands, as she could have been approached from many points by his vessels without being able to return his fire with effect from a single gun.

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. to-morrow.

RICHMOND, VA., June 4, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate,-and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of Commander J. K. MITCHELL continued.

Cross-examination by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. While you were in charge of the naval station in New Orleans was not there a cordial co-operation between the military commanders and the naval officers at that point so far as was practicable?

Answer. There was, so far as I know. Applications were often made for powder, which were not always promptly satisfied, I suppose, for good reasons on the part of General Lovell. At all events the delays occasioned no unpleasant feeling. Nearly all the powder received came from the Army; all that was used on the Louisiana was supplied by General Lovell.

Question. In your judgment were the Confederate States naval forces, placed at your disposal for co-operation with Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, at all adequate to the requirements of the occasion?

Answer. Not at all adequate. The enemy had five first-class sloops of war, independent of seven or eight gunboats; every one of which sloops was a match for my entire force in the condition of the Louisiana at that time.

Question. Were you acquainted with the vessels of Commodore Hollins’ squadron? In your opinion could these vessels, together with such {p.615} others as could have been added, have prevented the enemy’s passage over the bars at the months of the Mississippi, or could these vessels at any time afterward have driven the enemy’s fleet out of the river?

Answer. I was acquainted with the squadron. I do not think it, with other vessels that might have been added, could have prevented the crossing of the bar, nor afterwards have driven the enemy’s fleet out of the river.

Question. In the defense of New Orleans was anything omitted to be done by which the city might have been saved?

(This question was objected to by Major-General Lovell, because the witness is an officer of the Navy, and cannot be considered an expert as to army affairs, there being no proof to show him possessed of skill in military affairs, which alone would authorize an answer to the question. The court was then cleared for deliberation, and, when reopened, it was announced that the court overruled the objection.)

Answer. On the part of the Navy there was nothing omitted by which the city might have been saved; on the part of the Army I am unable to say that any step was omitted that should have been taken for its defense.

Lieut. W. GWATHMEY, C. S. Navy, was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. Where and on what duty were you immediately before the fall of New Orleans?

Answer. I was the lieutenant commanding the C. S. gunboat Carondelet, in Lake Pontchartrain at that time.

Question. What, if any, assistance did you receive from General Lovell in fitting out the Carondelet for service?

Answer. Her armament was furnished chiefly by the Army; five out of seven guns came from that source; also 30 men, as a part of her crew, were supplied from Fort Pike.

Cross-examination by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Did you see General Lovell after the passage of the forts and during the evacuation of New Orleans; if so, did he seem cool and collected, and competent for the duties devolved upon him by the disaster to the city?

Answer. I saw him in the evening after the enemy’s fleet had passed the forts; he seemed to me very cool and collected, decidedly competent for the work on hand.

Maj. C. S. VENABLE, C. S. Army, was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. What duty were you on at the time of the evacuation of New Orleans, in April, 1862? State what was done by you, under orders of General Lovell, in the removal of public property, army stores, &c.

Answer. On engineer duty. On Sunday morning, April -, after the evacuation, I was sent back, by order of Major-General Lovell, to act in conjunction with Major James and others in the removal of public property. After reaching the city I considered myself as acting under Major James, by General Lovell’s orders. These orders were, as I understood, to remove all public property belonging to the Confederate States or State of Louisiana, which could be transported and be of any use to the Army; also the guns on the fortifications in the rear of the city, for use on works to be re-erected at Vicksburg; papers and other property of the engineer’s department, &c. We arrived in New Orleans on Sunday afternoon in the train from Camp Moore. Arrangements were made that night by Major James and agents set to work. On Monday I took charge of the shipment of stores, hire of laborers, drays, &c. A large {p.616} amount of public stores were shipped-light artillery, shot and shell from the arsenal a great quantity of clothing, shoes, and blankets belonging to the State of Louisiana; medical stores, commissary stores, some machinery; leather and harness belonging to a Government contract; many new wagons and other articles of camp equipage; in fact, everything that could be found by the indefatigable search of Major James who seemed to be well acquainted with the city and citizens. Lieutenant McDonald, of the Engineers, whom we found in the city, was engaged on the same duty. I sent drays down to Chalmette to bring away camp equipage, said to be left there by the troops, but found none. I made efforts to have the ammunition removed from Proctorsville, but failed, on account of the short time and some misunderstanding of orders by the sergeant in charge. We met with much difficulty in procuring labor, on account of the confusion and excitement of the people. This will account for the want of success in the removal of the guns on the fortifications (as this required a peculiar kind of transportation) and guns for shipping. Several guns and two mortars were carried to the depot, but I do not think they were shipped.

On Wednesday, the 30th instant, General Lovell, who was in the city at the time, ordered Lieutenant McDonald and myself to remain still longer, and urged especially the removal of the guns. We found it impossible to procure the necessary transportation and labor for this purpose, but found other stores of the Commissary Department, which had been overlooked, and succeeded in shipping some by the railroad and the rest by a schooner to Manchac. Many citizens aided us in our efforts, among them Mr. Bell, civil engineer, especially in bringing guns to the depot.

On Thursday or Friday I returned to Camp Moore, the transports of the enemy having reached the city. The confusion was great and there was an increasing timidity on the part of the citizens to act with us. I signed many receipts for goods delivered at the depot, made contracts, and offered rewards for the delivery of guns at Manchac, by order of Major-General Lovell, as the necessity of the occasion demanded. The stores saved were large in amount and value, and, so far as my information went, constituted by far the greater proportion of those which were in the city.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. What was General Lovell’s demeanor during the evacuation when you were with him? Did he seem confused and overwhelmed with the work before him or was he cool and collected?

Answer. I saw him with his staff riding to and fro in the streets at that time giving orders; he seemed on the occasions that I met him cool and collected. He gave me orders upon my application, and they were given in a clear and satisfactory manner.

(The judge-advocate here stated to the court that he had been summoned to appear to-day as a witness before a court-martial, and that the only witnesses, as far as was then advised, remaining to be examined were not likely to arrive in the city for several days; thereupon the court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. the 8th instant.)

RICHMOND VA June 8, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of the 4th instant were read over.

PETER W. WOODLIEF, a citizen, was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. What business were you engaged in prior to and at the time of the evacuation of New Orleans, in April, 1862?

Answer. I was a contractor with the Government for the furnishing of all sorts of military supplies.

Question. What amount of the property in your possession, available for military purposes, was brought out of the city and, turned over to the Government agents?

Answer. I delivered to the Government agents for removal and, removed myself from New Orleans at that time about $100,000 worth of such property, consisting of {p.617} harness saddles, valises, saddle-bags, horseshoes, clothing, blankets, &c. These steps were taken of my own motion, and not by order of General Lovell, though he knew I was engaged in the removal.

Commander WILLIAM C. WHITTLE, C. S. Navy, was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. When and by whose order did you assume command of the naval station at New Orleans?

Answer. About March 28, by order of the Secretary of the Navy.

Question. Did you approve of the conduct of Commander Mitchell with reference to the disposition of the Louisiana during the fights at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, in April, 1862?

Answer. I neither approved nor disapproved his conduct touching the management of the Louisiana at that time, not knowing the circumstances which surrounded his command.

Question. If you know, state whether the work upon the steamers Louisiana and Mississippi was pressed forward with energy and skill by the builders while you were in command of the naval station at New Orleans.

Answer. I cannot say that I had any personal knowledge as to the work upon those vessels; but from all I could learn from the builders and officers connected with the Mississippi the work must have progressed well. If I had not thought the work was getting on well I should have reported the fact to the Department, notwithstanding I had no authority over the builders of the Mississippi.

Question. If you had opportunities of observing, be pleased to state the demeanor of General Lovell during the evacuation of New Orleans.

Answer. We sat together at breakfast the morning after the enemy passed up. I saw nothing in his demeanor derogatory to him as an officer.

Cross-examination by Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. Was there cordial co-operation between yourself and General Lovell as far as the circumstances of the respective arms of service would allow and always good feeling between you?

Answer. There was. I believe the very best feeling existed between us.

Question. Were the naval means at your disposal for co-operation, in the defense of the Mississippi River at all adequate for that purpose?

Answer. They were not, in my judgment. I only had command of the station on land. Commander Mitchell was placed by me temporarily in command of such defenses as we could muster for the fight at the forts.

Question. What steps were taken by you to have Commodore Hollins assist in the defense of the lower river?

Answer. I telegraphed Commodore Hollins that his presence with his fleet might be important at New Orleans if he could be spared for a few days from above. After Commodore Hollins had received a dispatch withdrawing him from the command afloat at New Orleans, General Lovell and myself had a conversation on the subject of his removal, and General Lovell was authorized by me to use my name in connection with his own in a communication to the Government requesting that Commodore Hollins might be permitted to remain there longer. There was time enough, in my opinion, for the fleet to have come down.

By the COURT:

Question. Did you make or cause to be made any inspection of the Louisiana? If so, when and what defects, if any, presented themselves? What steps were taken to remedy those defects? Was there sufficient time to remedy them before the vessel was destroyed?

Answer. I had daily reports of the condition of the Louisiana. She was deficient in motive power. All the workmen considered necessary and all requisites were placed {p.618} upon her and used before she left New Orleans. There was not time enough to remedy this defect in view of the circumstances.

Question. What length of time would reasonably be required, under the circumstances existing since secession, to build and equip for service such a vessel as the Louisiana? Answer same question as to the Mississippi.

Answer. I have no idea of the time to build such vessels, not being acquainted with the building of such vessels, they being entirely new, and not being a naval constructor.

Question. Could Commodore Hollins’ squadron, with such other vessels as might have been added, have prevented the enemy’s vessels from crossing the bar at the months of the river, or when in the river have prevented the passage of the forts?

Answer. My impression is that if Commodore Hollins had been present with his fleet near Fort Jackson when they attempted to pass there, that, in connection with the naval force already there and the co-operation of the forts, they would have greatly embarrassed, if they had not succeeded in stopping, the passage of the enemy’s fleet.

Question. In your opinion, was it practicable to save the Mississippi from the time the attack was commenced upon the forts and their passage with the means on hand?

Answer. I do not think she could have been saved.

The following communications were then read to the court by the judge-advocate:

Richmond, VA., June 4, 1863.

Maj. L. R. PAGE, Judge-Advocate, &c.:

SIR: I respectfully request that the findings and opinion of the naval court of inquiry that has already examined into my conduct as a participant in the defense of New Orleans may be spread upon the record of the military court now investigating the same subject in this city. This request is made because I understand this latter tribunal is authorized to pronounce an opinion upon the conduct of naval officers on duty at New Orleans.

Very respectfully,

J. K. MITCHELL, Commander, C. S. Navy.

RICHMOND, VA., June 8, 1863.

Maj. L. R. PAGE, Judge-Advocate, Court of Inquiry, &c., Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I respectfully request that the findings and opinion of the naval court of inquiry in the case of the destruction by fire of the C. S. steamer Mississippi may be placed upon the record of the military court now in session in this city, as I learn that the conduct of naval officers is authorized to be pronounced upon by said tribunal.

Very respectfully, &c., your obedient servant,

A. SINCLAIR, Commander, C. S. Navy.

It was thereupon ordered by the court that the foregoing communications be made a part of the record, and that the judge-advocate reply to Commanders Mitchell and Sinclair that this court will recommend that the same publicity be given to the findings and opinion of the naval court of inquiry referred to in their communications as to the findings and opinion of this court.

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. to-morrow.

RICHMOND, VA., June 9, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. M. Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

{p.619}

Lieut. Col. E. F. PALFREY, C. S. Army, was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Where were you on duty in April, 1862, and for several months prior thereto? What was your rank and position at that time?

Answer. I was on duty as major, adjutant-general’s department, on the staff of Major-General Lovell, in the city of New Orleans, from November 7, 1862, to the fall of the city.

Question. What were the business habits of Major-General Lovell during that time?

Answer. The office opened at 9.30 a.m., the general remaining in the office about three hours in the morning; from that time until 5 p.m. (excepting the interval for dinner) he was generally mounted, making an inspection of the camps and batteries. At 5 p.m. he returned to the office, where he met his staff. His duties generally detained him until 10 or 11 o’clock, and sometimes later. As well as I remember, the routine of duty that should obtain at headquarters was observed, business being dispatched with regularity and promptitude. I do not know that the general was ever absent a day from his office except on duty.

Question. Had you conversations with General Lovell touching the condition of the defenses of New Orleans and his ability to resist the attack of the enemy? If so, state the substance of those conversations.

Answer. He expressed confidence in his ability to resist the enemy so long as the obstructions at the forts might continue.

Question. Did General Lovell ever express to you any distrust as to the continuance of the obstructions?

Answer. About March 1, to the best of my recollection, he expressed some apprehension lest the accumulation of drift might destroy the raft.

Question. After the raft had been broken did he ever say to you that he considered the passage of the forts was practicable?

Answer. I do not think he ever did; but in a letter of March 10, to the Secretary of War, which came under my inspection, I think he said as much.

Question. Did General Lovell ever make known to you by word of mouth that the city of New Orleans could be taken by the enemy after the destruction of the raft between the forts, or from your conversations with him were you impressed with the belief that the city of New Orleans was likely to be captured?

Answer. I was not, that I remember.

Question. When was the piling began at the Rigolets, when was it completed, and when washed away or destroyed?

Answer. It must have been begun and completed after February 18, and it was destroyed before the city fell.

Question. Do you know whether any preparations were made for an evacuation before the forts were passed or while the fight was there progressing?

Answer. As near as I remember, commissary stores were sent from the city to various points on the railroad and to Covington some ten or fifteen days before the passage of the forts. That is all that I can recollect, and I regarded it rather as a precaution in the event of disaster than a preparation for an evacuation.

Question. Was the evacuation conducted with as much order and effect as the circumstances would allow?

Answer. I saw but little of the evacuation; the little I did see was conducted in an orderly manner.

{p.620}

Question. Did you see General Lovell often during the evacuation? If so, state his demeanor on such occasions.

Answer. I saw General Lovell upon his arrival from the forts, immediately after their passage by the enemy. He placed me in charge of the office, and went out, I presume, to make ready to receive the enemy. I saw him late that night at the camp of the Confederate Guard Regiment; saw him again the next morning, between 9 and 10 o’clock, when he ordered me to pack up the records and proceed with them to the Jackson Railroad Depot. I saw him again at the depot just before the last train started, after all the troops had left the city or were leaving on that train, he being among the very last to leave. At no time did he exhibit anything like flurry or a want of presence of mind.

Question. Were the troops that left the city demoralized in their bearing or did they conduct themselves like disciplined soldiers?

Answer. I saw no further evidence of demoralization or want of discipline than is usual among raw, fresh levies.

Question. What forces were in the city and removed at the time of the fall?

Answer. There was but one company of Confederate artillery, disciplined, Semmes battery, and about 4,000 militia, turned over for local defense by the governor a short time before the city fell, armed chiefly with old altered muskets and double-barreled shot-guns-the shot-guns predominant. The majority of the militia and local defense troops remained in the city, and a large portion of the local defense force that went to Camp Moore returned to the city, being over age, and merely enlisted for duty in New Orleans.

Question. What was the character of the population in New Orleans, in a military point of view, when it was captured?

Answer. The best fighting material was off in the armies of the Confederate States; that left consisted of old men and foreigners. A large portion of the German population was disloyal. There were a good many others capable of bearing arms, but there were no arms for them.

Cross-examination by Major-General LOVELL:

Question. Was General Lovell in the habit of expressing his hopes, fears, plans, and views to those about him on duty?

Answer. He was not.

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. to-morrow.

RICHMOND, VA., June 10, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Major-General Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

ARCHIBALD MITCHELL was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Where did you reside and what was your occupation during the year 1861 and until May, 1862?

Answer. I resided in New Orleans, and was the principal foreman of the iron foundery of Leeds & Co. during that time.

Question. How long have you been in the iron-foundery business, and what was the character of the work made by Leeds & Co. in their establishment?

Answer. Since the year 1836. Sugar-mill machinery, steam-engines, boilers, sawmills, and all sorts of machinery were made in their establishment. The works were the largest in the city, and had been in operation continuously since 1824 or 1825, and employed some 300 hands.

{p.621}

Question. Do you know who were the contractors for the engines, &c., which were to be placed upon the Mississippi, a gunboat or a ship of war, being completed in New Orleans at the time of its capture? If so, state their resources for a prompt compliance, with your opinion of their ability to fulfill such contract.

Answer. Mr. Kirk was the contractor, but he used the name of Jackson & Co. His establishment was next to that of Leeds & Co. in capacity, working 75 hands. He was generally reputed to be a man of limited pecuniary resources and of inferior mechanical capacity, but I have no personal knowledge on these points. It was a mechanical impossibility for him to have finished such a contract in the time agreed upon, to wit, three months. No establishment in the city could have performed the contract within that time. From my knowledge of the machinery of that vessel, and the fact that Leeds & Co. could not, with greater facilities for the dispatch of such work, have completed the contract in less than four months, I am of opinion that Kirk, with far inferior force, could not have complied with the terms of contract as to time. The contract was made about the latter part of September, and when the city fell the machinery was not then completed. When the enemy were assembling at Ship Island in force, some weeks previous to the fall of the city, much of the work of the Mississippi was distributed among other establishments. Leeds & Co. had about $6,000 worth of it to do.

Question. Did Leeds & Co. make a bid for the construction of the machinery for the Mississippi? If so, state their proposals with reference to the amount for which they would do the work and the time at which they would complete it.

Answer. They did make such a bid, and, to the best of my recollection, they agreed to make the entire machinery of the vessel for $65,000. I do not think they proposed any definite time as to the completion of the work, but expressed the opinion confidently that it could be done in four months. We could have made closer estimates, but we had no drawings or specifications. I believe we would have bound ourselves to have finished the work within five months. The capacity of an establishment like that of Kirk and Leeds & Co. was limited by the quantity of machinery they had. Leeds & Co. could not have made available a greater force than they had.

Question. Do you know who were the builders of the machinery of the Louisiana?

Answer. I do not know of my own knowledge, though I am well satisfied that Kirk and a machinist named John McLean did the work. I do not know where they are.

Question. How long had Kirk been established in the city, and what, if you know, was his general reputation as a business man?

Answer. He had not been long in the city before the war began. His reputation was that he was a man destitute of principle, though it was not generally so reputed at the time he took the contract for the machinery of the Mississippi.

Question. Did General Lovell ever visit the works of Leeds & Co. and manifest an interest in the progress of the Government works?

Answer. He visited there frequently and urged the progress of the work.

Question. Were any heavy guns made at Leeds & Co.’s establishment or were any rifled or banded?

Answer. We made a few heavy guns for the Navy and one for the Army. We rifled quite a number of old 32 and 42 pounders for the Army, and we banded one 7-inch gun. I do not recollect whether any more were banded.

Question. Were Leeds & Co. ever applied to by General Lovell to make heavy guns on an extensive scale or could they have done it?

Answer. I do not know that he did. He did business with Mr. Thomas Leeds, who is now dead.

Question. Was the establishment of Leeds & Co. in constant employment for the Government?

Answer. It was steadily employed for the Confederate States and the State of Louisiana from within a short time after the war began. The proprietors refused to undertake work for planters, &c.

{p.622}

Question. Were you in New Orleans when it was evacuated? If so, state, if you know, whether Leeds & Co. removed their machinery and such material of war as might have been then in their establishment.

Answer. None of the machinery was removed, but all the Government work was sent off that could be. Much the larger portion was removed under the order of Colonel Lovell, received on the morning of April 24, 1862. About 200 tons of shot and shell were all that was left, and that could have been got off, but the railroad became gorged up, and its agents refused to receive more. From experiments and authorities on the subject we found that heavy guns could not be well made with the machinery we had. The iron was much injured by being fused in a cupola furnace, but we went to work and had nearly completed a reverberatory furnace when the city fell.

Question. Did you ever inspect the machinery being erected on board of the Mississippi? If so, when, under what circumstances, and what time, in your opinion, would have been required for its completion?

Answer. I did, about April 15, 1862, in company with Mr. Cook, a well-known machinist of New Orleans, who had been requested to make the inspection by a committee in the city. We were of the opinion that, with the best assistance of other establishments in the city, aside from Kirk’s, it might have been done in six weeks.

Hon. C. M. CONRAD was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Have you not been a member of Congress from the city of New Orleans since the organization of the Confederate States Government and for the same time have you not been chairman of the House Committee on Naval Affairs? If so, state all you may know touching the defenses of New Orleans, particularly its naval defenses, its capture by the enemy, and its evacuation.

Answer. I know very little about the defenses of New Orleans generally, being absent most of the time from the commencement of the war until it was taken, first at Montgomery and afterwards in this city. I will state, however, from the commencement of the war a great deal of anxiety was felt by the citizens for its safety, as there was no defense whatever from an attack from above, either by land or naval force, and the only defenses below were the two forts (Jackson and Saint Philip) which were known to have a very insufficient armament, and which it was known the highest military or naval officers regarded, even with a complete armament, inadequate to prevent the passage of steamers. At that time no preparations whatever had been begun to resist an attack by land. Under these circumstances the city authorities determined to provide, as far as possible, for the defense of the city, aided also by the governor of the State. They made a large appropriation in money, and, I think, also the governor assumed the responsibility of advancing some on behalf of the State for the purpose of erecting fortifications around the city. Engineers were employed for this purpose. These works were commenced, but they seemed to advance very slowly, and I was requested to see the President, to have one or more engineers assigned to duty there. A committee of the council came or sent to procure guns for the works, and some guns were obtained, but not as many as were demanded for these works were supplied. Still, however, great complaints were made as to a want of energy in the construction of the works, and great anxiety manifested lest they would not be done in time. Under these circumstances the Government determined to send General Lovell to take command. I returned to New Orleans about the time the general did. I had myself but little opportunity of judging of the manner in which he discharged his duties, as I only remained four or five weeks and returned to Richmond; but I must say that it was a subject at the time of general congratulation among the citizens that more energy seemed to be infused into the work of defense than had previously prevailed. He immediately visited all the forts (which General Twiggs’ infirmities prevented him from doing), and it was understood that he had made important changes in the land defenses. I left there favorably impressed with his administration, although without accurate knowledge on the subject, and so stated on my arrival here. I observed, however, that the iron-plated gun-boats were progressing slowly. I went up to look at them. The work on one of them (I think it was the Mississippi) had been suspended for ten or twelve days. While I was there this was a subject of remark among the citizens generally. During the course of that winter I received frequent letters from my constituents complaining of the slowness with which the work advanced, and requested that I should urge the adoption of measures to expedite the work. Either before I left New Orleans or alter arriving, some one suggested that {p.623} arrangements should be made to have the vessels worked upon at night and on Sundays, as there were many mechanics idle in the city that could relieve each other. I saw the Secretary of the Navy frequently upon the subject of these vessels; told him that I considered that the safety of New Orleans depended mainly, if not entirely, upon them, so far as a naval attack was concerned, which was the only one I apprehended, and I informed him of the anxiety that was felt by the people of New Orleans on the subject. The Secretary did not, however, seem to be alive to the magnitude of the danger, although I read him an extract from a New York newspaper containing a description of iron-plated vessels that were being built at Saint Louis and Cincinnati expressly to descend the Mississippi, and spoke of similar gunboats being built at New York. I mentioned the suggestion, which I thought a good one, that the work upon these vessels should be continued at night and on Sundays. I do not remember what he said about night work, but in regard to working on Sundays he said it would shock the religious sensibilities of the people. I told him, in reply, that so far as my constituents were concerned there were none of them that would be at all shocked; that the enemy would not hesitate to attack us on Sunday, and I did not see why we should not prepare to defend ourselves on Sunday. The letters to me also mentioned, on several occasions, that the mechanics employed on the naval works were not punctually paid, and, in consequence, they were greatly dissatisfied and much indisposed to work for that arm of the service. I think they stated that numbers had left on that account, refusing to work. I in variably informed the Secretary of the Navy of these complaints or read him that portion of the letter. He did not seem at all surprised at this information, but stated that the Treasury Department failed to supply him the funds as fast as they were needed. On one occasion I was somewhat excited, because I thought he treated such information too lightly and I told him I did not know anything more important to which money could be applied than the completion of the two vessels upon which the safety of New Orleans depended, and that as he was responsible for the proper prosecution of the work I thought it was his duty to insist that the money should be so applied. Finally a committee of several prominent citizens of New Orleans was deputized to come on here to urge the Government to more energetic measures in regard to the two gunboats. They came to me, and I introduced the chairman (Mr. William Henderson, a respectable merchant of the city, a very zealous and energetic man) to the President and the Secretary of the Navy, and he represented to them the delay attending the building of these vessels, and made some suggestions on the subject, the nature of which I do not now recollect. He spoke particularly of the backwardness of paying the workmen as one cause of the delay. After the interview he said orders had been given to remedy the financial troubles, and also for the shipment of the shaft, that had been here for some time. This was in January or February, 1862. After this, however, the complaints about the slow progress of the work still continued, and I frequently saw the Secretary and informed him of the uneasiness felt by the citizens for the safety of New Orleans, in which I fully participated. I at last came to the conclusion that New Orleans would be taken, the only question in my mind being whether by the gunboats from above or the fleet from the sea. So strong was my belief that I mentioned it confidentially to several of my friends, though I did not publicly declare it, not deeming it prudent, Mr. Mallory having addressed a letter to the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, recommending the construction of a foundery and naval depot at New Orleans, I mentioned to the committee my opinion on this subject as a reason why the suggestion should not be adopted, as I thought New Orleans would probably be taken that spring, and, accordingly, I wrote a letter to the Secretary in reply to his note, ha which I mentioned, as our reason why his suggestion was disapproved by the committee, the belief or the apprehension felt by them that New Orleans would be captured owing to the backwardness of the naval preparations at that place. This was some five or six weeks before the attack on the forts. I also felt it my duty, both as the Representative from New Orleans and as chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, publicly to proclaim in Congress my conviction of the incapacity or inefficiency of the Secretary of the Navy.

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. to-morrow.

RICHMOND, VA., June 11, 1863.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Major-General Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of Hon. C. M. CONRAD continued.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Did not the President grant the request preferred by you {p.624} on behalf of the citizens of New Orleans for engineers to take charge of the fortifications there in process of construction?

Answer. There was already a Confederate States engineer officer there, a Maj. M. L. Smith, but General Twiggs had expressed to me doubts of his activity and energy, although he spoke highly of him in other respects, and expressed a wish that some officer of more distinction should be given the superintendence of the works at New Orleans. On my arrival here I conferred with the President upon the subject, and he expressed very great willingness to comply with the request as far as practicable, but stated that very few engineers had resigned and come over to us from the old service, and that there was a great deficiency in our Army as to that corps. He looked over the list, and found that some had already been assigned to important duty, and of those that remained he said he would send any of them that General Twiggs would prefer, hut expressed the opinion, from what he had heard of Major Smith, that he was as competent as either of those that were mentioned as disposable. I informed General Twiggs of the result of my interview, but am unable to say whether or not any change was made.

Question. Do you know any particular facts touching the defenses of New Orleans not before stated which you deem important? If so, state them.

Answer. I know nothing further on the subject than I have stated, except the condition of Fort Jackson before or shortly after General Lovell’s arrival, and that shortly after the commencement of the first session of the Provisional Congress, at Montgomery, in February, 1861, before the President was inaugurated, either Major (now General) Beauregard or some one else sent me a slip from a paper containing a letter from General Beauregard in regard to the defenses of New Orleans. In this letter he expressed the opinion that the forts below the city would not be sufficient to prevent the passage of steam vessels of war, even if their armament was complete and the guns of the heaviest caliber, but added that the armament was not complete nor the guns of the heaviest caliber. He recommended, therefore, that some measures should be adopted retarding the progress of such vessels-keeping them under the fire of the forts. He suggested two modes that might be adopted to accomplish this end: the one was the stretching of heavy chain cables across the river; the other, which he considered most effective, the construction of a raft in the channel, and stated that he had prepared a plan of such a raft, and gave an estimate of its cost. Considering this communication a very important one, I summoned the Committee on Naval Affairs and laid it before them. They agreed with me, and it was determined that we should summon naval officers of the highest rank in order to lay this subject before them and I applied for and obtained authority from Congress to summon them. The summons was issued to Captains Ingraham Rosseau, Tatnall, Randolph, and Commander Semmes. They all obeyed the summons, and at the time appointed came to Montgomery and appeared before the committee, when I laid before them the communication of General Beauregard, and requested them carefully to consider it and furnish the committee with their views in writing at the next meeting. They did so, and sent me a report, expressing their entire concurrence in the view of General Beauregard as to the ability of steam vessels of war to pass the forts even with a complete armament of heavy guns. A day or so after the inauguration I laid this communication of General Beauregard and the report of the naval officers before the President. My belief that New Orleans would be taken was based mainly upon this paper of General Beauregard’s and the report of the naval officers.

Question. Were you at Camp Moore shortly after the evacuation of New Orleans? If so, state the condition of military affairs there at that time.

Answer. I arrived at Camp Moore a day or two after the evacuation. I found General Lovell there with such force as he had brought out of the city, very small in number; I should not think it exceeded over 2,500 men; the troops seemed to be very much disorganized. The general’s main attention seemed to be directed to getting the military supplies from the city, large quantities of which were constantly arriving. With the exception of Colonel De Clouet’s regiment, which had been raised but a few days, and a battalion of Zouaves, the force was mainly composed of militia and troops raised for local defense. General Lovell, while I was there, was making arrangements for the destruction of cotton up the river, and informed me that he had given instructions for the fortification of Vicksburg. There was no greater confusion than was natural and to be expected; there was no military confusion. General Lovell gave no evidence of embarrassment; was perfectly cool, and told me he was willing to go back to New Orleans if the authorities desired it.

{p.625}

Cross-examination by Maj. Gen. M. LOVELL:

Question. Was not General M. L. Smith in immediate command of the troops at Camp Moore, General Lovell merely having his department headquarters in the vicinity of those troops?

Answer. He was in the immediate command, General Lovell merely having his headquarters there.

NELSON TIFT was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. What were your relations to the Government with reference to the Confederate States steamer Mississippi?

Answer. I was the inventor of the plan of that vessel, and with my brother, Mr. A. F. Tift, brought a model to Richmond, submitted it to the Navy Department, and tendered our services without compensation to construct such a vessel. As a means of showing to the country our true relations to the Government I here submit our proposition to the Secretary of the Navy and his acceptance and instructions.

Question. Had you or your brother any experience as constructors of vessels?

Answer. Neither of us are practical mechanics; both of us are familiar with the character and qualities of vessels and the manner in which they are constructed. My brother has, as proprietor and superintendent, during the past twenty-five years, had many vessels built and repaired. In the case of the Mississippi I furnished the plan. My brother and myself superintended the entire work as agents of the Government, and Mr. Joseph Prim, a practical naval constructor, had the charge of her construction.

Question. Did you make the contracts for the construction of the Mississippi? If so, state with whom the more important contracts were made.

Answer. As the agents of the Government we made all the contracts that were made. We contracted with Jackson & Co. represented by Robert Kirk, for the machinery; with Schofield & Markham, at Atlanta, Ga., for the iron plating, &c.; with Winship & Co., of Atlanta, Ga., for bolts for plating and for making port doors; with Wells, Poitevant, Cary, Hammond & Co., Garland, and others, for timber; with Slocomb, Bean & Sons, Slark, Stauffer & Co., Folger & Co., and others, for iron fastenings, tools, &c.; with Leeds & Co., John Clarke, Barringer, Cosgrove, McCan & Harrold, Beanmiller, D. H. Fowler, Purseglove, Wheeler & Forestall, and others, for iron work of various kinds and machinery. Besides these, we purchased elsewhere, where we could get them, such articles as could not be obtained in New Orleans; bolt-iron, spikes, oarlocks, &c., in Mobile; bolt-iron in Macon, Atlanta, and Etowah, Ga., and in Chattanooga, Tenn., &c.

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. to-morrow, the 12th instant

RICHMOND, VA., June 12, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Examination of NELSON TIFT continued-

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. What obstacles had you to encounter in the progress of the work, and what delays were you subjected to, and what means were used to overcome such obstacles?

Answer. We arrived at New Orleans on September 18, 1861. There was no shipyard suitable for the building of the Mississippi; they were all on the west bank of the river; were too small and inconvenient, the bank high, and the water deep alongside of it. We selected a suitable place on the east side of the river, at Jefferson City, {p.626} where we prepared a yard with suitable buildings, sheds, blacksmith shops, a sawmill, &c. We found no timber in New Orleans suitable for building the vessel. We contracted as soon as possible with all the responsible parties we could for the necessary timber, and, though it was brought to us by the contractors as fast as they could prepare it, we were sometimes delayed in the early part of the work for want of timber. Our contracts covered a space of more than 100 miles from the city. We sometimes had obstacles in the carpenter’s department. There was a strike of all the ship carpenters in New Orleans for a few days. We first appealed to the authorities and finding no remedy we raised the wages from $3 to $4 per day. All the workmen were called out by Governor Moore one or more days for military parade, and at other times some of our men were taken from their work by military officers for duty. This was remedied as far as possible by appeals to the authorities. Sometimes we had more men than we could continue to work and discharged them, and at other times we lacked men for a short time. When the Louisiana was being prepared for service we let them have 50 carpenters when we did not need them. Subsequently, when we did need them we could neither get them nor hire others. We then procured the necessary men from other ship-yards. When we commenced putting on the iron casting and could use laboring force at night we procured, through the aid of Captain Elmore, from neighboring plantations, between 200 and 300 negroes, who were worked as a night gang. We had obstacles in the procurement of bolt-iron, spikes, and other materials which could not be obtained in New Orleans; these were procured with some difficulty from distant points in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. We had difficulty in procuring the iron plating. The Tredegar Works in Richmond was the only establishment doing that kind of work in the Confederacy, and this was fully occupied to supply the wants of the Government here. We tried to induce other establishments to prepare for and execute this work without effect, and were preparing to use railroad iron, when Schofield & Markham, of Atlanta, Ga., one of the parties to whom we had applied, concluded to consider our proposition. I went to Atlanta, and, on November 15, 1861, concluded a contract with them to roll and prepare the plating for the vessel, and through them a contract with Winship & Co. for the bolts for the plating. This being a new character of work, Schofield & Markham had to change the rolls of their establishment, erect new drills, and otherwise prepare for it. These arrangements were completed, I think, early in December, and they went on rapidly with the work. They encountered difficulties for want of hands and sometimes for want of coal, in both of which cases we aided them by appeals to the Government and the railroad agents.

We had obstacles in the transportation of plating and other materials. Our first shipments from Atlanta were by the way of Memphis and the river; finding delay by this route, we arranged to send through by railroad to Grand Junction and New Orleans. Subsequently a part of this line was occupied by the army of General Johnston, and transportation by that route rendered impossible. We then arranged to send by way of Montgomery and Mobile and thence by railroad to New Orleans. On this route delays were encountered at Mobile and Montgomery, which were as soon as possible removed by personal effort, by appeal to the Government, and by aid of friends. The cars containing the best of our iron plating arrived at New Orleans, I think, on April 23. We encountered many obstacles in the machinery department. Our final contract with Jackson & Co. was that they should complete the machinery on board the vessel by January 30.

In view of the fact that it might be impossible to procure wrought-iron shafting, we could make no positive contract for it. The contract, therefore, was for cast-iron shafting, with a provision that if the contractors could obtain wrought-iron shafting we were to pay the difference in cost. Under ordinary circumstances our duties and responsibilities in this department ended here and were assumed by the contractors; but finding extraordinary difficulties in the way of procuring shafting and other materials and suitable mechanics, and looking only to the final success of our labors, we made every effort in our power to aid the contractors to fulfill their contract. We aided as far as possible in furnishing men. They could get no skilled propeller molder. We procured one in Norfolk. We appealed to the Committee of Public Safety to aid them in men. They could get no wrought-iron shafting. We made diligent search in New Orleans and throughout the Confederacy. There was no establishment which could forge the shafting, and we could find but one shaft which could be adapted to our purpose. That was the shaft of a burned steamer at Richmond. It was procured for us by the Secretary of the Navy, and fitted, with great trouble and expense, at the Tredegar Works, and transported to New Orleans, where it arrived on April -. It was immediately put into the shop of Jackson & Co., turned and fitted with couplings, and was placed in its position, with its propeller, on board the ship before she was launched.

We continued our efforts to find material which would make the two long pieces of our side and quarter shafts (which were 32 1/2 feet long each and 9 inches in diameter at the journals), or to engage parties to prepare the proper furnaces and hammer, and {p.627} forge them. We applied several times to Leeds & Co., who as often answered us that they could neither procure the shafting nor forge it. We supposed it could be made in Richmond or at the Norfolk navy-yard, but ascertained that it could not. At one time we supposed that we had secured the making of these shafts by Ward & Co., of Nashville, but were disappointed. In the latter part of December we learned that Mr. John Clarke had taken a contract from the Government for making the Armstrong gun, and was about to erect a building, furnaces, and hammer for that purpose. We saw him, induced him to make some necessary changes in the plan of his works, and to agree to make our side shafting. On January 10 we wrote to the Secretary of the Navy:

“We have been much troubled about the side shafts. Mr. Clarke, of this place, has agreed to make them, and we hope will have them done in February.”

This hope was derived from the opinion of Mr. Clarke, expressed to us; but he was unavoidably delayed in the erection of the building and works by much rainy weather and a scarcity of suitable mechanics. I think that his works were completed about the middle of March. He could get no person who had experience with such work; but with perseverance he succeeded in forging them-the first in about fifteen days and the second in about eight days. By our previous arrangement with Leeds & Co. these shafts, as soon as they were forged, were taken to their shop, and worked upon day and night until they were finished. The last of these shafts were put on board the vessel, I think, April 23. We frequently visited the foundery and workshop of Jackson & Co. to urge forward the work and to render all the assistance in our power. When we were convinced that the machinery would be the cause of delay, we urged the distribution of such parts as could be removed, and thus finished earlier, to other shops, and promised to pay any extra cost. We also, on April 3, promised Jackson & Co. to pay them $5,000 extra if they would have the machinery completed according to the specifications of their contract by the 25th of that month. Parts of the machinery were distributed to Leeds & Co., Clarke, Barringer, and other shops. We purchased two small auxiliary engines and a steam pump, which were a part of the machinery contract, and charged them to the contractor. We procured hands to aid in putting the machinery up in the ship, and did all we could in every way to remove every obstacle and forward the work. I have mentioned only the more important obstacles and our efforts to remove them. The Committee of Public Safety attempted to make us launch the vessel before she was ready. We convinced them that they were wrong, and they desisted. Mr. V. Sheldon, a member of the committee, refused to let us have his sub-marine armor to examine the ways of the ship, which was necessary to her safety in launching. We sent a steamer 23 miles to procure another, which was cheerfully furnished by Captain Whiting. We found it impracticable, in the early part of the work, to get from the authorities an armed guard for the protection of the vessel. These are samples of the minor difficulties.

Question. Was not Leeds & Co. a larger and better establishment than that of Jackson & Co.? If so, why did you not give the contract to Leeds & Co.? Did you know the character of Kirk as a business man? State also the reason that influenced you in giving the contract.

Answer. Leeds & Co. had a larger, and I think a better, establishment, all things considered; but I think the establishment of Jackson & Co., known as the Patterson foundery, was, for the purpose of building the machinery of the Mississippi, the equal of Leeds & Co. in point of capacity, tools, lathes, steam-hammers, foundery, &c. Jackson & Co., or Kirk, as their representative, had, I think, recently removed from Mobile to New Orleans, where they purchased the Patterson foundery, and were doing work for the Government when we arrived there. I know nothing of his character as a business man. He occupied a position as the head and proprietor of a machine shop and foundery second only to that of Leeds & Co. in New Orleans, which was calculated to recommend him, and I heard nothing objectionable to his character or capacity as a mechanic.

Our reasons for making the contract with Jackson & Co. and not with Leeds & Co.

1st. The lowest price of Leeds & Co. was $65,000 and the shortest time four months. The bid of Jackson & Co. for the same work was $45,000 and the time three months.

2d. Leeds & Co. were pressed with work, and they did not seem at all confident that they could do our work in the time mentioned. Jackson & Co. had but little work on hand, and this they promised to dispose of in a few days, and to devote the whole capacity of the establishment exclusively to our work.

Under these circumstances, with a saving of $20,000 to the Government and one month in time and with an apparent superior capacity for doing the work, we did not hesitate to make the contract with Jackson & Co. With continued, earnest, and zealous efforts I believe that Jackson & Co. could have completed the machinery earlier than {p.628} they did, and yet I doubt whether any other establishment in New Orleans, with their other engagements, could have completed it earlier than they did. I have mentioned the case of Mr. Clarke, a first-rate business man, who was delayed in making our side shafts some two months beyond the time he calculated. Leeds & Co., on February 15, agreed to make the iron rudder for the Mississippi; it was not completed on April 25. I doubt whether they or any other similar establishment in New Orleans performed any important contract within the time contemplated when they undertook it. I mention these facts to show that the difficulties encountered by these establishments were common to all.

Question. How many working days were lost from the commencement of the Mississippi to the passage of the forts, including Sundays as lost days?

Answer. Not one working day was lost except that already referred to, when the men were called out to military parade by the governor, and this was done against my personal request that they should be allowed to go on with the work. There were some rainy days, when the men could not work outside, but work was continued in the shops and under the sheds. I do not remember how many Sundays we worked, but, as a general rule, we worked every Sunday when we thought it necessary to forward the work. We also worked nights in the shops when necessary and we could get hands for the purpose.

Question. In how many days would the Mississippi have been completed, beyond all doubt, had not the city fallen?

Answer. In my opinion two weeks as the extreme. I know that some other men entertain a very different opinion, but it will be found on examination that they have formed their opinion without a sufficient knowledge of the particulars necessary to her completion. All the iron below the deck line was on; the iron for the upper works had all been cut, fitted, and assorted to its place. About one-third of it had been put on within two days, and the opinion of the workman in charge was that the remainder could be put on and bolted in six days. In less than that time the machinery could have been connected ready for steam, and the port doors, which were completed and hinged, put in place, and the rudder hung. The dock for putting in the side propeller shafts was completed and launched. The shafts had been completed and the propellers fitted to them and the side bearings were completed ready to be bolted up. I suppose that ten days would be a full allowance for this work. We had men enough, including a large force of negroes, which we worked as a night gang, to handle iron plating and other labor, to carry on all the departments of the work together, and it could have been done without interference with each other. It will be seen, therefore, that in fixing the time of completion at two weeks I have allowed four days to cover contingencies.

I know that the public mind has been prejudiced against my brother and myself by unfounded rumors and mistaken reports, but I state, without fear of contradiction by those who know the facts, that our best energies of mind and body were devoted to this work from the beginning to the end, and that we accomplished all that it was possible for us or for any other persons, with the means at our command, to do; and in this connection it is proper to state that the Secretary of the Navy, under whose orders we were acting, famished us with all the means and facilities in his power, with repeated instructions to spare neither money nor men to forward the work and that we obeyed the order in letter and spirit.

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. to-morrow.

RICHMOND, VA., June 13, 1863.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. M. Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were then read over.

The judge-advocate then read to the court, prepared according to its directions, the following letter:

RICHMOND, VA., June 13, 1863.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have advised the court that it has in law the right to summon before it any member of the Cabinet whose testimony may be deemed important; but it is to be borne in mind that the court exercises its functions for the information of the President, {p.629} and it may be considered a work of supererogation on its part to ascertain from members of the Cabinet, who are but parts of the Executive, facts which in law the President is presumed already to know. I am instructed by the court to ask your opinion as to the propriety of issuing a summons as above indicated, and whether such a step is in accordance with the custom of the service.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

L. R. PAGE, Major, Adjutant-General’s Department, and Judge-Advocate.

It was then ordered by the court that the judge-advocate forward the said letter to General Cooper.

The judge-advocate then informed the court that the Adjutant and Inspector General had advised him that orders were in preparation, affecting the investigations of the court, which would render it expedient for the court to suspend its proceedings until said orders were issued.

The court thereupon adjourned to meet on Monday, the 15th instant, at 11 a.m.

RICHMOND, VA., June 15, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. M. Lovell.

The proceedings of the 13th instant were read over.

The following communication to Maj. Gen. T. C. Hindman, president, was then read to the court by the judge-advocate:

ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., Jane 15, 1863.

Maj. Gen. T. C. HINDMAN, President of Court of Inquiry, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to refer to you the inclosed copy of a letter of the Secretary of the Navy, with the President’s indorsement thereon, on the subject of the examination of navy operations by the court over which you preside. Recurring to my answer of April 21 last to the telegram of the judge-advocate on this subject, I find that my language was not as precise as could be wished, and in order that there may be no misunderstanding I desire now to state my views:

The court of inquiry, being an army court, is, of course, without authority to express any opinion upon the conduct of any officers of the Navy Department; but where the general whose conduct is under investigation alleges that the fall of the city was attributable to the misconduct or failure of any person not under his control, it is perfectly proper to examine as witnesses all that are cognizant of the facts, even if they be officers of the Navy. The inquiry is to be directed solely to the purpose of ascertaining whether the defense of the general is true; if it be so, the court will pronounce, of course, that the failure to defend the city arose from causes not within his control, but will not express any opinion as to the conduct of the officers of another department of the service. If, on the contrary, the defense of the general is rebutted by the evidence, the court will give its opinion that his defense is not sustained. In this way the truth may be reached without the court touching at all on the province of a naval court. It is plain that no opinion of the conduct of an officer connected with the Navy can be expressed by the court, because, if the court desires to examine into the conduct of any other officer than General Lovell, the court would be compelled to cite the officer before it, and it has no power to do so with a Navy officer, whose conduct can only be inquired into by a naval court.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., June 5, 1863.

To the PRESIDENT:

SIR: I learn to-day, from an authentic source, that the court of inquiry, convoked by the War Department, at the request of General Lovell, and now in session in Richmond, for the ostensible purpose of investigating his conduct as connected with the {p.630} defense and fall of New Orleans, is engaged in taking testimony, formally, as to the official conduct of the Navy Department and that of all its officers, civil and military, in any way connected with its operations in New Orleans and on the Mississippi River, embracing within the field of its inquiry the manner in which this Department transmitted funds from Richmond, how it met its expenditures, its correspondence with its subordinates, the construction and equipment of vessels, &c.

A court of inquiry is a tribunal whose results necessarily shape public opinion, and obvious justice demands that if this court could properly enter upon such investigation at all, the parties whose conduct is to be inquired of; and whose fame may be disparaged by its results, should have notice of its purpose and opportunity for explanation and defense. I will not dwell upon the evils which may follow a precedent thus established of subjecting the conduct of one Department of the Government and its officers to the formal inquiry of the officers of a different Department, and this, too, without notice-but I cannot refrain from saying that, in my judgment, the proceeding is illegal and is fraught with mischief to both branches of the military service. The naval officer in command afloat at New Orleans has been subjected to a court of inquiry formed of his peers, and the entire operations of the Department connected with the defense of New Orleans have been investigated by a committee of Congress, and the testimony in both cases is of record. I respectfully submit these facts to your attention as the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,

S. R. MALLORY, Secretary of the Navy.

JUNE 9, 1863.

Respectfully referred to the Adjutant and Inspector General, that proper notice may be given to the court.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Examination of NELSON TIFT resumed.

Cross-examination by Maj. Gen. M. LOVELL:

Question. Did you suppose when you laid the keel of the Mississippi, in October, 1861, that it would take so long a time to get her ready?

Answer. We did not suppose that it would take so long a time to get her ready. We could not anticipate the many difficulties we had to encounter. We thought then that we could get her ready in about four months.

Question. If the machinery had been finished in proper time would the other work on the vessel have been ready for it?

Answer. The wood work would have been ready, but the iron plating would not have been.

By the COURT:

Question. Have you or your brother ever received any compensation from the Government for your services as agents for the construction of the Mississippi?

Answer. None whatever-nor would we have received any had it been tendered.

Question. When you made the contract for machinery with Jackson & Co., how did the number of workmen they could usefully employ in their shops compare with the number in Leeds & Co.’s establishment?

Answer. I do not know the relative capacity of the two establishments as to the number of workmen they could employ on other work. Leeds & Co.’s was certainly much the larger, but as to their capacity for work on the machinery of the Mississippi, I think they were equal.

Upon application of Messrs. A. F. & N. Tift to inspect the testimony of Surg. D. W. Brickell, who appeared before the court as a witness, no member of the court objecting thereto, it was ordered that the application be granted.

It was then ordered that H. L. Coll be employed as a clerk to aid the judge-advocate, his compensation to begin from the 12th instant.

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. to-morrow, the 16th instant.

{p.631}

RICHMOND, VA., June 16, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

It was ordered by the court that the following communication, addressed to the president of the court, should be read to the court and made a part of the record:

-, - -, 1863.

General T. C. HINDMAN, C. S. A., President Court of Inquiry:

SIR: Having perused, by the courteous permission of the court, the testimony given before it by Dr. D. W. Brickell, and found that his testimony is calculated to create an erroneous judgment as to our conduct in the construction of the Mississippi and a judgment adverse to our skill, energy, good faith, and loyalty as agents of the Government; and that in his testimony he refers particularly to the Committee of Public Safety of New Orleans, whereof he was a member, and to Mr. Pearce, the naval constructor, we respectfully ask the court, in justice to ourselves thus assailed: 1st, to take the testimony of Mr. Pearce, the naval constructor of the Mississippi, as to building and launching her; 2d, the testimony of Naval Constructor Murray, the builder of the Louisiana, as to the work upon and the launching of the Mississippi; and, 3d, to receive and place on record the correspondence between ourselves and the Committee of Public Safety of New Orleans, referred to by Dr. Brickell, touching the completion and launching of the ship, and our correspondence with Commanders Mitchell and Sinclair, of the Navy, Constructor Pearce, and others, relative to the launching of the Mississippi, together with our correspondence upon the same subject with the Navy Department. By this testimony we expect to show, beyond all rational question or doubt, not only that Dr. Brickell’s testimony as to our action is erroneous, and that he is mistaken both in his facts and his conclusions in relation to ourselves, but that the course we adopted and pursued had the sanction and approval of the men to whom he refers, and that any other course than the one we did pursue would have been wrong.

NELSON TIFT. A. F. TIFT.

The request of the Messrs. Tift to introduce testimony, as indicated in the foregoing letter, being considered by the court, it was ordered that the same be refused: 1st, because the admission of such testimony would be contrary to the instructions of the Adjutant and Inspector General, set forth in the record of yesterday; and, 2d, because the proposed testimony has already been taken before a committee of Congress, and is likely thereby to have the same or a greater publicity than the proceedings of this court.

Lieut. D. P. MCCORKLE, O. S. Navy, was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. State all you may know touching the defense, capture, and evacuation of New Orleans in April, 1862.

Answer. I know nothing of the fight at the forts, except that I sent a good deal of ordnance to them. I was the ordnance officer of the naval station. I witnessed the fight at Chalmette from the city. Two vessels were at first turned back. I know nothing of the evacuation under General Lovell. Between 3 and 4 p.m. of April 24, being anxious to mount and fight some guns on a floating battery, I applied to General Lovell for powder; he gave me an order for 1,000 pounds. The order was returned with the indorsement that all the powder had been sent up the river. I forget the name of the person who made the indorsement. This is all I know of my own knowledge upon the subject.

Cross-examination by Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. From what source was all the powder procured for the use of the Navy while you were the naval ordnance officer at New Orleans?

Answer. From General Lovell.

{p.632}

Question. State in general terms your opinion, as ordnance officer, of the adequacy of the means at your disposal for purposes of co-operation with the land forces in the defense of New Orleans.

Answer. We had everything we needed except powder. The guns were at Jackson. Miss., on their way to New Orleans. The carriages had been made in the city under my direction, and were ready for use. We had to get our powder from General Lovell, as we would not compete in the market with the Army.

It was ordered by the court that the judge-advocate prepare interrogations to be propounded to A. D. Kelley, summoned as a witness before this court, but unable to appear on account of his health, and that he give notice of the taking of such deposition to Major-General Lovell.

The court then adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. to-morrow, the 17th instant.

RICHMOND, VA., June 17, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

JOSEPH STINSON, a citizen, was next sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Were you in New Orleans from October, 1861, to May, 1862? If so, state your occupation during that time.

Answer. I was there during that time keeping a hotel.

Question. State all you may know, of your own knowledge, concerning the evacuation of New Orleans. Was there much property of the Government lost that might have been saved with ordinary efforts? And, if you know, state what sort of property it was.

Answer. A few tents were left on Lafayette Square; the bells sent by the planters to make cannon were also left, and some heavy cannon with gun-carriages were left, which fell into the hands of the enemy.

Question. Do you know, of your own knowledge, that any property of the Government was left at Camp Lewis when our troops evacuated the city?

Answer. Only from hearsay.

Question. Did you see General Lovell during the evacuation? If so, state whether or not he was cool and self-possessed.

Answer. I saw him the day after the fleet passed the forts. I did not see him again. I went to see him about removing Government property, which I understood was left at Camp Lewis. Some one had told him that I had reported he had run away. He told me that he would cut the throat of any man who said so. His manner was excited then, and he passed right on. I do not know where he went to. This is all I know of my own knowledge. I have spoken of other things on various occasions, but spoken from rumor.

Question. State, if you know, the feeling of the citizens of New Orleans when the forts were passed. Was it for resistance or for a surrender?

Answer. I am under the impression that a majority were for resistance. The best of the French held out very well. The Germans took no active part either way.

Question. What were your opportunities for forming an opinion as to the feeling of the citizens? Did you know of any meetings that were held counseling resistance? If so, were you present?

Answer. My opinion was formed from mixing with the people. I heard of such a meeting, but it fell through. I was not at it.

{p.633}

Question. Do you know of any persons volunteering with the Army to defend the city after the passage of the forts? If yea, state their number, and whether or not they were able-bodied men.

Answer. It was calculated that we could get 25,000 or 30,000 men, including those under arms, for the purpose at that time. Some 400 or 500 of us were ready to join the Army for that purpose, and applied to Governor Moore for arms. He said that he had none, and referred us to General Lovell; but we could not see General Lovell, and abandoned our effort. A majority of the men referred to by me were too old to go into camp, but could have done good fighting. I do not know the number of men under arms.

Question. Was there much private property destroyed or left in the city that would have been valuable for military uses?

Answer. I saw a pile of corn burned and some sugar and molasses. This property might have been saved if the steamboats that were at the levee could have been used to transport it; but the boats were made ready to leave by their owners as soon as they knew the forts had been passed.

Cross-examination by Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Question. Did the heavy guns that you saw lying at the custom-house belong to the Army or the Navy?

Answer. I do not know.

Question. Did not General Lovell stop on the city hall steps directly after his conversation with you and address the people for some time, attempting to allay their excitement?

Answer. My impression is that he did, though I cannot say whether it was before or after our conversation. I was too far off to hear or see well. The crowd was very great.

Question. On the morning after the day in which you say 400 or 500 of your crowd were willing to fight, did not General Lovell publish an order and appeal in all the papers of the city calling for 1,000 men to board the enemy’s vessels? Did any of that crowd volunteer for that service that you are aware of?

Answer. I did not, nor did any of our crowd that I know of.

Question. You say that you think 25,000 or 30,000 men could have been obtained in New Orleans to defend it; did not General Lovell, through Governor Moore, call for 10,000 men from the city at least six weeks before the fall of New Orleans?

Answer. I do not recollect.

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. to-morrow.

RICHMOND, VA., June 18, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell.

F. W. C. COOKE, a citizen, was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Were you a resident of New Orleans from October, 1861, to May, 1862? If so, what was your occupation?

Answer. I was, and, with my brother, engaged in the manufacture of small-arms. I have lived in New Orleans for seventeen years.

Question. Was your machinery removed from the city at the time of its capture, in April, 1862? If so, was it done in pursuance of orders from or with the assistance of General Lovell?

Answer. I saved all the machinery connected with the armory, except the motive power. I did not save all the work I left 130 tons of wrought iron, which I could {p.634} not bring away. We lost the tools and machinery of the machine shop. Afterwards, on or about April 29, I received a schooner laden with steel and iron. At Madisonville the Yankee sentinel permitted her to pass through the canal for $20. On Thursday morning, April 24, 1862, at 11 o’clock, Major Smith sent for me, and told me the fleet had passed the forts, and to save what I could. I asked him to put it down in writing, which he did; the paper I have not here with me. It was to the effect that, by the wish and consent of the general commanding, Cooke & Brother were requested to remove their machinery from New Orleans. After setting the men to work I sought for General or Colonel Lovell to get an order for a steamboat; the order was received from Colonel Lovell the same day. In obedience to it I took and used the steamer Newsboy, but had to pay $2,600 for freightage. On the morning of the 25th, not finding the enemy at the city, and not being able to find anyone to give me an order for another steamer, I wrote one myself and signed General Lovell’s name to it, per my own name, which I subsequently reported to General Lovell at Camp Moore. That boat left the wharf about 12 o’clock that day. While at Camp Moore General Lovell gave me another order to the effect that steamboat men and railroad agents should give every facility for removing the machinery throughout the country after we had brought it from New Orleans. This order was given on April 28.

Question. When you applied to Colonel Lovell for an order for the steamboat had you any difficulty in obtaining it, and did you then consider one steamboat sufficient for the removal of your machinery?

Answer. I only asked for one steamer. At first Colonel Lovell told me he could not give me an order, but upon my telling him that I had taken down my machinery in obedience to orders, he gave me an order.

Question. After getting the order did you have difficulties in obtaining and using the steamboat? If yea, state what those difficulties were.

Answer. I got the steamboat without trouble, but there was no one on board but the captain. I had to furnish the crew, engineers, and pilot. There was a general stampede among all the steamboat-men, as far as came under my observation.

Question. After the bombardment commenced why did you not take earlier measures for the removal of your stock and machinery from the city?

Answer. Because Major Smith had promised me forty-eight hours’ notice of the time when the removal should be made. Messrs. Leeds & Co. had applied with me for permission to remove our shops some six weeks before the city fell. Major Smith, whom we saw, said he would see General Lovell. After leaving me in his office a short time, he returned and said that the removal of our establishment would create too much excitement, but said he would give us forty eight hours’ notice, the time in which I told him I could remove my works, &c.

Question. State all you may know touching the testing of a heavy gun made by Leeds & Co.

Answer. The gun was an 8-inch columbiad, and when tested it was placed on the levee at the end of the shell road, at an elevation of from 15 to 20 degrees, the breach placed against heavy piling fastened by strong horizontal timber, thus depriving it of -*; it burst, I think, about the seventy-sixth charge. I do not remember the name of the officer who was superintending the test; he was a Frenchman, belonging to an artillery company from the city. I was present at intervals during the day when the gun was tested.

Question. State all you know concerning the evacuation of New Orleans.

Answer. There seemed to be a decided panic in the city. I was only enabled to obtain wagons and teams to remove my machinery by seizure made by Deputy Provost-Marshal McCann, who, with such force as I could furnish was engaged all of Thursday in seizing teams. While removing the machinery, I delivered to Major Smith, on his order, 200 rifles, retaining 200 for the use of my hands. There were several steamboats at the levee when I went to procure one, but they had been deserted by the crew and all the officers but the captains. Of three of these boats one fell into the hands of the enemy, another was burned, and the third went up the Ouachita River. As I was leaving on the boat on Friday evening, April 25, we were hailed by some Irishwomen at the Marine Hospital, with guns in their hands; we stopped and

* The blank is in the original. {p.635} got the guns, some ten or twelve in number. I do not know whether there were others there. I met a good many soldiers the evening I left; they were very greatly disordered and moving in squads. I was closely occupied at work in removing my machinery after the passage of the forts, and did not see a great deal. This is about all I can remember on this subject. When I left the wildest confusion prevailed upon the levee; men, women, and children were removing sugar and molasses up the streets to their houses.

Question. In the foregoing testimony have you omitted any material fact bearing upon the fall of New Orleans or the loss of property during the evacuation?

Answer. I recollect nothing more. I have stated about all I know of my own knowledge.

Cross-examination by Maj. Gen. M. LOVELL:

Question. Do you know whether or not many of the stores of which you speak as being in the city on April 25, the day you left, were not subsequently brought out on railroads and by the lake by Majors James, Venable, and others?

Answer. They might or might not have been saved. I do not know.

The deposition of Capt. E. POWELL, assistant quartermaster, duly attested, was then offered in evidence by General Lovell, it being within the knowledge of the court that the witness had been summoned before the court at Vicksburg, and in obedience to its summons had reached Jackson, Miss., when he was ordered to return to his post at Natchez, by Lieutenant-General Pemberton, who informed the court that the services of Captain Powell could not be spared at that time, and since then the state of affairs being such in Mississippi that the witness’ attendance could not be procured, although all proper efforts had been made to that end.

To the reading of this deposition the judge-advocate objected, because depositions of officers in the line or staff of the Army are not admissible as evidence before courts of inquiry.

The court having considered the objection, decided that under the circumstances it should be received.

By Major-General LOVELL:

Question. What position did you hold before and at the evacuation of New Orleans, in April, 1862?

Answer. I was an assistant quartermaster in the C. S. Army, with the rank of captain, and was in charge of the clothing, camp and garrison bureau, in the city of New Orleans.

Question. What amount of public property in your charge was saved at that evacuation and what was its estimated value?

Answer. I saved the whole of the public property in my charge, with the exception of a few castings, and would have saved them also if Major Winnemore, assistant quartermaster, had not taken my means of transportation from me. I am unable to state the value of the property saved, my books and papers having been removed from here (Natchez) for safety, and I cannot refer to them. I also saved all my books, papers, and funds at New Orleans; a considerable quantity of stores, &c., was stolen from the cars while in transitu from New Orleans to Camp Moore and above.

Question. Was there any other property of the same kind belonging to the State of Louisiana or other parties brought out that was turned over to you; if so, what was the value of the same as estimated by you?

Answer. There was no other property turned over to me that was brought out of New Orleans belonging to the State of Louisiana or others, but I picked up a portion of the clothing, camp and garrison equipage which I believe belonged to the State of Louisiana, and for which I gave credit on my papers, together with a large quantity of quartermaster’s stores, for which I believe Major Winnemore, assistant quartermaster, was responsible, the whole amounting to about $125,000.

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. to-morrow.

{p.636}

RICHMOND, VA., June 20, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Maj. Gen. M. Lovell.

The proceedings of yesterday were read over.

Lieut. A. J. TOUTANT was then sworn and examined as a witness.

By Maj. Gen. M. LOVELL:

Question. What position did you hold in New Orleans from October, 1861, to May, 1862?

Answer. I held the position of aide-de-camp to Major-General Lovell.

Question. What were your opportunities for knowing the routine business habits of General Lovell in New Orleans? If you know, state what they were.

Answer. I was with General Lovell more regularly than any of his staff officers, not only in the office, but also in all outdoor duty. I, in fact, accompanied him on all his tours of inspection out of town, which gave me full opportunities to judge of his business habits. He was industrious, attentive, punctual, and energetic in dispatching all business connected with his department.

Question. Was he ever absent from his office or from duty for any cause whatever a single day while in command at New Orleans?

Answer. He was never absent from his office while in command at New Orleans except on duty, which duties consisted in the inspection of camps, fortifications, also founderies and all other Government works about the city, also a thorough inspection of forts and defenses commanding the different entrances to it. On these occasions he took particular pains to examine thoroughly the arms, ammunition, and clothing of the garrison, and pointed out, if any, the deficiencies to the commanding officer of the post. The visit to the founderies, &c., in the city was generally done after dinner, say 4 p.m., when the general could more easily be spared from the office. His time then was entirely devoted to the investigation and to the urging of the completion of public works; this lasted until dark when he again returned to the office to finish his correspondence or attend to some other business matters, which invariably kept him there until 10 p.m. and often later. The different officers of the staff were also required to be in their respective offices until that hour.

Question. Did you have occasion to observe General Lovell during the engagement of Fort Jackson, when the enemy’s fleet passed, and at various times during the evacuation? If so, state what was his demeanor as to calmness, coolness, and decision.

Answer. As on almost all other occasions, I accompanied the general to the forts below the city. He left New Orleans the evening previous to the passage of the enemy’s gunboats and arrived there probably half an hour before the attempt was made. He had gone down for the express purpose of trying to have the position of the Louisiana changed; also to verify for himself the amount of damage done to Fort Jackson by the enemy’s shells. We observed, as we arrived, that the fort was being slowly shelled by the enemy’s mortar fleet, when all of a sudden the number seemed to increase, and Forts Jackson and Saint Philip both opened fire. It was not until one of the Federal vessels, the Varuna, had got close by us that General Lovell ordered the captain of the packet boat we were on, the Doublon, to steam up the river as fast as possible, so as to get out of the reach of the gunboat that was pursuing us. While under the fire of that boat, which was gaining on us, Captain Kennon engaged and sunk her. General Lovell was coolly delivering orders to some of the river-defense fleet, which, to his great contempt, seemed to he getting out of the enemy’s way. He ordered them to go back and fight him. After reaching about 30 miles from the city, the general, knowing that by taking a carriage he could get to the city sooner, concluded to proceed by land; his presence he knew would be needed there as soon as possible during the excitement of this sad news. I continued with some of the other members of the staff on the boat, again joining the general that afternoon. I found him engaged in giving orders in reference to the removal of Government property; also in giving orders for what defense could be made at Chalmette in case the enemy should make his appearance. I noticed no change in his manner, decision, or coolness. I was with him pretty {p.637} near the whole of the next day (April 26), with the only exception of the moments that I was conveying his orders. And again I must say he gave the orders of the evacuation with the same coolness, determination, and precision that characterized his demeanor during the whole time. When it was found that the fortifications at Chalmette could not check the enemy’s fleet, orders were immediately given by him to the different commands to proceed to the New Orleans and Jackson Railroad, where the cars were held in readiness to remove them from the city in case of need. Due notice was also given to the boats remaining in the river and employed in removing Government property, he himself leaving the city in the last train. General Lovell subsequently returned to the city on the 28th, but I did not accompany him.

Major-General LOVELL was then recalled and examined.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. In your testimony you speak of many deficiencies in Department No. 1 which are not mentioned in your correspondence with the War Department. Why were you silent as to these points?

Answer. I did not particularize all the deficiencies in my letters to the War Department because before I assumed command, and while in Richmond, I learned from conversations with the Secretary of War and heads of bureaus, in substance, that, as the Department and its various bureaus had been but lately set on foot, there were in almost all the kinds of material required for war purposes many deficiencies, not only in the materials, but in the mechanical means and appliances for erecting them; and I was informed that my predecessor had made persistent appeals for things which as yet the Department had no means of furnishing, which was a source of some annoyance, and I stated that I should make the most of the means at my disposal, without bothering the Department about deficiencies in which I knew they could not help me. When, therefore, I ascertained these deficiencies I set to work as rapidly as possible to supply them, and was in a fair way to make my department self-sustaining when New Orleans fell, both as to guns, powder, munitions of war, and supplies of all kinds.

By the COURT:

Question. Was not the impression created upon the pubic mind that you had at New Orleans shortly before its fall a force of 20,000 or 25,000 men? If so, state, if you can, by whom it was created and for what purpose.

Answer. In February, 1862, Governor Moore and his major-general of militia, Lewis, proposed a grand turn-out of all the militia in the city, saying that they could parade about 25,000 men, and asked my opinion as to the policy of such a display. I asked how many of them could be furnished with arms of any description, even pistols and sabers, to which they replied about 5,000 or 6,000. I then objected strongly to parading 18,000 or 20,000 men without a weapon as an uncalled-for display of weakness. They replied that the papers, in giving an account of it, need not speak of their arms and equipment, but would mention their numbers. I said we would only deceive our own people, as the enemy had, without a doubt, spies among us, who would give him correct information. A parade was, nevertheless, made of 25,000 or 26,000 men, and the adjutant-general of Louisiana, at my request, furnished me a return of all those in any manner armed, who numbered about 6,000 men. This was before the troops were sent to Beauregard. The next morning all the papers gave glowing accounts of the magnificent parade of 25,000 men that occurred on the day previous. This was doubtless the origin of the impression. Had I had 25,000 additional infantry I should have still evacuated the city, as numbers would only have added to the slaughter. They could have inflicted no damage to gunboats anchored off the city, while they themselves would have been within point-blank range.

General Lovell then submitted to the court the following copies of letters from the official letter-book and telegram-book of Department No. 1, already in evidence, viz: A letter from Colonel Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance, on the subject of establishing a laboratory at New Orleans, and disapproving the same; appended as document No. 26. A letter to Gov. T. O. Moore, suggesting the seizure and fitting up of two ocean steamers for the defense of New Orleans; appended as document No. 27. A letter to Gov. T. O. Moore, calling for militia to the number of 10,000 men for defense; appended as document No. 28. Two letters from General R. E. Lee, relative to the evacuation of New Orleans by {p.638} General Lovell and his occupation of Vicksburg; appended as documents Nos. 29 and 30. A telegram and his reply to Governor Pettus of Mississippi, relative to sending heavy guns to Vicksburg; appended as document No. 31. A letter of General Randolph, Secretary of War, omitted in the printed correspondence relative to New Orleans; appended as document No. 32.

The said letters and telegrams were admitted by the judge-advocate to be correct copies and were read to the court.

The deposition of W. L. LANIER was then read to the court.

By Maj. Gen. M. LOVELL:

Question. What position did you hold in New Orleans at and for some months prior to its evacuation, in April, 1862?

Answer. I was post commissary.

Question. Did you, under orders of General Lovell, make an examination and estimate, a short time before the evacuation, of the amount of provisions in the city at that time available for the support of the population? If so, please state how many days’ provisions were on hand at the time of the evacuation.

Answer. I was ordered by General Lovell to ascertain, as near as possible, the amount of provisions in the city not belonging to the Government for the support of the population. I did so, and reported supplies for from sixteen to twenty days’ subsistence.

Question. Was the great bulk of the commissary stores in your charge saved at the time of the evacuation? Did any amount thereof that was fit for issue fall into the hands of the enemy? Were any such destroyed?

Answer. It was. No stores fit for issue fell into the hands of the enemy, as all sound stores left in the city, by order of General Smith, during the absence of General Lovell at Fort Jackson, the day previous to the evacuation, were turned over to the Committee of Safety, for sale to the citizens, proceeds of which to be placed to the credit of the Government, except fifty hogsheads of sugar, which had been sent to the New Orleans and Jackson Railroad depot some days before the evacuation, for shipment to Summit, Miss., where General Lovell had ordered me to establish a depot for stores some time previous. This sugar, on the evening of the evacuation, as I learn, was either destroyed or taken by the mob from said depot.

Cross-examination by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Were any preparations made by you, under orders of General Lovell, for supplying the people of New Orleans with provisions in the event of a siege?

Answer. None that I remember.

Question. Were you present during the evacuation of New Orleans? If so, state the manner in which it was conducted; and if you saw General Lovell during that period state whether or not he was self-possessed and seemingly equal to the emergency.

Answer. I was in the city until about 2 o’clock of the day of the evacuation. I did not see General Lovell more than once during the day, and then only a very short time. He seemed to be a good deal excited.

The court adjourned to meet at 12 m. the 24th instant.

RICHMOND, VA., June 24, 1863-12 m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court and the judge-advocate.

To enable the judge-advocate to prepare a summary of the evidence the court adjourned until 11 a.m. the 28th instant.

{p.639}

RICHMOND, VA., June 28, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court and the judge-advocate.

The evidence adduced in this investigation was then read over to the court by the judge-advocate.

The court adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. to-morrow.

RICHMOND, VA., June 29, 1863-11 a.m.

The court deliberated upon the evidence in this case.

The court received notice from the Adjutant-General (General S. Cooper) to continue in session until the deposition of A. D. Kelley arrived.

The court then adjourned to meet at 11 a.m. July 9, 1863.

RICHMOND, VA., July 9, 1863-11 a.m.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, all the members of the court and the judge-advocate.

The deposition of A. D. Kelley is hereto appended, and marked document A.******

The court, having maturely considered the evidenced adduced, submits the following report of facts and opinion thereon. (Report of the following furnished Secretary of State October 17, 1863:)

REPORT OF FACTS.

Department No. 1 is intersected by numerous streams, which in high water afford ten or twelve different approaches to New Orleans, and render its defense difficult without a strong naval force. When General Lovell assumed command of the department, on October 18, 1861, but little had been done in constructing the land defenses of New Orleans. Two lines of intrenchments had been laid off but were wholly incomplete, without platforms, guns, magazines, ammunition, and all necessary implements and equipments. Forts Jackson, Saint Philip. Pike, Macomb, and Livingston were in great need of repair, the two first named in better condition than the others, but all of them deficient in armament, requiring an increase in the number and caliber of their guns. There was also needed at these works ammunition and all the implements necessary to the use of heavy guns. The keels of two iron-clad gunboats had been recently laid. Under the direction of General Lovell the forts mentioned were strengthened and the number and caliber of guns composing their armament increased. An exterior line passing through the forts, with earthworks to defend the various water approaches, and an interior line, embracing New Orleans and Algiers, designed chiefly to repel attacks by land, were pressed to completion. The best guns that could be had were mounted upon these lines, magazines constructed, and ammunition and all the necessary implements supplied. In a word, everything was done that could be to render them first-class works of their kind. The various water approaches were obstructed by piling, &c., and launches prepared and put in service to protect several of them from navigation by the enemy.

An immense raft was constructed in December, 1861, to serve as an obstruction in the Mississippi River between Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, but owing to the strong current of that river in its highest stages and the great accumulation of drift it was swept away in the latter part {p.640} of February following. From its fragments and such other material as could be obtained it was attempted, but without success, to make another effectual obstruction.

Mills were erected for the manufacture of powder, considerable quantities of which article were turned out, and much that had been received at New Orleans in a damaged condition was reworked and made fit for use. At the time of the fall of the city more than one establishment was ready for the manufacture of heavy guns, which until then had been impracticable for the want of suitable furnaces.

Such was the condition of the department when the enemy, on April 15, 1862, opened fire upon Fort Jackson from a fleet of twenty-one mortar boats. The bombardment continued, with but slight intermission, until the morning of April 24, when, between 3 and 4 o’clock, the enemy’s vessels of war and gunboats succeeded in passing the forts. One of his vessels was sunk; his loss in killed and wounded is not known. Our loss in the fight and during the bombardment did not exceed, at the forts, more than 50 in killed and wounded. Owing to the high stage of water, the river being higher than it had been before for twenty-five years, the efforts to employ sharpshooters outside the forts proved ineffectual. In the forts the water rose to a height of from 12 to 18 inches, causing great discomfort to the garrisons, and requiring the men in Fort Jackson to work day and night to prevent the magazines from being flooded. The damage done by the enemy had also to be repaired under heavy and incessant fire, which added much to the suffering of the men. While the bombardment continued, and when the enemy were making the passage of the forts, with a fleet consisting of five steam sloops of war and eight or nine gunboats, the men fought with great courage and determination; but at midnight on April 27 it was discovered that they were in open mutiny at Fort Jackson. This mutinous spirit pervaded the entire garrison at Fort Jackson, except the Saint Mary’s Cannoneers. It was also soon discovered that the garrison of Fort Saint Philip was similarly affected. The officers, however, by their coolness managed to hold the men in check until the morning of April 28, when the forts were surrendered to the enemy upon liberal terms. For this strange revolt no cause could be ascertained. A large part of the enemy’s fleet, after passing the forts, proceeded up the river. At Chalmette and from the opposite bank its farther advance was resisted by two batteries of six guns each, until their ammunition was exhausted, but with little or no effect, the enemy having nearly as many vessels of war and gunboats as we had guns in position at that point. More than half of the ammunition designed for these batteries had been given to the iron-clad steamer Louisiana. Six vessels of the river-defense fleet were at the forts at the time they were passed, but rendered no assistance in checking the enemy.

To meet this attack it is shown that General Lovell’s plan was to concentrate as many heavy guns as possible at the forts, and there, by obstructions, to detain the enemy’s vessels under their fire, as well as the fire of such defenses afloat as we could bring to bear.

The country between the forts and New Orleans is of a character most unfavorable for the construction of batteries, the banks of the river in its highest stages being below the surface of the water, and only protected from inundation by levees, which might easily be destroyed by an enemy. It also shows that there were no suitable guns in Department No. 1 for such batteries, and no infantry forces adequate for their protection against a land attack.

On the morning of April 25 several of the enemy’s gunboats anchored {p.641} off New Orleans, about which time General Lovell gave up the city to the control of the municipal authorities, by whom, on April 29, it was surrendered to the enemy.

It is shown that but little or no provision was made for an evacuation before the passage of the forts. After that event the work of removing supplies was prosecuted with energy, and a vast amount of property belonging to the Confederate and State Governments, as well as that of private individuals, was saved.

Forts Pike and Macomb were evacuated by the order of Colonel Fuller, and without the knowledge or approval of General Lovell, on the morning of April 27. Brig. Gen. M. L. Smith, commanding the forces at the McGehee and Chalmette lines, numbering about 1,000 infantry and five companies of artillery, received no orders as to their removal, although he and General Lovell were together on the afternoon of April 24. The troops withdrawn from New Orleans by General Lovell did not exceed 4,000 in number, and, with slight exceptions, were raw levies, belonging to the militia and organizations for local defense. A large proportion of this force was unfitted for service in the field. In their movement from the city there was no greater confusion manifested than is usual among such bodies of men. The best troops in Department No. 1 had been sent to re-enforce General A. S. Johnston after the fall of Fort Donelson. General Lovell had also sent many supplies from his department to the army of that general. Between General Lovell and the naval officers on duty in Department No. 1 there existed good feeling and a desire to co-operate for the public defense. General Lovell often supplied the Navy with guns and ammunition. During the bombardment it was designed by Generals Lovell and Duncan that the Louisiana should be placed in a position from which they thought she could enfilade and drive off the mortar fleet of the enemy, but this request was not complied with-Capt. J. K. Mitchell, commanding the defenses afloat, alleging, in reply, that the Louisiana was without motive power, but in the position indicated her guns could not be given sufficient elevation to reach the enemy, while she would be in full range of his mortar fleet, and that her top deck was flat and vulnerable. These statements are proven to be true. He also added, as his opinion, sustained by a council of naval officers, that the desired movement would result in the destruction of the vessel by the enemy. The guard boats and fire rafts were not used to any advantage, if at all, on the night preceding the passage of the forts. General Lovell left New Orleans for Camp Moore on April 25, but returned on the 28th, and proposed to bring back his command to the city if the authorities would incur the risk of a bombardment, which he thought might and would ensue if the city were occupied by his troops. The proof shows that General Lovell’s demeanor was cool and self-possessed during the evacuation.

OPINION OF THE COURT.*

1st. As against a land attack by any force the enemy could probably bring, the interior line of fortifications, as adopted and completed by Major-General Lovell, was a sufficient defense of the city of New Orleans, but his ability to hold that line against such an attack was greatly impaired by the withdrawal from him by superior authority of nearly all his effective troops.

2d. The exterior line, as adopted and improved by him, was well devised, and rendered as strong as the means at his command allowed.

* Published, without comment, in G. O., No. 152, A. and I. G. O., Nov. 24, 1863. {p.642}

3d. Until the iron-clad gunboats Louisiana and Mississippi should be ready for service, it was indispensably necessary to obstruct the navigation of the Mississippi River between Forts Jackson and Saint Philip. The raft completed under General Lovell’s direction was adequate for the purpose while in position, but it was swept away, and left the river unimpeded, either by reason of some error in its construction or neglect in preventing the accumulation of drift, or because of insuperable mechanical difficulties, as to which this court feels unprepared to give an opinion. General Lovell communicated to the Government no opinion as to the insecurity of the raft nor any apprehension that it might be swept away, nor did he immediately make known that fact when it occurred. In this it is considered that he was remiss in his duty.

4th. When the raft was swept away, General Lovell, with great energy, immediately endeavored to replace it, and partially succeeded ,but, without fault on his part, this last obstruction was broken by the carelessness of vessels of the river-defense fleet colliding with it and by fire rafts drifting against it, and by the failure of the guard boats to protect it against night expeditions of the enemy.

5th. The non-completion of the iron-clad gunboats Louisiana and Mississippi made it impossible for the Navy to co-operate efficiently with General Lovell.

6th. The so-called river-defense fleet was wholly useless as a means of resistance to the enemy, for which General Lovell was in nowise responsible.

7th. Under the existing circumstances the passage of the forts by the enemy’s fleet could not have been prevented by General Lovell with any means under his control, and, the forts being passed, the fall of New Orleans was inevitable and its evacuation a military necessity.

8th. When the first raft was broken, and the danger of New Orleans thus became imminent, all necessary preparations should have been made for removing the public and private property available for military uses, and when the second obstruction was swept away the removal of such property should have been commenced immediately. The failure to take these timely steps caused the losses of property that occurred, but there was comparatively little property lost for which General Lovell was responsible.

9th. The failure of General Lovell to give proper orders to Brig. Gen. M. L. Smith for the retirement of his command from Chalmette is not sufficiently explained, and is therefore regarded a serious error.

10th. The proposition of General Lovell to return to New Orleans with his command was not demanded by his duty as a soldier, involving, as it did, the useless sacrifice of himself and his troops, though it explains itself upon the ground of sympathy for the population and a natural sensitiveness to their reproaches.

11th. General Lovell displayed great energy and an untiring industry in performing his duties. His conduct was marked by all the coolness and self-possession due to the circumstances and his position, and he evinced a high capacity for command and the clearest foresight in many of his measures for the defense of New Orleans.

The court respectfully reports that its assembly was delayed by the failure of its president to receive his orders in due time, and that its session was protracted by the taking of testimony, under the order of the War Department, as to the conduct of naval officers on duty in Department No. 1. This order was rescinded, thus rendering irrelevant and useless much of the labor of the court. The testimony referred to, {p.643} although appearing of record, was not considered by the court in determining its findings and opinion.

There being no further business before them, the court adjourned sine die.

T. C. HINDMAN, Major-General and President of Court. L. R. PAGE, Major, Adjt. Gen.’s Dept., Judge-Advocate and Recorder.

* Not found.

** See dispatches of dates indicated in “Correspondence, etc.-Confederate,” post.

*** Not found. This is probably the correspondence referred to in message of President Davis. See No. 9, p. 654.

**** See pp. 510, 521.

***** Not found.

****** Found as document No. 2.

RICHMOND, VA., July 13, 1863.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to transmit the record of proceedings of the court of inquiry convened to examine into the facts and circumstances attending the capture of New Orleans, &c., and accompanying documents.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

L. R. PAGE, Major, Adjt. Gen.’s Dept., Judge-Advocate and Recorder.

–––

APPENDIX.

Documents 1 to 32, and deposition of A. D. Kelley, accompanying and referred to in record of the Court of Inquiry on the capture of New Orleans.

[Document No. 1.]

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 173.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., October 7, 1861.

...

VIII. Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell, Provisional Army, will proceed to New Orleans, La., and relieve Maj. Gen. D. E. Twiggs, Provisional Army, in command of Department No. 1.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Document No. 2.]

RICHMOND, VA., June 17, 1863.

Interrogations to be propounded to A. D. Kelley, a citizen, at Columbia, S. C., which, with the answers thereto, will be read as evidence before the Court of Inquiry convened pursuant to paragraph XXI, Special Orders, No. 41 (current series), Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office, now in this city.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Where were you residing from October, 1861, to May, 1862, and what was your occupation during that time?

Question. State whether or not you were a member of the Safety Committee of New Orleans; and, if yea, what duties were devolved upon you as such.

Question. State whether or not you have had conversations official {p.644} or otherwise, with General Lovell touching the defenses of New Orleans; if yea, state the substance of such conversations, when they occurred, and in whose presence.

Question. State all you may know, of your own knowledge, touching the defense, fall, and evacuation of New Orleans.

Cross-examination by Maj. Gen. M. Lovell:

Question. Were the conversations between yourself and General Lovell official or casual private conversations? If both, state what information you derived from official and what you inferred from private conversations.

(I object to the third question asked by the judge-advocate, asking for conversations other than official between General Lovell and Mr. A. D. Kelley, as a member of the Safety Committee. A general officer in command of a department is frequently asked officious questions by very respectable citizens in relation to public affairs, to which he may give inaccurate or incorrect replies, either as a matter of policy or to avoid making known matters which he wishes kept secret. Such answers, if spread upon the record as testimony, might unjustly produce a prejudicial effect. I claim that the witness should first establish the fact of the existence of such relations between himself and the commanding general as to entitle him to his confidence, and not give casual conversations as testimony bearing upon his official conduct of affairs.

M. LOVELL.)

The answer of A. D. Kelley to the interrogations propounded to him by L. R. Page, major, &c., and judge-advocate, in the case of Maj. Gen. M. Lovell, on trial in Richmond, and which interrogations were forwarded in a letter dated June 17, 1863.

1st question. Where were you residing from October, 1861, to May, 1862, and what was your occupation during that time?

Answer. I resided in New Orleans from October 1, 1861, to April, 1862. My occupation was that of commission merchant, though during that time was much and earnestly engaged or occupied in all efforts or aid that I could give for the protection of New Orleans.

2d question. State whether or not you were a member of the Safety Committee of New Orleans; and, if yea, what duties where devolved upon you as such.

Answer. I was a member of the Safety Committee of New Orleans, which committee was recognized by the citizens and the city authorities. The duties of said committee were to confer with the military, naval, and city authorities in all matters in relation to the defense of the city, and to tender and appropriate any money from the city that might be needed in promoting the safety and defense of New Orleans.

3d question. State whether or not you have had conversations, official or otherwise, with General Lovell concerning the defense of New Orleans; if yea, state the substance of such conversations, when they occurred, and in whose presence.

4th question. State all that you may know, of your own knowledge, touching the defense, fall, and evacuation of New Orleans.

Answer to 3d and 4th questions. By direction of the Safety Committee, I, with Dr. G. W. Campbell and two other members, whose names I do not recollect now, were appointed and instructed by the Safety Committee to confer with the military and naval authorities about the defenses, and to tender all financial aid that might be required. We conferred with General Lovell; tendered to him all needful financial aid, and asked many questions about his plans of defense in certain places; also about his {p.645} supply of arms, ammunition, &c. He replied explicitly to some of the minor questions, but declined replying to others, stating that the commanding general deemed it best not to give information to any one in certain matters. Some of the members appeared satisfied with the interview, though I was not, and so expressed myself to the other members, and in two or three days afterwards I sought another interview with General Lovell alone at his office, and promptly stated that I came to discuss more fully our city defenses, and at the same time I renewed the assurance that the city would furnish any money that he might need in making any defenses for the city. I renewed this assurance, because General Lovell had the day before complained much that his draft on the city was not promptly paid, which occurred because there was some officer in the city treasury department who was not aware of General Lovell’s authority to draw such a draft when it was presented to him. During this interview with General Lovell I discussed many matters about the plan and the prospect of the successful defense of the city. In this discussion some of my inquiries were not answered, as he did not consider it proper for the commanding general to do so. In some of these positions he was perhaps correct; but the effect upon my mind during and after the discussion was that, if a vigorous attack was made by the enemy and the forts passed near the mouth of the river, I did not believe that the city would be held by our forces. This impression was confirmed after an interview with the naval commander. These views depressed me much, and I communicated my fears not only to my family, but to several friends, and we most decidedly condemned the administration for sending such an officer as General Lovell to defend New Orleans, the most important point in the Confederacy, when the Government had in the field two such generals as Beauregard and Bragg, both citizens of Louisiana. When the enemy commenced the attack on the forts I most anxiously watched the prospect. As I had before feared I found that our reliance was altogether upon a successful defense at the forts, though I had been confident that a good general, with such resources as had been at the command of General Lovell, could and would have defended the city from the extensive and expensive fortifications a few miles below the city and on both sides of the river. I could not see or hear of any proper arrangements for defense at that point, and as our defense therefore was alone at the forts, I did expect to see the commanding general go promptly to that point and there see that all possible defense was made. Although the attack lasted several days, General Lovell made no effort to go to the forts until about the time the enemy’s fleet passed them. I had many unofficial conversations with General Lovell, and none of them inspired me with confidence in the safety of New Orleans, if vigorously attacked by the enemy.

A. D. KELLEY.

MAYOR’S OFFICE, Columbia, S. C., July 2, 1862.

Personally appeared before me A. D. Kelley, and made oath that the foregoing statements are facts, according to the best of his knowledge.

T. J. GOODWYN, Magistrate ex officio.

[Document No. 3.]

RICHMOND, VA., October 17, 1861.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL:

SIR: I am induced by the impression made on the mind of the Secretary of War, in a conversation which you had with him just before your departure, to write to you on the subject of your relations to the officers of the Navy. When you mentioned the subject to me I supposed you referred to the case provided for in the sixty-first and sixty-second articles of war, as enacted by the Congress of the Confederate States; therefore it was that I read and commented on those articles, particularly the sixty-second.

The fleet maintained at the port of New Orleans and the vicinity is not a part of your command; and the purposes for which it is sent there or removed from there are communicated in orders and letters of a Department with which you have no direct communication. It must, therefore, be obvious to you that you could not assume command of these officers and vessels, coming within the limits of your geographical department, but not placed on duty with you, without serious detriment {p.646} to discipline and probable injury to the public service. To promote harmony, to secure co-operation, and increase the power for public defense it will often be desirable that each arm should know the objects and means of the other. To this end it is hoped that there will be unrestrained intercourse and cordial fraternization.

Very respectfully, yours,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

[Document No. 4.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Richmond, Va., January 19, 1863.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL:

SIR: I state, at your request, that, while I was Secretary of War, in giving you orders to take charge of the defense of the Department of Louisiana, you requested authority to control the operations of the officers of the Navy within the department, and to order such dispositions of naval forces as you might deem best to aid in defense. I answered you that your request could not be granted; that the Department of War could assume no control over naval operations, which were confided by law to a distinct Department, and that you must rely for securing the aid of naval forces on endeavoring to establish concert of action through mutual understanding between yourself and the naval officer highest in rank in your department.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of State.

[Document No. 5.-By telegraph.]

RICHMOND, VA., December 17, 1861.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL:

The Secretary of War desires you to send seventeen 32-pounder guns, if you can spare them, to General A. S. Johnston.

J. GORGAS.

[Document No. 6.-By telegraph.]

RICHMOND, VA., December 17, 1861.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Please send three 32-pounder guns to General Lee, at Charleston, S. C. No carriages required.

J. GORGAS.

[Document No. 7.-By telegraph.]

RICHMOND, VA., January 1, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL:

Please send two large 32-pounder navy guns for General A. S. Johnston, care of Lieut. M. H. Wright, ordnance officer, Nashville Tenn.

L. GIBBON, Captain (for Chief of Ordinance).

[Document No. 13.]

NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 11, 1862.

General RANDOLPH, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

With forty vessels in the lower river, please protest, In my name, against sending the Louisiana up the river, If she must go, let them {p.647} leave her two 7-inch rifles, now at Fort Jackson. She has one on board, besides other heavy guns; all she can use in the upper river to advantage. We have not now as many guns of heavy caliber as at Mobile.*

M. LOVELL.

* See answer of same date, in “Correspondence, etc.-Confederate,” p. 873.

[Document No. 14.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., March 21, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES, Mobile, Ala.:

DEAR GENERAL: Learning that most of the guns at Pensacola were to be removed, I wrote to Bragg, and learned that he had requested some to be sent here. Major Duncan then went after them, and only succeeded in getting one 10-inch columbiad. There is not another one in this whole department to defend this the most important city on the great water communication from the Gulf to the Ohio River. The enemy is collecting his ships at the mouth of the river to combine his attack with the great effort from above, yet all the heavy guns are kept at places of minor importance. I shall send Major Duncan over again, and beg that you will give him every 10-inch columbiad and 10-inch seacoast mortar that you can possibly spare. Time is passing rapidly. More than a dozen ships of war are at the mouth of the river of which seven are inside the bar. If you can spare a dozen 10 inch columbiads, do let us have them. Beauregard telegraphed me that the heavy guns would be sent here. Duncan only got two one of which he says you took from him. Give us a share. What is Mobile worth with the Mississippi in the hands of the enemy?

Yours, very truly,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, C. S. Army.

[Document No. 15.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, Hew Orleans, La., March 7, 1862.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Jackson, Tenn.:

DEAR GENERAL: I received your notes of February 24 and March 3. Have ordered the additional flags you wish. I have pushed forward to your support every available man. Seven companies of the Crescent Regiment left here yesterday; the remainder will leave on Saturday with the Washington Artillery. I shall also send you the Twentieth Regiment and the Orleans Artillery, with a battalion from that corps; Gibson’s and Vaiden artillery has already been sent. You will have in all from me ten infantry regiments and four batteries of artillery. Full 40 rounds of ammunition (in some instances 100) have been furnished to every description of troops sent on. I shall have to hold up now and look out a little for New Orleans. I asked Bragg for some 10-inch guns, but he had none to spare. New Orleans has inferior caliber to Mobile, Pensacola, and even Galveston. People send here for everything, and I have literally stripped the department, but never get anything in return that I ask for. I wrote and urged General Polk to send me the anchors and chains from Columbus to obstruct the river at the forts below the city, but he never would send them, and finally {p.648} abandoned them at Columbus. I intend hereafter to hold on to what I have until I feel perfectly secure. If you can put me in the way of getting any large guns, chains, or anchors, I beg you will do so. In a few days we hope to be able to cast 10-inch columbiads and seacoast mortars.

In haste, yours, truly,

M. LOVELL.

[Document No. 16.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, Hew Orleans, La., March 8, 1862.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Jackson, Tenn.:

DEAR GENERAL: The current and drift have finally got the upper hand of my raft between Saint Philip and Jackson. This, taken in connection with the facts that Captain Hollins has taken up the river every vessel that mounts a gun, and that General Polk declined to ship me the chains and anchors at Columbus, which would have saved my raft, compels a new disposition as to the fourteen vessels of Montgomery’s expedition. They will not be ready under ten days, but I will send up eight of them, with circles laid for one 32-pounder each, provided you can supply the guns up there. I cannot, under the circumstances, send a gun out of this department. The remaining six vessels I will have to keep here until I ascertain whether I shall be able to fix an obstruction in the river at Fort Jackson. Their fleet in the Gulf is much more formidable than that above, and the river is now open to them if they pass the lower forts. You will therefore see the necessity of my retaining every gun and a portion of the vessels until I can bar the river again. I should have to dismount guns from my works to put on these ships, and under the circumstances above set forth you will be able to do that with as little risk as I can. I can send no more ammunition up with men, as we have no caps. Calls are made upon this department from all parts of the Confederacy, but nothing is sent here in the way of materials to make up, and no facilities are given except what I take in opposition to the wishes of heads of bureaus.

Yours, truly,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, C. S. Army.

[Document No. 17.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., March 9, 1862.

Maj. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Jackson, Tenn.:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I received your dispatch this afternoon, asking me to send up all the small-arm ammunition that I could manufacture. This I have already done. The department has been literally stripped of everything-men, arms, guns, and munitions of war-so much so, that evil-disposed persons do not hesitate to say that I am placing New Orleans in such a condition as to make it an easy prey to the enemy. More than 1,000,000 cartridges have been forwarded in the past few weeks, nearly ten regiments, well armed and equipped, and four batteries of artillery. I have literally nothing more to send, and must cast about to place myself in condition to defend this important position in case the enemy (informed of our situation) should return to attack. I have called upon the governor of the State for the militia, who are coming {p.649} in slowly with shot-guns, for which I am having ammunition made, but we are out of caps; they were to have been furnished us from Nashville, but none came; nor, in answer to all my calls, has anything of any kind been sent here. Yesterday I sent 10,000 pounds of musket powder to Richmond, which leaves me none to make up, and I have no caps. The powder that came from Cuba is all inferior, and has to be reworked, but I can get no saltpeter; that which comes from Memphis has been sent to Augusta, and if the raw materials are sent elsewhere, the requisitions must be made in the same direction. With a large fleet concentrating on the coast and a force of the enemy collecting at Ship Island it behooves me to commence to make some preparations to defend my own position. In default of any definite information from your part of the country as to your supplies and necessities, I shall be compelled to use my best judgment as to what further can be spared of the supplies that I expect to get together. At this present moment I have nothing to send unless it may be a small amount of musket cartridges. I wrote to Beauregard to-day my reasons for applying everything here to my own use. If you can push some saltpeter here I will try to help you, but you must not rely upon me, as I have deficiencies here to make good before I can send off anything, except upon reasons of the most imperative necessity. Those reasons, if they existed, have been studiously withheld from me thus far.

Very truly, yours,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

[Document No. 18.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., March 21, 1862.

Commander MITCHELL, Commanding Naval Station:

SIR: The concentration of the enemy’s ships of war at the mouth of the river induces me to suggest to you the propriety of putting in position at the forts below the two 7-inch rifled cannon lately received from Richmond by you. The heavy guns from Pensacola have mostly been placed on the river above, where the weight of metal against them is less than we may expect below. When Tift’s vessel is ready for service the guns could be returned, if necessary.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

[Document No. 19.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., March 30, 1862.

Commander WHITTLE, Commanding Naval Station:

SIR: I learn that you have four rifled 32-pounder guns, intended for a gunboat not yet completed. As the enemy is collecting in force at the mouth of the river, and may attack at any moment, I should like to get the four guns alluded to to place temporarily on my boats to assist in repelling attack. They will be returned when your vessel is ready.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.650}

[Document No. 20.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., April 4, 1862.

Commander WHITTLE, Commanding Naval Station:

SIR: Would it not be well to place the guns lately arrived for the Navy in position on the floating battery until such time as the Louisiana can be ready to receive them? They would make a formidable addition to the strength of our defenses at the lower forts, and I fear that the Louisiana will not be ready for them in time to take part in the approaching contest.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

[Document No. 21.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., April 11, 1862.

Commander WHITTLE, Commanding Naval Station:

SIR: I have telegraphed General Duncan to send up the 7-inch rifles and three 32-pounder rifles. I regret that these guns have been taken, as in my judgment the safety of this city does not warrant the withdrawal from below of a single gun while so many vessels of war are within the mouth of the river.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

[Document No. 22.]

NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 11, 1862.

Major-General LOVELL, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I have received your note of this date. You cannot regret more than I do the necessity which compels me to ask the return of the guns loaned you by the Navy, but I am ordered, with emphasis, to send the Louisiana with all dispatch up the river, and these guns are absolutely necessary to arm her partially.

May it not be that the city is in as much danger from above as from below? This opinion, it would seem, is entertained in a high quarter at Richmond; I mean at the Navy Department.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. C. WHITTLE.

[Document No. 23.-Copy of telegram.]

NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 17, 1802.

General RANDOLPH, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

After conversation with Commander Whittle we beg that Captain Hollins may be allowed to remain in command afloat, at least until he can strike a fair blow at the enemy, which he is ready to do.

M. LOVELL.

{p.651}

[Document No. 24.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., April 17, 1862.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Commanding Army of the Mississippi:

DEAR GENERAL: I telegraphed and subsequently wrote you in reference to fortifying the vicinity of Vicksburg, for the double purpose of protecting the river and giving you a point-d’appui for the left of your line in case you are compelled to occupy a position in rear of your present one. I have some twelve or fifteen guns in position above New Orleans, and in case others could be got we might, as soon as the works were finished and the platforms laid, transfer our batteries to that point. There is no engineer officer here to be sent on that duty, or I should have fortified Vicksburg long since. Have you any one in your army who, with the help of a few thousand negroes, could put up the works, and thus, perhaps, delay the enemy until we can finish Tift’s iron-clad steam ram? I will give you all the assistance in my power in pushing forward the matter; but with the limited means at my command and the enemy knocking at the door below I cannot give it personal attention, M. L. Smith, now a brigadier-general, is now on duty here with me, organizing troops and attending also to the engineer duties of the department. The subject of fortifying Vicksburg strikes me as of pressing importance, and if you agree with me I will endeavor to push it as much as possible.

Yours, truly,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

[Document No. 25.]*

* Is a duplicate of report on p. 610.

[Document No. 26.]

ORDNANCE OFFICE, Richmond, Va., February 15, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

GENERAL: I received this morning a letter from Richard Lambert, ordnance officer on your staff, inclosing an estimate for $66,000, copy of which I inclose. We have already one disbursing officer at New Orleans (Maj. M. L. Smith), and it is deemed advisable not to have more than one for the department at the same post. The estimate indicates the intention of erecting a laboratory, shop, &c. This has not been contemplated by the Department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. GORGAS, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Chief of Ordnance.

[Document No. 27.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, Hew Orleans, La., February 19, 1862.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE:

SIR: I would suggest the propriety and necessity of your taking possession of the steamers Charles Morgan, Galveston, and W. H. Webb, or two of them, for the immediate defense of the city, and to be used as {p.652} transports for troops in case the occasion should require it. One gun might be put on each to prevent small parties of the enemy from annoying them with boat howitzers, sent up the river by launches from the shoal water to the eastward.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

[Document No. 28.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., February 25, 1862.

His Excellency Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE:

SIR: I have the honor to make requisition upon you for volunteers and militia to the number of 10,000 men, to be placed in camp and held ready for defense at short notice.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

[Document No. 29.]

HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., May 8, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, Commanding, &c., Camp Moore, La.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 26th ultimo to the Adjutant-General, containing a report of the circumstances attending the fall of New Orleans, is received. The loss of this city is a very severe blow to us, and one that we cannot fail to feel most sensibly, but it is believed that with the means of defense at your disposal you have done all in your power.

Your plan of collecting all the troops you can and taking a position which will enable you to defend the rear of General Beauregard and protect his communications is fully approved, and I regard it as a matter of great moment. You will endeavor to collect as large a force as possible, and collect all the arms that you can procure. The want of arms is very severely felt at this time and I hope you will spare no efforts to collect all that can be obtained in the hands of the people that can be made serviceable. You will organize and prepare the troops that you may be able to collect, to act most efficiently against the enemy, should he expose himself in any manner, and protect, as far as it is possible, the army of General Beauregard from any movement that may endanger his communications or threaten his rear.

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

R. E. LEE, General.

[Document No. 30.]

HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., May 24, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, Commanding, &c., Camp Moore, La.:

GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 11th instant. My reply to your former communication will have made known to you the opinion I entertain of your course in evacuating New Orleans. That opinion is confirmed by the additional particulars contained in {p.653} your letter just received. After the enemy succeeded in passing the forts it seems there was nothing left for you to do but to withdraw the troops. I think you may confidently rely upon the judgment of intelligent and reflecting men for the justification of your course as soon as the facts, as they actually existed, shall be known. The city being lost, I approve of your purpose to confine the enemy to its limits as closely as possible and to protect the State from his ravages. The means with which you propose to accomplish this seem to be the best that you can now employ, and I must urge you to put them in operation without delay, soliciting bold and judicious partisans who can raise proper corps, and whose appointment, when recommended by you, will be subject to the approval of the President. In the mean time set them vigorously to work. The want of arms is much felt everywhere, and no exertions should be spared to procure all of serviceable kind. I hope to be able to send you 1,000 rifles from a cargo lately arrived at Charleston, should it embrace arms for the Confederacy.

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

R. E. LEE, General.

[Document No. 31.]

CAMP MOORE, LA., April 28, 1862.

Gov. JOHN J. PETTUS, Jackson, Miss.:

Please send cannon from Mobile intended for New Orleans to Vicksburg; also any powder. General Jones says he sent both from Mobile

M. LOVELL.

[Answer.]

JACKSON, MISS., April 29, 1862.

General LOVELL:

Five army guns here from Mobile; nine navy guns without carriages. Do you want many guns sent to Vicksburg?

JOHN J. PETTUS.

[Document No. 32.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., April 12, 1862.

General GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to report that we shall in a few days have about 5,000 men in this part of the State enlisted for the war for whom I have no arms. All the troops for the interior lines about the city that I had organized were sent to Corinth, and the defense of those lines left in the hands of a few badly-organized volunteers, very poorly armed. The forces of the enemy at Ship Island and Isle Breton cannot be less than 10,000 or 12,000 men, and I deem it my duty to lay before you the entirely defenseless condition of the city against any attack by land. Should the enemy attempt to land at Bay Saint Louis, and march a column of 12,000 or 15,000 men to Jackson, Miss., he would cut off all communication with Beauregard without the possibility of my preventing it. Learning that a large number of arms had arrived in the country, I telegraphed and wrote at once for them, as I have only about 200, but have received nothing.

The condition of our defenses, so far as regards artillery, has been represented to the Department, yet upon the evacuation of Pensacola {p.654} the greater portion of the heavy guns were sent to Mobile and other points, and that, too, at a time when the whole mortar fleet of the enemy and twelve steamers were in the river below the forts. I wrote to General Jones, at Mobile, and telegraphed the Department, and received the reply that some of the heavy guns were ordered here. I learn that fourteen 10-inch columbiads were kept at Mobile while three were sent here. Mr. Benjamin also wrote me that 44,000 pounds of powder had been sent from Columbus, but it was depleted on the road to less than half that amount. With powder-mills that have an abundance of sulphur and charcoal and facilities for making 3,000 pounds of powder per day saltpeter has been sent from Arkansas to Georgia while Memphis and Corinth were making requisitions on me for powder. Not a pound of saltpeter has been sent here for three months.

I mention these things, not that I am by any means discouraged or disheartened, but to account in some measure for the dissatisfaction that exists among the people here, who, having sent men, arms, and everything they had to Virginia and Tennessee, now find the enemy at their doors, both by land and water, while they can obtain neither heavy guns nor small-arms, which they learn by the papers are being sent to places which certainly are not considered so important as the city of New Orleans and the mouth of the Mississippi. The whole city is in a fever of anxiety about the finishing of the Louisiana and Mississippi, which they consider as their salvation against the fleet below and I should not regard it as wise to send them above, unless we could place in position at Fort Jackson such a number of guns of heavy caliber as would insure that New Orleans could not be taken by a bold dash. It is scarcely probable that the gunboats of the enemy would come down the river much in advance of their army. Meanwhile we might clear the mouth of the river, and then send the whole fleet above and drive them back to Cairo; but, in any event, we require several more 10-inch guns and at least 4,000 or 5,000 stands of small-arms. I would also earnestly urge the confirmation of Colonel Smith as a brigadier-general. I have but one officer of that rank in the department, which compels me to do a great deal of work that should devolve upon subordinate officers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

No. 9.

Message from the President of the Confederate States, transmitting correspondence with the Governor of Louisiana and General Lovell.

RICHMOND, VA., March 11, 1863.

To the House of Representatives:

In response to your resolution of the 3d ultimo I herewith transmit for your information a copy of my correspondence, together with that of the Secretaries of War and of the Navy, with the governor of Louisiana and Major-General Lovell, during the period beginning October 25, 1861, and ending with the date of the capture of the city of New Orleans, in reference to the defenses of that city.*

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

* Such of the correspondence referred to as does not relate to mere matters of detail or to subjects embraced in the Fourth Series of this publication, will follow, in chronological order, in the “Correspondence, etc.-Confederate,” post.

{p.655}

[Inclosures.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., February 27, 1863.

To the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES:

SIR: I have the honor to submit, under a resolution of the House of Representatives, copies of the correspondence between Major-General Lovell and the War Department, in reference to the defense of New Orleans, from October 25, 1861, to the date of the surrender of that city; also copies of the correspondence on file in this Department between the President and Secretary of War and the governor of Louisiana on the same subject. A copy of General Lovell’s report has been already submitted to Congress. It is believed that all the correspondence pertinent to the subject is embraced in the volume now placed before you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., February 4, 1863.

To the Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR:

SIR: I am directed by the President to forward for your attention and the proper action the following resolution of the House of Representatives of the 3d instant:

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the President be requested to furnish this body, if not incompatible with the public interests, with copies of the correspondence between Major-General Lovell and the War Department in reference to the defenses of New Orleans from October 25, 1861, to the date of the surrender of that city; also copies of all correspondence between the President or Secretaries of War and the Navy and the governor of Louisiana on the same subject.

Your obedient servant,

BURTON N. HARRISON, Private Secretary.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., February 9, 1863.

The PRESIDENT:

SIR: In response to the following resolution, adopted by the House of Representatives on the 3d instant-

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the President be requested to furnish this body, if not incompatible with the public interests, with copies of the correspondence between Major-General Lovell and the War Department in reference to the defenses of New Orleans from October 25, 1861, to the date of the surrender of that city; also copies of all correspondence between the President or Secretaries of War and the Navy and the governor of Louisiana on the same subject-

I have the honor to state that this Department had no correspondence with the governor of Louisiana in reference to the defenses of New Orleans from October 25, 1861, to the date of the surrender of that city. I transmit, however, copy of a letter addressed to the governor of Louisiana on September 18, 1861,* by the Department, to which no reply was received.

With much respect, your obedient servant,

S. R. MALLORY, Secretary of the Navy.

* Not found.

{p.656}

APRIL 27-MAY 8, 1862.– Evacuation of Port Quitman, La., by the Confederates, and capture of blockade runner in Bayou Grand Caillou.

Report of Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1. Jackson, Miss., June 19, 1862.

GENERAL: In reply to your letter of the 10th instant [following], requesting the reasons for evacuating Fort Quitman, on the Bayou Grand Caillou, I have to state that it was a little earthwork, with two smooth-bore 32-pounders, established by me to prevent ingress for marauding parties by the enemy in small vessels through the Caillou and other inlets into the northern parishes of Louisiana.

The fall of New Orleans laid open the route to those parishes, and as the troops stationed in the fort were supplied from the city, and were at any moment liable to be taken in the rear and captured by way of the Opelousas Railroad, which was in the enemy’s hands, I ordered the guns to be spiked and the garrison (a small company of twelve-months’ volunteers) to bring away their small-arms, ammunition, and stores, and to rejoin me at Camp Moore. The enemy did not go down, it is true, for some days, but they could have gone at any hour and any day and taken the men with their arms, which I was anxious to preserve. The order I gave was not obeyed. Instead of joining me at Camp Moore, the men mutinied and disbanded and both officers and men returned to New Orleans. It would be well, as your correspondent suggests, to punish the officers, but as they are now in New Orleans such a step is impracticable.

A glance at the map which I sent to the Department some months ago will show that after the city fell the little works on the coast must be abandoned, being altogether unnecessary.

The report of the cargo of the vessel and her capture, as in all other instances, is grossly exaggerated.

Some few citizens fired upon two or three Federals; in retaliation a number of them were taken prisoners and threatened with death if they did not produce the parties who had committed the act, but the penalty was not inflicted.

I had no force to protect the people in that district of country, but sent an officer to raise a partisan corps for that purpose, yet the prominent citizens earnestly entreated that the corps should not be raised there unless I could send a large body of troops to protect them from the additional outrages to which they would be subject from the Yankees for having raised such a corps. Having no large force to send, and objections being raised to a small one, I countermanded the order.

The fact is that that part of the country is inhabited by two classes of people-the rich, fearful of their property and not anxious to resist unless supported by an army in every parish; and the poor, miserable mixed-breed, commonly called Dagos or Acadians, on whom there is not the slightest dependence to be placed. I gave authority to several persons to raise partisans there, but they met with no success. When I urged that the bridges over the railroad be destroyed, a parish delegation entreated that it be not done, as it would bring down upon them Yankee vengeance. They would only consent to assist on condition that I should send a large body of troops there. Moreover, if the railroad had been destroyed, the stage of water was such that free access could have been had to Thibodeaux through Bayou La Fourche. I therefore concluded, at the request of many of the most influential citizens, to delay opera {p.657} tions until the subsiding water should have deprived the enemy of the means of entering the interior at pleasure.

Had a contrary course been pursued the whole country would have been devastated without a possibility of preventing it. Nine out of every ten persons from that part of the country warmly approved of my decision.

I trust that the Department will not give ear to the many false and absurd rumors that are set afloat by persons who think that there should be an army stationed on every plantation for its protection.

I am satisfied that our present condition is to be attributed in a great measure to the fact that we have followed this plan too much already, dispersing instead of concentrating our troops, and thus rendering them an easy prey to the enemy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

[Indorsements.]

Respectfully submitted to the President for his information.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

Read. It might be well to furnish the complainant with a copy of this reply. The abandonment of the fort was a necessary consequence of the fall of New Orleans and the subsequent events. Whether it was possible to save the armament for use elsewhere was a question which the commanding general of course duly considered. As he established the post under the discretionary power conferred on him, the application of his remark about the error of dispersion is not perceived.

J. D.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., June 10, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, Camp Moore, Tangipahoa, La.:

GENERAL: Your attention is respectfully called to the annexed copy of a letter received from a person in Louisiana in regard to the evacuation of the forts at Grand Caillou, and you are requested to report to this Department the facts of the case.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

[Inclosure.]

OPELOUSAS, LA., May 21, 1862.

President DAVIS:

DEAR SIR: ... A steamer (name not known) reached Grand Caillou on the night of the 7th, with 350,000 pounds of powder and 4,500 rifles. The Federals, duly informed of it by telegraph, which has not been cut from Terre Bonne to New Orleans, came by the Opelousas Railroad, which has not been interrupted, and took possession of her on the night of the 8th. A party of determined citizens started on the 10th to recapture her. Eight hundred Federals were sent out from New Orleans {p.658} and secured her, and have sent her to the city. They have taken with them sixteen citizens, four of whom they threaten to hang, declaring they are not prisoners of war, but persons taken in rebellion since the authority of the Union has been restored.

The fort at Grand Caillou had been evacuated on April 27 by order of General Lovell, the guns spiked, and the powder thrown into the bayou. Eleven days after the enemy made their first appearance there. This is the manner in which all our forts (of course I do not include Jackson and Saint Philip) were evacuated. There was not a Yankee near one of them until more than a week after the powder was all destroyed and the interior of the fort burned. Ample time was had to save the guns as well as powder, &c. If for these acts some of the officers are not cashiered or shot, we need not expect either a brave or a disciplined Army. The Navy emulated this conduct of the Army, the fleet in Pontchartrain being run up the bayous and scuttled or burned.*

...

I am, very respectfully, &c.

[The above from Governor Moore. In copy furnished General Lovell his name was Omitted.]

* The portions of Governor Moore’s letter here omitted relate to events in Louisiana subsequent to May 12, 1862, and will appear in another chapter. ---

MAY 9-12, 1862.– Pensacola, Fla., abandoned by the Confederates and occupied by the Union forces.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. Lewis G. Arnold, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Col. Thomas M. Jones, Twenty-seventh Mississippi Infantry.

No. 1.

Reports of Brig. Gen. Lewis G. Arnold, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. WESTERN DISTRICT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Pensacola, Fla., May 10, 1862.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that about 12 o’clock last night it was reported to me that Fort McRee, the navy-yard, Marine Hospital and Barracks, and several other buildings, and two rebel steamboats were on fire, which, being simultaneously ignited, indicated that they had been abandoned by the rebels and purposely fired by them. To prevent the spread of these fires and to disperse these wicked destroyers of property, I opened my batteries with a very happy effect. I directed my aide-de-camp and acting assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenant Jackson, to go on board a small naval schooner lying off the harbor, to run in, and summon the city of Pensacola to surrender, which the mayor did to the extent of his authority, which has been very limited.

Commodore Porter arrived here this morning on board the gunboat Harriet Lane. With his kind assistance in transporting my men across the bay I have been enabled to take military possession of Forts Barrancas and McRee, Barrancas Barracks, and the navy-yard, over which the flag of the Union now waves. Fort Barrancas is very little injured by the fire and Barrancas Barracks not at all. Fort McRee is seriously {p.659} damaged, Marine Hospital destroyed, and several store-houses in the navy-yard were burned.

I am, major, respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. G. ARNOLD, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

Maj. CHARLES G. HALPINE, Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Vols., Dept. of the South.

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HDQRS. WESTERN DISTRICT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Pensacola, Fla., May 15, 1862.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that, with a portion of my command (1,000 strong), I took military possession of Pensacola on the 12th instant.

The march from Fort Barrancas was uninterrupted, excepting that the vedettes of some rebel cavalry that were hovering around the city fired two shots at my advanced guard. I had the troops formed in square around the flag-staff in the center of the plaza, and raised the flag of the United States and the cheers of the soldiers, mingled with those of many citizens.

I take pleasure in adding that the United States schooner M. A. Wood Anthony Chase master (U. S. Navy), commanding, was the first vessel that had the honor to run into the harbor of Pensacola since the attack on Sumter. He with his officers and crew participated with much spirit in reeving new halyards on the flag-staff and in raising the flag.

Capt. David D. Porter, U. S. Navy, ordered the sloop-of-war Vincennes from Mobile Bay to Pensacola. She arrived off the city a short time after I had entered it with my command, where she now lies.

The citizens seem orderly and quiet, and the acting mayor, Brosenham, zealous and apparently loyal. I have had posted up at different points of the city the inclosed circular,* which I considered necessary and proper to promulgate for the information of all good and loyal citizens.

A stronger force is very necessary here to guard the city and my new line from Pensacola to Fort McRee, a distance of 10 miles. A regiment of cavalry should be ordered here immediately for scouting and picket service, and to capture or drive to their homes the irregular cavalry in this vicinity, and to enable me to carry on other important military operations that I have in view. I have neither horses, mules, nor transportation of any kind for this new business-scarcely sufficient mules and carts for the wants of Fort Pickens, where my depot of supplies is established. My small force in its new position-very different from that on Santa Rosa Island, within striking distance of Mobile and Pollard, which place I understand they are fortifying and occupy in force-might invite an attack; all of which makes it important that re-enforcements should be sent here immediately.

The steam propeller General Meigs has just arrived for service in this district, which facilitates very much keeping up communications with Forts Barrancas and Pickens and my depot of supplies on Santa Rosa Island.

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

L. G. ARNOLD, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

Maj. CHARLES G. HALPINE, Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the South.

* Not found.

{p.660}

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No. 2.

Reports of Col. Thomas M. Jones, Twenty-seventh Mississippi Infantry.

MOBILE, ALA., May 14, 1862.

SIR: In accordance with your instructions I have the honor respectfully to tender the following report of my evacuation of the forts, navy-yard, and position at and near Pensacola, Fla.:

On being placed in command of that place by Brig. Gen. Samuel Jones, March 9 last, his instructions were to move, as fast as my transportation would allow, the machinery and other valuable property from the navy-yard. This was kept up steadily until the night of the evacuation.

On receiving information that the enemy’s gunboats had succeeded in passing the forts below New Orleans with their powerful batteries and splendid equipments, I came to the conclusion that, with my limited means of defense, reduced as I have been by the withdrawal of nearly all my heavy guns and ammunition, I could not hold them in check or make even a respectable show of resistance. I therefore determined, upon my own judgment, to commence immediately the removal of the balance of my heavy guns and their ammunition, and dispatched to you for your approval, which was answered by one advising me to continue doing so. On receipt of General Lee’s written instructions on the subject I pushed on the work with renewed vigor, and night and day kept up the removal of guns and valuable property.

On the afternoon of the 7th instant I received a dispatch from your adjutant-general stating that there were a number of mortar and gunboats off Fort Morgan, and that the fort had fired ten shots at them. Conceiving that the contingency named in General Lee’s instructions had arrived, viz, to bring all my available force to this point in the event of an attack, I concluded to promptly leave my position. I therefore sent to Montgomery a regiment of unarmed troops.

On the next day I ordered the Eighth Mississippi Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Yates commanding, to proceed at once to this place and report to you, and on the 9th I prepared my plans for generally evacuating.

On the night of the 8th three companies of cavalry arrived from Montgomery. With these and two companies I already had I determined to destroy the public property, &c., which I had not been able to remove, and which might prove of benefit to the enemy. As the few troops were so disposed that any reduction in the day-time would attract the notice of the enemy, I merely withdrew the camp and garrison equipage and sick, in accordance with an order from General Lee, to keep the army mobilized.

On the morning of the 9th, all the work of removing sick and baggage having been completed, I published orders that my forces should present themselves to the best advantage to the enemy, and as soon as it was dark they were quietly marched out of their camps and started on the road to Oakfield. Sentinels were posted as usual on the beach, and they were withdrawn one hour after the other troops had left. All these instructions were obeyed to the letter, and much to the credit of the comparatively raw troops under my command.

When my infantry were well on the road, and out of range of the enemy’s guns, the cavalry were assigned their places to commence the necessary destruction at a signal previously agreed upon, to be given from the cupola of the hospital, and one answering at the navy-yard, Barrancas, and Fort McRee. Precisely at 11.30 o’clock, when everything {p.661} was perfectly quiet, both on the enemy’s side and ours, the most painful duty it ever fell to my lot to perform was accomplished, namely, the signalizing for the destruction of the beautiful place which I had labored so hard night and day for over two months to defend, and which I had fondly hoped could be held from the polluting grasp of our insatiate enemies. The two blue-lights set off by Colonel Tattnall and myself at the hospital were promptly answered by similar signals from the other points designated, and scarcely had the signals disappeared ere the public buildings, camp tents, and every other combustible thing from the navy-yard to Fort McRee were enveloped in a sheet of flames, and in a few moments the flames of the public property could be distinctly seen at Pensacola. The custom-house and commissary storehouses were not destroyed for fear of endangering private property, a thing I scrupulously avoided.

As soon as the enemy could possibly man their guns and load them, they opened upon us with the greatest fury, and seemed to increase his charges as his anger increased. But in spite of bursting shell, which were thrown with great rapidity and in every direction, the cavalry proceeded with the greatest coolness to make the work of destruction thorough and complete, and see that all orders were implicitly obeyed. Their orders were to destroy all the camp tents, Forts McRee and Barrancas, as far as possible, the hospital, the houses in the navy-yard, the steamer Fulton, the coal left in the yard, all the machinery for drawing out ships, the trays, shears-in fact everything which could be made useful to the enemy. The large piles of coal were filled with wood and other combustibles and loaded shells put all through it, so that when once on fire the enemy would not dare to attempt to extinguish it. Loaded shell were also placed in the houses for the same purpose, and the few small smooth-bore guns I was compelled to leave were double-shotted, wedged, and spiked, and carriage-chassis burned. The shears in the navy-yard were cut half in two, and the spars and masts of the Fulton were cut to pieces.

By the most unremitting labor I succeeded, with my little force and limited transportation, in saving all the heavy guns and nearly all the small-sized guns. I took away all the flanking howitzers from Barrancas and the redoubt.

In removing the large columbiads from the batteries which were in full view of the enemy, I was compelled to resort to General Johnston’s plan of replacing them with wooden imitations as they were removed.

All of the powder and most of the large shot and shell were removed; the small-sized shot were buried. I succeeded in getting away all the most valuable machinery, besides large quantities of copper, lead, brass, and iron; even the gutters, lightning-rods, window weights, bells, pipes, and everything made of these valuable metals were removed; also cordage, blocks, cables, chain cables, and a large number of very valuable articles of this character which I cannot here enumerate.

All the quartermaster and commissary stores, except suck as were not worth the transportation, were sent away. As soon as this was completed I set hands to work taking up the railroad iron at Pensacola and others to reeling up the telegraph wires, under the protection of a strong guard of cavalry, infantry, and one piece of light artillery. Having received orders not to destroy any private property, I only destroyed at Pensacola a large oil factory, containing a considerable Quantity of resin, the quartermaster’s store-houses, some small boats, and three small steamers used as guard boats and transports. The steamers Mary and Helen were the only private property of their kind burned.

{p.662}

The steamboat Turel, which we had been using as a transport, was sent up the Escambia River, she being of very light draught, well loaded with stores, machinery, &c., with orders to cut down trees and place every obstruction possible in the river behind her. She has arrived safely at a point I deem beyond the enemy’s reach, and she has been unloaded of her freight. The casemates and galleys of Fort McRee were filled with old lumber and many loaded with shell and fired. The galleries and implement rooms at Barrancas were similarly dealt with, and the destruction at both places was as complete as it could be without the use of gunpowder. This I did not deem it necessary or proper to use for this purpose. The-enemy’s furious cannonade only-served to make the havoc more complete. There was no damage done by it to man or horse.

When it is remembered that all this work has been done by a mere handful of raw troops, with but few arms, and many of them without any arms at all, and this, too, in the very face of a formidable force, I deem it but simple justice to my men to say that the conduct of each and all of them was worthy of the highest praise. It not unfrequently happened that after standing guard all night they cheerfully labored all the next day and night. I have not room to make distinctions where all did so well, but I feel constrained to make particular mention of Capt. J. H. Nelson, of the Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, who commanded at Fort McRee, the most exposed and dangerous point; Major Kilpatrick, who commanded at the navy-yard, and Lieutenant-Colonel [J. F.] Conoley, who commanded at Pensacola. These gentlemen deserve the greatest credit for their zeal and watchfulness in the management of their respective stations. I feel that I am also authorized in saying of the Twenty-seventh, under Captain Hays, that during the frequent and terrible alarms, so unavoidable with new troops, it was always cool and ready for serious work.

The unwearied exertions, both night and day, of my personal staff officers have received my personal thanks, and I feel called upon to remark that they deserve great credit, as they were so zealous and unremitting in their exertions to assist me in carrying out my orders and of serving the country, that I frequently had to insist on their taking rest, for fear that they would completely wear themselves down.

On the completion of my work I proceeded to rejoin my army at Oakfield, 6 miles north of Pensacola, on the railroad, leaving five companies of cavalry, in command of Capt. J. T. [F. J.?] Myers, an efficient and daring officer, to watch the enemy’s movements.

The next morning I proceeded, with the Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, to Mobile, leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Conoley, with the Twenty-ninth Alabama Regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Tullen, with five companies of Florida Volunteers, two of which companies were armed, to guard the railroad while the iron was being removed.

I regret to acknowledge the receipt of a telegraphic dispatch from the honorable Secretary of War, dated subsequent to my evacuation, directing me not to burn the houses in the navy-yard. I received one from him the day before the evacuation, directing me to spare all private dwellings not useful to the enemy for war purposes, which was done. The first-named dispatch reached me after my arrival in the city.

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

THOS. M. JONES, Acting Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

Brig. Gen. JOHN H. FORNEY, Commanding Department of Alabama and West Florida.

{p.663}

[Indorsement.]

HDQRS. DEPT. OF ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, May 15, 1862.

I have the honor to transmit, with my approval, the foregoing report of Brig. Gen. T. M. Jones of the evacuation of Pensacola.

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

JNO. H. FORNEY, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF MOBILE, May 24, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor respectfully to acknowledge the receipt of the following dispatch from the Hon. Secretary of War, referred to me by the general commanding the department:

The President desires that you inquire into the reported destruction of the dwelling-houses in the navy-yard at Pensacola and many houses in the town on its evacuation. He is determined to punish the wanton, useless destruction of property by our officers (which we fear has reached a great and most injurious extent to property) which would merely prove a convenience to the enemy, the loss of which inflicts great and lasting injury to our own people, and should not be destroyed. Cotton, tobacco, and navy stores should always be destroyed if in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy.

In answering this dispatch I might rely, I think, on the plain statement of facts set forth in my report of the evacuation, as it meets the requirements made upon me by yourself, but something further in relation to the orders under which I acted may not be improper.

On assuming command at Pensacola, 9th of March last, written and verbal instructions were given me by Maj. Gen. Samuel Jones, in both of which the property the War Department desired to be destroyed was particularly and specially designated. In these instructions the dwelling-houses in the navy-yard were not only named, but were actually prepared for conflagration by having combustibles placed in them. Certain private and public property in Pensacola was also named. A dispatch from the honorable the Secretary of War, dated 6th instant, so modified my instructions as to require me not to destroy private property and dwellings at Pensacola. This dispatch was literally obeyed and respected, for not a single dwelling was touched intentionally in the town; one very small house which stood near the oil factory was consumed, I learn, in spite of the most strenuous efforts to prevent it. So decided and specific were my instructions to the officer in command at Pensacola that several houses embraced in the orders for destruction were not fired at all for fear of endangering private property.

That the President is displeased at the houses belonging to the Government in the navy-yard being burnt I most sincerely regret, since my most ardent desire was so to execute my orders as to give entire satisfaction to those above me, and for this I labored unremittingly for two months, sleeping only at intervals in the day-time at such moments as I could snatch, as it were, from the incessant demands made upon my energies. I flattered myself that I had succeeded until the telegram from the Hon. Secretary of War was received, three days after the evacuation, ordering that the dwellings in the navy-yard be not destroyed. Having served as a soldier for fourteen years, I scarce know how to disobey orders; and in destroying this property (the propriety of which I {p.664} never entertained a doubt), though the task was a painful one, it was nevertheless imperative.

As an evidence of how scrupulous I was in carrying out my orders in respect to private property I refer you to the inclosed copies of dispatches which passed between the commanding officer at Pensacola and myself in reference to this subject.

In conclusion I ask leave respectfully to say that, from the tenor of this dispatch in reference to my official acts in evacuating Pensacola, I am constrained to believe that representations have been made by evil-minded, designing persons-with little regard for veracity and much less for the interest of our cause and country than their own-with the view of injuring me before I had an opportunity of placing myself and my actions properly before those to whom I am responsible. Though it is discouraging and disheartening to an officer whose highest aim has been to serve his country and merit the approbation of his superiors, I have yet the consolation to feel that I did my duty to the very best of my knowledge and ability, and only ask for an impartial hearing before punishment or censure is inflicted upon me. Knowing that the task of evacuating was a difficult and thankless one I asked that an older and wiser officer might be assigned to it, but this was refused, and if the manner in which I have executed it has not given satisfaction, I can only say that it was not for want of effort on my part or of the little army I had the honor to command.

With the hope that this communication may be received in the respectful spirit it is intended, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. M. JONES, Acting Brigadier-General.

General JNO. H. FORNEY.

[Indorsement.]

HDQRS. DEPT. OF ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, May 25, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:

SIR: I have the honor respectfully to state that on assuming the command of the department at this point I found Col. T. M. Jones in command of the Army of Pensacola. Knowing him to be an officer of discretion and capacity, and being myself heavily pressed with work, I did not think it necessary to be very particular in giving him instructions; in fact I placed the greatest confidence in his integrity and judgment, and therefore did not interfere particularly with his operations. I was well aware that he was better acquainted with what was necessary to be done at that point than I, as he had long been stationed there.

If, therefore, any blame is to attach to him for what he did there, and I candidly think there should not, I feel that it should rest on me rather than on him, and if any one is to be punished for anything that occurred there let it fall on me, for if any one is guilty it is myself.

In conclusion I beg to be permitted to say that I consider General Jones’ conduct as highly creditable to him as an officer and a gentleman, and that he will receive praise instead of censure when his instructions and the difficulties by which he was surrounded are considered.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. H. FORNEY, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.665}

[Inclosure No. 1.]

O’BANNONVILLE, May 9, 1862.

Lieut. Col. J. F. CONOLEY, Pensacola:

In destroying public property and such as General Sam. Jones has ordered of private property, remember that there is an act of Congress prohibiting the destruction of private property other than what can be used against us for war purposes. Tell your men that much of their reputation as honorable men and true patriots is at stake, and that coolness and judgment must characterize the destruction, and no more than what is absolutely necessary must be burned.

THOS. M. JONES, Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

COOPER’S, May 23, 1862.

General THOMAS M. JONES:

GENERAL: No private dwellings were destroyed by my order and none were destroyed known to me, except one near the oil factory, which was unavoidable.

J. F. CONOLEY.

Library Reference Information

Type of Material: Book (Book, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Corporate Name: United States. War Dept.
Main Title: The War of the Rebellion:
a compilation of the official records of the
Union and Confederate armies.
Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of War
by Robert N. Scott.
Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1900.
Published/Created: Washington : Government Pub. Off., 1880-1901 (70 v. in 128).
Description: 70 v. in 128. 24 cm.
Subjects: United States. Army--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
Confederate States of America. Army--History--Sources.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories.
LC Classification: E464 .U6