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or his ammunition nearly exhausted. Williams, and Col. Shepley ; 100 carCapt. Farragut, with his larger and penters detailed to make scaling-ladstronger vessels, would remain just ders; 100 boatmen to manage the 30 out of fire as a reserve, awaiting the boats which were to make their way issue of the bombardment. That through the reedy creeks and marshes failing, he should attempt with his to the rear of Fort St. Philip. On steamers to run by the forts. If he the sixth day, 7 regiments and 2 batsucceeded in this, he would try to teries were embarked, awaiting the clear the river of the enemy's fleet, word to move from Capt. Farragut; isolate the forts, and push on so far but high winds and low tides obas circumstances should dictate. Gen. structed the movements of the fleet; Butler, so soon as Capt. Farragut several of the larger vessels being had passed, was to land his troops many days in getting over the bar; so from their transports in the rear of that Gen. Butler was obliged to disemFort St. Philip, and attempt to carry bark his troops and wear out another it by assault; while the enemy, sup- fortnight as patiently as he might. posing the swamps in that quarter Meantime, the Rebels alongshore, impassable, should be entirely absorb- who had by this time become satised in his contest with the fleet. The fied that New Orleans was aimed at, forts being thus reduced, the whole resorted to the expedients which had expedition would advance upon the proved effective with most of our city, in such manner as should then commanders up to that time, and seem expedient. Gen. Butler en- which stood them in good stead with gaged to have 6,000 men embarked on several for many months afterward. transports and ready for service in Having been compelled nearly to deseven days; Capt. Farragut sailing plete the Gulf region of soldiers in at once for the mouths of the river, order to make head against Grant to prepare his fleet for action. and Buell on the Tennessee, they
The troops were formed into three supplied their places with imaginary brigades, under Gens. Phelps and regiments and batteries in generous
5 The New Orleans journals, frequently | hull between wind and water. We have an brought over from Biloxi, bristled with such abundant supply of incendiary shells, cupola awe-inspiring paragraphs as the following:
furnaces for molten iron, congreve rockets, and
fire-ships. - The Mississippi is fortified so as to be im “Between New Orleans and the forts, there is passable for any hostile fleet or flotilla. Forts a constant succession of earthworks. At the Jackson and St. Philip are armed with 170 | Plain of Chalmette, near Janin's property, there heavy guns (63-pounders, rifled by Barkley are redoubts, armed with rifled cannon which Britton, and received from England). The navi- have been found to be effective at five miles' gation of the river is stopped by a dam about a range. A ditch 30 feet wide and 20 deep exquarter of a mile from the above forts. No flo tends from the Mississippi to La Ciprione. In tilla on earth could force that dam in less Forts St. Philip and Jackson, there are 3,000 than two hours; during which it would be with men; of whom a goodly portion are experienced in short and cross range of 170 guns of the artillery-men and gunners who have served in heaviest caliber, many of which would be serv- | the navy. ed with red-hot shot: numerous furnaces for "At New Orleans itself, we have 32,000 inwhich have been erected in every fort and bat- fantry, and as many more quartered in the imtery.
mediate neighborhood. In discipline and drill, In a day or two, we shall have ready two they are far superior to the Yankees. We have iron-cased floating batteries. The plates are 41 two very able and active Generals, who possess inches thick, of the best hammered iron, receiv- our entire confidence-Gen. Mansfield Lovell and ed from England and France. Each iron-cased Brig.-Gen. Ruggles. For Commodore, we have battery will mount twenty 68-pounders, placed old Hollins--a Nelson in his way.”-N. 0. Picaso as to skim the water, and strike the enemy's | yune, April 5, 1862.
THE DEFENSES OF NEW ORLEANS.
profusion; but these were not the to meet pressing exigencies on the forces required to paralyze such com- Potomac and higher Mississippi, or manders as Butler and Farragut. At the Tennessee; so that but about length, the joyful tidings reached 3,000 of these, neither well armed, the former from the latter that his well drilled, nor particularly well affleet was all over the bar, reloaded, fected to the cause, remained to disand ready for action; and that he pute the advance of the Yankee inhoped to move up the river next day. | vaders. Two days later, Gen. Butler, with Gen. David E. Twiggs had been his 8,000 troops, was at the mouth rewarded for his stupendous treachof the river.
ery to the Union in Texas, by the New Orleans, situated on the left command of the Confederate defenses bank of the Mississippi, 100 miles of New Orleans, until stern expeabove its mouths, with the large rience proved him as incapable, susheet of water known as Lake Pont- perannuated, and inefficient, as even chartrain closely approaching it on our own Scott. At length, on a plea the north, and the smaller Lake of declining health, he was sent home Borgne some 20 miles distant on the to die; and Gen. Mansfield Lovell, east, was by far the largest and most who had abandoned a lucrative office important city of the Confederacy, under the Democratic municipality with a population of 170,000, and of New York to take service with the greatest export trade, just prior the Confederates, was appointed his to the war, of any city in the world. successor. . Unable to perceive the wisdom of On assuming command, Lovell expatriating those magnificent feed- found the defenses of the great slaveers of its commerce, the Missouri, mart more pretentious than formithe Ohio, and the upper Mississippi, dable. The variety of water apa majority of its people had opposed proaches by Lakes Pontchartrain and Secession, until the carefully nursed | Borgne, and the Bayous Barataria tempest of pro-Slavery folly, fury, and La Fourche, all needed defenses fanaticism, and ruffianism, stifled all against an enemy of preponderant outspoken dissent, about the time the naval force; while even the Missiswar was formally opened by the Con- sippi required fortifying and watchfederate attack on Fort Sumter. ing above as well as below, to render Thenceforward, New Orleans became the city entirely safe. Artillery by the virtual heart of the Confederacy; 1 parks was indispensable; and a good and its immense wealth of coin and many guns had been supplied from produce was lavished in all directions the plunder of the Norfolk Navy in support of the military operations Yard, and elsewhere; but most of directed from Richmond. Regiment them were old, of moderate caliber, after regiment of Louisianians and unrifled, and every way unsuited to foreign residents were raised and the requirements of modern warfare. equipped here; but most of them He telegraphed to Richmond, to had, when the hour of peril came, Mobile, and other points, for heavier been drafted off, from time to time, and better cannon; but obtained very 6 April 15, 1862.
Oct. 18, 1861.
few, mainly from Pensacola, when than that actually incurred. But that place was abandoned ; and had the operations of Farragut, in and just begun to cast new ones, adapted about the passes, gave unmistakable to his needs, as also to provide him- indications of the real point of danself with iron-clads, when confronted ger; so that the Rebel General's by a military necessity for leaving forces and means of annoyance were that part of the country.
mainly concentrated in and around Lovell, knowing far better than Forts Jackson and St. Philip, which, our commanders the essential weak- from opposite banks, command the ness of his position, and early warned passage of the river, 75 miles below of his danger by the gathering of our New Orleans. Beside these respectforces on Ship Island, seems to have able and regularly constructed fortexerted himself to the utmost. He resses of brick and earth, abundantly had fortified and guarded all the supplied with smooth-bore 24 and land approaches to the city; so that, 32-pounders, and a few better guns, though Gen. Butler's army, had it Lovell and his naval compatriots, advanced otherwise than by the Mis- after blocking up most of the water sissippi, would probably have carried approaches to New Orleans from the it, the cost in time, effort, and blood, Gulf with strongly-braced piles, green would doubtless have been far greater live-oaks, and other obstructions, and
REBEL DEFENSES BELOW NEW ORLEANS.
calling on the Governor of Louisi- , net result was more formidable in ana for 10,000 militia-receiving for appearance than in reality. And answer that there were but 6,000, of still the river kept on rising, until whom half had just been sent to Ten- nearly all the adjacent country was nessee, upon the requisition of Gen. submerged, becoming temporarily a Beauregard-and placing his de- part of the Gulf of Mexico. Even partment under martial law,' turned the parade-plain and casemates of their attention almost entirely to the Fort Jackson were from 3 to 18 lower Mississippi. It was high time. inches under water, and its maga
A great raft, or boom, composed zines were only kept dry by incessant of cypress-trees 40 feet long and 4 to pumping. 5 feet through, standing 3 feet apart, Hollins had been superseded as and fastened to two great 23-inch naval commandant by Commodore chain-cables, had been stretched Whittle, whose fleet consisted of the across the river just under the guns new iron-clad Louisiana, mounting of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and 16 guns, many of them large and exmade fast to large trees, immense cellent, with Hollins's ram Manassas anchors, timbers, &c., imbedded as and 13 gunboats—that is, commerfirmly as possible; but the annual cial steamboats, impressed or lent for flood in the Mississippi, which com- this service, and armed and manned mences early in the year, had, by the | as well as might be~with a number first of March, brought its surface of old sailing craft fitted up as fireconsiderably above the country out- ships, and very dangerous to wooden side of its levees, and piled against vessels attacking from below, by reathe obstructions a large amount of son of the uniform strength of the drift-wood; softening the earth and current. strengthening the current, until the Gen. J. K. Duncan, who had been anchors and other hold-fasts gave appointed by Lovell to the command way, and the raft, with its chains of the coast defenses, and had theresnapped and its timbers swept down upon repaired' to Fort Jackson, had stream, ceased to be an impediment. been working the garrisons of both But for the delays and disappoint- forts night and day, covering their ments which so sorely taxed Gen. main magazines with sand-bags; Butler's patience, it is likely that our which had been barely completed fleet would have found this their when our fleet hove in sight. Two most formidable antagonist. Lovell gunboats had appeared, reconnoiterat once sent down Col. Higgins to ing, four days before. repair it, clothed with the amplest Ournaval force consisted of 47 armpowers; but the Father of Waters ed vessels, 8 of them large and powerrefused to recognize them. A new ful steam sloops-of-war; 17 heavily obstruction was patched up, com armed steam gunboats, 2 sailing posed of parts of the old raft, with sloops-of-war, and 21 mortar-schoonschooners anchored in the interstices, ers, each throwing a 215-pound shell. and all fastened together with such The steam sloops carried from 9 to chains as could be procured; but the 28 guns; the gunboats, 5 to 6 guns Feb. 25, 1862 9 March 15, 1862
10 March 27.
each; the whole number of guns and undistinguishable, save by close obmortars was 310, many of them very servation, from the dense woods that heavy and very good. Capt. Farra- skirted the river. Fourteen of them gut, our commander, had passed 52 were ranged in line close under the of his 63 years in the navy, having wooded bank, over which they were been a midshipman in the war of to throw their shells into Fort Jack1812 ; a Tennessean, his loyalty was son, at distances of two to three of that stern and sterling quality miles. Six were stationed near the whereof the best examples were fur farther or eastern bank, in full view nished by the South. His time, and of both forts, but within range only that of his officers, had for weeks been well spent in providing and preparing every thing likely to be required in the intended combat; so that when, on the day after our fleet reached the vicinity of the forts," and before it had opened fire, à Rebel flat-boat, piled with wood saturated with tar and turpentine, and then cut adrift, came rushing down the heady current-a crackling, roaring, flaming volcano-into the midst of our thickly clustering vessels, a few shells were thrown into it from the gunboat Mississippi, without the designed effect of exploding and sinking it; when a row-boat from the Iroquois quietly tackled it, fixed three grappling-irons in its bow, and towed it obliquely to the river bank, where it was permitted to burn itself harmlessly away, while the fleet proceeded with its preparations for the morrow's bombardment. Axes, ropes, fire-buckets, and whatever else might be needed, were placed exactly where they would be at hand when
FORTS JACKSON AND ST. PHILIP. wanted, and every thing made ready Explanations.-A, B, C, D, &c., are points on the left for business.
At daylight next morning, each of the small steamers took four of the schooners in tow and drew them slowly up the river, their decks and yards covered with great branches of trees, whose green foliage rendered them
11 April 17.
bank, and 1, 2, 3, 4, &c., points on the right bank of the river, selected for placing the gunboats and mortars in position. The position of the mortar-boats on the 18th was as follows: 6 niortars on the left bank, between G and J, 3,900 to 4,500 yards from Fort Jackson; 14 mortars on the right bank, from 1 to 5, distant 2,830 to 3,190 yards from Fort Jackson, On the 19th, they were all on the right bank, 3,010 to 4,100 yards from Fort Jackson, and remained nearly in the same position through the 20th and 21st. The large steamers and gunboats were placed from 1 to 14 miles below the mortar-boats. On the first day, the small steam sloops and gunboats went up to abreast of the smoke-stack, where they engaged the forts and the enemy's steamers,