Oh. XIII.]

mortar boats were ready to move to their appointed stations. Butler received instructions to forward his land forces, and serious work was evidently expected. The entire force of Farragut consisted of seventeen steamers and gun boats, Porter's mortar fleet of twenty-one sailing vessels, with seven steamers of light draught, and the troops under command of Butler in the transports, of which two only were steamers. The aggregate armament, counting boat howitzers, placed in the main-tops, was about 300 guns and mortars.

The rebels, on their part, had bestowed especial attention upon fortifying the approaches to New Orleans. Besides providing some twenty armed steam rams and gun boats, they had taken especial care to strengthen in every way the two important forts, Jackson and St. Philip, on the right and left banks of the Mississippi, and about twenty-five miles from its mouth and seventy-five from New Orleans. The united armament of the two forts was 126 guns of long range and heavy calibre. Fort Jackson, the stronger of the two works, and the first to be encountered on ascending the river, was a regular pentegonal bastioned fortification, with an outside water battery, mounting seventy-five guns in all, including thirty-three 32-pounders on the main parapet. Fort St. Philip consisted of a main work with two batteries attached, fully commanding the bend of the stream. A strong , chain was extended across the river, here half a mile wide, buoyed by eight hulks from fifty to eighty yards apart. Within


these defences the rebel flotilla was gathered, including the ram Manassas, under Hollins, (see p. 80), and the Louisiana, a formidable iron-covered battery, of great size and heavy arnia ment, on which the rebels placed much reliance for the defence of the city There were also various gun boats and vessels prepared as fire-ships to be sent against the approaching Union fleet. Gen. J. K. Duncan had charge of the coast defences, and Gen. Lovell (both graduates of West Point), was in command at New Orleans, with several thousand troops.*

On the 1 Gth of April, Farragut having completed his arrangements, ascended the river with the fleet. The mortar flotilla, which was intended should commence operations, was, after a careful survey of the region, placed in position, by Porter, on the right bank of the river, in line under the lee of a thick wood, closely interwoven with vines, the foremost vessel at a distance of 2,850 yards from Fort Jackson. Fire was regularly opened from the mortar batteries, on the 18th, upon Fort Jackson, each vessel firing every ten minutes. No very perceptible effect was produced during the first day's bombardment, though 1,400 shells were fired, and the citadel, a structure of brick and wood in the centre of the fort, was set on fire, and clothing and stores in it destroyed. The rebel fire

* So confident was tho rebel press of New Orleans that the Mississippi could not be ascended by our ships and New Orleans captured, that one of tho newspapers, April 5th, indulged in bravado of this sort: "Our only fear is that the northern invaders may not appear. We have made such extensive preparations to receive them that it were vexatious if their invincibls armada escapes the <ate we have in store for it."


was spirited and effective, and two of the mortar boats were penetrated by shots from the fort.

The second day, one of the mortar boats was sunk by a rifle-shot, while on the other hand, serious injury was done by our fire to the officers' quarters in the fort. During the night, Capt. Bell was sent, with a proper supply of materials and two gun boats, to break up the chain barrier. This was accomplished successfully, and a passage was opened for the fleet. On the third and fourth days there were some delays, caused by sending for fresh ammunition. The mortar boats, however, kept steadily at work, and though apparently slowly were yet surely accomplishing the reduction of Fort Jackson. On the fifth day the rebel fire was especially annoying, they having attained the range of the bombarding vessels; still Porter did not desist, and poured shell into the fort at the rate of 1,500 during the twenty-four hours.

For six days the steady firing of the mortar boats was continued, when Farragut determined to carry out a plan he had formed for passing the forts, and advancing at once upon New Orleans. The passage was, on examination, found to be open for the fleet, and every possible precaution, which ingenuity or experience could suggest, was taken to prepare the vessels for their perilous enterprize. The fleet was arranged in trvo divisions, to each of which was assigned six gun boats. Captain Bailey was in command of the first division; Captain Bell of the second; and the Hartford was the flagship of Commodore Farragut.

About three o'clock A.m., April 24th, the fleet got under way, Capt. Bailey leadingthe right with his gun boats to attack Fort St. Philip, while the other division'of the ships was 186a* to aid in the attack on Fort Jackson. "The enemy's lights," says Farragut in his report, " while they discovered us to them, were, at the same time, guides to us. We soon passed the barrier chains, the right column taking Fort St. Philip, and the left Fort Jackson. The fire became general, the smoke dense, and we had nothing to aim at but the flash of their guns ; it was very difficult to distinguish friends from foes." Farragut's ship, at onetime was set on fire by a fire-raft; but the flames were extinguished. Fort St. Philip wa3 soon silenced, and eleven rebel gun boats destroyed. The forts were passed, and the victory gained, winding up with the making a total wreck of the rebel ram Manassas.

Farragut having sent the cheering news of his success to* Porter, directed him to demand the surrender of the forts. He also informed Butler that the way was open for him to land his forces at Quarantine Bayou, as previously arranged. Leaving two gun boats to protect the landing of the troops, Farragut continued his progress up the river, and reached English Turn about half-past ten, on the morning of April 25th. Evidently, a panic had already seized upon the people in the city aud vicinity, for cotton-loaded ships on fire came floating down, together with other indications of the greatest fright, and hasty destruction of property of all kinds. The fleet met with brief deten


Ch. XIII.]



tion at the earthwork forts, six miles below New Orleans; but, after some sharp firing, they were speedily silenced; and, passing through burning vessels, fire-rafts, and the like, Farragut, at one P.m., anchored with his squadron in front of the city.

The levee was one scene of desolation. Ships, steamers, cotton, coal, were all in a blaze, and it taxed the ingenuity of our men to avoid the floating conflagration. Capt. Bailey was sent ou shore to demand the surrender of the city. Great excitement prevailed, and the mob insulted Bailey and his party in the grossest manner. Lovell, the rebel commander, having left the city with his troops, some 3,000 or more in number, the mayor and common council positively refused to pull down the Louisiana flag and hoist that of the United States. The next morning, April 26th, Farragut wrote to the mayor, J. T. Monroe, announcing that the rights of persons and property would be held secure, and peremptorily demanding " the unqualified surrender of the city, and that the emblem of sovereignty of the United States be hoisted over the city hall, mint, and custom house, by meridian this day, and that all flags and other emblems of sovereignty, other than those of the United States, shall be removed from all public buildings by that hour." He closed his note in very plain terms: "I shall speedily and severely punish any person or persons who shall commit such outrages as were witnessed yesterday, armed men firing upon helpless women and children, for giving expression to their pleasure at seeing the old flag."

Mayor Monroe's answer was both inflated and arrogant in its tone; e. g., "To surrender such a place (as New Orleans) were an idle and unmeaning ceremony. The city is yours by the power of brutal force, not by my choice or the consent of the inhabitants. It is for you to determine what shall be the fate that awaits her. As to the hoisting of any flag not of our own adoption or allegiance, let me say to you, sir, that the man lives not in our midst whose hand and heart would not be paralyzed at the mere thought of such an act; nor could I find in my entire constituency so desperate and wretched a renegade as would dare to profane with his hand the sacred emblem of our aspirations.

You have a gallant people to

administrate during your occupancy of this city; a people sensitive to all that can in the least affect their dignity and self respect. Pray, sir, do not fail to regard their susceptibilities."

By order of Farragut, the United States flag was hoisted on the mint, early in the morning, and some of the people ventured to cheer it, despite the threats of the mob. The flag was pulled down and dragged through the streets by one of those desperate characters in which New Orleans abounded ;*

* The man's name was W. B. Mumford. Three other persons were with him, and the act was performed on Sunday morning, April 27th, during the time of religious service on ship-board. Early in June, when Butler was in command in New Orleans, Mumford was tried by military commission, convicted of treason, and sentenced to be hung. Butler approved the sentence, and Mumford was executed, in the presence of a largo crowd, on the 7th of June. Ho was thenceforth added to the roll of southern " martyrs ;" and Jeff. Davis, in December, issued a proclamation, denouncing Butlel as an outlaw, to be hung instanter, as soon as caught.

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