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[civilwarwest] Re: The Fall of New Orleans

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  • DAP4477575@aol.com
    Major General Mansfield LOVELL was in command of New Orlean this is a short bio from the web about him Born October 20 1822, Washington DC Died June 1 1884,
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 12, 1999
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      Major General Mansfield LOVELL was in command of New Orlean this is a short
      bio from the web about him
      Born October 20 1822, Washington DC
      Died June 1 1884, New York NY
      Pre-War Occupation Graduated West Point 1842, Mexican War, 1854 resigned from
      US army, businessman.
      Post-War Occupation Civil engineer.
      War Involvement 1861 Maj. Gen., commanded defences of New Orleans, Corinth,
      relieved of command because of his failure at New Orleans, absolved of
      charges of incompetence by a court of inquiry but given no further
      appointment.
    • DAP4477575@aol.com
      Major General Mansfield LOVELL was in command of New Orlean this is a short bio from the web about him Born October 20 1822, Washington DC Died June 1 1884,
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 12, 1999
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        Major General Mansfield LOVELL was in command of New Orlean this is a short
        bio from the web about him
        Born October 20 1822, Washington DC
        Died June 1 1884, New York NY
        Pre-War Occupation Graduated West Point 1842, Mexican War, 1854 resigned from
        US army, businessman.
        Post-War Occupation Civil engineer.
        War Involvement 1861 Maj. Gen., commanded defences of New Orleans, Corinth,
        relieved of command because of his failure at New Orleans, absolved of
        charges of incompetence by a court of inquiry but given no further
        appointment.
      • L.A. Chambliss
        Heya Shotgun, great subject. Being as I too know next to nothing about it, I turn to ol reliable Boatner for the following. Any comments of my own will be in
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 12, 1999
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          Heya Shotgun, great subject.

          Being as I too know next to nothing about it, I turn to ol' reliable Boatner for the following. Any comments of my own will be in [brackets], otherwise this first part is all from p 591-592 of The Civil War Dictionary by Mark M. Boatner III.

          "The Crescent City was defended by a small force of militia under Mansfield Lovell dispersed among the small forts that cover the many water approaches to the city. About 90 miles down the river [!!!] were the permanent masonry forts Jackson on the west bank and St. Philip about 800 yards north of it on the east bank.  The river had been barricaded by a chain, floated on barges and hulks, that extended east from Ft. Jackson.
          HIGH WATER HAD PARTIALLY DESTROYED THIS IN LATE FEB. '62 AND AGAIN ON 11 APR. JUST A FEW DAYS BEFORE FARRAGUT'S ATTACK. [emphasis mine--this is noteworthy]. The ram Manassas, the unpowered Louisiana, and the unfinished Mississippi, along with an assortment of other ships and fire barges, were part of the river defenses. The forts were manned by about 500 men and 75 or 80 guns that could bear on the river.
          "In a preliminary action the Confederate ram Manassas had dropped down the river and routed the steamer Richmond and the sailing sloops Vincennes and Preble in a surprise night attack 11 Oct. '61. On 3 Dec. the Federals had occupied Ship Island, which guards the approach to Lake Ponchartrain, and during Feb. and Mar' 62 [Benjamin] Butler had used the island as a staging area for his 15,000 army troops.  [Note from earlier in the article: Butler had been raising a new force in New England; these were the troops designated for the attack on NO, I presume so as not to divert existing armies from their assignments.] In late February Lovell wrote "I regard Butler's Ship Island expeditions as a harmless menace so far as New Orleans is concerned."

          Switching from Boatner to summarize from Long (Civil War Day by Day) we note  the work of the USS Itaska and Pinola on April 20. Crews from these ships slipped ashore and attempted to destroy the anchor chains of the river obstructions. They did not get them completely down but managed to weaken them considerably. The fleet was bombarding the forts with mortars (2,997 shots on Apr. 18 alone) for nearly a week but accomplishing little damage.  On the 24th, at 2 a.m., the order to sail was given. They ran the forts, losing no ships (although 3 small gunboats couldn't get over the chain and stayed behind.)

          The Confederate defense fleet (10 ships) battled as best they could, particularly the ram Manassas. One Federal ship, the Varuna, was sunk but the Confederate effort was in vain with 8 ships being destroyed and two escaping upriver.  The next day Farragut was landing in New Orleans. The mayor said he had no authority to surrender the town; Lovell also refused to surrender but packed up his forces and left town.

          Interestingly enough a year later a court of inquiry for Lovell was held at his own request. The court ruled that he had made adequate defense against a land-borne invasion and could not be held responsible for the fact that "the so-called river defense fleet was wholly useless."  As far as I can tell from these brief sources NO ONE was ever held responsible for the inadequacies of the river defense.

          If  Bob "PHP" Macomber and Ironclad aren't on board the CWWT yet, let's get 'em here ASAP. I am sure they have better sources than my humble efforts can provide. ;)

          Laurie (Xan) Chambliss

          Dick Weeks wrote:

          Since we now have enough people on board for a pretty good discussion, I
          have a couple of questions about the Fall of New Orleans. These are not
          rectorial questions just to get a discussion started, I really would
          like to know the answers. 
          
          After the federal fleet successfully passed the Forts Jackson and St.
          Philip on April 24, 1862 (see the attached file for a description of
          this action. If some of you can't read this file I need to know so I
          won't post like this in the future) the City of New Orleans surrendered
          on April 25 without a fight. Some of the questions that I would like to
          have answers for are:
          
          (1) Who devised the defense of New Orleans?
          
          (2) What lead whoever was in charge to think that two stone forts and a
          few hulks in the river could stop steam powered warships.
          
          (3) Why was New Orleans, the largest city in the Confederacy and a vital
          seaport not better defended?
          
          (4) Why was the city given up without a fight when Vicksburg, a little
          over a year later, underwent one of the most horrific sieges in the
          Civil War?
          
          It would appear to me, with my limited knowledge in this area that there
          was little, if any, planning put into defending the Confederate's
          largest city. Given the strategic location and function of the city,
          there had be a screw up somewhere. This has always puzzled me how they
          would be willing to give this city up without a knock down drag out
          fight. Pemberton was severely chastised for losing Vicksburg and here I
          don't even know who was in charge at New Orleans.
          
          I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
          Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
          http://www.civilwarhome.com
          
          
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          The Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, La.
          (18-28 April, 1862)

                  Early in 1862 the Union undertook the campaign, championed by Gen. Winfield Scott, and aimed at dividing the Confederacy and recovering the Mississippi River from the mouth to Cairo, Ill. Capt. David G. Farragut's oceangoing West Gulf Blockading Squadron was given the mission of ascending the Mississippi and capturing New Orleans, the South's largest city.
                  To guard the river approaches to New Orleans, the Confederates had occupied and strongly garrisoned 2 masonry forts--Jackson on the right and St. Phillip on the opposite shore--some 12 miles above Head of Passes. To hold Union warships under the fire of the forts' waterfront batteries, Southern engineers moored a line of hulks across the river. Auxiliary to the land defenses, the Confederates had a heterogeneous naval force consisting of 4 vessels of the Confederate navy, 2 belonging to the state of Louisiana, and 6 manned by the river defense fleet, 2 of which were ironclads. But the former's engines were not powerful enough to propel the ship, and in the ensuing battle it was moored to the bank above Fort St. Philip and employed as a floating battery.
                  From his advance base at Ship Island, Miss., Farragut prepared to ascend the Mississippi. Through the deep draft-draft screw sloops were lightened, considerable difficulty was experienced in dragging them over the Southwest Pass bar. It was 8 April before Farragut assembled his 24 vessels and Cmdr. David O. Porter's 19 mortar schooners at head of Passes. Each of Porter's ships mounted a 13-in mortar.
                  To soften up defenses at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the mortar schooners opened fire on the 18th, lofting their 200-lb shells into and around the works. The Bombardment continued for the next 5 days, the Federals focusing on Fort Jackson. Meanwhile, on the night of the 20th, several gunboats opened a passage through the obstructions.
                  Satisfied that steam-powered could pass forts, designed to cope with sailing vessels, Farragut put his squadron in motion at 2 a.m., 24 April. His ships, except 3 gunboats, fought upstream through the hulks and by the forts. Then, in a wild melee, they avoided fire rafts and the bull-like rushes of the ram Manassas and smashed the Confederate fleet. Continuing up the river 70 miles. Farragut went ashore to accept the surrender of New Orleans on the 25th. 3 days later the Forts Jackson and St. Philip garrisons, isolated by Farragut's bold dash, mutinied and surrendered.


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        • L.A. Chambliss
          Heya Shotgun, great subject. Being as I too know next to nothing about it, I turn to ol reliable Boatner for the following. Any comments of my own will be in
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 12, 1999
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            Heya Shotgun, great subject.

            Being as I too know next to nothing about it, I turn to ol' reliable Boatner for the following. Any comments of my own will be in [brackets], otherwise this first part is all from p 591-592 of The Civil War Dictionary by Mark M. Boatner III.

            "The Crescent City was defended by a small force of militia under Mansfield Lovell dispersed among the small forts that cover the many water approaches to the city. About 90 miles down the river [!!!] were the permanent masonry forts Jackson on the west bank and St. Philip about 800 yards north of it on the east bank.  The river had been barricaded by a chain, floated on barges and hulks, that extended east from Ft. Jackson.
            HIGH WATER HAD PARTIALLY DESTROYED THIS IN LATE FEB. '62 AND AGAIN ON 11 APR. JUST A FEW DAYS BEFORE FARRAGUT'S ATTACK. [emphasis mine--this is noteworthy]. The ram Manassas, the unpowered Louisiana, and the unfinished Mississippi, along with an assortment of other ships and fire barges, were part of the river defenses. The forts were manned by about 500 men and 75 or 80 guns that could bear on the river.
            "In a preliminary action the Confederate ram Manassas had dropped down the river and routed the steamer Richmond and the sailing sloops Vincennes and Preble in a surprise night attack 11 Oct. '61. On 3 Dec. the Federals had occupied Ship Island, which guards the approach to Lake Ponchartrain, and during Feb. and Mar' 62 [Benjamin] Butler had used the island as a staging area for his 15,000 army troops.  [Note from earlier in the article: Butler had been raising a new force in New England; these were the troops designated for the attack on NO, I presume so as not to divert existing armies from their assignments.] In late February Lovell wrote "I regard Butler's Ship Island expeditions as a harmless menace so far as New Orleans is concerned."

            Switching from Boatner to summarize from Long (Civil War Day by Day) we note  the work of the USS Itaska and Pinola on April 20. Crews from these ships slipped ashore and attempted to destroy the anchor chains of the river obstructions. They did not get them completely down but managed to weaken them considerably. The fleet was bombarding the forts with mortars (2,997 shots on Apr. 18 alone) for nearly a week but accomplishing little damage.  On the 24th, at 2 a.m., the order to sail was given. They ran the forts, losing no ships (although 3 small gunboats couldn't get over the chain and stayed behind.)

            The Confederate defense fleet (10 ships) battled as best they could, particularly the ram Manassas. One Federal ship, the Varuna, was sunk but the Confederate effort was in vain with 8 ships being destroyed and two escaping upriver.  The next day Farragut was landing in New Orleans. The mayor said he had no authority to surrender the town; Lovell also refused to surrender but packed up his forces and left town.

            Interestingly enough a year later a court of inquiry for Lovell was held at his own request. The court ruled that he had made adequate defense against a land-borne invasion and could not be held responsible for the fact that "the so-called river defense fleet was wholly useless."  As far as I can tell from these brief sources NO ONE was ever held responsible for the inadequacies of the river defense.

            If  Bob "PHP" Macomber and Ironclad aren't on board the CWWT yet, let's get 'em here ASAP. I am sure they have better sources than my humble efforts can provide. ;)

            Laurie (Xan) Chambliss

            Dick Weeks wrote:

            Since we now have enough people on board for a pretty good discussion, I
            have a couple of questions about the Fall of New Orleans. These are not
            rectorial questions just to get a discussion started, I really would
            like to know the answers. 
            
            After the federal fleet successfully passed the Forts Jackson and St.
            Philip on April 24, 1862 (see the attached file for a description of
            this action. If some of you can't read this file I need to know so I
            won't post like this in the future) the City of New Orleans surrendered
            on April 25 without a fight. Some of the questions that I would like to
            have answers for are:
            
            (1) Who devised the defense of New Orleans?
            
            (2) What lead whoever was in charge to think that two stone forts and a
            few hulks in the river could stop steam powered warships.
            
            (3) Why was New Orleans, the largest city in the Confederacy and a vital
            seaport not better defended?
            
            (4) Why was the city given up without a fight when Vicksburg, a little
            over a year later, underwent one of the most horrific sieges in the
            Civil War?
            
            It would appear to me, with my limited knowledge in this area that there
            was little, if any, planning put into defending the Confederate's
            largest city. Given the strategic location and function of the city,
            there had be a screw up somewhere. This has always puzzled me how they
            would be willing to give this city up without a knock down drag out
            fight. Pemberton was severely chastised for losing Vicksburg and here I
            don't even know who was in charge at New Orleans.
            
            I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
            Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
            http://www.civilwarhome.com
            
            
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            The Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, La.
            (18-28 April, 1862)

                    Early in 1862 the Union undertook the campaign, championed by Gen. Winfield Scott, and aimed at dividing the Confederacy and recovering the Mississippi River from the mouth to Cairo, Ill. Capt. David G. Farragut's oceangoing West Gulf Blockading Squadron was given the mission of ascending the Mississippi and capturing New Orleans, the South's largest city.
                    To guard the river approaches to New Orleans, the Confederates had occupied and strongly garrisoned 2 masonry forts--Jackson on the right and St. Phillip on the opposite shore--some 12 miles above Head of Passes. To hold Union warships under the fire of the forts' waterfront batteries, Southern engineers moored a line of hulks across the river. Auxiliary to the land defenses, the Confederates had a heterogeneous naval force consisting of 4 vessels of the Confederate navy, 2 belonging to the state of Louisiana, and 6 manned by the river defense fleet, 2 of which were ironclads. But the former's engines were not powerful enough to propel the ship, and in the ensuing battle it was moored to the bank above Fort St. Philip and employed as a floating battery.
                    From his advance base at Ship Island, Miss., Farragut prepared to ascend the Mississippi. Through the deep draft-draft screw sloops were lightened, considerable difficulty was experienced in dragging them over the Southwest Pass bar. It was 8 April before Farragut assembled his 24 vessels and Cmdr. David O. Porter's 19 mortar schooners at head of Passes. Each of Porter's ships mounted a 13-in mortar.
                    To soften up defenses at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the mortar schooners opened fire on the 18th, lofting their 200-lb shells into and around the works. The Bombardment continued for the next 5 days, the Federals focusing on Fort Jackson. Meanwhile, on the night of the 20th, several gunboats opened a passage through the obstructions.
                    Satisfied that steam-powered could pass forts, designed to cope with sailing vessels, Farragut put his squadron in motion at 2 a.m., 24 April. His ships, except 3 gunboats, fought upstream through the hulks and by the forts. Then, in a wild melee, they avoided fire rafts and the bull-like rushes of the ram Manassas and smashed the Confederate fleet. Continuing up the river 70 miles. Farragut went ashore to accept the surrender of New Orleans on the 25th. 3 days later the Forts Jackson and St. Philip garrisons, isolated by Farragut's bold dash, mutinied and surrendered.


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          • Dick Weeks
            Since we now have enough people on board for a pretty good discussion, I have a couple of questions about the Fall of New Orleans. These are not rectorial
            Message 5 of 12 , Aug 12, 1999
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              The Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, La.
              (18-28 April, 1862)

                      Early in 1862 the Union undertook the campaign, championed by Gen. Winfield Scott, and aimed at dividing the Confederacy and recovering the Mississippi River from the mouth to Cairo, Ill. Capt. David G. Farragut's oceangoing West Gulf Blockading Squadron was given the mission of ascending the Mississippi and capturing New Orleans, the South's largest city.
                      To guard the river approaches to New Orleans, the Confederates had occupied and strongly garrisoned 2 masonry forts--Jackson on the right and St. Phillip on the opposite shore--some 12 miles above Head of Passes. To hold Union warships under the fire of the forts' waterfront batteries, Southern engineers moored a line of hulks across the river. Auxiliary to the land defenses, the Confederates had a heterogeneous naval force consisting of 4 vessels of the Confederate navy, 2 belonging to the state of Louisiana, and 6 manned by the river defense fleet, 2 of which were ironclads. But the former's engines were not powerful enough to propel the ship, and in the ensuing battle it was moored to the bank above Fort St. Philip and employed as a floating battery.
                      From his advance base at Ship Island, Miss., Farragut prepared to ascend the Mississippi. Through the deep draft-draft screw sloops were lightened, considerable difficulty was experienced in dragging them over the Southwest Pass bar. It was 8 April before Farragut assembled his 24 vessels and Cmdr. David O. Porter's 19 mortar schooners at head of Passes. Each of Porter's ships mounted a 13-in mortar.
                      To soften up defenses at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the mortar schooners opened fire on the 18th, lofting their 200-lb shells into and around the works. The Bombardment continued for the next 5 days, the Federals focusing on Fort Jackson. Meanwhile, on the night of the 20th, several gunboats opened a passage through the obstructions.
                      Satisfied that steam-powered could pass forts, designed to cope with sailing vessels, Farragut put his squadron in motion at 2 a.m., 24 April. His ships, except 3 gunboats, fought upstream through the hulks and by the forts. Then, in a wild melee, they avoided fire rafts and the bull-like rushes of the ram Manassas and smashed the Confederate fleet. Continuing up the river 70 miles. Farragut went ashore to accept the surrender of New Orleans on the 25th. 3 days later the Forts Jackson and St. Philip garrisons, isolated by Farragut's bold dash, mutinied and surrendered.

            • Dick Weeks
              Since we now have enough people on board for a pretty good discussion, I have a couple of questions about the Fall of New Orleans. These are not rectorial
              Message 6 of 12 , Aug 12, 1999
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                The Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, La.
                (18-28 April, 1862)

                        Early in 1862 the Union undertook the campaign, championed by Gen. Winfield Scott, and aimed at dividing the Confederacy and recovering the Mississippi River from the mouth to Cairo, Ill. Capt. David G. Farragut's oceangoing West Gulf Blockading Squadron was given the mission of ascending the Mississippi and capturing New Orleans, the South's largest city.
                        To guard the river approaches to New Orleans, the Confederates had occupied and strongly garrisoned 2 masonry forts--Jackson on the right and St. Phillip on the opposite shore--some 12 miles above Head of Passes. To hold Union warships under the fire of the forts' waterfront batteries, Southern engineers moored a line of hulks across the river. Auxiliary to the land defenses, the Confederates had a heterogeneous naval force consisting of 4 vessels of the Confederate navy, 2 belonging to the state of Louisiana, and 6 manned by the river defense fleet, 2 of which were ironclads. But the former's engines were not powerful enough to propel the ship, and in the ensuing battle it was moored to the bank above Fort St. Philip and employed as a floating battery.
                        From his advance base at Ship Island, Miss., Farragut prepared to ascend the Mississippi. Through the deep draft-draft screw sloops were lightened, considerable difficulty was experienced in dragging them over the Southwest Pass bar. It was 8 April before Farragut assembled his 24 vessels and Cmdr. David O. Porter's 19 mortar schooners at head of Passes. Each of Porter's ships mounted a 13-in mortar.
                        To soften up defenses at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the mortar schooners opened fire on the 18th, lofting their 200-lb shells into and around the works. The Bombardment continued for the next 5 days, the Federals focusing on Fort Jackson. Meanwhile, on the night of the 20th, several gunboats opened a passage through the obstructions.
                        Satisfied that steam-powered could pass forts, designed to cope with sailing vessels, Farragut put his squadron in motion at 2 a.m., 24 April. His ships, except 3 gunboats, fought upstream through the hulks and by the forts. Then, in a wild melee, they avoided fire rafts and the bull-like rushes of the ram Manassas and smashed the Confederate fleet. Continuing up the river 70 miles. Farragut went ashore to accept the surrender of New Orleans on the 25th. 3 days later the Forts Jackson and St. Philip garrisons, isolated by Farragut's bold dash, mutinied and surrendered.

              • Stephen Basic
                Much of the failure for the loss of New Orleans can be placed on no one but Jefferson Davis....Davis had gotten it into his head that there was no way any
                Message 7 of 12 , Aug 12, 1999
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                  Much of the failure for the loss of New Orleans can be placed on no one
                  but Jefferson Davis....Davis had gotten it into his head that there was
                  no way any ships from the US fleet could get past the forts below New
                  Orleans...and his thinking was that the only way it could be taken was
                  by water....The people of New Orleans were very angry with Davis for
                  sending Mansfield Lovell there to take command....Lovell was a
                  Yankee...born up here by me in NY....and was never trusted....Almost the
                  same situation as in Vicksburg when Pemberton, a Pennsylvanian was given
                  command there.....I think the main reason why New Orleans was
                  overlooked, has to deal with the almost certain pandemonium that must
                  have been occurring as Davis watched McClellan and his large Army of the
                  Potomac moving up the Peninsula towards Richmond....Which I can
                  understand...Davis had a major problem in his front yard. There is a
                  decent book on the New Orleans saga..."The Capture Of New Orleans 1862",
                  by Chester Hearn for those who want more detailed information.

                  Steve
                • Stephen Basic
                  Much of the failure for the loss of New Orleans can be placed on no one but Jefferson Davis....Davis had gotten it into his head that there was no way any
                  Message 8 of 12 , Aug 12, 1999
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                    Much of the failure for the loss of New Orleans can be placed on no one
                    but Jefferson Davis....Davis had gotten it into his head that there was
                    no way any ships from the US fleet could get past the forts below New
                    Orleans...and his thinking was that the only way it could be taken was
                    by water....The people of New Orleans were very angry with Davis for
                    sending Mansfield Lovell there to take command....Lovell was a
                    Yankee...born up here by me in NY....and was never trusted....Almost the
                    same situation as in Vicksburg when Pemberton, a Pennsylvanian was given
                    command there.....I think the main reason why New Orleans was
                    overlooked, has to deal with the almost certain pandemonium that must
                    have been occurring as Davis watched McClellan and his large Army of the
                    Potomac moving up the Peninsula towards Richmond....Which I can
                    understand...Davis had a major problem in his front yard. There is a
                    decent book on the New Orleans saga..."The Capture Of New Orleans 1862",
                    by Chester Hearn for those who want more detailed information.

                    Steve
                  • phil21@earthlink.net
                    #1- I just joined your discussion and I think this website is tremendous. #2- I cannot tell you who came up with the defenses for New Orleans, but I can tell
                    Message 9 of 12 , Dec 10, 2000
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                      #1- I just joined your discussion and I think this website is
                      tremendous.
                      #2- I cannot tell you who came up with the defenses for New Orleans,
                      but I can tell you that the chains and obstructions in the river were
                      designed to bring a fleet under the guns of both Fort Jackson and Fort
                      St. Philip simultaneously. Obviously, this did not work, but that was
                      the thinking.

                      You likely can find the answers to your questions in "THE NAVAL
                      HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR" by Admiral David Porter, USN. between pages
                      175-245. I can tell you that once forts St. Philip and Jackson were
                      run by Farrugut's squadron, the city was at their mercy and that is
                      why no fight was put up. New Orleans lay open much like Tokyo Bay did
                      to Commodore Perry some ten years prior.

                      Inadditon, the ironworks at Yazoo City was well underway in building
                      several ironclads which were supposed to be intragral to the defense
                      of the city:
                      "...the Confederates had not remained inactive. Acquainted,
                      almost from its inceipency, with the object of the expedition, they
                      had exerted themselves to the utmost in strengthening the river
                      defenses at Forts Jackson and St. Philip; which included obstructions
                      on the river itself, besides the preparation of what might well be
                      considered a formidable naval force.
                      Of the latter, the ram "Manassas" was improved and commissioned,
                      while the "Louisiana", iron-clad, of sixteen heavy runds, was rapidly
                      nearing commpletion. Two other powerful ironclads, intended to clear
                      the southern coast of blockaders, were under construction at New
                      Orleans, while futher inland, at Yazoo City, the iron-clad ram
                      "Arkansas" was almost ready for service. Several other ironclad
                      vessels were, at the same time, building at various points on the
                      tributaries." (Porter 175-176)
                      From Porte's comments I am of the opinion, and I have been for
                      years, that the idea was to drag the Union fleet below guns from both
                      Forts simulataneously and have the ironclad fleet clean up what was
                      left of the Union wooden fleet. Unfortunately for the CSA, the
                      ironclad fleet was not seaworthy in time for Farragut's attack.
                      However, Porter does have a tendency to be biased in some of his
                      reporting in making CSA defenses sound more formidable than they
                      actually were. However, Fort St. Philip did have 53 guns trained on
                      the river apporoaches and Fort Jackson had 75 guns, but with nothing
                      larger than their 10 ten-inch Columbiads. (Porter, 177)
                      I agree that the defenses were not as adequate as the time could
                      have allowed them to be, however, I think they counted too heavily on
                      ironclads which they did not have operational yet.
                      I hope this was somewhat helpful and something near the area you
                      were looking for. What always bothered me was why the Union placed
                      General Benjamin Butler (a horses [tush] of the highest order) in
                      charge of a conquered New Orleans. he was an idiot and a screw up
                      everywhere he went and couldn't even manage to run a conquered city in
                      an orderly manner.
                      Hope this was helpful or at the very least interesting.

                      Phil Engle

                      --- In civilwarwest@egroups.com, Dick Weeks <shotgun@c...> wrote:
                      > Since we now have enough people on board for a pretty good
                      discussion, I
                      > have a couple of questions about the Fall of New Orleans. These are
                      not
                      > rectorial questions just to get a discussion started, I really would
                      > like to know the answers.
                      >
                      > After the federal fleet successfully passed the Forts Jackson and
                      St.
                      > Philip on April 24, 1862 (see the attached file for a description of
                      > this action. If some of you can't read this file I need to know so I
                      > won't post like this in the future) the City of New Orleans
                      surrendered
                      > on April 25 without a fight. Some of the questions that I would like
                      to
                      > have answers for are:
                      >
                      > (1) Who devised the defense of New Orleans?
                      >
                      > (2) What lead whoever was in charge to think that two stone forts
                      and a
                      > few hulks in the river could stop steam powered warships.
                      >
                      > (3) Why was New Orleans, the largest city in the Confederacy and a
                      vital
                      > seaport not better defended?
                      >
                      > (4) Why was the city given up without a fight when Vicksburg, a
                      little
                      > over a year later, underwent one of the most horrific sieges in the
                      > Civil War?
                      >
                      > It would appear to me, with my limited knowledge in this area that
                      there
                      > was little, if any, planning put into defending the Confederate's
                      > largest city. Given the strategic location and function of the city,
                      > there had be a screw up somewhere. This has always puzzled me how
                      they
                      > would be willing to give this city up without a knock down drag out
                      > fight. Pemberton was severely chastised for losing Vicksburg and
                      here I
                      > don't even know who was in charge at New Orleans.
                      >
                      > I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                      >
                    • phil21@earthlink.net
                      #1- I just joined your discussion and I think this website is tremendous. #2- I cannot tell you who came up with the defenses for New Orleans, but I can tell
                      Message 10 of 12 , Dec 10, 2000
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                        #1- I just joined your discussion and I think this website is
                        tremendous.
                        #2- I cannot tell you who came up with the defenses for New Orleans,
                        but I can tell you that the chains and obstructions in the river were
                        designed to bring a fleet under the guns of both Fort Jackson and Fort
                        St. Philip simultaneously. Obviously, this did not work, but that was
                        the thinking.

                        You likely can find the answers to your questions in "THE NAVAL
                        HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR" by Admiral David Porter, USN. between pages
                        175-245. I can tell you that once forts St. Philip and Jackson were
                        run by Farrugut's squadron, the city was at their mercy and that is
                        why no fight was put up. New Orleans lay open much like Tokyo Bay did
                        to Commodore Perry some ten years prior.

                        Inadditon, the ironworks at Yazoo City was well underway in building
                        several ironclads which were supposed to be intragral to the defense
                        of the city:
                        "...the Confederates had not remained inactive. Acquainted,
                        almost from its inceipency, with the object of the expedition, they
                        had exerted themselves to the utmost in strengthening the river
                        defenses at Forts Jackson and St. Philip; which included obstructions
                        on the river itself, besides the preparation of what might well be
                        considered a formidable naval force.
                        Of the latter, the ram "Manassas" was improved and commissioned,
                        while the "Louisiana", iron-clad, of sixteen heavy runds, was rapidly
                        nearing commpletion. Two other powerful ironclads, intended to clear
                        the southern coast of blockaders, were under construction at New
                        Orleans, while futher inland, at Yazoo City, the iron-clad ram
                        "Arkansas" was almost ready for service. Several other ironclad
                        vessels were, at the same time, building at various points on the
                        tributaries." (Porter 175-176)
                        From Porte's comments I am of the opinion, and I have been for
                        years, that the idea was to drag the Union fleet below guns from both
                        Forts simulataneously and have the ironclad fleet clean up what was
                        left of the Union wooden fleet. Unfortunately for the CSA, the
                        ironclad fleet was not seaworthy in time for Farragut's attack.
                        However, Porter does have a tendency to be biased in some of his
                        reporting in making CSA defenses sound more formidable than they
                        actually were. However, Fort St. Philip did have 53 guns trained on
                        the river apporoaches and Fort Jackson had 75 guns, but with nothing
                        larger than their 10 ten-inch Columbiads. (Porter, 177)
                        I agree that the defenses were not as adequate as the time could
                        have allowed them to be, however, I think they counted too heavily on
                        ironclads which they did not have operational yet.
                        I hope this was somewhat helpful and something near the area you
                        were looking for. What always bothered me was why the Union placed
                        General Benjamin Butler (a horses [tush] of the highest order) in
                        charge of a conquered New Orleans. he was an idiot and a screw up
                        everywhere he went and couldn't even manage to run a conquered city in
                        an orderly manner.
                        Hope this was helpful or at the very least interesting.

                        Phil Engle

                        --- In civilwarwest@egroups.com, Dick Weeks <shotgun@c...> wrote:
                        > Since we now have enough people on board for a pretty good
                        discussion, I
                        > have a couple of questions about the Fall of New Orleans. These are
                        not
                        > rectorial questions just to get a discussion started, I really would
                        > like to know the answers.
                        >
                        > After the federal fleet successfully passed the Forts Jackson and
                        St.
                        > Philip on April 24, 1862 (see the attached file for a description of
                        > this action. If some of you can't read this file I need to know so I
                        > won't post like this in the future) the City of New Orleans
                        surrendered
                        > on April 25 without a fight. Some of the questions that I would like
                        to
                        > have answers for are:
                        >
                        > (1) Who devised the defense of New Orleans?
                        >
                        > (2) What lead whoever was in charge to think that two stone forts
                        and a
                        > few hulks in the river could stop steam powered warships.
                        >
                        > (3) Why was New Orleans, the largest city in the Confederacy and a
                        vital
                        > seaport not better defended?
                        >
                        > (4) Why was the city given up without a fight when Vicksburg, a
                        little
                        > over a year later, underwent one of the most horrific sieges in the
                        > Civil War?
                        >
                        > It would appear to me, with my limited knowledge in this area that
                        there
                        > was little, if any, planning put into defending the Confederate's
                        > largest city. Given the strategic location and function of the city,
                        > there had be a screw up somewhere. This has always puzzled me how
                        they
                        > would be willing to give this city up without a knock down drag out
                        > fight. Pemberton was severely chastised for losing Vicksburg and
                        here I
                        > don't even know who was in charge at New Orleans.
                        >
                        > I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                        >
                      • phil21@earthlink.net
                        Another excellent book on the battle is A NAVAL HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR by Admiral David Porter. I agree that Davis was too preoccupied with McClellan, and
                        Message 11 of 12 , Dec 10, 2000
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                          Another excellent book on the battle is A NAVAL HISTORY OF THE CIVIL
                          WAR by Admiral David Porter. I agree that Davis was too preoccupied
                          with McClellan, and gave Johnston too much grief for not attacking
                          earlier at Seven Days, but they placed too much emphasis on the use of
                          ironclads under construction in Yazoo City and in the tributaries near
                          New Orleans. These ironclads were not completed by the time
                          Farragut's squadron ran forts St. Philip and Jackson.
                          The people of New Orleans should be mad at the Union for sending
                          Butler to command the city after it fell, AND THEY STILL ARE.

                          By the way, good to see another New Yorker here. Take care.

                          Phil Engle


                          --- In civilwarwest@egroups.com, Basecat@w... (Stephen Basic) wrote:
                          > Much of the failure for the loss of New Orleans can be placed on no
                          one
                          > but Jefferson Davis....Davis had gotten it into his head that there
                          was
                          > no way any ships from the US fleet could get past the forts below
                          New
                          > Orleans...and his thinking was that the only way it could be taken
                          was
                          > by water....The people of New Orleans were very angry with Davis for
                          > sending Mansfield Lovell there to take command....Lovell was a
                          > Yankee...born up here by me in NY....and was never trusted....Almost
                          the
                          > same situation as in Vicksburg when Pemberton, a Pennsylvanian was
                          given
                          > command there.....I think the main reason why New Orleans was
                          > overlooked, has to deal with the almost certain pandemonium that
                          must
                          > have been occurring as Davis watched McClellan and his large Army of
                          the
                          > Potomac moving up the Peninsula towards Richmond....Which I can
                          > understand...Davis had a major problem in his front yard. There is
                          a
                          > decent book on the New Orleans saga..."The Capture Of New Orleans
                          1862",
                          > by Chester Hearn for those who want more detailed inform
                        • phil21@earthlink.net
                          Another excellent book on the battle is A NAVAL HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR by Admiral David Porter. I agree that Davis was too preoccupied with McClellan, and
                          Message 12 of 12 , Dec 10, 2000
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                            Another excellent book on the battle is A NAVAL HISTORY OF THE CIVIL
                            WAR by Admiral David Porter. I agree that Davis was too preoccupied
                            with McClellan, and gave Johnston too much grief for not attacking
                            earlier at Seven Days, but they placed too much emphasis on the use of
                            ironclads under construction in Yazoo City and in the tributaries near
                            New Orleans. These ironclads were not completed by the time
                            Farragut's squadron ran forts St. Philip and Jackson.
                            The people of New Orleans should be mad at the Union for sending
                            Butler to command the city after it fell, AND THEY STILL ARE.

                            By the way, good to see another New Yorker here. Take care.

                            Phil Engle


                            --- In civilwarwest@egroups.com, Basecat@w... (Stephen Basic) wrote:
                            > Much of the failure for the loss of New Orleans can be placed on no
                            one
                            > but Jefferson Davis....Davis had gotten it into his head that there
                            was
                            > no way any ships from the US fleet could get past the forts below
                            New
                            > Orleans...and his thinking was that the only way it could be taken
                            was
                            > by water....The people of New Orleans were very angry with Davis for
                            > sending Mansfield Lovell there to take command....Lovell was a
                            > Yankee...born up here by me in NY....and was never trusted....Almost
                            the
                            > same situation as in Vicksburg when Pemberton, a Pennsylvanian was
                            given
                            > command there.....I think the main reason why New Orleans was
                            > overlooked, has to deal with the almost certain pandemonium that
                            must
                            > have been occurring as Davis watched McClellan and his large Army of
                            the
                            > Potomac moving up the Peninsula towards Richmond....Which I can
                            > understand...Davis had a major problem in his front yard. There is
                            a
                            > decent book on the New Orleans saga..."The Capture Of New Orleans
                            1862",
                            > by Chester Hearn for those who want more detailed inform
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