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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.
    • 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 2 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 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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          satisfied, your subscription will continue at the guaranteed lowest rate 
          of $.75 an issue for 52 issues! http://clickhere.egroups.com/click/678
          
          
          eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/civilwarwest
          http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
          
          
          
          

          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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 of 12 , Dec 10, 2000
                    • 0 Attachment
                      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 10 of 12 , Dec 10, 2000
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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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