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[84] or his ammunition nearly exhausted. Capt. Farragut, with his larger and stronger vessels, would remain just out of fire as a reserve, awaiting the issue of the bombardment. That failing, he should attempt with his steamers to run by the forts. If he succeeded in this, he would try to clear the river of the enemy's fleet, isolate the forts, and push on so far as circumstances should dictate. Gen. Butler, so soon as Capt. Farragut had passed, was to land his troops from their transports in the rear of Fort St. Philip, and attempt to carry it by assault; while the enemy, supposing the swamps in that quarter impassable, should be entirely absorbed in his contest with the fleet. The forts being thus reduced, tlhe whole expedition would advance upon the city, in such manner as should then seem expedient. Gen. Butler engaged to have 6,000 men embarked on transports and ready for service in seven days; Capt. Farragut sailing at once for the mouths of the river, to prepare his fleet for action.

The troops were formed into three brigades, under Gens. Phelps and Williams, and Col. Shepley; 100 carpenters detailed to lake scaling-ladders; 100 boatmen to manage the 30 boats which were to make their way through the reedy creeks and marshes to the rear of Fort St. Philip. On the sixth day, 7 regiments and 2 batteries were embarked, awaiting the word to move from Capt. Farragut; but high winds and low tides obstructed the movements of the fleet; several of the larger vessels being many days in getting over the bar; so that Gen. Butler was obliged to disembark his troops and wear out another fortnight as patiently as he might.

Meantime, the Rebels alongshore, who had by this time become satisfied that New Orleans was aimed at, resorted to the expedients which had proved effective with most of our commanders up to that time, and which stood them in good stead with several for many months afterward. Having been compelled nearly to deplete the Gulf region of soldiers in order to make head against Grant and Buell on the Tennessee, they supplied their places with imaginary regiments and batteries1 in generous

1 The New Orleans journals, frequently brought over from Biloxi. bristled with such awe-inspiring paragraphs as the following:

The Mississippi is fortified so as to be impassable for any hostile fleet or flotilla. Forts Jackson and St. Philip are armed with 170 heavy guns (63-pounders, rifled by Barkley Britton. and received from England). The navigation of the river is stopped by a dam about a quarter of a mile from the above forts. No flotilla on earth could force that damn in less than two hours; during which it would be within sort and cross range of 170 guns of the heaviest caliber, many of which would be served with red-hot shot, numerous furnaces for which have been erected in every fort and battery.

In a day or two, we shall have ready two iron-eased floating batteries. The plates are 4 1/2 inches thick, of the best hammered iron, received from England and France. Each iron-cased battery will mount twenty 68-pounders, placed so as to skin the water, and strike the enemy's hull between wind and water. We have an abundant supply of incendiary shells, cupola furnaces for molten iron. congreve rockets, and fire-ships.

Between New Orleans and the forts, there is a constant succession of earthworks. At the Plain of Chalmette, near Janin's property, there are redoubts, armed with rifled cannon which have been found to be effective at five miles' range. A ditch 30 feet wide and 20 deep extends from the Mississippi to La Ciprione. In Forts St. Plilip and Jackson, there are 3,000 men; of whom a goodly portion are experienced artillery-men and gunners who have served in the navy.

At New Orleans itself, we have 32,000 infantry, and as many more quartered in the immediate neieghborhood. In discipline and drill, they are far superior to the Yankees. We have two very able and active Generals, who possess our entire confidence--Gen. Mansfield Lovell and Brig.-Gen. Ruggles. For Commodore, we have old Hollins — a Nelson in his way.

--N. O. Picayune, April 5, 1862.

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