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[517] with two regiments to make demonstrations in that direction if it became possible.

In the night of the twenty-seventh, learning that the fleet had got the city under its guns, I left Brig.-Gen. Williams in charge of the landing of the troops, and went up the river to the flagship to procure light draught transportation. That night the larger portion (about two hundred and fifty) of the garrison of Fort Jackson mutinied, spiked the guns bearing up the river, came up and surrendered themselves to my pickets, declaring that, as we had got in their rear, resistance was useless, and they would not be sacrificed. No bomb had been thrown at them for three days, nor had they fired a shot at us from either Fort. They averred that they had been impressed, and would fight no longer.

On the twenty-eighth the officers of Forts Jackson and St. Philip surrendered to Capt. Porter, he having means of water transportation to them. While he was negotiating, however, with the officers of the Forts under a white flag, the rebel naval officers put all their munitions of war on the Louisiana; set her on fire and adrift upon the Harriet Lane, but when opposite Fort St. Philip she blew up, killing one of their own men by the fragments which fell into that Fort.

I have taken possession of the Forts and find them substantially as defensible as before the bombardment — St. Philip precisely so, it being quite uninjured. They are fully provisioned, well supplied with ammunition, and the ravages of the shells have been defensibly repaired by the labors of the rebels. I will cause Lieut. Wietzel, of the engineers, to make a detailed report of their condition to the Department.

I have left the Twenty-sixth regiment Massachusetts volunteers in garrison, and am now going up the river to occupy the city with my troops, and make further demonstrations in the rear of the enemy now at Corinth.

The rebels have abandoned all their defensive works in and around New-Orleans, including Forts Pike and Wood, on Lake Ponchartrain, and Fort Livingston from Barataria Bay. They have retired in the direction of Corinth, beyond Manchac Pass, and abandoned everything up the river as far as Donaldsonville, some seventy miles beyond New-Orleans.

I propose to so far depart from the letter of my instructions as to endeavor to persuade the Flag-Officer to pass up the river as far as the mouth of Red River, if possible, so as to cut off their supplies, and make there a landing and a demonstration in their rear as a diversion in favor of Gen. Buell, if a decisive battle is not fought before such movement is possible.

Mobile is ours whenever we choose, and we can better wait.

I find the city under the dominion of the mob. They have insulted our flag-torn it down with indignity. This outrage will be punished in such manner as in my judgment will caution both the perpetrators and abettors of the act, so that they shall fear the stripes if they do not reverence the stars of our banner.

I send a marked copy of a New-Orleans paper containing an applauding account of the outrage.

Trusting my action may meet the approbation of the Department,

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

Benjamin F. Butler, Major-General Commanding.


Report of Capt. T. T. Craven.

U. S. Steamer Brooklyn, Mississippi River, off New-Orleans, April 26, 1862.
sir: I have the honor to enclose reports from the executive officer, surgeon, gunner, carpenter, and boatswain, relative to the occurrences, casualties, expenditure of ammunition, and damages on board this ship on the morning of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth inst.

It becomes my duty to add that on the morning of the twenty-fourth, soon after the action between our fleet and the Forts St. Philip and Jackson commenced, in consequence of the darkness of the night, and the blinding smoke, I lost sight of your ships; and when following on the line of what I supposed to be your fire, I suddenly found the Brooklyn running over one of the hulks and rafts which sustained the chain-barricade of the river. Whilst in this situation I received a pretty severe fire from Fort St. Philip. I immediately after extricated my ship from the rafts, her head was turned up-stream, and a few minutes thereafter she was fully butted by the celebrated ram Manassas. She came butting into our starboard gangway, first firing from her trap-door when within about ten feet of the ship, directly toward our smoke-stack-her shot entering about five feet above the water-line, and lodging in the sandbags which protected our steam-drum. I had discovered this queer-looking gentleman while forcing my way over the barricade lying close into the bank, and when he made his appearance the second time, I was so close to him that he had not an opportunity to get up his full speed, and his efforts to damage me were completely frustrated, our chain-armor proving a perfect protection to our sides. He soon slid off and disappeared in the darkness.

A few minutes thereafter, being all this while under a raking fire from Fort Jackson, I was attacked by a large rebel steamer. Our port broadside, at the short distance of only fifty or sixty yards, completely finished him, setting him on fire almost instantaneously.

Still groping my way in the dark, or under the black cloud of smoke from the fire-raft, I suddenly found myself abreast of St. Philip, and so close that the leadsman in the starboard chains gave the soundings “thirteen feet, sir.” As we could bring all our guns to bear for a few brief moments, we poured in grape and canister, and I had the satisfaction of completely silencing that work before I left it, my men in the tops witnessing, in the flashes of their bursting shrapnel, the enemy running like sheep for more comfortable quarters.

After passing the Forts we engaged several of the enemy's gunboats, and being at short range, generally from sixty to one hundred yards, the effects of our broadsides of grape must have been


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