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[672] flag of truce, and verbally demanded the surrender of the forts, in the name of Commander D. D. Porter, U. S. Navy, commanding the mortar-flotilla, under the penalty of reopening the bombardment, which had ceased shortly after the passage, in case of refusal. The demand was rejected, and the bombardment was reopened about twelve o'clock M. It continued until near sundown, when it ceased altogether. The entire mortar-fleet, and all the other vessels excepting six gunboats, then got under weigh and passed down the river and out of sight, under full steam and sail. A vigilant lookout was kept up above and below during the night, but all remained quiet. So long as the mortar-fleet remained below, the position wherein the Louisiana could render the greatest assistance to the forts was the one below Fort St. Philip hereinbefore mentioned, where the fire from her batteries could dislodge the enemy from behind the point of woods.

After the mortar-fleet had left, however, and when the enemy had got in force above the forts, the question was materially changed, in consequence of the fact that all of our heavy guns at both forts had been mounted to bear upon the lower approaches, and not on those above.

The most effective position which the Louisiana could then take as a battery, was in the bight above Fort Jackson, where her guns could protect our rear, and sweep the long reach of river above, towards the quarantine. This would still insure her safety, as she would be under the guns of both forts. This is evident by a reference to the point (Xx) on the diagram.

In several personal interviews, and by correspondence with Captain Mitchell on this date (see attached documents N, O, P, Q, and R), I requested him, during the morning of the twenty-fourth, while the mortar-fleet was below, to place the Louisiana below the raft and dislodge it; and later in the day, when the mortar-fire was nearly exhausted, to. place her in the position (Xx), above Fort Jackson, to assist in repelling an attack from the vessels above.

During the day she was in an unfit condition to assume either position, for the reasons given by Captain Mitchell in his letters to me. The intoxicated volunteers referred to were none of my men, nor did they get their liquor at the forts, as there was none on hand there during the bombardment, excepting the small supplies of hospital stores in the medical department.

April 25.
No attack attempted during the day by the enemy, either from above or below. The gunboats from the quarantine and from the point of woods below occasionally showed themselves for observation, but without firing. During the day all the principal guns that would admit of it at both forts were prepared at once so as to traverse in a full circle, and bear above or below as necessity might require. Some of the twenty-four pounder barbette guns at Fort Jackson were also replaced by guns of heavier calibre, to bear on the river above.

Permission was granted by the enemy to the Confederate States Steamer McRae to proceed to New Orleans, under a flag of truce, with the wounded. Availing ourselves of the offer of Captain Mitchell, the seriously wounded of both forts were sent on board of her. As it was late when the wounded were all gotten on board, the McRae did not get off until the next morning. Still failed during the day in getting Captain Mitchell to place the Louisiana in the bight above Fort Jackson, where she could act against the enemy from above. One of the raft schooners was burned during the night to light the river, and all remained quiet.

April 26.
A gunboat with a white flag dropped down from the quarantine to escort the McRae on her mission. The McRae did not again return to the forts. Four of the enemy's steamers were in sight at the quarantine at dawn. A gunboat occasionally showed herself below to reconnoitre. In the direction of Bird Island, and back of the salt works, a large steam frigate and an ordinary river steamer appeared in sight, the latter working her way up the bay behind Fort St. Philip, apparently towards the quarantine. During the day Captain Mitchell communicated with the enemy above, under a flag of truce, and learned that the city had surrendered, and that the Confederate States steam ram Mississippi had been burned by our authorities. The wreck of the floating dock or battery drifted by the forts about four o'clock P. M.

The Louisiana was not placed in the position required of her during the day, Captain Mitchell promising to put her there the next day, the twenty-seventh. Another raft-schooner burned for light, and all quiet during the night. No shots exchanged during the day.

April 27.
At daylight, the steamer which had been observed the day before working her way up the back bays, was in view, immediately in the rear of Fort St. Philip, and near the mouth of the Fort Bayou. A frigate and five other vessels were also in sight towards Bird Island, one of which was seen working her way up the bay. From ten to thirteen launches were visible near the boat, back of Fort St. Philip, by means of which troops were being landed at the quarantine above us. About twelve o'clock M., one of the enemy's gunboats from below made her appearance, under a flag of truce, bearing a written demand for the surrender of the forts, signed by Commander David D. Porter, U. S. N., commanding mortar-flotilla. (See attached document S.) The forts refused to surrender. (See attached document T.) About four o'clock P. M., the French man-of-war Milan, Captain Clouet commanding, passed up to the city, after asking and obtaining permission to do so. The position of the Louisiana still remained unchanged.

So far, throughout the entire bombardment and final action, the spirit of the troops was

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