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River defence, C. S. Gunboat Warrior, Fort Jackson, April 21, 1862.
Commander J. K. Mitchell, Confederate States Navy:
Sir: I am in receipt of an order from Major-General M. Lovell, dated twentieth instant, in which I am directed to place myself and my whole command at this point under your orders. Every officer and man on the river defence expedition, joined it with the condition that it was to be independent of the navy, and that it would not be governed by the regulations of the navy, or be commanded by naval officers. In the face of the enemy I will not say more. I will co-operate with you, and do nothing without your approbation, and will endeavor to carry out your wishes to the best of my ability, but in my own way as to the details and the handling of my boats. But I expect the vessels under my charge to remain as separate command. All orders for their movements, addressed to me, will be promptly executed if practicable, and I undertake to be responsible for their efficiency when required. I suppose this is all that is intended by the order of Major-General Lovell, or that will be expected from me by you.

Respectfully yours, &c.,

John A. Stevenson, Senior Captain, commanding.River Fleet at Fort Jackson.
Our signals should be made to assimilate at once. Captain Renshaw and myself could arrange this if you wish, as no doubt but you are greatly fatigued, and still much to do and arrange. Anything I can do, rely on it being done promptly and cheerfully.

Yours, &c.,

J. A. S.


Fort Jackson, La., April 23, 1862.
Captain J. K. Mitchell, commanding Naval Forces, Lower Mississippi River:
Captain: The enemy has just sent up a small boat, and planted a series of white flags on the Fort St. Philip side, commencing about three hundred and fifty yards above the lone tree. It is the probable position of his ships in the new line of attack which, in my opinion, he contemplates for attacking Fort Jackson with his large vessels. As you may not have seen this operation, I furnish you with the information. Please keep the river well lit up with fire-rafts to-night, as the attack may be made at any time.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

J. K. Duncan, Brigadier-General, commanding Coast Defences.


Fort Jackson, La.--3 1/2 o'clock A. M., April 24, 1862.
Captain J. K. Mitchell, commanding Naval Forces, Lower Mississippi River:
Captain: As I anticipated, and informed you yesterday, the enemy are taking up their position at the present moment, with their large ships on the Fort St. Philip shore, to operate against Fort Jackson. They are placing themselves boldly, with their lights at their mastheads. You are assuming a fearful responsibility if you do not come at once to our assistance with the Louisiana and the fleet. I can say no more.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

J. K. Duncan, Brigadier-General.


C. S. Gunboat Louisiana, near Fort St. Philip, April 24, 1862.
Brigadier-General J. K. Duncan, commanding Coast Defences, Fort Jackson:
General: On returning to the Louisiana, I find that we have no tender on whose steam-power we can rely, and many of the volunteer troops on board of the W. Burton are intoxicated. Under these circumstances, as well as the exhausted condition of our own crew, and excessive difficulty in handling the vessel, will prevent our taking the position, at least to-day, that I proposed, and was arranged between us this forenoon.

I will, however, as you suggested in your communication, take up a position above, to protect the approaches in that direction.

Having no adequate motive power of our own, it will be an easy matter for the enemy's vessels that have it to take up such a position that our guns cannot reach him for want of elevation, or be brought to bear upon him. I will, however, do all I can to keep him back from above.

The McRae has lost her nine-inch gun; of course we cannot expect much assistance from her.

I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

J. K. Mitchell, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces, Lower Miss.


C. S. Steamer Louisiana, Fort St. Philip, April 24, 1862.
General J. K. Duncan, commanding Coast Defences, Fort Jackson:
General: Your second and third notes of this date, are at hand. We are in a helpless condition for the want of tug-boats. The W. Burton is crippled, and the Landis also, and the gunboat Defiance will not do anything for us. If she comes within my reach I will deprive her captain of his command, by force if necessary.

The anchor we have down cannot purchase, and we are afraid to ship it, to move about three hundred yards higher up, where we can be better secured.

We shall probably remain where we are, and do all we can to defeat the enemy, should he attack us again.

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