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[182] of the river. When the ascending fleet approached these batteries, a crossfire, which drove two of the vessels back, was opened upon it, and continued until all the ammunition was exhausted. The garrison was then withdrawn—casualties, one killed and one wounded. The regret which would naturally arise from the fact of these batteries not having a sufficient supply of ammunition is modified, if not removed, by the statement of the highly accomplished and gallant officer, Major General M. L. Smith, who was then in command of them. He reported:
Had the fall of New Orleans depended upon the enemy's first taking Forts Jackson and Philip, I think the city would have been safe from an attack from the Gulf. The forts, in my judgment, were impregnable as long as they were in free and open communication with the city. This communication was not endangered while the obstruction existed. The conclusion, then, is briefly this: While the obstruction existed, the city was safe; when it was swept away, as the defenses then existed, it was within the enemy's power.

On the other hand General Duncan, whose protracted, skillful, and gallant defense of the forts is above all praise, closes his official report with the following sentence: ‘Except for the cover afforded by the obscurity of the darkness, I shall always remain satisfied that the enemy would never have succeeded in passing Forts Jackson and St. Philip.’ The darkness to which he referred was not only that of night, but also the absence of the use of the means prepared to light up the river. As further proof of the intensity of the darkness, and the absence of that intelligent design and execution which had been claimed, I will quote a sentence from the report of Commodore Farragut: ‘At length the fire slackened, the smoke cleared off, and we saw to our surprise that we were above the forts.’

On April 25th the enemy's gunboats and ships of war anchored in front of the city and demanded its surrender. Major General M. Lovell, then in command, refused to comply with the summons, but, believing himself unable to make a successful defense, and in order to avoid a bombardment, agreed to withdraw his forces, and turn it over to the civil authorities. Accordingly, the city was evacuated on the same day. The forts still continued defiantly to hold their position. By assiduous exertion the damage done to the works was repaired, and the garrisons valiantly responded to the resolute determination of General Duncan and Colonel Higgins to defend the forts against the fleet still below, as well as against that which had passed and was now above. On the 26th Commodore Porter, commanding the mortar fleet below, sent a flagof-truce boat to demand the surrender of the forts, saying that the city of New Orleans had surrendered. To this Colonel Higgins replied, April

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