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[17]

Shortly after his return to New Orleans, the General Assembly passed a law organizing the Louisiana State forces. General Braxton Bragg was appointed Brigadier-General, and Major Beauregard was offered the position of Colonel of Engineers and Artillery. This he declined, notwithstanding urgent appeals from many friends. He felt—and rightly so—that some injustice had been done him in assigning him to a secondary position. He was a native of the State, who had just resigned an important position in the United States army, while General Bragg had been out of the service for several years, and had but recently become a resident of Louisiana. His object, however, being to aid in the defence of his country, he openly declared his readiness to serve with or under General Bragg, and to put at his disposal whatever of professional knowledge and experience he might possess. But he refused all military rank in the State army.

Major Beauregard was convinced that the most important of all the avenues of approach to New Orleans was the Mississippi River; and that, to guard it properly against invasion, must be the one grand object in view on the part of the State authorities. He therefore advised Governor Moore and the Military Board to arm Forts Jackson and St. Philip with the heaviest guns procurable, and suggested the following plan for so doing: 1st, to remove the largest pieces already there, from the rear to the front or river faces of the forts; 2d, to transfer to them the heavy guns of both Fort Pike, on the Rigolets, and Fort Macomb, on the Chef Menteur—which were works of inferior order, not likely to be put in action at all against a fleet threatening the city.

Major Beauregard also drew up, and furnished to the State authorities, the plans and estimates for two distinct river obstructions, to be placed between Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and to be there used, together or separately, according to the exigency of the case. The first was a floating boom consisting of two parts, formed of long timbers twelve inches square, solidly bound together in sections of four timbers, each section to be connected with another by means of strong iron chains. One half of the boom was to be well anchored in the river, from the shore at Fort Jackson, and inclined downward as it reached the middle of the stream. The other half was to be anchored from the opposite bank of the river near Fort St. Philip, and in such a manner as to have its shore extremity made fast. To its outer and movable end was to be attached

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