Appendix to Chapter XII.
Fairfax Court-House, Oct. 8th, 1861.Dear General,—Yours of the 6th has just been received. I regret I have not time to write all I could say on the subject of the defences of New Orleans and Louisiana. I will, however, give you the main points. 1st. Obstruct the navigation of the river up and down, particularly the latter, by means of rafts properly constructed, and anchored under the guns of shore batteries. Forts Jackson and St. Philip are the proper ones below the city. If you cannot construct such rafts as designed by Mr. John Roy and myself, anchor in the stream several separate strong rafts, with openings large enough for day navigation; be careful that the enemy does not cut them loose at night, hence they must be well guarded. Have hot-shot furnaces properly filled, etc., in all your water batteries. 2d. Look to the defences of Proctor's Landing, Tower Dupres, Battery Bienvenu, Forts Macomb, Pike, and Livingston, and Berwick Bay. Their armaments, provisions, ammunition, etc., must be complete. Garrison, seven or ten men to a gun. 3d. The land defences of the city must not be neglected; they should be about three miles from the suburbs of the city, on both sides of the river. I prefer detached redans, closed at the gorge, with strong palisading, or redoubts, especially when you have artillery for them, with here and there infantry, parapets between them; otherwise a cremaillere line, or something on the plan of Rayniart's ‘System,’ as given in Mahan's field fortifications. The great points are to be able to guard your lines with small forces, and not to be too far from your reserve or reserves, which should occupy the most central positions to the points threatened by the enemy. My experience here teaches me that the weakest profiles will do—a command of about eight feet above the natural ground is, I think, sufficient; the crest ought to be four feet three inches above the tread of the banquette; the latter three feet wide and slope one upon two. 4th. Whenever you will ascertain positively that an expedition is about to approach the coast of Louisiana, you ought to have felled into the many bayous which lead from the Gulf Coast and Lake Borgne to the mainland, the trees which grow along their banks, so as to impede their navigation, except such as you may require for use yourself. Fishermen and oystermen should then be prohibited from going beyond half a mile of the shores, for fear of their being captured and made to act as pilots, which was the case when the British attacked New Orleans in 1814-15. With regard to the persons who may be of use to you, I will suggest the following names: 1. Messrs. I. Freret, Philip Guesnon, Norton, McClusky; Coms. Fellows, Thomas B. Lee, W. C. C. Claiborne, Charles Denegre, and I. A. Deblanc, who are merchants of high positions and means, and know all about the environs and resources of New Orleans. 2. Messrs. S. R. Proctor (my brother-in-law), parish of St. Bernard, Dr. J. B.