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[159] of his best pieces had been taken from him and sent to Island Number10 by order of the Richmond authorities. It had many bomb-proof shelters; a portion of its artillery was in casemates; its garrison, which should have been two thousand five hundred men, scarcely numbered more than one thousand five hundred. These two forts possessed, nevertheless, a sufficient number of practical gunners to serve, with two full reliefs, the eighty guns which covered the river. A land-battery erected in front of Fort Jackson protected the point where the chain was fastened to the right bank; but at the last moment two heavy rifled guns, which had been placed there with the utmost difficulty, were taken away to be put on board the Louisiana, where they did not fire a single shot.

Since the blockade had interrupted navigation below New Orleans, the mouths of the river had become blocked up with mud, thus adding a natural defence to those we have already described. Consequently, when Farragut tried to enter the Mississippi River in the month of March, he had the greatest difficulty in getting his sloops-of-war over the bar. The frigate Colorado, drawing twenty-two feet of water, was obliged to remain outside, and the greater part of her crew were distributed among the other vessels. It was only on the 8th of April that, the sloops-of-war Mississippi and Pensacola having surmounted the obstacle, Farragut saw the whole of his fleet assembled in the waters of the great river. By the 28th of March the enemy's position had been reconnoitred, and the edge of the wood which covers the right bank below Fort Jackson was selected as the best position for the mortar-boats. Having been delayed by want of coal, the fleet was unable to start until the 17th of April, while Butler, who had arrived from Ship Island with nine thousand men, was waiting for the issue of the conflict at the entrance of the river, to land his troops upon some tenable ground. At this period the whole of the Mississippi delta was but a vast impracticable swamp, and his troops had nothing to do but to gather the fruits of the advantages secured by the navy. The rise in the river, however, which paralyzed the action of the Federal soldiers, also rendered them considerable service. The small army of Lovell, flooded in its encampments, was exposed to every kind of suffering and privations,

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