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[169] the Federal ships as soon as they should present themselves before the city; but when he asked for a thousand men willing to join in this undertaking, scarcely one hundred responded to the appeal; he had only three thousand men in all under his command. Consequently, giving up the idea of continuing a useless struggle, he concluded to evacuate the city and to retire with his little garrison to Camp Moore, situated one hundred kilometres in the interior, on the Jackson Railroad. This determination, for which he was unjustly blamed, was wise as well as necessary; for if he had attempted to defend New Orleans, he would not only have exposed that city to frightful ravages, but would have given Farragut an opportunity to achieve a much more decisive success; and the Federal fleet would probably have taken advantage of such success to seize the whole course of the Mississippi. New Orleans, from its position, was a perfect trap for troops who had to defend it against an enemy having control of the river. North of the city stretches the great Lake Pontchartrain, bordered by gardens and villas, which, at a place called Kenner, above the city, draws so near the Mississippi as to be only separated by a strip of land one kilometre in width. This strip alone connects with the main land the irregular peninsula which forms the left side of the delta, and on which stands the city of New Orleans. Lake Pontchartrain, in fact, empties itself into Lake Borgne by means of two deep channels, the Rigolets and the bayou of Chef Menteur; the rise in the waters had carried away all the obstacles that had been placed in these channels, the latter being only defended by two insignificant works. It thus opened Lake Pontchartrain to the small Federal gun-boats, enabling them to navigate there; all retreat on this side, therefore, was impossible for the Confederates. Elsewhere this same freshet, by raising the surface of the Mississippi to a level with its levees, enabled the Federal vessels to place their broadsides in front of the isthmus of Kenner, and entirely to command its passage. If Lovell had remained in New Orleans, he would have been obliged to capitulate with all his troops at the end of a few days. His sagacity and prudence saved him from this inevitable disaster, and his speedy retreat secured the possession of Vicksburg to the Confederates. As soon as he had formed his decision he at once ordered all the materiel that

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