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[630] bringing his vessel to bear upon the town, allowed the Confederates to evacuate it. The place was delivered up to him on the 9th of October, but the few troops he had at his disposal rendered its possession more dangerous than useful, as we shall presently see.

Meanwhile, he continued the system of occupation prescribed by Farragut and on the 26th of October two of his gun-boats. the Westfield and the Clifton, took possession of the village of Indianola, in the Bay of Matagorda, without opposition.

Similar bold strokes were attempted along that portion of the coast of the Mexican gulf which extends east of the mouths of the Mississippi. We do not propose to speak of the operations of General Weitzel, nor of the flotilla that accompanied him on the Atchafalaya and the Bayou Teche; the naval force having only played an accessory role, these operations have been recorded elsewhere. We shall merely mention a small naval expedition, undertaken a month earlier by Major Strong, chief of Butler's staff, against some Confederate detachments which were assembling on the left bank of the Mississippi for the purpose of harassing the Federals in their possession of the districts in the vicinity of New Orleans. It is known that this great city is situated on an irregularly formed peninsula, bounded on the south by the Mississippi, on the east by the sea, and on the north by a succession of bays, straits and lakes, which reach far inland. This chain is composed of the bay of the islands Les Malheureux, Lake Borgne, the Rigolets and Lake Pontchartrain, thus forming a continuous barrier which effectually protected New Orleans. It is extended beyond Lake Pontchartrain by Lake Maurepas, and still further west by the swamps adjoining Amitie River. This river, proceeding from the vicinity of Baton Rouge, discharges its waters into the first of the lakes above mentioned, which, in turn, empties into the second, at the east, through a channel called Manchac pass. The great line of railway which traverses the State of Mississippi throughout its entire length, reaching down to New Orleans from Memphis through Jackson, penetrates into the peninsula by crossing the Manchac pass over an important bridge. It was probable, therefore, that as soon as the railroad had brought the Confederates sufficient forces to enable them to

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