Cotton bales as breastworks.
--Talk on Change of the New Orleans Crescent
thus disposes of the oft denied assertion that Gen. Jackson
used cotton bales for his batteries and breastworks in the battle of New Orleans
We have, with many citizens, hoped that the everlasting theme of bales of cotton being used in the defence of New Orleans, as the breastwork of defences, had been set at rest.
But it is again revived.
Let it for once be understood that all the cotton bales employed in the defence of New Orleans, in the ever memorable campaign of 1814 and 1815, comprised two hundred and seventy-seven, forming part of the cargo of the brig Sumatra
, of Boston
; that the brig was taken from the city to the battle-ground and there discharged; that one hundred and thirty bales of the cotton were used as a barricade around the magazine, some distance inside the lines, and far beyond the range of the enemy's guns; that eighty-two bales were used in the breastwork, but proved to be useless and worthless as a means of defence, because the hot shot of the enemy set it on fire.
The other few bales were not used.
How absurd and preposterous it is for writers and editors to be alluding and harping on a few bales of cotton as forming the batteries in defence of New Orleans.
The breastwork or fortification of Gen. Jackson
extended from the bank of the river into the swamp, the entire length being about one mile and a half. Will some of our modern writers, who appear to know so much about matters and things that happened before they were born, inform us how many bales of cotton it will require for a breastwork five feet high, ten or twenty feet at the base and one mile and a half long, and then study history and ascertain how many bales of cotton were raised in the United States
in 1814, and how many bales were in New Orleans in December, 1814? If they figure it out correctly they will speedily ascertain.
In the meantime, with the exception of the eighty-two bales of cotton used, (which, by-the-bye, belonged, as did the balance of the two hundred and seventy-seven bales, to our quondam citizen, Vincent Nolte
,) the entire breastwork and fortifications of the plains of Chalmette
were composed of nothing but real Louisiana
mud. Our authorities are now piling up some more miles of mud, and only wish Lincoln
and their minions will appear before them at any time before this and next spring.
We hope there will be an end to the talk of cotton bales used in the campaign.
It it time that history should be respected to refute the assertion.