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‘ [38] the forts. She was evidently in a sinking condition.’ This tells the heroic story of effort and failure, but of right her flag should float about the Passes so long as the Mississippi has memories! Later on it will be seen that the end of the Louisiana was less glorious but more dramatic.

In the command of Fort St. Philip Colonel Higgins was ably assisted by Capt. M. T. Squires, of the Louisiana artillery, on duty in the fleet. In Fort Jackson was Brigadier-General Duncan, commanding coast defenses. Every effort had been made by General Lovell to provide heavy guns for the forts. He had secured three 10-inch guns and three 8-inch columbiads; the rifled 42-pounder and the five 10-inch seacoast mortars recently obtained from Pensacola, together with the two 7-inch guns temporarily borrowed from the naval authorities in New Orleans. Some of these guns had been placed on the old water-battery to the west of and below Fort Jackson. This battery had never been completed. After great exertions cheerfully rendered by officers and men—the garrison working by reliefs night and day—the work of building the platforms and mounting the guns was completed by April 13th. Then a hitch, inseparable from a newly organized government, occurred. No sooner had the two rifled 7-inch navy guns been placed in position, than urgent orders arrived to dismount one of them and send it at once to the city to be placed on the ironclad steamer Louisiana.

Besides these measures for defense, Captain Mullen's company of sharpshooters was stationed on the point of the woods below Fort Jackson. At the quarantine battery was Colonel Szymanski's Chalmette regiment.1

1 To the credit of Szymanski's Chalmette regiment, it may be recorded that, in its brief service of 55 days, the quarantine battery was attacked April 24, 1862. by the Federal fleet. The Chalmettes made a spirited but unsuccessful defense against numbers and trained gunners. Its loss in the engagement was 5 men killed and 26 wounded.

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Szymanski (2)
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