an invincible fleet, seemed to have lost her head.
Great ships, fired, floated down stream, terrifying the fleet which unterrified had so lately defied our batteries.
Large steamboats at her wharves; a dozen ships, cotton-laden, for foreign ports; one or two gunboats, unhappily incomplete; to sum up all, the marvelous ram, in which she had taken a mother's pride—all these, fired by no one knows whom, New Orleans offered up in one supreme sacrifice.
Incendiarism was for once protected.
A cloak of official authority was thrown over the whole proceeding.
The secretary of war
that day had sent this dispatch to order it: ‘It has been determined to burn all the cotton and tobacco, whether foreign or our own, to prevent it from falling into the hands of our enemy.’
On the 28th, Benjamin F. Butler
, was taking mock possession of the forts which had already surrendered to Porter
's mortar flotilla.
was in the city at the time of the arrival of the fleet abreast the wharves.
Subsequent to its appearance he had ordered the troops in the town, together with the stores, to be sent off rapidly toward Jackson, Miss.
Being unwilling to subject to bombardment a city filled with the wives and children of absent soldiers, he proposed, after turning the city over to the mayor, to evacuate.
With his command his objective point was Jackson
, where he hoped to prevent the enemy from get. ting in the rear of Beauregard
, via Vicksburg
& Jackson railroad.1
At 5 p. m. General Lovell
left the city in the last train of cars that moved under Confederate auspices.
At Camp Moore, on the Jackson railroad, he formed a rendezvous of observation and in. struction.
Its value was seen when in August General Breckinridge
marched from the camp with his division for Baton Rouge
, fully fitted to meet a superior force with courage and success.
As a man, Mansfield Lovell
was both clever and brilliant.