New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Saturday, October 21, 2017
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1860s

 
Now it is not only the wealthy who get to enjoy the lakeshore resorts. Families spend their holidays by taking 'Smoky Mary,' the train to Milneberg...
 


1861 Most citizens have access to the Lake

The Civil War and Afterwards - Now it is not only the wealthy who get to enjoy the lakeshore resorts. Families spend their holidays by taking 'Smoky Mary,' the train to Milneberg where they fish and swim. They can also rent small lakeshore camps for the weekend. ------------------ During the Civil War New Orleans is occupied by Union troops.

1861 Most citizens have access to the Lake

Hurricanes

1860: Number 2, September 14-15th "The gale raged for about 20 hours across extreme Southeast Louisiana, and large hail fell...The third Bayou St. John lighthouse was damaged beyond repair...Tides rose to 6 feet above the high tide mark...All wharves along the south side of Lake Pontchartrain were destroyed...In total, damages exceeded $1 million. October 2-6th, 1867: A storm was discovered east of Brownsville on the 2nd. On that day, a regatta was held on Lake Pontchartrain..."spanking breeze" from the northeast and squalls wreaked havoc on the contest. October 1-3rd, 1868: A hurricane passed just offshore the Southeastern tip of Louisiana, before hitting Apalachicola the next day. On the first, cloudiness set in as a "fresh breeze", associated with showers, developed at New Orleans. Gales and heavy rains developed on the 3rd as the city became flooded. The sawmill and bathhouses were blown away. At Milneburg, houses were swept away by the flood.

Hurricanes

1863 - CLARIMONDE: A TALE OF NEW ORLEANS LIFE, AND OF THE PRESENT WAR BY A MEMBER OF THE N. O. WASHINGTON ARTILLERY.

It was a night during the season that the yellow fever was daily numbering its victims by hundreds. Death was abroad everywhere, but the evening was so soft as to tempt her and a party of congenial spirits to a ride over the shell road--that famous avenue, bordered with groves, and which terminated a few miles from New Orleans, at Lake Ponchartrain. Only the midnight vigil lamps shone through the streets, and along the road, and nought disturbed the silence of the hour, save the slow rumbling of the hearse's wheels, an occasional shriek from some departing soul in the last agonies of death, or the forced merriment of the revellers themselves. One might have supposed that they were bent on some such mission as that of the Memphians, who, carried at midnight the bodies of their dead across the lake that bordered their city. On the contrary, it was only the ordinary search after pleasure, and an attempt to leave behind the gloomy atmosphere of death. Arrived at the lake, a supper of wines and costly dishes was ordered, which it was thought would add to the hilarity of the party; but it did not. Then followed bachinal songs and others in which an attempt was made to set death at defiance, but which were more inexpressibly melancholy than any funeral dirge. But the gaiety of the party was too obviously assumed; and at length, wearied with what produced only sickening disgust, my mother, who was the ruling spirit, and who now realized, for the first time, that she was growing old, reluctantly gave her consent to return home. It was none too soon--the seeds of disease began to betray themselves before the party separated; and ere the close of the succeeding day, my poor mother was borne a corpse, yellow and spotted, by the black horses, to her final resting place. Source: CLARIMONDE: A TALE OF NEW ORLEANS LIFE, AND OF THE PRESENT WAR. BY A MEMBER OF THE N. O. WASHINGTON ARTILLERY. RICHMOND: 1863. By Bartlett, Napier, 1836-1877 Electronic Edition. http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/bartlett/bartlett.html

1863 - CLARIMONDE: A TALE OF NEW ORLEANS LIFE, AND OF THE PRESENT WAR BY A MEMBER OF THE N. O. WASHINGTON ARTILLERY.

1863 Civil War Military Map

Source: http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/maps/louisiana/civilwar/sela1863.jpg

1863 Civil War Military Map

1868 Map

Illustrating proposed connections between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. Published Army Chief of Engineers Report 1868. Unfolded 13 3/4 x 10 1/2. Color added. It is a map from a report on examination and survey of Pass and Bayou Manchac and AMITE RIVER, with respect to rendering then navigable for First Class Steamboats.

1868 Map

CSS CARONDELET - Civil War light draft steamer

CSS CARONDELET was a light draft steamer built...at Bayou St. John, La., in 1861-62. She was put into service in March 1862 with Lt. W. Gwathmey CSN, in command. On 4 April this ship, accompanied by CSS OREGON and PAMLICO, engaged the Federal gunboats NEW LONDON, JOHN P. JACKSON and HATTERAS at Pass Christian, Miss. The Confederates were unable to prevent the landing of 1,200 Union men at the Pass and the destruction of the camp there.

CSS CARONDELET - Civil War light draft steamer

1861-62 CSS Pamlico - Civil War side-wheel steamer

CSS PAMLICO, a side-wheel steamer purchased in New Orleans, La., on 10 July 1861, was placed in commission on 2 September with Lt. W. G. Dozier, CSN, commanding. She operated in the vicinity of New Orleans, clashing ineffectually with vessels of the Federal blockading squadron on 4 and 7 December 1861, and 25 March and 4 April 1862. PAMLICO was burned by her officers on Lake Pontchartrain, La., when New Orleans fell to the Union.

1861-62 CSS Pamlico - Civil War side-wheel steamer

1861 The Submarine

A privateer two-man submarine..was (built) in New Orleans in 1861 to meet the menace of the United States steamers NEW LONDON and CALHOUN on Lake Pontchartrain ...constructed from quarter-inch riveted iron plates that had been cut from old boilers... PIONEER was 30 feet long..kind of 'cigar shape.' ...manholes in the top and small windows...in her sides. One man propelled the submarine by turning the manual crank...and was armed by a clock-work torpedo, carried on top...intended to be screwed into the bottom of the enemy's ship... "Pioneer 1"... was the first test model, tested here in Lake Pontchartrain, of what was to be two sister submarines, the "American Diver" and finally the "Hunley" which is famous for sinking the first victim of submarine warfare. That distinction fell upon the union blockading ship "Housatonic" at Charleston harbor in 1864. PIONEER made several descents in Lake Pontchartrain and succeeded in destroying a small schooner and several rafts during experiments. Before she could attack a Union ship, Farragut captured NEW ORLEANS and she was sunk to prevent her from falling into Federal hands. PIONEER was recovered long after the Civil War...On 24 April 1957 she was transferred to her present site in the Presbytere. Early in the Civil War, the Confederate government authorized citizens to operate armed warships as 'privateers.' A New Orleans consortium headed by cotton broker H.L. Hunley gained approval for the operation of Pioneer, a 34-foot-long submarine designed and built by James McClintock. The boat held three persons, one to steer and two to crank the propeller. In a March 1862 demonstration on Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain, a submerged Pioneer sank a barge with a towed floating torpedo. In April 1862, the U.S. Navy captured New Orleans, and its builders scuttled Pioneer. Soon discovered, the boat was sold for scrap in 1868. The photo shows A Civil War-era submarine that was long thought to be Pioneer but is not was discovered and raised in 1878 and is on display at the Louisiana State Museum. Its true origin remains a mystery. Source: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/lostsub/hist1861.html

1861 The Submarine

The Milenburg port declined during the Civil War

with the suspension of trade with Mobile, Alabama

The Milenburg port declined during the Civil War

1861Bayou St. John's Port, Lake Port (West End), and Port Pontchartrain (Milneburg Port) become part of the Port of New Orleans

No. 125.] AN ACT To define the Limits of the Port of New Orleans, and for other purposes. The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the port of New Orleans, in the State of Louisiana, shall embrace and include all the waters, inlets and shores on both sides of the river Mississippi, within the whole parish of Orleans, that part of the parish of Jefferson on the right bank of the said river to the upper line of the Destrehans canal, and that portion of the said parish of Jefferson on the left bank of the Mississippi river to the upper limits of the town or faubourg of Hurtsville. That the ports of delivery known as bayou St. John's, Lake Port, and Port Pontchartrain, and the customs officers authorized therefor, be and the same are hereby abolished and discontinued, and all the waters, inlets and shores embraced within the limits of said ports be added to and included in the port of New Orleans. APPROVED May 14, 1861. ----- Acts and Resolutions of the Second Session of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States, Held at Montgomery, Ala. : Electronic Edition. Source: http://docsouth.unc.edu/proviscongress/session2.html Photo shows a Letter of B. J. Shaw, Surveyor and Inspector of Port Pontchartrain, 3 Dec. 1838

1861Bayou St. John's Port, Lake Port (West End), and Port Pontchartrain (Milneburg Port) become part of the Port of New Orleans

1860s Steamboats (Steamers) transported people and goods across the lake

Pictured is 1868 receipts for the Jewess and Frances. The steamers Louise, Francis and the Mary were owned by the Morgan Line which sailed daily (delivering mail and goods) between New Orleans and Mobile. Receipts were from the Pontchartrain Railroad Company. Source: LSU Digital Library http://appl005.lsu.edu/STM_STORED_OBJECTS/st000446.jpg

1860s Steamboats (Steamers) transported people and goods across the lake

1862 - Harper's Weekly Illustration

Civil War woodcut print, "THE APPROACHES TO NEW ORLEANS BY LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN AND LAKE BORGNE" from sketch by Mr. A. Richardson and published by Harper’s Weekly newspaper, May 10, 1862. Black & white, 15-3/4 X 11"

1862 - Harper's Weekly Illustration

1863 Woodcut Civil War engraving

Wood engraving of "Capt. Healy, and Three Men of the 9th Conn. Vol. Capturing a Sloop, Laden with Supplies and Correspondence for the Rebels, on Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans, on the Night of Feb. 3" is from an issue of Frank Leslie's Illustrated published in March of 1863. The picture measures 9 x 8 inches on an 11 x 16 sheet. The rest of the sheet is filled with an article on the war in Louisiana and the magazine logo and publication date. This was the front page of the magazine.

1863  Woodcut Civil War engraving

1865 ? BAYOU ST. JOHN

BAYOU ST. JOHN Leading from the City to Lake Pontchartrain Publisher/Photographer: S.T. Blessing Louisiana Photograph Collection Stereographs Series: New Orleans in Stereoscope Views Around New Orleans, No. 204 Source: http://nutrias.org/photos/stereographs/stereo5.htm

1865 ? BAYOU ST. JOHN

1865 - Civil War Order

Order from "Headquarters, U.S Forces Lake Ponchartrain Louisiana" regarding the change of command from the 34th Indiana Volunteers to the 130th Illinois

1865 - Civil War Order

The Submarine

Photo from the Gene Leingang Collection New Orleans, Louisiana USA Source: http://www.bergeronstudio.com/gl01/pgl023.html

The Submarine

1865 Civil War Court Marshall

HQ, Military Division of West Mississippi, March 25, 1865, 1.5 p. describing court martial of Capt. James W. Crane, Co. D, 46th Ill. Volunteer Vet. Infantry, for witnessing his own troops sacking a store and doing nothing to stop it. When asked what they were doing, he replied that the soldiers "were having a little fun." Incident took place at Lake Pontchartrain, La. Signed by R.G. Curtis, AAG, excellent order and VF.

1865 Civil War Court Marshall

1866 - The Little Blue Train

"Le Petit Bleu (Valse)." (translation: The Little Blue Train, a song written by L. de Wenzel. [New Orleans], 1866. Part of the Echoes of the Spanish Fort series. The series cover shows the "Little Blue Train" that ran between New Orleans and the Spanish Fort resort at Lake Pontchartrain. Also pictured is Prof. Sontag, whose Military Orchestra performed at the resort. I'm not sure if this image matches the description. Source: From Rags to Opera: Riches from the William Russell Sheet Music Collection The Williams Research Center of the Historic New Orleans Collection 410 Chartres Street April 14—July 29, 2000 (box 14, folder 395). New Orleans Historic Collection website at http://www.hnoc.org/fromrags.htm

1866 - The Little Blue Train