New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Monday, July 15, 2024
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Lake Port at West End

Development along this area originally occurred in the mid-19th century with
a commercial wharf and resort called Lakeport. Steamboats docked at the entrance
to the New Basin Canal (now Pontchartrain Blvd.) and at the terminus of the
Jefferson and Lake Pontchartrain Railroad where Bucktown is today. The railroad
ran along what is now the Orleans-Jefferson Parish boundary at the 17th Street
Canal. Dug as a drainage canal along the upper boundary of the Town of
Carrollton, it was originally called the Upperline Canal.

The Jefferson and Lake Pontchartrain Railroad, 1853-1864, was an extension of the New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad (today the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line). At the lake end of the railway were a hotel, restaurants, a bowling alley, dance hall, picnic ground, pleasure garden, and bathing facilities. The place later became a famous amusement park known as West End (of Orleans Parish).

Tug 'Frank' owned by Poitevent-Favre Lumber Company at West End in New
Orleans, ca. 1926.

Letters Home--Civil War 1862

Martin V. B. Hill


Lakeport, LA

May 25, 1862

Dear Brother & Sister.

It was with much pleasure that I
received a letter & paper from you yesterday. I was very glad to learn that
you were all well. I suppose you have learned eve this that we are in possession
of the great City of New Orleans, which the Confederates said we could not take.
They said they feared the Yankeys would not attack them. Well it is not at all
surprising that they though themselves out of danger. If you could only see the
way Forts Jackson and St. Phillips are situated you would say at once that no
morter fleet could ever pass them. But as fortune would have it, they did pass
and went up the river to the destined place, and the General demanded them to
surrender or else he would burn the City. He gave them 24 hours to consider. And
eve the expiration of the time they came to terms. The bombardment at the Forts
lasted six days and five nights continual fighting and the battle was remarkable
for the small loss of lives. We left S. Island May 4th and arrived at our
destination (New Orleans) the 6th. The 8th our Company and Co. C. were ordered
to report at the Custom House at 1/4 5 O’clock. From there we went to the
Pontchartrain R.R. Depot and took the Carrs for some place unknown to us. We
rode five miles and we found ourselves at a small village. It was dark and I
could not make out what sort of a place it was. The next morning I learned that
it was a wattering place. They come from the City here very frequent. At first
they did not seem to like our presence. I suppose they thought we were making
ourselves too much at home, as we took possession of a neat little building for
our qarters, but they find us different from what they expected, and seem to be
much pleased that we are here. When we came here the people of New Orleans were
almost i a starving condition. Flour was $40. Beef 50 cts per lb. and everything
else in propportion. A good pr Boots were worth $25 or $30. This is a fact!

We have splendid qarters here. We are now keeping a hotel (or rather)
occupying one. This place borders on Lake Pontchartrain. We are stationed here
to stop all communication between here and other places. We have taken many
valuable letters at this place from passengers coming across the lake. We took
the Steam Boat Creole. She cost about $100,000 quite a prize. Lieut Coan* and I
searched the first schooner that was searched. We took Revolvers, Pistols,
Kives, Letters, etc. and some of those were very valuable. Those we sent to Gen.
Butler. It is pleasing to read some of them. Since then I have searched many,
every person that leaves here is obliged to have a pass from the provost marshal
Col. French and we search all their baggage. One afternoon i searched 15 trunks.
And we take some prisoners all that look suspissious we take to the Gen. I have
been down a number of times with the Lieyt. with prisoners. When we first landed
at New Orleans they were rather insulting. They would say, you d__m Yankeys,
etc. We could not tell who said it there was such a crowd. They told us that the
yellow jack would clean us out meaning the yellow fever but they did not get
much ahead of our men. One of our men told them that we all had it on our to
Ship Island. I must draw to a close. I want you to write often tell me all the
newse. I have enjoyed the best of health since I have been in the service. I
have not had occasion to visit the Doctor once. Butler took from the City vault
one million six hundred thousand dollars. Quite a haul. He is doing a big thing.
When we came here Flour was worth $40. Beef 50 cts lb. and everything else in
proportion. Good Boots from $25 to $30.

My love to Nancy and Georgey and
the rest of the folks. Tell them to write often. Write often.

Yours, M. V. B. H.

After it was known at N. Orleans that we had passed
the forts there was great excitement. They burned ships, steamers, schooners,
guns, boots, and a pile of Cotton from 25 to 40 feet high from three to four
miles long. They destroyed shugar, molasses etc.


Itinerary - Company B
4th Tennessee Cavalry--The
Civil War:

Record of Events: 'Left Vicksburg, Miss March 18 (?) 1865 on
the steamer Shenang (?) for New Orleans, LA landing at New Orleans March 8,
1865. Left New Orleans March 19, 1865 for Lake Port on Lake Pontchartrain. Went
on board the steamer Alice Arian March 20, 1865, reached Navy Cove, AL March 21,
1865, Second Battalion reported to Maj Gen. Rousseau March 23, 1865. ER Cambry
(?) March 25, 1865 took up line of march for Fort Spanish, Mobile, AL in front
of the 18th AL (?) finding and developing the enemy and steadily pressing him
(the enemy) back in conjunction with the Infantry. Picketing, scouting and
patroling and other (?) till the surrender of Fort Spanish & Blakely,
Mobile, AL April 14, 1865, marched in direction of Citronelle, AL in the Mobile
& Ohio RR performing various duties belonging to Cav. service to the 30
April 1865. Distance marched 700 miles. (Signed - G. Fox)'