Patrick Young asks:
The largest disaster for the Confederacy in the first 13 months of the war was the Union capture of New Orleans. The city was the largest in the Confederacy, the second largest port in the U.S. in 1860, and the principal likely port for shipment of cotton to Liverpool if exports were resumed. Could Confederate forces engaged in quixotic expeditions into northern Missouri, New Mexico, Arizona, etc. have been moved to Louisiana in time to forestall the capture of the city and thereby deny the Union a choke hold on any possible commercial use of the Mississippi? This would have also substantially complicated Union moves against Vicksburg and denied the Union of the political and manpower advantages that came from capture of the city.
Could the Confederacy have prevented the fall of New Orleans? Was there a serious effort to recapture it? Should there have been?