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No. 5.-correspondence relating to the occupation of Memphis, Tenn.

United States Ram Switzerland, Opposite Memphis, June 7, 1862.
Sir: Yesterday, after the engagement with the rebel fleet had nearly terminated and the gunboats and one of my rams had passed below, I [910] was informed that a white flag had been raised in the city. I immediately sent my son, Medical Cadet Charles R. Ellet, ashore with a flag of truce and the following note to the authorities:

opposite Memphis, June 6, 1862.
To the Civil or Military Authorities of Memphis:
gentlemen: I understand that the city of Memphis has surrendered. I therefore send my son, with two United States flags, with instructions to raise one upon the custom-house and the other upon the court-house, as evidence of the return of your city to the care and protection of the Constitution.

Chas. Ellet, Jr., Colonel, Commanding.

The bearer of the flags and the above note was accompanied by Lieutenant Crandall, of the Fifty-ninth Illinois Regiment, and 2 men of the boat guard. The following is the reply of the mayor of the city:

Mayor's office, Memphis, Tenn., June 6, 1862.
Col. Charles Ellet, Jr., Commanding, etc.:
Sir: Your note of this date is received and contents noted. The civil authorities of this city are not advised of its surrender to the forces of the United States Government, and our reply to you is simply to state respectfully that we have no forces to oppose the raising of the flags you have directed to be raised over the custom-house and post-office.


Jno. Park, Mayor.

On receiving this reply the small party proceeded to the post-office to raise the national flag, and were there joined by the mayor. It is proper to say that the conduct of the mayor and some of the citizens was unexceptionable, but the party was surrounded by an excited crowd, using angry and threatening language. They ascended to the top of the post-office and planted the flag, though fired upon several times and stoned by the mob below. Still, I believe that this conduct was reprobated by the people of standing in the place. Indeed, many evidences reach me of an extensive Union sentiment at Memphis.


Chas. Ellet, Jr., Colonel, Commanding iam Fleet. Hon. E. M. Stanton.

headquarters Indiana Brigade, Me mphis, June 7, 1862.
General: A strong force patrolled the city last night, the populace having evinced a hostile disposition during the day and threatened to destroy certain public and private property.

The amount of the former is not yet known, but must be very considerable, including commissary stores, hospital furniture, and transports and ordnance.

On my arrival I was informed by Flag-Officer Davis that the following correspondence had taken place between himself and the mayor of the city:

U. S. Flag-steamer Benton, Of Memphis, June 6, 1862.
To His Honor the Mayor of the City of Memphis:
Sir: I have respectfully to request that you will surrender the city of Memphis to the authority of the United States, which I have the honor to represent.

I am, Mr. Mayor, with high respect, your most obedient servant,

C. H. Davis, Flag-Officer, Commanding, &c.


To which the mayor replies:

Mayor's office, Memphis, June 6, 1826.
C. H. Davis, Flag-Officer, Commanding, etc.:
Sir: Your note of this day is received and contents noted.

In reply, I have only to say that as the civil authorities have no means of defense, by the force of circumstances the city is in your hands.


Jno. park, Mayor.

Subsequently the following correspondence took place:

U. S. flag-steamer Benton, Off Memphis, June 6, 1862.
To His Honor the Mayor of the City of Memphis:
Sir: The undersigned, commanding the military and naval forces in front of Memphis, have the honor to say to the mayor of the city, that Colonel Fitch, commanding the Indiana Brigade, will take military possession of the city immediately.

Colonel Fitch will be happy to receive the co-operation of his honor the mayor and the city authorities in maintaining peace and order, and to this end he will be pleased to confer with his honor at the military headquarters at 3 o'clock this afternoon.

The undersigned have the honor to be, with high respect, your most obedient servant,

C. H. Davis, Flag-Officer, Commanding Afloat. G. N. Fitch, Colonel, Commanding Indiana Brigade.

Mayor's office, June 6, 1862.
To Flag-Officer C. H. DAvis and Col. G. N. Fitch.
Sirs: Your communication is received, and I shall be happy to co-operate with the colonel commanding in providing measures for maintaining peace and order in the city.

Your most obedient servant,

Jno. park, Mayor.

In accordance with the above, the mayor andt common council called upon me at 3 o'clock p. m., and by mutual arrangement it was agreed that the municipal functions should continue and the military to be used whenever and wherever necessary to aid the enforcement of the proper ordinances for the preservation of peace and protection of life and property and the maintenance of the supremacy of the laws and Constitution of the United States.

In addition to the threatening attitude of the mob, there is known to be a considerable body of cavalry 15 or 20 miles in the rear of the city, threatening a descent upon it.

In view of these facts, cannot a small re-enforcement, including a squadron of cavalry and a battery, be sent to this place?

G. N. Fitch, Colonel, Commanding. Maj. Gen. John Pope.

Special orders, no.--.

headquarters U. S. Forces, U. S. S. Henry Von Phul, June 6, 1862.
The company commanders will immediately see that their several companies are assembled at some particular part of the boat, which will be known as their quarters, where they will stack arms and deposit knapsacks, and be in readiness to take both at a moment's notice or [912] when the assembly sounds, and when formed will remain in ranks for orders.

Upon the landing of the boat sentinels will be placed to prevent any one from going on shore, either soldier, citizen, or officer, without orders.

Any enlisted man attempting to go on shore without orders will be severely punished, and any officer making the attempt will be arrested and sent up the river.

When we march on shore, any man found straggling from the ranks or plundering will be immediately shot.

This order will be read at the head of every company of this conmmand.

G. N. Fitch, Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Headquarter's Indiana Brigade, Memphis, June 7, 1862.
The undersigned, with the troops under his command, has taken mlilitary possession of this city in the name of the Government of the United States, for the purpose of asserting the supremacy of the Constitution and laws of the Union and restoring peace, protecting public and private property and the lives of citizens.

Residents who may have fled from their homes are exhorted to return. Merchants and others who have abandoned their business are requested to reopen their stores and shops, excepting those dealing in intoxicating liquors, who are forbidden to resume that traffic under penalty of having the stock immediately destroyed.

The mayor and common council will continue in the exercise of their municipal functions, the military authorities simply co-operating with them in enforcing all proper ordinances, unless some exigency arises rendering it imperative to place the city under martial law. It is hoped and believed, however, nothing will occur to render this step necessary. Certainly no act of this command shall afford any pretext for the citizens placing themselves in that position.

Capt. John H. Gould, Forty-sixth Indiana Volunteers, will act as provost-marshal until further orders. Maj. John C. Major, Forty-third Indiana, will have command of the pickets and patrols.

G. N. Fitch, Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

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