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1 There are all manner of conflicting statements concerning this truce: each party charging the other with violating it by acting while it lasted as if it had no existence. One Union writer says that the Rebels only demanded that our vessels should quit the harbor within three hours. This would render Renshaw's conduct with regard to his ship less mysterious. The Houston Telegraph of Jan. 5 had an account of the whole affair by an eye-witness, who makes the truce a Rebel trick from its inception. He says:
The propeller Owasco lay in the channel, about three-fourths of a mile from the Bayou City and Harriet Lane. As the Lane was boarded, the Owasco steamed up to within 200 or 300 yards of them, firing into both. The force of the collision drove tie Bayou City's stem so far into and under the wheel and gunwale of the Lane that she could not be got out. The Lane was also so careened that her guns could not be worked. and were consequently useless. They both lay, therefore, at the mercy of the Owasco. Herculean efforts were made to extricate them. The Owasco, evidently fearing the Lane's guns, withdrew to a position about a mile distant. It became plainly evident that, unless the Bayou City and Harriet Lane could be separated, the enemy could escape if they wished. To gain time, therefore, a flag of truce was taken to the Owasco and Clifton, now lying close together. and a demand for a surrender. Time was asked to communicate with Com. Renshaw. who was on the Westfield. A truce of three hours was agreed upon. During the truce with the vessels, the unconditional surrender of these [Mass.] men was demanded and complied with.
2 Magruder, in his official report, unqualifiedly asserts that he had given Renshaw tree hours' truce, and that the latter had agreed to surrender--which is so irreconcilable with established facts that I can only credit it on the assumption that they had acted in concert throughout.
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