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[524]

The city is without the means of defence, and is utterly destitute of the force and material that might enable it to resist an overpowering armament displayed in sight of it. I am no military man, and possess no authority beyond that of executing the municipal laws of the city of New-Orleans. It would be presumptuous in me to attempt to lead an army into the field, if I had one at command; and I know still less how to surrender an undefended place, held, as this is, at the mercy of your gunners and your mortars. To surrender such a place were an idle and unmeaning ceremony. The city is yours by the power of brutal force, not by my choice, or consent of its inhabitants. It is for you to determine what will be the fate that awaits us here. As to hoisting any flag other than the flag of our own adoption and allegiance, let me say to you that the man lives not in our midst whose hand and heart would not be paralyzed at the mere thought of such an act; nor could I find in my entire constituency so wretched and desperate a renegade as would dare to profane with his hand the sacred emblem of our aspirations.

Sir, you have manifested sentiments which would become one engaged in a better cause than that to which you have devoted your sword. I doubt not but that they spring from a noble though deluded nature, and I know how to appreciate the emotions which inspired them. You have a gallant people to administrate over during your occupancy of this city — a people sensitive to all that can in the least affect their dignity and self-respect. Pray, sir, do not fail to regard their susceptibilities. The obligations which I shall assume in their name shall be religiously complied with. You may trust their honor, though you might not count on their submission to unmerited wrong.

In conclusion, I beg you to understand that the people of New-Orleans, while unable to resist your force, do not allow themselves to be insulted by the interference of such as have rendered themselves odious and contemptible by their dastardly desertion of our cause in the mighty struggle in which we are engaged, or such as might remind them too powerfully that they are the conquered, and you the conquerors. Peace and order may be preserved without resort to measures which I could not at this moment prevent. Your occupying the city does not transfer allegiance from the government of their choice to one which they have deliberately repudiated, and they yield the obedience which the conqueror is entitled to extort from the conquered.

Respectfully,


United States Flag-ship Hartford, at anchor off the City of New-Orleans, April 26.
To his Honor the Mayor of New-Orleans:
Your Honor will please give directions that no flag but that of the United States will be permitted to fly in the presence of this fleet, so long as it has the power to prevent it; and as all displays of that kind may be the cause of bloodshed, I have to request that you will give this communication as general a circulation as possible.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

D. G. Farragut, Flag-Officer Western Gulf Blockading Squadron.

United States Flag-ship Hartford, off the City of New-Orleans, April 26, 1862.
General order.

Eleven o'clock this morning is the hour appointed for all the officers and crews of the fleet to return thanks to Almighty God for his great goodness and mercy in permitting us to pass through the events of the last two days with so little loss of life and blood. At that hour the church pennant will be hoisted on every vessel of the fleet, and their crews assembled, will in humiliation and prayer make their acknowledgments therefor to the Great Dispenser of all human events.

D. G. Farragut, Flag-Officer Western Gulf Blockading Squadron.


Thanks to Com. Farragut and his command.

Navy Department, Washington, May 10, 1862.
sir: Capt. Bailey, your second in command, has brought to the Department the official despatches from your squadron, with the trophies forwarded to the National Capitol. Our navy, fruitful with victories, presents no more signal achievement than this, nor is there any exploit surpassing it recorded in the annals of naval warfare. In passing and eventually overcoming Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the batteries above and below New-Orleans, destroying the barriers of chains, steam-rams, fire-rafts, iron-clad vessels and other obstructions, capturing from the rebel forces the great Southern Metropolis, and obtaining possession and control of the lower Mississippi, yourself, your officers, and our brave sailors and marines, whose courage and daring bear historic renown, have now a nation's gratitude and applause. I congratulate you and your command on your great success in having contributed so largely toward destroying the unity of the rebellion, and in restoring again to the protection of the National Government and the national flag the important city of the Mississippi valley, and so large a portion of its immediate dependencies.

Your example and its successful results, though attended with some sacrifice of life and loss of ships, inculcates the fact that the first duty of a commander in war is to take great risks for the accomplishment of great ends. One and all, officers and men, comprising your command, deserve well of their country.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

Gideon Weldes. To Flag-Officer D. G. Farragut, Commanding Western Gulf Blockading Squadron, New-Orleans.


Official rebel correspondence.

The following official despatch is from Major-General Lovell to Brigadier-General Duncan, commanding at Fort Jackson:

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