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Doc. 108.-surrender of Natchez, Miss.


Official correspondence.

United States steamer Iroquois, at anchor off Natchez, Miss., May 12.
sir: In advance of the squadron now coming up the Mississippi, I am instructed by the flag-officer to demand the surrender of the city of Natchez to the naval forces of the United States. The same terms will be accorded as those granted to New-Orleans and Baton Rouge. The rights and property of all peaceable citizens shall be respected, but all property in this city belonging to the so-called confederate States must be delivered up, and the flag of the United States must wave unmolested and respected over your town. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Jas. S. Palmer, Commander. To His Honor the Mayor of Natchez.

To this communication the Mayor was directed to make the following reply:

Mayors office, Natchez, Miss., May 13.
sir: Your communication of the twelfth instant has been received by me and laid before the Board of Selectmen of this city, and I am directed to return the following reply: Coming as a conqueror, you need not the interposition of the city authorities to possess this place. An unfortified city, an entirely defenceless people, have no alternative but to yield to an irresistible force. It [424] is useless to imperil innocent blood. Formalities are absurd in the face of such realities. So far as the city authorities can prevent, there will be no opposition to your possession of the city. They cannot, however, guaranty that your flag shall wave unmolested in the sight of an excited people; but such authority as they possess shall be exercised for the preservation of good order in the city. As to property belonging to the confederate States, they are not aware of any such within the limits of the city.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John Hunter, Mayor. To Jas. S. Palmer, Commander U. S. Steamer Iroquois, at anchor off Natchez, Miss.


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