and ordnance stores, which I ordered immediately to Vicksburg, to be put in position there. On the twenty-fifth, Captain Bailey, of the Federal Navy, demanded the surrender of the city, and that the flags should be taken down, and the United States flag put up on the mint, custom-house, and other public buildings. To this demand I returned an unqualified refusal, declaring that I would not surrender the city or any portion of my command, but added, that feeling unwilling to subject the city to bombardment, and recognizing the utter impossibility of removing the women and children, I should withdraw my troops and turn it over to the civil authorities. This I did in compliance with the expressed opinion of all the prominent citizens around me — that it would be a useless waste of blood, without being productive of any beneficial results to the cause, for the troops to remain. Captain Bailey then returned to his ship, under escort through the city, at his own request, of two officers of my staff, Colonel Lovell and Major James, and I then. advised the Mayor not to surrender the city, nor to allow the flags to be taken down by any of our people, but to leave it to the enemy to take them down himself. This advice was followed by the city authorities; but the idea being held out in their subsequent correspondence with the Federal officers, that they were placed in a defenseless condition by the withdrawal of the troops, but for which a different course might have been pursued, I promptly telegraphed to Major James, of my staff, then in the city, offering to return at once with my whole command, if the citizens felt disposed to resist to the last extremity, and remain with them to the end. I had deliberately made up my mind, that although such a step would be entirely indefensible, in a military point of view, yet if the people of New Orleans were desirous of signalizing their patriotism and devotion to the cause by the bombardment and burning of their city, I would return with my troops and not leave as long as one brick remained upon another. The only palliation for such an act would be, that it would give unmistakable evidence to the world that our people were in deadly earnest. This determination, plainly expressed in my despatches to Major James (herewith transmitted marked A), was read by him to the Mayor, and also to the city council, in presence of one or more prominent citizens. The opinion was generally and freely expressed by the Mayor and others, that the troops ought not to return. (See report of Major James, hereunto appended, marked B.) I went to the city myself, however, on the night of the twenty-eighth of April, and in order that there might be no mistake, made the same proposition in person to the Mayor. He said he did not think it advisable for the troops to return — that such a step would only be followed by a useless sacrifice of life, without any corresponding benefit, and urged decidedly that it be not done. I, however, addressed him a letter (herewith appended, marked C) declaring my willingness to return and share a bombardment with them, and waited until the night of the twenty-ninth for an answer, but receiving none in writing returned to Camp Moore. The same proposition was made by me, in the course of the day, to several prominent citizens, but was invariably discountenanced by them. For a week after the withdrawal of the troops I had a number of officers in the city, and kept trains running regularly, which brought out a large amount of government property and stores, as well as those of the State of Louisiana. Nearly everything was brought away except the heavy guns and some property which persons in their fright had destroyed, and everything might have been saved had not persons refused to work for my officers, fearing that they might be subjected to punishment by the enemy. Many, also, refused to work for Confederate money, which occasioned some delay and difficulty in the removal of stores. I feel gratified however, in being able to state that we brought away all the troops that would leave, and, including the property of the State, a greater amount in value than belonged to the government. What we failed to bring was from inability to get transportation. In this duty I was mainly assisted by Colonel Lovell, Major James, Major Ball, Captain Venables, and Lieutenant McDonald, to whom the government is greatly indebted for the safety of much valuable property. It was a source of great distress to me to see the result of months of toil and labor swept away in a few hours, but it was, in my opinion, mainly attributable to the following causes, which I could not by any possibility control: 1st. The want of a sufficient number of guns of heavy calibre, which every exertion was made to procure, without success. 2d. The failure through inefficiency and want of energy of those who had charge of the construction of the iron-clad steamers Louisiana and Mississippi, to have them completed in the time specified, so as to supply the place of obstructions; and, finally, the declension of the officers in charge of the Louisiana to allow her (though not entirely ready) to be placed as a battery in the position indicated by General Duncan and myself. On these last points I could only advise and suggest, as they appertained to a separate and independent department, over which I had no control whatever. (See letter of Major James, hereunto appended, marked D.) Opened fire on the thirteenth of April, which was kept up, at intervals, for five days, when the mortars opened, and, from that time, with but a single interruption of a few hours, a bombardment was kept up for seven days and nights, which, for great rapidity and accuracy of range, has no parallel. More than twenty-five thousand shells were thrown, of which not less than one-third fell within the limits of Fort Jackson, yet the garrison held out, although wet, without change of clothing, and exhausted for
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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