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Chapter 29:

  • Naval affairs, continued
  • -- Farragut demands the surrender of New Orleans -- reply of the mayor -- United States flag hoisted -- advent of General Butler -- antecedents of the people -- Galveston -- its surrender demanded -- another visit of the enemy's fleet -- appointment of General Magruder -- recapture of the Port -- capture of the Harriet Lane -- report of General Magruder -- position and importance of Sabine Pass -- fleet of the enemy -- repulse by forty-four Irishmen -- vessels captured -- terror of gunboats on the Western Rivers -- their capture -- the most illustrious ex-ample -- the Indianola; her capture -- the ram Arkansas; descent of the Yazoo River; report of her Commander; description of the vessel -- attack on Baton Rouge -- address of General Breckinridge -- burning of the Arkansas.

Sad though the memory of the fall of New Orleans must be, the heroism, the fortitude, and the patriotic self-sacrifice exhibited in the eventful struggle at the forts must ever remain the source of pride and of such consolation as misfortune gathers from the remembrance of duties well performed.

After the troops had been withdrawn and the city restored to the administration of the civil authorities, Commodore Farragut, on April 26, 1862, addressed the mayor, repeating his demand for the surrender of the city. In his letter he said: ‘It is not within the province of a naval officer to assume the duties of a military commandant,’ and added, ‘The rights of persons and property shall be secured.’ He proceeded then to demand ‘that the emblem of sovereignty of the United States be hoisted over the City Hall, Mint, and Customhouse by meridian this day. All flags and other emblems of sovereignty other than those of the United States must be removed from all the public buildings by that hour.’ To this the mayor replied, and the following extracts convey the general purport of his letter:

The city is without the means of defense, and is utterly destitute of the force and material that might enable it to resist an overpowering armament displayed in sight of it. . . . To surrender such a place were an idle and unmeaning ceremony. . . . 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

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John B. Magruder (2)
Farragut (2)
Benjamin F. Butler (1)
John C. Breckinridge (1)
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April 26th, 1862 AD (1)
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