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 Soon thereafter, on May 17, 1862, Captain Eagle, United States Navy, commanding the naval forces before Galveston, summoned it to surrender, ‘to prevent the effusion of blood and the destruction of property which would result from the bombardment of the town,’ adding that the land and naval forces would appear in a few days. The reply was that, ‘when the land and naval forces made their appearance, the demand would be answered.’ The harbor and town of Galveston were not prepared to resist a bombardment, and, under the advice of General Herbert, the citizens remained quiet—resolved, when the enemy should attempt to penetrate the interior, to resist his march at every point. This condition remained without any material change until the 8th of the following October, when Commander Renshaw with a fleet of gunboats, consisting of the Westfield, Harriet Lane, Owasco, Clifton, and some transports, approached so near the city as to command it with his guns. Upon a signal, the mayor pro tem came off to the flagship and informed Commander Renshaw that the military and civil authorities had withdrawn from the town, and that he had been appointed by a meeting of citizens to act as mayor, and had come for the purpose of learning the intentions of the naval commander. In reply he was informed that there was no purpose to interfere with the municipal affairs of the city; that he did not intend to occupy it before the arrival of a military commander, but that he intended to hoist the United States flag upon the public buildings, and claim that it should be respected. The acting mayor informed him that persons over whom he had no control might take down the flag, and he could not guarantee that it should be respected. Commander Renshaw replied that, to avoid any difficulty like that which occurred in New Orleans, he would send with the flag a sufficient force to protect it, and would not keep the flag flying for more than a quarter or half an hour. The vessels of the fleet were assigned to positions commanding the town and the bridge which connected the island with the mainland, and a battalion of Massachusetts volunteers was posted on one of the wharves. Late in 1862 General John B. Magruder, a skillful and knightly soldier, who had at an earlier period of the year rendered distinguished service by his defense of the peninsula between the James and York Rivers, Virginia, was assigned to the command of the Department of Texas. On his arrival, he found the enemy in possession of the principal port, Galveston, and other points upon the coast. He promptly collected the scattered arms and field artillery, had a couple of ordinary
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