of an enemy, no cloud is so black as mutiny.
In an instant, taking advantage of midnight, the cloud darkened the whole sky above the forts.
This is not a pleasant incident to interject into a story of Louisiana
and her gallant soldiers; yet, for the truth's sake, it must be touched upon.
It is more fitting, in every respect, that an official pen should rehearse the incident which blurred the first page of the war in Louisiana
I quote, therefore, first from Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins
, commanding Forts Jackson
and St. Philip
, on the mutiny itself; and second, from General Duncan
, giving desertion to the enemy in the city as the closing scene in this ill-conceived and too well-played two-act drama of ‘Disloyalty and Treason.’
Perhaps here best may be emphasized a consolation for State pride.
No native Louisianian was among the mutineers at the forts.
The St. Mary's Cannoneers—all natives—by their steady valor at the guns, by their soldierly bearing against disaffection, by their stern fidelity to their State under temptation and threats, received, as they deserved, the commendation of both Duncan
thus reports the mutiny:
‘Our fort was still strong; our damage had been to some extent repaired; our men had behaved well, and all was hope and confidence with the officers; when suddenly at midnight I was aroused by the report that the garrison had revolted, had seized the guard, and were spiking the guns.
Word was sent us through the sergeants of companies that the men would fight no longer.
The company officers were immediately dispatched to their commands, but were driven back.
Officers were fired upon when they appeared in sight upon the parapet.
Signals were exchanged by the mutineers with Fort St. Philip
The mutiny was complete, and a general massacre of the officers and disgraceful surrender of the fort appeared inevitable.
By great exertions we succeeded in preventing this disgraceful blot upon our country, ’