At 1:30 p. m. two officers came as bearers of a triple demand from Flag-officer Farragut
This included a demand for the surrender of the city; for the lowering of the State
flag from the city hall; for the hoisting of the flag of the United States
over the postoffice, the custom house and the mint.
In the interview which followed, General Lovell
was called in. That officer resolutely refused to surrender the city, himself or his troops.
Recognizing the futility of resistance, however, he declared that he would retire with his forces, leaving the city authorities full discretion to represent the citizens in the crisis.
In this, Lovell
acted with judgment.
The mayor's action, in replying to the demand, was firmly negative.
To the first clause, he gave General Lovell
as the proper person for the surrender; to the second, an unqualified refusal; to the third, a polite declination.
On the morning of April 26th, Mr. Baker
, at Mayor Monroe
's request, went to the Hartford
to explain to Captain Farragut
that the council would meet at ten that day, and that a written reply would be made to his demand.
On board, Baker
found in the flag-officer
one who had known him intimately from boyhood.
Conversation on the ship took a pleasant turn, and Farragut
grew eloquent telling of the passage of the fleet.
‘I seemed to be breathing flame,’ he said.
The council met at the appointed hour to consider the mayor's reply.
In this, the mayor had strongly said: ‘We yield to physical force alone and maintain allegiance to the Confederate States
; beyond this, a due respect for our dignity, our rights and the flag of our country does not, I think, permit us to go.’
The council, having first accepted the message, did not long remain in its compliant mood.
The mayor soon received from that body a request to substitute for his reply a letter written by Mr. Soule
. Mayor Monroe
, a thoroughly decided man, respected, as all the city did, Mr. Soule
's high reputation.
Accordingly he yielded to the council's substitution.