‘s letter could be copied, Lieutenant Kautz
and Midshipman Read
came on shore with a peremptory written demand for the ‘unqualified surrender’ of the city and the hoisting of the emblem of the sovereignty of the United States
over the city hall, the custom house and the mint.
The day was Saturday, April 26th, and the hour was by meridian of that day.1
delivered the mayor's reply to Captain Farragut
With Mr. Soule
‘s letter, now properly copied, went one paragraph added by the mayor himself, promising a reply to the official demand.
Meanwhile a question had been creeping up, destined to assume a tragic prominence a few days later.
The private secretary felt its sinister presence when he first saw Captain Farragut
. ‘As a matter of fact,’ Mr. Baker
says, ‘the United States
flag had already been raised on the mint, and I called the attention of the Federal
commander to the fact that a flag had been raised while negotiations were still pending.
replied that the flag had been placed there without his knowledge, but he could not order it down.
His men, he said, were flushed with victory, and much excited by the taunts and gibes of the crowd on the levee.
Pointing to the ‘tops’ where a number of them were stationed, some armed with muskets, others nervously clutching the strings of the howitzers, he remarked that it was as much as he could do to restrain them from firing on the crowd; and, should he attempt to haul the flag down, it would be impossible to keep them within bounds.’
The ways of a broken peace are as cracked as a shattered piece of pottery.
, as seen in his reply to Baker
, stated that the flag had been placed on the mint without his knowledge.
It follows clearly—he being, as flag-officer of the victorious fleet, the chief Federal authority in the city—that the flag, the tightened