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[176] character and reputation of the individual. It is true that the Washington government had not at that time any illustrious general whom it could send to govern the inhabitants of New Orleans, but it would have been a thousand times better to have entrusted the supreme authority in that great city to a true soldier, some military man unconnected with politics, and incapable of lending himself to intrigues and speculations, than to the former political ally of Jefferson Davis, the lawyer in uniform, who made his appearance on the levee of the Mississippi just as Farragut's fleet was moving off in search of the enemy.

For a conquered, rebellious or hostile city, whichever it may be called, New Orleans was at first treated with lenity; no war contribution was imposed upon it. The Federal troops, received on their landing with hisses and shouts by an immense crowd, displayed the greatest moderation; private property was everywhere respected; moreover, the municipal government which the city possessed before being captured was recognized and accepted by the victors. The mayor, Mr. Monroe, who had made no secret of his profound devotion to the Confederate cause, continued to be the official representative of the city, as he was when he organized its defence in concert with Lovell. Mr. Lincoln had recommended to his generals to simply restore the supreme authority of the Union and the Federal laws, without meddling with the internal affairs of cities and counties otherwise than to enforce respect for those laws. It was hoped at first that this programme, at once so wise and so difficult of application, would succeed in New Orleans. After a few days of great excitement this city had seen all the Federal troops encamped in its squares take their departure; there only remained a sufficient guard to preserve public order, which, however, was never disturbed. The municipal council had resumed the regular direction of city affairs. A newspaper having refused to publish Butler's first proclamation, the latter merely sent a few printers by profession that happened to be in the ranks of his army, who set up this official document, and the journal, notwithstanding this refractory act, was only suspended for one day.

But it would have required a different man from General Butler, and a population less passionate in its demonstrations than

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