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[177] that of New Orleans, to have permanently mollified those relations, so painful on both sides, which the war had established between the conqueror and the conquered. On being imprudently provoked, the military authorities could not fail to abuse the absolute power they possessed, which offered them the most dangerous temptations. To the silly insults heaped upon his officers in the streets of New Orleans, Butler replied by a special order which was at once odious, absurd and indiscreet. The Federal officers would have looked upon Order No. 28 as a personal insult if they had attributed to it the signification which created a just indignation among their adversaries; the interpretation put upon it by the latter was treated by the people of the Northern States as pure calumny. But the Washington government, instead of weakening, would have increased its moral authority even among its enemies, if it had forestalled all controversy upon a subject which admits of no misinterpretation, by revoking the powers it had entrusted to a man so utterly incapable of appreciating the value of his own words.

This the government did not do; and the difficulties it encountered in New Orleans increased from day to day. How could this population, radically hostile, have been prevented from forwarding encouragements of every kind to the Confederate armies, with valuable information regarding the military preparations which were carried on under its own eyes? The utmost vigilance was required, but violence was a useless weakness. The mayor was deposed; this was unavoidable. He was imprisoned, as well as one of the most prominent citizens, Mr. Pierre Soule. It is possible that, after having accepted the re-establishment of the Federal authority as a fact, these zealous servants of the Confederacy may have culpably played a double game; the laws of war authorized their banishment, but their imprisonment has never been justified.

But Butler went still farther; he had the gloomy courage to erect for one particular occasion the political scaffold, that fatal aliment of civil discords. The death of Munford is the only stain on the brightest page, perhaps, in the history of the United States--the one on which it is written that neither after victory, nor even during the course of this terrible war, while the citizens

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