The following is the correspondence between Gen. Bragg
, at Pensacola
, and Col. Brown
, Commandant at Fort Pickens
, alluded to briefly heretofore in connection with the Confederate
victory on Santa Rosa Island
Headquarters Dep't Florida,
Fort Pickens, Oct. 9, 1861.
--I observe this morning, for the first time, a yellow flag hoisted over a large building directly in front of my batteries.
I also understand that officers' wives and children are in the adjoining buildings.
I do not make war on the sick, women, or children.
The buildings will necessarily be exposed to my fire should there be a bombardment, and they are besides subject under this flag to be used as protection to any of your troops that may take shelter behind or before them.
I therefore give you this notice — that the sick, women, and the children, may be removed, so that if fired on the responsibility may rest where it belongs.
Headquarters troops C. S.,
Near Pensacola, Florida, October 10th, 1861.
--I received late last night your communication of that date, with profound astonishment.
The building on which you had for the first time observed the yellow flag has been well known to you and to all you command, as well as to the U. S. Navy, as the military hospital of this station, and you could not help knowing that it is now used for that purpose.
Dealing with one who had been an old brother soldier of high reputation, I had hoped that our intercourse and conduct in the hostile attitude in which we are placed would be marked by all the courtesies and amenities of civilized warfare.
But it seems from your communication that you claim the right to violate the hospital flag, because it may be abused.
Admit this principle and we revert to a state of barbarism.
The sick, the women, and children, and the prisoners, must become objects of vengeance, the white flag must be abolished, ‘"Beauty and Booty,"’ ‘"Rape and Rapine"’ must follow in the track of a victorious commander.
I decline your invitation to make these the subjects of war.
Your hospital flag has been and shall be respected.
In the affair of Tuesday night your hospital, with its inmates, was in our possession for at least one hour, and as far as I can learn, my orders to scrupulously respect both were rigidly enforced.
Our hospital and the two adjacent buildings occupied by medical officers, will continue to be used for legitimate purposes.
Nothing has been or will be done to attract your fire.
If, under these circumstances, you should put your threat into execution, which would be only in accordance with the acts of some of your brother commanders, of little experience in the custom of war, I shall take care that the fact shall be made known, that it may receive, as it will deserve, the execration of the civilized world.