The surrender of Biloxi.
A correspondent of the Boston Journal
gives a detailed account of the peaceful surrender of the town of Biloxi
, an old man about 60, made his appearance armed with a shot-gun, which he left at the head of the pier, seeing that his visitors wore only their side-arms.
He inquired the object of the visit, to which Commander Smith
replied, ‘"I have come to demand the surrender of the town, with all the fortifications, battery and vessels in the waters, and all military and warlike stores."’--His Honor inquired what length of time would be allowed them to remove the women and children?
replied that there was no necessity for the women and children retiring unless they intended to offer resistance, and he would give him one hour in which to consult the citizens on the subject.--The Mayor
wanted an armistice of twenty-four hours, but finding Capt. Smith
inflexible, he went off to confer with his constitutents, returning at the expiration of the hour.
, on his return, was accompanied by Judge Holley
, Dr. Frazer
, a French phisician, and several citizens.
, addressing Commander Smith
, said: ‘"Sir, I surrender you the town of Biloxi
and the battery, owing to the utter impossibility of defending it; but I cannot guarantee you any safety outside the limits of the town."’ --Commander Smith
assured the Mayor
and the citizens that we came for the purpose of removing the guns from the battery, and at the same time to protect them in their lawful occupation.
He had no desire or orders to interfere with their institutions or to land troops.
He told them that he intended to make good Union men of their citizens in spite of themselves; but the Mayor
replied: ‘"Don't flatter yourself,"’ and a rabid Secessionist — the cavalry officer — added: ‘ "Old Abe Lincoln
will never make a Union man of me; I'll pack myself and wife in a buggy and be off for New Orleans."’ Some of the other citizens manifested a similar spirit; but, on being shown the folly of their course, concluded to remain.
After examining the battery, Commander Smith
returned to the Lewis
and ordered away two large boats, the same which were brought out on the Constitution
, and they proceeded, under command of Acting Master Ryder
, accompanied by Acting Master Merriam
and Midshipman Woodward
, of the Lewis
, to the wharf, for the purpose of bringing off the guns.
The crews dismounted two guns--one light and one heavy six-pounder — and carried them to the boats, and returning took off the carriages — both pivots of ‘"home manufacture"’ --and platforms.
While thus engaged the Union
sailors were watching a crowd of about twenty boys and men, mostly foreigners, who sat around, and as the guns were being removed inquired sarcastically: ‘"We expect a thousand men here; will you come and take 'um then as easy?
Do you think you (an take the guns at New Orleans as easy?"’ As the work of dismantling the fort progressed, the rebels grew generous and exclaimed, seeing the carriages and platforms going, ‘"You'd better take these planks and the coffee bags; we've got a plenty of them."’
The battery was constructed of bricks, flanked and faced with sand bags.