previous next

Affairs at New Orleans.

that we have from this city of the South, now in the hands of the Federal is presented in our columns this We are too much pained at the which has befallen us on the Mississippi to indulge in any extended upon the result. The whole transaction is deeply mortifying, and is only by the noble, manly, and patriotic of Mayor Monroe (which is herewith to the impertinent and insulting of the Federal Commodore to This response is worthy the chief of the gallant city whose fate we so deplore, and the assurance which be of the unalterable devotion of his consequents to the sacred cause of the South, which they have so heartily espoused, is encouraging to the heart of every patriot.

Commander Farragut must have an inexpressible chagrin when he read a letter and reflected upon the dastardly in which he was engaged, in attempting to force upon an unwilling and spirited a tyranny so odious as the Lincoln government is seeking to institute.

The following is the correspondence between the Mayor of New Orleans and D. G. Farragut, the commanding officer of the Federal squadron.

United States Flag Ship Hartford, Off New Orleans, April 26, 1862.
The Excellency the Mayor of the City of New Orleans:
--Upon my arrival before your city I had the honor to send to your Honor Capt. Balley, U. S. Navy, second in command of the expedition, to demand of you the surrender of New Orleans to me as the representative of the Government of the United States.--Capt. Balley reported the result of an interview with yourself and the military authorizes. It must occur to your Honor that it is not within the province of a naval officer to assume the duties of a military commandant. here to reduce New Orleans to obedience to the laws of and to vindicate the offended majesty of the Government of the United States. The rights of persons and property shall be secured. I therefore demand of you as its representative, the unjustified surrender of the city, and that the problem of sovereignty of the United States are hoisted over the City Hall, Mint, and Custom House, by meridian this day. All flags and other emblems of sovereignty other than those of the United States to be removed from all the public buildings by that hour.

I particularly request that you shall exercise your authority quell disturbances, restore order, and call upon all the good people of New Orleans to return at once to their vocations; and I particularly demand that no person shall be molested, in person or property, for professing sentiments of loyalty to their Government. I shall speedily and severely punish any person, or persons, who shall commit such outrages as were witnessed yesterday by armed men firing upon helpless women and children, for giving expression to their pleasure at witnessing the old flag.

I am very respectfully, your ob't serv't,
(Signed) D. G. Farragut, Flag Officer Western Gulf Squadron.

The reply.

Mayoralty of New Orleans, City Hall, April 26, 1862.
Flag Officer D. G. Farragut, U. S. Flag Ship Hardford:
In pursuance of a resolution which he thought proper to take, out of regard for the lives of the women and children who still crowd the great metropolis, General Lovell has evacuated it with his troops and restored back to me the administration of its government and the custody of its honor. I have, in council with the city fathers, considered the demand you made of me yesterday, of an unconditional surrender of the city, coupled with a requisition to hoist the flag of the United States on the public editors, and haul down the flag that still floats upon the breeze from the dome of this Hall.

It becomes my duty to transmit to you an answer, which is the universal sentiment of any constituents, no less than the prompting of my own heart dictated to me on this and sad solemn occasion. The city is without the means of defence, and is utterly destitute of the force and material that might enable it to resist an overpowering armament displayed in sight of it. I am no military man, and possess no authority beyond that of executing the municipal laws of the city of New Orleans. It would be presumptuous in me to attempt to lead an army to the field if I had one at command, and I know still less how to surrender an undefended place, held as this is at the mercy of your gunners and your mortars. To surrender such a place were an idle and unmeaning ceremony. The city is your's by the power of brutal force — not by my choice or the consent of its inhabitants. It is for you to determine what will be the fate that awaits us here.

As to hoisting any flag other than the flag of our own adoption and allegiance, let me say to you that the man lives not in our midst whose hand and heart would not be palsied at the mere thought of such an act, nor could I find, in my entire constituency, so wretched and desperate a renegade as would dare to profane with his hand the sacred emblem of our aspirations.

Sir, you have manifested sentiments which would become one engaged in a better cause than that to which you have devoted your sword. I doubt not but that they spring from a noble though deluded nature, and I know how to appreciate the emotions which inspired them. You will have a gallant people to administer to during your occupation of this city — a people sensitive to all that can in the least affect their dignity and self-respect. Pray, sir, do not fall to regard their susceptibilities. The obligations which I shall assume in their name shall be religiously compiled with. You may trust their honor, though you might not count on their submission to numerated wrong.

In conclusion, I beg you to understand that the people of New Orleans, while unable to resist your force, do not allow themselves to be insulted by the interference of such as have rendered themselves odious and contemptible by their dastardly desertion of our cause in the mighty struggle in which we are engaged, or soon as might remind them too painfully that they are the conquered and you the conquerors. Peace and order may be preserved without resort to measures which I could not at this moment prevent. Your occupying the city does not transfer allegiance from the Government of their choice to one which they have deliberately repudiated, and that they yield simply the obedience which the conqueror is entitled to extort from the conquered.

(Signed) John F. Monroe, Mayor.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (5)
Custom house (United Kingdom) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
D. G. Farragut (4)
John F. Monroe (2)
Balley (2)
Lovell (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 26th, 1862 AD (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: