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Doc. 177.-bombardment of Donaldsonville

Flag-officer Farragut's despatch.

United States flag-ship Hartford, New-Orleans, August 10, 1862.
sir: I regret to inform the Department that at the town of Donaldsonville, on the Mississippi, they have pursued a uniform practice of firing upon our steamers passing up and down the river. I sent a message to the inhabitants that if they did not discontinue this practice I would destroy their town. The last time I passed up to Baton Rouge to the support of the army, I anchored about six miles above Donaldsonville, and heard them firing upon the vessels coming up; first upon the Sallie Robinson and next upon the Brooklyn. In the latter case they made a mistake, and it was so quickly returned that they ran away. The next night they fired again — upon the St. Charles. I therefore ordered them to send their women and children out of town, as I certainly intended to destroy it on my way down the river; and I fulfilled my promise to a certain extent. [576]

I burnt down the hotels and wharf buildings; also the dwelling-house and other buildings of a Mr. Philippe Landry, who is said to be a captain of guerrillas. He fired upon our men, but they chased him off. We also brought off some ten or twelve of his negroes, and supplied ourselves with cattle and sheep from his place.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. G. Farragut, Flag-Officer Commanding W. G. Blockading Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.

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D. G. Farragut (2)
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