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portant positions on the Upper Mississippi; and now, by the capture of New Orleans, he had secured the great Southern depot of the trade of the immense central valley of the continent, obtained command of an extent of territory accessible by his gunboats greater than the entire country before lost to the Confederacy, and had good reason to hope, by the junction of his fleets on the Mississippi, to open its navigation, and give to the West an outlet to the ocean.
The conquests of the Federal arms made in the winter and spring of 1862, were not without their effect in Europe, and presented to the nations in that part of the world a sombre picture of the Confederacy. The dispatches of our ministers at the courts of England and France declared that the prospect of recognition, of which they had formerly given such warm and sanguine assurances, had been overclouded by the disaster at New Orleans. Mr. Slidell wrote from Paris that the French government declared that "if New Orleans had not fallen, our recognition could not have been much longer delayed." He added, however, that he had been assured that "even after that disaster, if we obtained decided successes in Virginia and Tennessee, or could hold the enemy at bay a month or two, the same result would follow"-a promise, to the breach of which, and to the unhappy expectations which it excited, we shall hereafter have occasion to refer. Mr. Mason, our minister at London, also referred to the opinion that at the time of the enemy's capture of New Orleans, our recognition was on the eve of accomplishment.
The immediate sufferers of the disaster at New Orleans were the people of that city. It was aptly rewarded for its easy submission by the scourge of a tyrant. The corrupt and merciless master of this great emporium, General Butler of Massachusetts, was a man who found no merit in submission, unless such as grovelled in the dust and paid personal court and pecuniary tribute to himself. The rule of this vulgar and drunken man excited the horror and disgust of the civilized world, and secured for him in the South the popular sobriquet of "the Beast." His order which stigmatized as prostitutes the ladies of New Orleans, who betrayed in the streets or from the balconies their indignation against the invaders of their city, while it made him the hero of the hour in the
North with a people who admired the coarse spirit of the bully, drew upon him the execrations of all humane and honorable people. In the British Parliament, Lord Palmerston declared the proclamation to be "infamous," and the condemnation of the indecent and dirty edict was echoed by the press of Europe.*
The acts of the tyrant of New Orleans surpassed all former atrocities and outrages of the war. In frequent instances, citizens, accused by Butler of contumacious disloyalty, were confined at hard labor, with balls and chains attached to their limbs; and sometimes this degrading punishment was inflicted upon men whose only offence was that of selling medicines to the sick soldiers of the Confederacy. Helpless women were torn from their homes and confined in prison. One of thesea Mrs. Phillips-was accused of laughing as the funeral train of a Yankee officer passed her doors; she was seized, and with an ingenious and devilish cruelty, her sentence was pronounced by Butler-imprisonment on an island of barren sand under a tropical sun. Various pretexts were invented for
The "Order 28," which has stigmatized its brutal author throughout Christendom, was at first refused publication by all the newspapers in New Orleans. It was then copied on sheets of paper and surreptitiously posted on many of the principal corners of the streets in the immediate neighborhood of the St. Charles Hotel. The next day all of the newspaper offices were ordered to be closed for disobedience of orders. On this becoming known, the True Delta paper published the order, and the other newspapers timidly submitted to the force of circumstances, and published it also. The natural excitement and indignation that followed throughout the community is indescribable. Several lady subscribers sent to the newspaper offices and indignantly and positively forbade that such papers should longer be left at their dwellings. Mayor Monroe, with a party of influential citizens, at once called on the Beast and endeavored to obtain some qualification of the order; but they could get no satisfaction and were rudely dismissed. Mayor Monroe then wrote an indignant and reproachful communication to Butler, and again pressed him for a modification of the hateful order. Butler then sent for the Mayor. Mayor Monroe replied, "Tell General Butler my office is at the City Hotel, where he can see me, if desirable." Butler retorted, that unless the Mayor came at once to his headquarters, he would send an armed force to arrest and bring him there. Further opposition being useless, the Mayor, chief of police, and several friends, then went to the St. Charles Hotel, where they found the Beast in a towering rage. Butler claimed to be much insulted at the conduct of the Mayor, and without ceremony or delay, sent Mr. Monroe and those who accompanied him to prison. In a few days they were all shipped down to Fort Jackson.
plundering the inhabitants of the conquered city; men were forced to elect between starvation by the confiscation of all their property and taking an oath of allegiance to the invaders of their country; fines were levied at pleasure, and recusants threatened with ball and chain.
The conduct of the negroes in New Orleans became intolerable to their owners. They were fed, clothed, and quartered by the Yankees, who fraternized with them generally in a shameful way. The planters in the neighborhood of the city were required to share their crops with the commanding general, his brother, Andrew J. Butler, and other officers; and when this partnership was refused, the plantations were robbed of every thing susceptible of removal, and the slaves taken from their owners and compelled to work under the bayonets of Yankee guards.
It would occupy many pages to detail what the people of New Orleans suffered at the hands of the invaders whom they had so easily admitted into their city, in insult, wrongs, confiscation of property, seizure of private dwellings, and brazen robbery. The Yankee officers, from colonel to lieutenant, as the caprice of each might dictate, seized and took possession of gentlemen's houses, broke into their wine-rooms, forced open the wardrobes of ladies and gentlemen, and either used or sent away from the city the clothing of whole families. Some of the private residences of respectable citizens were appropriated to the vilest uses, the officials who had engaged them making them the private shops of the most infamous female characters.
But while Butler was thus apparently occupied with the oppression of "rebels," he was too much of a Yankee to be lost to the opportunity of making his pecuniary fortune out of the exigencies which he had created. The banker and broker of the corrupt operations in which he was engaged was his own brother, who bought confiscated property, shipped large consignments from New Orleans, to be paid for in cotton, and speculated largely in powder, saltpetre, muskets, and other war material sold to the Confederacy, surreptitiously sent out from the city and covered by permits for provisions. Of the trade in provisions for cotton, Butler received his share of the gains, while the robbery was covered up by the pretence of consump
tion in New Orleans "to prevent starvation," or by reported actual issue to troops. The Yankee general did not hesitate to deal in the very life-blood of his own soldiers.
The rule of Butler in New Orleans is especially memorable for the deliberate murder of William B. Mumford, a citizen of the Confederate States, against whom the tyrant had invented the extraordinary charge that he had insulted the flag of the United States. The fact was, that before the city had surrendered, Mumford had taken down from the mint the enemy's flag. The ensign was wrongfully there; the city had not surrendered; and even in its worst aspects, the act of Mumford was simply one of war, not deserving death, still less the death of a felon. The horrible crime of murdering in cold blood an unresisting and non-combatant captive, was completed by Butler on the 7th of June. On that day, Mumford, the martyr, was publicly executed on the gallows. The Massachusetts coward and tyrant had no ear or heart for the pitiful pleadings made to save the life of his captive, especially by his unhappy wife, who in her supplications for mercy was rudely repulsed, and at times answered with drunken jokes and taunts. The execution took place in the sight of thousands of panic-stricken citizens. None spoke but the martyr himself. His voice was loud and clear. Looking up at the stars and stripes which floated high over the scene before him, he remarked that he had fought under that flag twice, but it had become hateful to him, and he had torn it and trailed it in the dust. "I consider," said the brave young man, "that the manner of my death will be no disgrace to my wife and child; my country will honor them."
The experience of New Orleans gave a valuable lesson to the South. It exhibited the consequences of submission to the enemy in confiscation, brutality, military domination, insult, universal poverty, the beggary of thousands, the triumph of the vilest individuals in the community, the abasement of the honest and industrious, and the outlawry of the slaves. The spirit of resistance in the South was fortified by the enemy's exhibitions of triumph, and the resolution gained ground that it was much better to consign the cities of the Confederacy to the flames than to surrender them to the enemy. A time was approaching when Yankee gunboats were to lose their prestige
of terror, when cities were no longer to be abandoned or surrendered on the approach of a foe; and when the freemen of the South were to be taught how, by a spirit above fear and ready for all sacrifice, they might defy the most potent agencies of modern warfare.
With the bright month of May a new era was dawning on the fortunes of the Confederacy. This happy change of fortune was due not only to the improved resolution of the South. It is in a great degree to be attributed to two leading causes in the military administration. These were, first, the conscription law, with the consequent reorganization of the army; and, secondly, the abandonment of our plan of frontier defence, which made way for the superior and more fortunate policy of the concentration of our forces in the interior.
The first suggestion of a conscription law was made by the Richmond Examiner—a bold and vigilant leader of the newspaper press of the Confederacy. It was met with violent opposition from the administration, with the clamor of demagogical presses that the suggestion conveyed a reflection upon the patriotism of the country, and with the fashionable nonsense that it was a confession calculated to give aid and comfort to the enemy. But the early advocates of conscription enjoyed the singular triumph of converting public opinion completely to their side, and forcing the government at a future period to the confession that the system which it had at first frowned upon had proved the salvation of the country:
At the beginning of the war we had nothing that deserved the title of a military system. There was no lack of zeal or determination in the South; but the organization of the army was defective, its discipline was retarded by bad laws, and at a time that the forces of the enemy in Virginia had reached the highest state of efficiency, our own army was passing through successive stages of disorganization to dissolution. The army of the enemy was superior to our own in every respect, except courage and good cause; they had every guaranty of success that numbers, discipline, complete organization, and perfect equipments could effect.
The military system of the South dates from the passage of the conscription law. To this measure must be attributed that solidity in the organization of our army, and that efficiency