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proceeding up toward New Orleans, encountering cottonloaded ships on fire. Three miles below the city, the Chalmette batteries, mounting twenty guns, were reached. The Cayuga, leading, sustained their cross-fire for some time alone; but the Hartford, Pensacola, Brooklyn, and other ships coming up, gave the batteries such a storm of shells, shrapnel, and grape as drove the men from their guns. "The forts were silenced, and those who could run were running in every direction.”

Farragut reports that," owing to the slowness of some of the vessels, and our want of knowledge

The Confederates

ton and ships.

set fire to their cot- of the river, we did not reach the English Turn until about 10.30 A.M. on the 25th, but all the morning I had seen abundant evidence of the panic which had seized the people in New Orleans. Cotton-loaded ships on fire came floating down, and working instruments of every kind, such as are used in ship-yards. The destruction of property was awful. The levee in New Orleans was one scene of desolation. Ships, steamers, cotton, coal, were all in one common blaze, and our ingenuity was much taxed to avoid the floating conflagration."

Lovell, seeing what had taken place at the forts, galloped to New Orleans. He ordered the land defenses to resist to the utmost; but the water in the river was so high that the ships could command all the earth-works. After a brief and angry consultation with the terror-stricken municipality, he sent off his munitions, disbanded his troops, and turned the city over to the mayor.

In the midst of a thunder-storm, Farragut anchored his The squadron anch- Squadron off New Orleans at 1 P.M. The ors off the city. populace, who had believed that the defenses of the city were impregnable, were astounded, and in an impotent frenzy. The sailors in the national ships were cheering, the crowd ashore was cursing. Some were




clamoring for the blood of the commandant of the forts; some were invoking vengeance on Lovell; some, ragged and raging, but with nothing to lose, insisted that the city should be burned.

A demand was now made by Farragut for a surrender, and the display of the United States flag on the public buildings. So suddenly and so unexpectedly had the blow fallen on them that the mayor and municipal authorities hardly knew what to do. On one side they had an unreflecting and turbulent populace to deal with; on the other, a clement conqueror. Farragut, as merciful in victory as he was brave in action,. appreciated their hour of bitterness, and listened with generosity to the mayor's querulous protestations.

Reply of the mayor.

Upon his arrival before the city, Farragut had sent Captain Bailey, his second in command, to the mayor with the demand for the surrender, and to inform that func tionary that no flag but that of the United States would be permitted to fly in presence of the national fleet. To this the mayor replied, "transmitting the answer which the universal sentiment of my constituency, no less than the promptings of my own heart dictate to me on this sad and solemn occasion." It was to the effect that the city was utterly defenseless; that he was no military man; that he knew neither how to command an army nor to surrender an undefended place. "As to the hoisting of any flag 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 by 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

Farragut demands its surrender.



you have devoted your sword. I doubt not that they spring from a noble though deluded nature, and I know how to appreciate the motives that inspire them. You will have a gallant people to administer-a people sensitive of all that can in the least affect its dignity and self-respect."

In this refusal of the mayor to hoist the United States flag on the national buildings-the Customhouse, Post-office, Mint-the Common Coun cil of the city united. Hereupon Farragut sent a party on shore to perform that duty. "They were insulted in the grossest manner, and the flag that had been hoisted by his orders on the Mint was pulled down and dragged through the streets." He therefore notified the mayor to remove the women and children from the city within forty-eight hours, as the fire of the fleet might be drawn upon it, and an amount of distress ensue to the innocent population which he had heretofore declared that he desired by all means to avoid.

The national flag on the public buildings.

It is insulted.


To this the mayor replied, addressing his communica tion to "Mr. Farragut," as he ventured to designate the United States officer, that the interference of the United States forces while negotiations were pending between him and the conqueror “could not be viewed by him otherwise than as a flagrant violation of those courtesies, if not of the absolute rights which prevail between belligerents under such cir cumstances," and that his "views and sentiments in relation to such conduct remain unchanged;" that the notifi cation to remove the women and children was an 66 utter inanity." "They can not escape from your shells if it be your pleasure to murder them on a question of mere etiquette. Even if they could, there are but few among them who would consent to desert their families, and homes,

The mayor express

es his views on the

rights of belligerents.




and the graves of their relatives in so awful a moment. They would bravely stand the sight of your shells rolling over the bones of those who were once dear to them, and would deem that they had not died ingloriously by the side of the tombs erected by their piety to the memory of departed relatives."

Farragut now raised the United States flag upon the Custom-house, and sent a letter to the mayor requiring him to "see that it was respected with all the civil pow er of the city."

History may be searched in vain for another such correspondence as this between a city taken by

Singular character


of this correspond storm and its conqueror in the flush of vic tory. It is impossible not to see that the recalcitrant civic authorities were implicitly putting their trust in the forbearance of that Great and Clement Power which they were ostensibly defying. They knew that it would do them no wrong.

General Butler, who had witnessed the passage of the forts by Farragut, now proceeded to execute his part of the duty. He brought his forces into the rear of St. Philip, Porter keeping up a bombardment. On the 27th of April the garrison had become so demoralized as to refuse to fight any longer. The forts were therefore surrendered on the next day. While the terms were being adjusted, the officers of the Confederate ram Louisiana towed her out into the current and set her on fire, with her guns all shotted, expecting that she would drift down and explode in the midst of Porter's fleet. For this they were sent close prisoners to the North.

On the 1st of May New Orleans was formally occu pied by United States troops.

The loss on the national side in achieving this great victory was 40 killed and 177 wounded. It was not

Surrender of the two forts.



alone the capture of the city that was accomplished, but the destruction of iron-clads which would shortly have become very formidable.

Bailey, the captain who had led the right column, truly described the battle: "It was a contest between iron hearts in wooden vessels and iron-clads with iron beaks, and the iron hearts won."

Among naval authorities, the battle of the Mississippi caused, if not a reversal, at least a suspension of the opinions formed from the combats of the Merrimack in Hampton Roads. Farragut, an officer equal to Nelson in audacity, without hesitation took all odds. He fought walls of stone and a fleet of iron-clads with a wooden fleet, and actually won the battle.

The value of wooden against iron ships.


New Orleans having thus been occupied, a part of the The fleet moves up fleet was sent by Farragut up the Missis the Mississippi. sippi, capturing without resistance Baton Rouge, the capital of the state. On taking possession a correspondence ensued with the mayor, the counterpart of that which had taken place with the Mayor of New Orleans. That officer declared that his city would not be surrendered voluntarily to any power on earth, and declined to "offend the sensibilities of his people by hoisting the flag of the United States." Captain Palmer, the commander of the Iroquois, hoisted over the arsenal the flag, and, in reply to the mayor, remarked that "war is a sad calamity, and often inflicts severer wounds than those upon the sensibilities." In a letter reporting the state of affairs to Farragut he said, "Here is the capital of a state, with 7000 inhabitants, acknowledging itself defenseless, and yet assuming an arrogant tone, trusting to our forbearance. I was determined to submit to no such nonsense, and accordingly weighed anchor and steamed up abreast the arsenal, landed a

The Mayor of Baton

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