War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0131 Chapter XXVII. AFFAIR AT BAYOU SARA, LA.

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convenced in public meeting at the residence of William S. Pike, esq., and organized by calling Mr. J. A. De Russy to the chair and appointing Mr. Joseph Larguier as secretary.

On motion, duly seconded and unanimously adopted, a committee of three citizens was appointed by the chairman to wait upon the commander of the United States gunboats lying in front of Baton Rouge, with instructions to inquire his intentions in relation to the shelling or otherwise destroying or damaging the city or molesting its citizens.

The committee was composed of Messrs. William S. Pike, H. Hart, and William D. Phillips, who immediately proceeded on their mission, and returning, reported that Captain Coldwell, commanding the U. S. gunboat No. 7, after respectfully listening to the subject matter with which they were charged, answered that the citizens of Baton Rouge and their families could rest secure within their homes; that not a shot should be fired on the town; but, on the contrary, to invite the families who had left to return to their homes and resume their usual avocations. Further, that no boat should be sent from their vessel or vessels without the authority of the city authorities first being had for that purpose.

These assurances were given with a condition that the Confederate Army, then understood to be in the neighborhood, should not enter and hold military possession of the city in the view of fortifying the same, or any demonstration of a hostile nature against his forces.

At the same meeting committees were appointed to call upon the commanders of the two detachments of your army marching on this city and explain the result of the visit to Captain Caldwell, and asking if within the line of their duty to halt their respective commands beyond the corporate limits of the city.

On the afternoon of the same day another meeting was held, at which the following gentlemen were elected provisionally as mayor and board of selectmen, viz: J. A. De Russy, mayor; William S. Pike, Joseph Larguier, G. Gusman, R. H. Burke, S. M. Hart, and N. K. Knox as selectmen.

The council met at 4 o'clock p.m. and appointed Captain Hayden as chief of police, with authority (joinly with the mayor) to appoint as many subordinate as in their judgment might be required for the efficient police of the city.

It was also resolved that the said authority be required forthwith to proceed to the clearing of all rubbish and impediments within the corporate limits, and the better to carry this order into effect he be authorized to call upon owners of all slaves within the city and in the neighborhood to assist in said work.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

J. A. DE RUSSY,

Provisional Mayor City of Baton Rouge.

J. LARGUIER,

Secretary.

General RUGGLES, Comdg. Confed. Forces in Baton Rouge.

AUGUST 23, 1862.-Affair at Bayou Sara, La.

Report of H. C. Whiteman.

BAYOU SARA, August 24, 1862.-10 a.m.

SIR: The gunboat Essex and a transport arrived here last night; fired