War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0614 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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In the meantime permit me to suggest that Flag-Officer Farragut appears to have misunderstood the position of the city of New Orleans. He has been distinctly informed that at this moment the city has no power to impede the exercise of such acts or forcible authority as the commander of the U. S. naval forces may choose to exercice, and that therefore no resistance will be offered to the occupation of the city by the U. S. forces.

If it is deemed necessary to remove the flag now floating from this building or to raise U. S. flags on others the power which threatens the destruction of our city is certainly capable of performing those acts. New Orleans is not now a military post; there is no military commander within its limits; it is like an unoccupied fortress of which an assailant may at any moment take possession. But I do not believe that the constituency represented by you or by me embrace one loyal citizen who would be willing to incur the odium of tearing down the symbol representing the State authority to which New Orleans owes her municipal existence. I am deeply sensible of the distress which would be brought upon our community by a consummation of the inhuman threat of the U. S. commander, but I cannot conceive that those who so recently declared themselves to be animated by a Christian spirit an by a regard for the rights of private property would venture to incur for themselves and the Government they represent the universal execration of the civilized world by attempting to achieve through a wanton destruction of life and property that which they can accomplish without bloodshed and without a resort to those hostile measures which the law of nations condemns and execrates when employed upon the defenseless women and children of an unresisting city.




[Inclosure C.]

CITY HALL, New Orleans, April 29, 1862.

Flag-Officer D. G. FARRAGUT, U. S. Flag-Ship Hartford.

SIR: Your communication is the first intimation I ever had that it was by "your strict orders" that the U. S. flag was attempted to be hoisted upon certain of our public edifices by officers sent on shore to communicate with the authorities. The officers who approached me in your name disclosed no such order and intimated no such design on your part; nor could I have for a moment entertained the remotest suspicion that they could have been invested with such powers to enter on such an errand while these negotiations for a surrender between you and the city authorities were still pending. the interference of any one under your command as long as the negotiations were not brought to a close could not be vieweddddd by me otherwise than as a flagrant violation of those courtesies if not the absolute rights which prevail between belligerents under such circumstances. My views and my sentiments with reference to such conduct remain unchanged.

You now renew the demands made in your former communication and you insist on their complied with unconditionally under a threat of bombardment within forty-eight hours, and you notify me to remove the women and children from the city that they may be protected from your shells. Sir, you cannot but know that there is no possible exit from this city for a pupulation which still exceeds in number 150,000, and you must therefore be aware of the utter inanity of such a notification. Our women and children cannot escape from your shells if it be your pleasure to murder them on a mere question