A Hard Fate

City Hall, April 28, 1862.
To Flag-Officer D. G. Farragut, U. S. Flag-Ship Hartford:

Your communication of this morning is the first intimation I ever had that it was by your strict orders that the United States flag was attempted to be hoisted upon certain of our public edifices by officers sent or there to communicate with the authorities. The officers who approached me in your name disclosed no such orders and intimated no such design on your part, not would I have for a moment entertained the remotest suspicion that they could have been invested with power to enter such an errand while the negotiations for a surrender between you and the city authorities were pending. The interference of any force under your command, as long as those negotiations were not brought to a close, could not be viewed by us otherwise than as a flagrant violation of those courtesies, if not of the absolute rights, which prevail between belligerents under such circumstances. My views and sentiments with reference to such conduct remain unchanged. You now review the demands made in your former communication, and you insist on their being 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 can but know that there is no possible exit from this city for a population which still exceeds in number one hundred and forty thousand, 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 question of etiquette. But if they could, there are few among them who would consent to desert their families and their homes, and the graves of their relatives in so awful a moment. They would bravely stand the sight of your shells tearing up the graves of those who are so dear to them, and would deem that they died not ingloriously by the side of the tombs erected by their piety to the memory of departed relatives.

You are not satisfied with the peaceful possession of an undefended city, opposing no resistance to your guns, because of its bearing its hard fate with something of manliness and dignity, and you wish to humble and disgrace us by the performance of an act against which our nature rebels. This satisfaction you cannot expect to obtain at our hands.

We will stand your bombardment, unarmed and undefended as we are. The civilized world will consign to indelible infamy the heart that will conceive the dead and the hand that will dare to consummate it.

Respectfully,
John T. Monroe,
Mayor of New Orleans.

Vagabond Refuse of the Northern States

PROCLAMATION.

Executive Office,
Opelousas, La., May 24th, 1862.

To the People of Louisiana:

The general commanding the troops of the United States now holding possession of New Orleans issued the following order on the 15th instant:

As the officers and soldiers of the United States have been subject to repeated insults from the women (calling themselves ladies) of New Orleans, in return for the most scrupulous non-interference and courtesy on our part, it is ordered that hereafter when any female shall, by word, gesture or movement, insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States, she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation.

By command of Major-General Butler.

The annals of warfare between civilized nations afford no similar instance of infamy to this order. It is thus proclaimed to the world that the exhibition of any disgust or repulsiveness by the women of New Orleans to the hated invaders of their home, and the slayers of their fathers, brothers and husbands, shall constitute a justification to a brutal soldiery for the indulgence of their lust. The commanding-general, from his headquarters, announces to his insolent followers that they are at liberty to treat as women of the town the wives, the mothers, the daughters of our citizens, if by word, gesture or movement any contempt is indicated for their persons, or insult offered to their presence. Of the nature of the movement and the meaning of the look, these vagabond refuse of the Northern States are to be the judges.

What else than contempt and abhorrence can the women of New Orleans feel or exhibit for these officers and soldiers of the United States? The spontaneous impulse of their hearts must appear involuntary upon their countenances and thus constitute the crime for which the general of those soldiers adjudges the punishment of rape and brutalized passion.

History records instances of cities sacked and inhuman atrocities committed upon the women of a conquered town, but in no instance in modern times, at least without the brutal ravishers suffering condign punishment from the hands of their own commanders. It was reserved for a Federal general to invite his soldiers to the perpetration of outrages, at the mention of which the blood recoils in horror — to quicken the impulses of their sensual instincts by the suggestion of transparent excuses for their gratification, and to add to an infamy already well-merited these crowning titles of a panderer to lust and a desecrator of virtue.

Maddened by the noble loyalty of our people to the government of their affections, and at their disgust and execration of their invaders — stung into obliviousness of the world’s censure by the grand offering made of our property upon the altar of our liberties — his passions inflamed by the sight of burning cotton illumining the river, upon whose waters floats the powerful fleet that effected the downfall of our chief city — disappointed, chafed and chagrined that our people, unlike his own, do not measure liberty, truth or honor by a pecuniary standard, he sees the fruits of a victory he did not help to win eluding his grasp, and nothing left upon which to gloat his vengeance but unarmed men and helpless women.

Louisianians! will you suffer such foul conduct of your oppressors to pass unpunished? Will you permit such indignities to remain unavenged? A mind so debased as to be capable of conceiving the alternative presented in this order, must be fruitful of inventions wherewith to pollute humanity. Shameless enough to allow their publication in the city, by the countenance of such atrocities they will be multiplied in the country. Its inhabitants must arm and strike or the insolent victors will offer this outrage to your wives, your sisters and your daughters. Possessed of New Orleans, by means of his superior naval force, he cannot penetrate the interior if you resolve to prevent it. It does not require a force of imposing magnitude to impede his progress. Companies of experienced woodsmen in every exposed locality, with their trusty rifles and shot-guns, will harass his invading columns, deprive him of his pilots, and assure him he is in the country of an enemy. At proper points larger forces will be collected, but every man can be a soldier to guard the approaches to his home. Organize then quickly and efficiently. If your enemy attempt to proceed into the interior let his pathway be marked by his blood. It is your homes that you have to defend. It is the jewel of your hearths, the chastity of your women, you have to guard. Let that thought animate your breasts, nerve your arms, quicken your energies and inspire your resolution. Strike home to the heart of your foe the blow that rids your country of his presence. If need be, let his blood moisten your own grave. It will rise up before your children a perpetual memento of a race whom it will teach to hate now and evermore.

Thos. O.  Moore.

They Have Never Heard of the True Church

Crown of thorns woven by Varina Davis for her husband. Now in Confederate Memorial Hall in New Orleans, the object formally hung in the study of Jefferson Davis, above a photograph and autograph inscription of Pius IX, sent to the president while he was prisoner at Fortress Monroe.
Crown of thorns woven by Varina Davis for her husband. Now in Confederate Memorial Hall in New Orleans, the object formally hung in the study of Jefferson Davis, above a photograph and autograph inscription of Pius IX, sent to the president while he was prisoner at Fortress Monroe.

Perhaps this is the night for prayer meeting, for the parsons taking advantage of this period of calm are indefatigable in their efforts to draw the soldiers together to sing psalms and assist at prayer; hundreds and thousands respond to their call & the woods for miles resound with the unscientific but earnest music of the rough veterans of Lee’s Army; in doleful contrast to the more enlivening notes of the initiated, the chorus of the ‘mourners’ may often be recognized, for conversions among the non religious members of the army are of daily occurrence and when they establish themselves upon the ‘mourners’ bench, it is evident to all how deep and loud is their repentance. There is something very solemn in these immense choruses of earnest voices, and there are, I am sure, hundreds of these honest soldiers truly sincere in believing that they are offering their most acceptable service to God; for they have never heard of the True Church, or if they have, their attention has not been sufficiently drawn to the right which She alone has of teaching mankind the only true mode of worship. Some of the parsons or chaplains are very zealous and persevering in assembling the soldiers to prayer, especially the chaplain of the eleventh Va, and the seventh. The chaplain of the eleventh Regt. held in high esteem by all, whether members of religion or not; for, they say, in times of action, he is as bold as the bravest and is to be seen in the first and fiercest battles consoling and assisting the wounded. Florence McCarthy of Richmond, Chaplain of the 7th Inf. is also distinguished for his preaching and zeal among the soldiers. They say he told his congregation the other day, that when they heard the doors and windows of the church slamming while the minister of God was preaching, they might be sure that the devil was at work trying to hinder the faithful from listening to the divine Word. Some might very naturally presume from this that his Satanic majesty was most at large during the blustering month of March than at any other time in the year. Joseph Durkin, S.J., ed., John Dooley, Confederate Soldier: His War Journal.