The Opening of the Lower Mississippi. 567
render. Our litlle vessel was entirely unarmed, and had been taken there to await that demand. The flag was ordered to be hauled down, which was done in a dignified manner.
Of this, in his article, Admiral Porter says, page 951 : " His (Mitchell's) movements had been reported to me, and as soon as General Duncan had left the ship, I gave orders for the Harriet Lane to weigh anchor and beat to quarters. We steered directly for the vessel carrying Mitchell's flag, and the order was given to fire at the flag pole, but the smoke was not out of the gun before the Confed- erate flag was hauled down."
The last clause is probably the most obnoxious part of his article. As I said before, we had gone there to await the signal to surrender in this unarmed vessel. When the signal was made, it was replied to by hauling down our flag. I deny most positively that it was done in a hurried or undignified way.
Right here I will state, if Admiral Porter intended by this clause to reflect upon or impugn the courage of these officers and men, that when their reputation for courage is put against his for veracity, I will say to him as he claims to have said to the Confederate officers, when he says it was reported to him that the Louisiana was coming down as a fire ship on his flotilla" If you can stand the explosion when it comes, we can."
After our surrender, we were placed first on the Clifton and after- wards on the Colorado. We were not treated kindly on the Clifton, but the officers of the Colorado were as kind to us as I think their orders would permit. From the Colorado we were put on board of the Rhode Island for transportation to Fort Warren, in Boston har- bor.
Admiral Porter, on page 950, says : " We were all sitting at table on board the Harriet Lane with the terms of capitulation t tween us. I had signed it, as had also Commander Renshaw, of the Westfield, and Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright. of I Harriet Lane, was about to follow our example, when he was sud- denlv called on deck by one of his officers. He returned tamed ately, and informed me that the iron-clad Louisiana was in flam and drifting down the river towards the mortar flotilh (steamer*), through which there was not room for her to pass, as our ves were anchored within thirty yards of each other. 'This , practice,' I said to the Confederate officers, 'but if you can explosion when it comes, we can.'
"We will go on and finish the capitulation. At the sam