Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/550

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69
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

support the naval attack. After a five days’ bombardment of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, Farragut passed the forts April 24th, and took possession of New Orleans, while the remainder of his fleet compelled the surrender of the forts. The garrison of New Orleans had been stripped of troops for the military operations further north, and only the Third Mississippi remained to represent this State among the 2,000 or 3,000 men present. The advance of the Federal fleet up the river reached Natchez May 12th, where Col. C.G. Dahlgren was then stationed as commandant, with hardly a corporal's guard. The mayor was summoned to surrender the city, and was compelled to promptly comply. Colonel Dahlgren, who had retired to Washington, resumed command after the boats passed, ordered cotton burned, and reported that he had thrown into the county jail a citizen who had offered to carry the demand for surrender from the Federal boat to the mayor; but General Beauregard's orders in the matter indicated that the treason of the citizen might be expiated by thirty days in jail.

Meanwhile Gen. M. L. Smith had been assigned to the command at Vicksburg, on May 12, 1862, on which date three batteries had been completed and a fourth begun, the work being pushed vigorously by Col. J. L. Autry and Chief Engineer D. B. Harris. On May 18th, when the first division of the Federal fleet arrived, under Com. S. Phillips Lee, six batteries were complete and fairly well manned. The armed troops present consisted of parts of two Louisiana regiments. Lee sent a note to the "authorities of Vicksburg" demanding surrender of the town and its defenses, May 18, 1862, to which three answers were immediately given, one by Mayor L. Lindsay, who said that he had no control of the defenses—"but, sir, in further reply, I will state that neither the municipal authorities nor the citizens will ever consent to the surrender of the city;" another by James L. Autry, military governor and colonel commanding post, who de-