Thursday, March 06, 2014

"and the people were then advised to go home, get their arms and ammunition...."

War in New Orleans.

   There was desperate fighting In New Orleans on the 14th between armed bodies of citizens and the Metropolitan forces. Several persons on both sides were killed or wounded. The following is a summary of the account of the affair, as given by the Associated Press dispatches of that date:

   A mass meeting of citizens was held in the forenoon, in response to a call signed by fifty business men and firms of the city. In this call it was declared that for nearly two years the people had been silent but indignant sufferers of outrage after outrage heaped upon them by an usurping government; that at last even the right of the people to keep and bear arms had been infringed, in violation of the Federal Constitution; that the citizens were therefore called upon to close their places of business and assemble together, and, "In tones loud enough to be beard throughout the length and breadth of tbe land, declare that you are of right, ought to be, and mean to be free."

   The called meeting assembled at eleven a.m., and a series of preambles and resolutions were adopted, declaring that at the election in November, 1872, John McEnery was elected Governor by nearly 10,000 majority, and D.P. Penn Lieutenant-Governor by a majority of 15,000; that by fraud and violence Kellogg and his defeated associates had seized tbe executive chair and perpetuated their official reign by other and continued irregular, fraudulent and violent acts, In the face of the report of a committee of the United States Senate that the existing State Government of Louisiana was an usurpation; that the acting Governor had, under the Registration act passed for the purpose of defeating the popular will, and with a view of controlling the result of the approaching election, refused registration to bona fide citizens, who were denied redress before the courts; that by false and infamous misrepresentations of the feelings and motives of the people he had received the promise of Federal aid; that the whites of Louisiana had no desire to deprive the colored people of any rights to which they are entitled; that W.P. Kellogg is a mere usurper, an his government is arbitrary, unjust and oppressive, and could only be maintained through interference; that Kellogg's immediate abdication of office he demanded, and a committee of five should be appointed to wait upon him with the resolutions and demand an immediate answer.

   The committee called at the executive office at noon, and, the Governor not being present, were received by Brig. Gen. Dibble, who conveyed the fact of the committee's call to Gov. Kellogg and made reply In writing that the Governor had directed him to say that he declined to receive any communication from the committee because he had definite and accurate information that there were assembled in different parts of the city several large bodies of armed men, who were met at the call which convened the mass meeting represented by the committee; that he regarded this state of affairs as a menace; but that should the people assemble peaceably, without menace, he would deem it one of his highest duties to receive any communication from them, and entertain any petition addressed to the Government.

   The committee responded through one of their number that there were no armed rioters, that they came on a mission of peace, and that they believed, had the Governor acceded to the proposition to abdicate, it would have pacified the people and prevented violence and bloodshed.

   The committee reported the result of their interview to the mass meeting, and the people were then advised to go home, get their arms and ammunition and return to assist the White League, who were then under arms, to execute plans that would be arranged for them. The people then quietly dispersed. Afterward quite a large number formed in procession and marched up Camp street.

   A proclamation was then issued, signed by D.B. Penn, as Lieutenant-Governor and acting Governor in the absence of Mr. McEnery, reciting the alleged outrages to which the citizens had been subjected for two years, and calling upon the militia of the State, embracing all persons between the ages of eighteen and forty years, without regard to color or previous condition, to arm and assemble under their respective officers for the purpose of driving the alleged usurpers from power.

   Gen. Frederick N. Ogden was designated Provisiona[l] General of the militia, and an address was issued to the colored people by Penn. as acting Governor, declaring that no harm was intended them, their property or their rights.

   By three p.m. armed men were stationed at the intersection of all streets on the south side of Canal street, from the river to Claiborne street. About four p.m. a body of Metropolitans, about 500 strong, with cavalry and artillery, appeared at the head of Canal street and took a position. Gen. Longstreet commanding, accompanied by an orderly then rode up and down Canal street, ordering the armed citizens to disperse. Fighting subsequently ensued, and seven Metropolitans were killed and over thirty wounded. The citizens' loss was six killed and nine wounded, some seriously.

   The citizens captured the City Hall and erected barricades on several of the streets. Bloody work was anticipated at night, but a dispatch dated at midnight reported all quiet.

   The State authorities seemed to have great confidence in their ability to deal with what they termed an armed mob.

[The Perrysburg Journal, Perrysburg, Wood Co., Ohio, Friday, September 18, 1874. Vol. XXII.--No. 22. Pg. 1]

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