Pensacola Surrenders

Confederate Battery At Pensacola, date unknown

Union naval officer David Dixon Porter recounted the surrender in his Incidents and Anecdotes of the Civil WarPensacola, left in the hands of acting Mayor John Brosnaham, surrendered to U.S. troops under Lieutenant Richard Jackson on May 10. That evening, Union troops raised the stars and stripes over Plaza Ferdinand VII

"The gentleman in question was attired without regard to expense. He wore a blue coat with brass buttons, a white vest, and yellow nankeen trousers. His huge shirt-ruffle—or, as the sailors termed it, his head-sail—stuck out a foot at least, while his shirt-frills were fastened by a big diamond. His hat was nicely brushed, and his boots shone as if a dozen darkies had exercised their skill upon them."

He advanced toward us, hat in hand, and, bowing low, exclaimed: “Welcome once more, my glorious old flag and my beloved fellow Union-men. I feel now that I shall receive protection from the laws of my country. I am Mr. Brosnaham, gentlemen, a leading citizen of Pensacola, who for the past year have dwelt beneath the folds of an alien flag and who have been despoiled of my goods and chattels worse than the Egyptians were of old. I welcome you to this loyal city, where I hope the tramp of the rebel hosts will never more be heard, and that we may never again be deprived of that dear flag which has sheltered me from boyhood, and of which I have dreamed every night since it was replaced by that meaningless rag which no one could respect, much less revere. There are a thousand, aye, ten thousand associations—”

There is no knowing how long this eloquent gentleman would have continued his patriotic harangue had not the General interrupted the flow of his eloquence by inquiring why the municipal authorities were not present to surrender the city.

"Ah!" replied Mr. Brosnaham, "the city is at your feet—a child that has been wronged, asking a mother’s protection. When Rome governed the world, it was only necessary to say ‘I am a Roman citizen’ to insure every consideration. Will not our great Republic—"

"Where are the Mayor and City Council?" interrupted the general.

"I am truly sorry to say, sir," replied Mr. Brosnaham, "that the fleeing rebels have taken the Mayor’s teams into their service to carry their spoils to Mobile, and the City Council, poor fellows, were all pressed into the rebel army, and are now—heaven help them—shouldering a musket under a government they abhor, for they are all, I assure you, sir, devoted to the Union. In the absence, then, of municipal government," continued Mr. Brosnaham, "let me extend to you the liberty of the city and welcome you to our once hospitable but now deserted halls."

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    This is a really cool photo.
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