The New Orleans Massacre
August 7, 1866
Radicals claim that General Sheridan is placing the blame for the late New Orleans riots on certain former rebels. No one knows for certain the details of the riots yet, but most assume violence was provoked by angry former rebels.
The Radical press lay much stress upon General Sheridan's last dispatches to General Grant, as settling the proposition that all the blame for the inauguration of the late riots at New Orleans rests upon Mayor Monroe and certain ex-rebels. I have been permitted to read the last dispatches from General Sheridan, and I am enabled to say that they do not establish any such proposition. General Sheridan gives a more extended account of what he believes to be the facts than he gave in his dispatch of the 1st instant, of which I sent you a copy. He does not in the late dispatches review nor scarcely refer to the conventioners and their conduct, but he gives a more detailed statement of the reported behavior of the police and Mayor Munroe, whom he styles "that bad man." and whose removal he recommends. But General Sheridan does not take back nor modify in the least his estimate of the character of the usurpers who provoked the disturbances, and who are responsible for the murders and bloodshed that took plare on the 30th of July. One thing comes out clearly in the dispatches received here by the President and General Grant, and that is, that whatever may be said of the conduct of those engaged in this deplorable occurrence, the " ex-rebels " were lighting to maintain the authority recognized by the Government and Congress. It should he borne in mind, however, that thus far we have received nothing but opinions from General Sheridan, formed upon hearsay testimony, not given under the solemnity of an oath. An official, and, it is hoped, an impartial investigation, is now going on, and in a fewdays we shall have the history of the whole affair in an authentic form.
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“The New Orleans Massacre,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed November 18, 2017, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/279.