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Treasury Secretary Dix issues his order to "shoot on the spot" anyone hauling down the national flag

John Adams Dix, detail
01/29/1861
Secretary John Dix, incensed with the refusal of Captain R.G. Brushwood to turn over command of his revenue cutter Robert McClelland to a U.S. Treasury agent in Louisiana, responded with his soon-to-be-famous order.  He instructed a Lieutenant Caldwell to take command of the vessel, and ordered that "if anyone attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot."  The message never reached Caldwell and the McClelland was already in the hands of Louisiana but Dix's words quickly spread in the North to great acclaim.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
John Thomas Scharf, History of the Confederate States Navy from Its Organization to the Surrender of Its Last Vessel.... (Albany, NY: Joseph McDonough, 1894), 24.

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