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nstruction, organization, and equipment, and in training and fighting the iron-clad fleet that was to pierce the barriers of the Western rivers. Most of the details in regard to these naval operations are from Hoppin's Life of Admiral Foote. As early as May 16, 1861, Commander John Rodgers had been sent West by the United States Government to provide an armed flotilla, to serve on the Western rivers. He bought steamboats, which were fitted, armored, and armed as gunboats. On the 30th of August Captain Andrew H. Foote, of the United States Navy, was ordered to take command of the naval operations upon the Western waters. When Foote took command there were three wooden vessels in commission, and nine iron-clad gunboats and thirty-eight mortar-boats in process of construction. This is not the place to relate the history of the United States Navy in the civil war ; but, as an illustration of the magnitude and celerity of its preparations, it may be stated, on the authority of Pr