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“My executive officer, Mr. Dewey” : the future Admiral as Civil war lieutenant In the fight with the batteries at Port Hudson, March 14, 1863, Farragut, in the “Hartford” lashed to the “Albatross,” got by, but the fine old consort of the “Hartford,” the “Mississippi,” went down — her gunners fighting to the last. Farragut, in anguish, could see her enveloped in flames lighting up the river. She had grounded under the very guns of a battery, and not until actually driven off by the flames did her men leave her. When the “Mississippi” grounded, the shock threw her lieutenant-commander into the river, and in confusion he swam toward the shore; then, turning about, he swam back to his ship. Captain Smith thus writes in his report: “I consider that I should be neglecting a most important duty should I omit to mention the coolness of my executive officer, Mr. Dewey, and the steady, fearless, and gallant manner in which the officers and men of the ‘Mississippi’ defended her, and the orderly and quiet manner in which she was abandoned after being thirty-five minutes aground under the fire of the enemy's batteries. There was no confusion in embarking the crew, and the only noise was from the enemy's cannon.” Lieutenant-Commander George Dewey, here mentioned at the age of 26, was to exemplify in Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, the lessons he was learning from Farragut.

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