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[191]

Huger, Commander of the “McRea” in the fearless Confederate flotilla Never were braver deeds done by men afloat in ships than were performed by the Southern officers and sailors of the little flotilla of gunboats and river craft that joined with the great forts ashore in disputing the passage of Farragut's fleet up the river. The ram “Manassas,” whose thin plating was pierced through and through, charged again and again at the towering wooden walls of the oncoming ships. She struck the “Mississippi,” wounding her badly, and all but sank the “Brooklyn.” The men on the little tug “Mosher,” which pushed the fire-raft against the “Hartford,” sank with their vessel. Desperate deeds of courage were performed by every Confederate gunboat engaged in the battle. Commander Kennon, of the “Governor Moore,” in his duel with the “Varuna,” fired through the bows of his own ship. On board the “McRea,” a little sea-going steam barkentine but lightly armed, Commander Thomas B. Huger was killed. It was a remarkable coincidence that, only a few months before, this splendid and gallant officer had been first-lieutenant of the “Iroquois,” the very ship from which he received his death-wound. There had been hardly a change in the personnel of the vessel. All of the officers and men on board of her had once obeyed his orders. Not all of the Confederate river-defense fleet took part in the action, but those that were under the command of ex-officers of the navy plunged in almost with mad recklessness, disdaining the odds arrayed against them. Had the two powerful ironclads, the “Mississippi” and the “Louisiana,” been finished and in commission, declared the Confederates, Farragut's fleet would never have reached New Orleans

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Thomas B. Huger (2)
David G. Farragut (2)
Mosher (1)
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