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[204] jarring note like the pedal-stop of some great organ; the air vibrated with the sound. Under the dropping arches of the shells the vessels of the second division became intermingled. The fire-rafts, pushed by the heroic little unarmored tugs, were among them. When the flames leaped up the Hartford's sides and some men of the broadside batteries drew back, Farragut, from the quarter-deck, called out in ringing tones:

Don't flinch from that fire, boys! There's a hotter fire than that for those who don't do their duty.

An instant later, as the main-shrouds ignited and the scorched paint from the bulwarks licked about the ports, he raised his hands above his head, exclaiming, “My God! Is it to end this way?”

Among the other smaller vessels the battle became dispersed into single actions like that between the Varuna and the Governor Moore, the Iroquois and the McRae, when the latter was driven off and her commander killed, but before daylight every Federal ship but the Itasca, Kennebec, and Winona, which were forced to turn back, was above the forts, whose usefulness in protecting the city now was gone. In Farragut's fleet the casualties amounted to one hundred and eighty-four; the Confederate losses were never ascertained.

There were only two batteries now between the Federals and New Orleans. On the 25th of April, at one o'clock in the afternoon, the inhabitants of that city saw the fleet drop anchor off the levee. The two small batteries had only fired a shotted salute. On the 1st of May, General Butler arrived with transports, and the occupation was made complete. The forts had surrendered to Porter on the 28th of April. Baton Rouge and Natchez were given up by the civil authorities within a week or so. The opening of the Mississippi from the south had begun.

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