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[105]

The most famous of American naval officers and one of his most daring feats

In his admiral's uniform, ‘Dave’ Farragut might contrast with pride his start in life, in an obscure Tennessee town at the opening of the century. The son of a veteran of the Revolutionary War, he early entered the navy, and while yet a lad of thirteen took distinguished part in the battle between the Essex and the British vessels, Phoebe and Cherub. After cruising all over the world, he was stationed, at the opening of the Civil War, in the navy-yard in Norfolk, Virginia. Though bound to the South by birth and strong family ties, he remained in the national service without wavering. His capture of New Orleans in April, 1862, when he ran by two forts under terrific fire and worked havoc in a Confederate fleet of thirteen vessels, is one of the most thrilling actions in naval warfare. Its importance to the Federal cause lay in the opening of the port of New Orleans and securing control of the lower Mississippi. Farragut was of service to the army in opening the whole river and thus cutting the Confederacy in two. The closing of Mobile Bay in August, 1864, was another daring exploit. He had long planned to attack the forts at the entrance of the bay, but not till August was the necessary fleet ready. The battery pictured below was one of the features to be reckoned with. Here at the water's edge the Confederates mounted seven guns. During the engagement the gunners were driven from their posts again and again by the broadsides of the fleet, only to return with fresh men—but in vain.

‘Daring Dave Farragut’: to illustrate Meredith's poem on page 104.

The captured water battery at Fort Morgan, 1864


   

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