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[561] her destruction with which I was peculiarly concerned. The manager of the magazine was kind enough to publish what I said, in foot notes, along with the article when it appeared over Admiral Porter's signature.

In consequence of my having been a party to the incident above alluded to, connected with the destruction of the Louisiana, I have been requested to write a reply to certain portions of the article to prevent the perpetration and perpetuation of an unjust reflection upon the conduct of an honorable gentleman and a gallant and efficient officer, Commodore John K. Mitchell, who commanded the naval defences at the time of the passage of the Confederate fortifications and fleet by Admiral Farragut, and at the subsequent surrender of the land defences to the present Admiral Porter.

It is with reluctance that I consent to do so, and I wish that the task had fallen upon one better able to deal with it as it deserves.

From a reluctance to engage in controversy incident to age, my former gallant commander, Commodore Mitchell, hesitates to undertake it. It is with no desire or intention to enter into a controversy, with no desire or intention to injure anyone, but simply to do justice where silence might lead to injustice in the minds of those who read Admiral Porter's article, unacquainted with all the circumstances bearing on the case, and with no other guide to a proper understanding of it.

It is no part of my purpose to discuss how far the Federal Government was indebted to Admiral Porter for the services rendered by the renowned Admiral Farragut, by Admiral Porter's recommending Admiral Farragut to the Washington authorities to command in chief the expedition to carry out a scheme conceived by Admiral Porter, as the article states; or of his, as is implied, standing as it were sponsor for the loyalty of Admiral Farragut; nor for the service rendered by Admiral Porter in getting the Federal fleet over the bar, in reference to which he says in his article, page 935, ‘Farragut felt extremely uncomfortable at the prospect before him, but I convinced him that I could get the vessels over, if he would place them under my control, and he consented to do so.’

I will leave these matters to the credulity of the American reader not unfamiliar with Admiral Porter's style.

I will commence my work by stating a fact that has most important bearing upon Commodore Mitchell's conduct, which is, that, except for an active co-operation, the forts and land forces were a separate and distinct command from the naval forces on the Confederate

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