How Mosquitoes prevented capture of Farragut. From the Times-dispatch, December 23, 1907.
New Orleans, La.,. December 22, 1907.That a mosquito bite once stood between Admiral Farragut and death, and that ninety bodies now moulder in the old monitor Tescumseh, lying in the gulf off Fort Morgan, Ala., are facts discovered by Rear-Admiral E. E. Roberts, U. S. N. (retired), who is here for the first time since 1862, when, as a lieutenant of engineers, attached to Admiral Farragut's Squadron, he was in all the notable naval operations along the Southern coast and came up the Mississippi River and captured New Orleans. Admiral Roberts was with Admiral Farragut in the battle of Mobile Bay. He was at the capture of Fort Fisher, at the mouth of Cape Fear River, and at that time was a messmate of Admiral Dewey, who was then a lieutenant-commander. Admiral Roberts recently visited the old forts near Mobile, Ala. “I have learned,” said Admiral Roberts,
that in the summer of 1863, before the attempt was made to run by Forts Morgan and Gaines, mosquitoes prevented the death or capture of Admiral Farragut. The mortar fleet of Admiral Farragut, while anchored in Mississippi Sound, within shelling distance of Fort Powell, at Grant's Pass, was bombarding that stronghold. Admiral Farragut was on one of the blockading vessels at Sand Island, in the gulf off Mobile Bay. In order to personally look after the shelling operations the admiral would run down the island on the gulf side, land in a small boat opposite the mortar fleet, and cross Dauphin Island, which was very narrow at that point. He would meet a small boat on the sound side, which conveyed him to the mortar fleet. On these trips he was usually accompanied by one man, his secretary or aid, and as the crossing was made within a mile of the woods, which extended not much over a mile from Fort Gaines, a party of Confederates, stationed at Fort Gaines, decided to make an effort to capture Admiral Farragut.