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[174] wharves. Farragut devolved upon Butler the task of occupying and governing New Orleans, and a few hours after, the Federal troops took possession of that city.

Farragut had recovered his freedom of action. He at once availed himself of it to ascend the river. Near Carrolton, ten kilometres above New Orleans, there were, besides some works of considerable importance, a floating bar, ready to be stretched, in anticipation that Foote's flotilla would come down the Mississippi as far as that point. It was, in fact, as we have remarked, the attack from the north which the Confederates feared most, and in view of which they had made especial preparations.

On the 9th of May the Iroquois made her appearance before Baton Rouge. The political capital of Louisiana offered no resistance, and a detachment of marines took possession of the arsenal. On the 12th the same vessel appeared before Natchez, where she met with no resistance. The fleet followed, securing these easy conquests. Whilst Porter was taking back to Ship Island his mortars, which were supposed to be no longer needed on the Mississippi, General Williams, with a few troops embarked on transports, followed Farragut, and placed garrisons at all the places which it was important to defend. The conquest of the lower Mississippi was proceeding rapidly, and the Federals already flattered themselves with the hope of reopening the navigation of the entire river from St. Louis to New Orleans, not only to men-of-war, but to the thousand merchant-vessels which had ploughed its waters before the war. They also believed that, once masters of one of the regions which formerly produced the greatest quantity of cotton, they would speedily cause the cultivation of this plant to revive, and by throwing open the mart where the entire world had been accustomed to provide themselves, they would silence those who, in Europe, made the ruin of the cotton trade a pretext for their intervention in favor of the Confederate cause.

These illusions were soon dispelled. On the 18th of May the batteries of Vicksburg stopped the Oneida; soon after, Farragut, reaching the place with his whole fleet, and perceiving the several tiers of guns which commanded the entire course of the river, was obliged to acknowledge that it would be impossible for him to overcome this new obstacle without a great effort. Even the

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