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 Brigadier-General Johnson Kelly Duncan was born at York, Pa, March 19, 1827. He was graduated at West Point July 1, 1849, as brevet second-lieutenant of the Second artillery. He served in Florida against the Seminole Indians in 1849 and 1850, and on garrison duty at Forts Sullivan and Preble, Me.; then as assistant on Northern Pacific railroad exploration from 1853 to 1854. He resigned January 31, 1855, being at that time first-lieutenant, Third artillery. He then became superintendent of repairs of New Orleans branch mint, marine hospital and quarantine warehouse, and Pass á l'outre boarding station; subsequently civil engineer, surveyor and architect at New Orleans, 1859-60, and from 1860 to 1861 chief engineer of the board of public works of Louisiana. Living so long in the South he had become thoroughly identified with the people of his adopted State, and regarded their interests as his own. Therefore, when the war began, he resolved to maintain to the best of his ability the cause of those whose rights and interests he thought imperilled. He offered his services to Mr. Davis, who gladly accepted them and had him commissioned first as colonel, and on January 7, 1862, as brigadier-general. He was placed in command of the coast defenses, including Forts Jackson and St. Philip, which were intended to defend the city of New Orleans against any fleet that might attempt the ascent of the Mississippi river. Toward the last of April, 1862, Commodore David G. Farragut with a powerful fleet of armored vessels supplied with the best guns then known in naval warfare, after bombarding for six days Forts Jackson and St. Philip and failing to silence them, made a bold dash past the forts, and attacking the small Confederate fleet of rams and fire-rafts, destroyed them and appeared before the city of New Orleans, which could do nothing but surrender. Seventy per cent of the Confederate guns were 32-pounders and below, while sixty-three per cent of the Union guns were of heavier caliber. As the passage was open so that the
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