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r was always the same,--Up the river, sir!
Days and weeks went by, and the smoke came no nearer.
Once only, on February 24th, it came out of the river, and we had an exciting chase of a blockade-runner, following her for miles, with an officer aloft conning the ship by the smoke seen above the fog; we captured the chase, which proved to be the steamer Magnolia with 1200 bales of cotton.
At last the spell was broken, for on the 7th of March the Hartford and Pensacola arrived with Captain D. G. Farragut, then flag-officer commanding the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, and we learned that we were going to open the Mississippi River.
I had never met Farragut, but had heard of him from officers who were with him in the Brooklyn on her previous cruise.
He had been represented as a man of most determined will and character — a man who would assume any responsibility to accomplish necessary ends.
I saw a great deal of him at the Head of the Passes and after we passed the forts.