Admiral David Glasgow Farragut

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut was the hero of the Union Navy's successful run past the two Confederate forts guarding the lower Mississippi River approach to New Orleans (see description), which led to the immediate capture of the city.  On the night of March 14, 1863, he commanded a similar attempt to run past the Confederate batteries at Port Hudson.  If he could get his fleet upstream of Port Hudson, he could blockade the mouth of the Red River, and shut off Confederate supplies from the west.

In preparation for this battle, Farragut ordered a smaller gunboat lashed to the port side of three of his larger ships, Hartford, Richmond, and Monongahela, to provide more power and steering control against the five mile-per-hour river current.  The side-wheeler Mississippi would make the trip on its own.  The ironclad Essex and six mortar boats with 13-inch mortars were  to support the seven ships making the passage attempt by bombarding the Confederate gun batteries.  The spectacular battle between the ship's batteries and the Port Hudson river batteries began around 11:00 PM, when the ships headed up river.  When the firing ended, only Farragut's flagship Hartford and its consort, the gunboat Albatross, had succeeded in getting through.  The Mississippi was destroyed, and the other ships attempting the run withdrew back downstream, all having sustained various degrees of damage.

Union Ships engaged at Port Hudson on March 14, 1863:

       USS Hartford

       USS Richmond

       USS Mississippi

       USS Monongahela

       USS Essex

       USS Genesee

       USS Albatross

The gunboat USS Kineo also participated in the Port Hudson run, lashed to the side of the USS Monongahela.

The Hartford and Albatross continued on up the river, and effectively cut off Port Hudson's supply route via the Red River.  Throughout the siege period, Farragut's ships continued to bombard the Confederate defenses. 

  A biographical sketch of Admiral Farragut (Complete book) - with detailed accounts of his major Civil War engagements

  A detailed account of Farragut's run at Port Hudson (from the above book)

  List of Naval Forces under Farragut's command at Port Hudson


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