With the strong national and patriotic feeling that had been aroused throughout the Northern States by the war of secession, Farragut had no cause to complain of ingratitude or indifference on the part either of the Government or of his fellow-countrymen. As the flag-ship entered the Narrows, on his final return from the Gulf, she was met by a representative committee from the city officials and citizens of New York. Enthusiastic crowds greeted him as he landed at the Battery, and a reception given him the same afternoon at the Custom House was thronged by the leading men of the city. This eager manifestation of good-will and admiration was followed, a few days later, by a flattering request that the admiral would honor the city by taking up his abode in it and becoming thenceforth one of its citizens. After reciting the deeds which had won for him universal applause and thankfulness, the committee said: "The citizens of New York can offer no tribute equal to your claim on their gratitude and affection. Their earnest desire is to receive you as one of their number, and to be permitted, as fellow-citizens, to share in the renown you will bring [295] to the metropolitan city. This desire is felt in common by the whole community."

This graceful tribute of words was accompanied by the gift of fifty thousand dollars, to facilitate Farragut's complying with the request. The letter was addressed to Vice-Admiral Farragut; the United States Government, not to be behindhand in acknowledging its debt to its most distinguished seaman, having created for him that grade soon after his arrival. The bill for the purpose was introduced on the 22d of December, 1864, immediately passed by both houses, and became law by the President's signature the following day. Farragut's nomination and confirmation followed of course and at once; so that his promotion came to him in the Christmas holidays. The admiral gratefully acknowledged the warm welcome of the New Yorkers, while modestly disavowing, as far as he could, his claim to extraordinary merit in the brilliant services which he asserted were but the performance of his duty; and he thankfully accepted, as the spontaneous offering of his fellow-countrymen, the recompense which in older countries is the usual reward of distinguished military success, but conferred there through the formal medium of the central government.

Toward the end of January, 1865, the Confederate vessels in the James made an attempt to descend the river, destroy the pontoon bridges of the United States armies, and cut off both the Army of the James and that of the Potomac from their base of supplies at City Point. Rear-Admiral David D. Porter, who then commanded the North Atlantic Squadron, was fully occupied at the time with the bombardment of Fort Fisher and capture of Wilmington, [296] North Carolina; and as the hostile attempt threatened a very serious annoyance to the communications of the army, Farragut, who was then in Washington, was ordered to proceed to the spot. He accordingly hoisted his flag on a small steamer and ran down to the James; but, finding upon his arrival that the enemy had been repulsed, and satisfactory measures taken to prevent a renewal of the effort, he returned to Washington. This slight episode concluded his active service in the war.

When Richmond was evacuated on the 2d of April, 1865, Farragut was among the first to visit the fallen capital of the Confederacy. From there a few days later he visited his old home in Norfolk. Many of his former friends still retained strong feelings of resentment against him, as a Southern man who had taken arms against the South. The impression had obtained among some that, though leaving his old home, he would remain neutral; and it was even reported that he had said he would take no part in the war. That Farragut never passed through that phase of feeling, in the struggle between life-long affections and the sense of duty, would be too much to affirm; but it was a position in which a man of his decided and positive character could not have stopped when civil strife was upon the land. It was inconsistent with his general habits of thought; and it is evident that, before leaving Norfolk, his convictions on the particular crisis had already left far behind any such temporary halting place between two opinions. When he justified to his excited neighbors President Lincoln's call for troops, on the ground that the United States Government could do no less, when its arsenals and navy yards were seized [297] and its flag fired upon, it is inconceivable that the man who then had such courage of his opinions entertained any further doubt as to his future course; though it may well be that he did not imperil his personal liberty and safety by any irritating avowal of his purpose. In a reception given to him, when he thus revisited the place which should no longer be his home, he recalled those days and said: "I was told by a brother officer that the State had seceded, and that I must either resign and turn traitor to the Government which had supported me from my childhood, or I must leave this place. Thank God! I was not long in making my decision. I have spent half my life in revolutionary countries, and I know the horrors of civil war, and I told the people what I had seen and what they would experience. They laughed at me, and called me 'granny' and 'croaker'; and I said: 'I can not live here, and will seek some other place where I can live, and on two hours' notice.' I Suppose they said I left my country for my country's good, and thank God I did! I was unwilling to believe that this difficulty would not have been settled but it was all in vain, and as every man must do in a revolution, as he puts his foot down, so it marks his life."

In the summer of 1865, following the close of the war, Farragut visited several of the New England cities, receiving everywhere marks of love and admiration similar to those tendered to him in New York; but his life for the next two years was passed in comparative retirement, seeking the re-establishment of his health, which had been severely shaken by the exposures and anxieties of the war. Though for the most part unassigned to any special [298] duties, the winding up of the affairs of the West Gulf Squadron fully occupied his time.

On the 25th of July, 1866, Congress passed a law creating the grade of admiral in the United States Navy, a position which was of course given at once to Farragut, and has been held by but one other--the late Admiral David D. Porter. The following year he was appointed to command the European Squadron, his flag being hoisted on board the steam frigate Franklin on the 17th of June, 1867. Without any request, and indeed without any expectation, on his part, the Government sent the admiral permission for Mrs. Farragut and a kinswoman to accompany him during the cruise. On the 28th of June the ship sailed from New York,(25) and on the 14th of July anchored in Cherbourg, France.

After passing a fortnight there, during which the admiral visited Paris and dined with the Emperor, the Franklin sailed for the Baltic, where the months of August and September were passed in visiting the ports of Russia, Sweden, and Denmark. Everywhere Farragut was received with the enthusiasm and distinguished consideration that were aroused among naval officers, by the presence of the man who had bestowed upon their profession a lustre unequaled by any other deeds of that generation. Toward the end of September he arrived in England, where a month was spent in a similar gratifying manner; attentions being lavished upon him by men [299] not only of his own calling, but of all Positions. Here, as in the Baltic, every opportunity was given Farragut for visiting all objects of general interest, as well as for examining the professional improvements of the day.

From England the Franklin went to the Mediterranean, which Farragut had not seen since the flying trip made by the Brandywine in the winter of 1825, after landing Lafayette in France. Between October, 1867, and April, 1868, were visited Lisbon, Gibraltar, and several ports of the western Mediterranean belonging to Spain, France, and Italy. Everywhere the same cordial welcome was extended, and the most ample facilities enjoyed for seeing thoroughly the points of interest in which the Mediterranean abounds. At Nice he was the object of especial attentions from the numerous Americans who throng that attractive winter resort; and while at Naples a special excavation was made at Pompeii for his benefit. Nowhere, however, did he have a more elaborate and, from the professional point of view, more interesting reception than in Malta, the great British stronghold in the central Mediterranean; where the Mediterranean fleet, then on the point of sailing for the Levant, was detained especially to meet him.

The incidents of this cruise which most nearly touch Farragut himself, and have the greatest interest for his biographer, occurred in the island of Minorca, where his family originated. Over forty years had passed since, as midshipman and lieutenant, he had wintered at Port Mahon. During those early visits he had received messages from persons living in the interior of the island who [300] claimed relationship; but with boyish indifference he had not responded to any of these advances. Since that time he had become imbued with the interest men commonly feel, in advancing years, in collecting all traces of family history which they can find; especially when, as in his case, they have been early and completely separated from the home of their childhood and of their race. The late George Ticknor had sent him an old Spanish book, the poems of Mossen Jaime Febrer, in which he read the account of his earliest celebrated ancestor, Pedro Ferragut. Among several escutcheons of the family that have been preserved, bearing diverse ecclesiastical and military emblems indicative of the individual's profession, all contain the common distinguishing device of a horseshoe; and this the admiral, moved by the feeling of kinship, had adopted for his plate. Drawn by these ties of blood and by curiosity, it was a matter of course that Farragut should visit the famous harbor for which British, French, and Spaniards had battled, and which lay within the limits of his command. The renown of his achievements had carried his name to Ciudadela, the remote inland city where his father was born over a century before; and the quiet islanders, who had exulted in the fame of one sprung from their race, were ready to greet him and claim him as their own. In response to an invitation given by them, the admiral, in December, 1867, paid a visit to Ciudadela, of which the following account is given by his secretary, Mr. Montgomery, who accompanied him on the trip:

"The day after Christmas had been designated by the admiral for his promised visit to Ciudadela, in response to the cordial invitation of the authorities [301] and people of that city. The news of this tour of pleasure had spread rapidly to all parts of the island, and occasioned a general rest from labor and a popular concentration upon the lines of travel. At the towns of Alayor and Mercadal flocks of people of both sexes had assembled on the roadside to unite with the authorities in tendering our naval chieftain a cordial welcome, and in expressing their delight at his advent.

"Although unable to accept the offers of hospitality which even in these unpretending villages were showered upon him, the admiral heartily acknowledged the gratification he felt at their demonstrations of personal regard, and, passing along the excited lines, he underwent a siege of hand-shaking. At these points and elsewhere along the route soldiers had been stationed to pay him proper honors, and to tender him any assistance he might require throughout his journey.

"On his arrival within four miles of Ciudadela he was formally received by the Alcalde; and a large committee, comprising many prominent citizens, tendered the hospitalities of the city, and cordially welcomed him as its guest. After a brief interchange of courtesies, he was transferred to a very handsome barouche, and conducted forward in the van of a quite formidable-looking procession, demonstrations of every kind increasing as he approached this ancient capital of Minorca, the present residence of many of those who prefer the quiet seclusion of their island home to the more dazzling notoriety incident to many of the older and gayer provinces of the mainland. Outside the walls of the city his appearance was no sooner heralded than masses of people [302] of every age, sex, and condition rushed forward to greet him, filling the air with cheers and acclamations. As he passed the gates of the city, the walls, house-tops, and balconies were crowded with anxious spectators, uniting demonstrations of welcome with equally expressive shouts from the swaying multitude who had taken possession of the principal thoroughfares. One old man of threescore years and ten, with tears streaming down his weather-beaten face, stamped sincerity itself upon the nature of the welcome by shouting aloud 'He is ours! he is ours! but I shall never see him more.'

"The avenue leading to the residence of Señor Don Gabriel Squella, which had been kindly placed by that gentleman at the disposal of the admiral and his suite, was literally blocked with people, and the excitement rose rapidly to fever heat as the head of the column appeared in view endeavoring to make a breach in a body absolutely closed in mass. It was with no little difficulty that the procession forced a passage; and although policemen did their utmost, and jostled, and crowded, and threatened, accompanying their language with all the vocabulary of Spanish expletives, it was found necessary to disembark at some distance from the hospitable mansion and trust to the humanity of our entertainers to afford an entrance on foot. But the temporary concealment of the admiral within the delightful headquarters which had been assigned him seemed to be the signal for a renewed outburst, which brought him to the balcony, upon which he stood bowing his thanks and acknowledging in every possible way his heartfelt appreciation of the cordial welcome extended him, until it appeared [303] that there was no prospect of a cessation of hostilities, when, for the first time in his life, he was persuaded to retreat in the face of superior numbers.

"The excitement continued unabated, however, throughout the entire evening, and it was not until near midnight that the crowd slowly dispersed, and the peaceful little city of Ciudadela resumed its wonted quiet, and its order-loving citizens, unaccustomed to all such sounds of revelry by night, retired to their own little homesteads.

"During this time a fine band of music was stationed in the capacious vestibule on the first floor of Señor Squella's mansion, and almost all the prominent citizens of the place, with their families, called to pay their respects to the city's guest, making the scene of excitement within as pleasant as that without was tumultuous.

"On the following morning enthusiasm arose with the sun, once more took firm possession of the street fronting the headquarters of the admiral, and there kept anxious watch. I am confident that, had there been an election that day for Governor of the Balearic Islands, or for King of Spain itself, the admiral would have been chosen without opposition.

"At an early hour, accompanied by his entire suite, all surrounded and followed by an admiring and excited throng, he was escorted by the committee and other citizens to all the places of interest in and about the city, and finally to the cathedral, in which he had scarcely been seated before it was literally packed in every part by people, their hundreds of eyes being riveted upon the pleasant countenance of the unappalled admiral, who withstood the [304] onslaught with as much sang froid as if accustomed to such trying ordeals.

"Soon after, the great organ pealed forth our own national melodies, recalling our far-off land even to those whose knowledge of its power and glory was limited to its history, and the sparse information derived from the few Americans who have visited this secluded city."

After leaving the Mediterranean in April, 1868, the Franklin went to Holland and Belgium, and thence made a second visit to England, in the course of which Farragut was presented to Queen Victoria, and visited Scotland and the north of England. In July he returned to the Mediterranean and made a round of the Levant, visiting Constantinople; a special indulgence to anchor before the city being accorded to the ship bearing the flag of an admiral, whose exceptional achievements made it unlikely that the privilege would shortly be construed into a precedent. After a short stay in Athens, and a run up to Trieste at the head of the Adriatic, the Franklin returned to Gibraltar, and thence sailed for New York, which she reached on the 10th of November, 1868; thus concluding a cruise which, from the beginning to the end, had resembled a triumphal progress in the enthusiastic recognition everywhere extended to the hero, whose battle-won blue flag she carried at her main.

Less than two years of life remained to Admiral Farragut when he returned from the Mediterranean. The following summer of 1869 he visited the California coast, where he had not been since he gave up the command of the Mare Island Navy Yard in 1858. The welcome here accorded him was as hearty [305] as that extended in foreign countries, and mingled with the admiration due to the conquering admiral was the recollection of warm mutual affection and esteem engendered by four years of close intercourse. Returning from San Francisco to the East, Farragut was seized at Chicago with a violent illness, in which the heart was affected. For some days his life was despaired of; and although by careful nursing he recovered so as to resume his journey, it is doubtful whether he ever regained the ground then lost. Several severe attacks followed this one; and although he rallied with extraordinary rapidity, thanks to a vigorous constitution, it was apparent that his health was failing. A few months later, in the middle of winter, he consented to take charge of the naval ceremonies in honor of the remains of Mr. George Peabody, whose body had been brought to the United States in the British ship-of-war Monarch, in recognition of his benevolence to the poor of London. It was his last official duty, and the exposure attendant upon funeral ceremonies in that bleak season was much to be deprecated in a man of his years and failing vigor.

The following summer the Navy Department placed at his disposal the dispatch steamer Tallapoosa, which took him and his family to Portsmouth, New Hampshire; where he became the guest of the late Rear-Admiral Pennock, then commandant of the Navy Yard at that place and a connection by marriage of Mrs Farragut. It was his last sea voyage, and he appeared to have a presentiment that it was so; for as the ship drew near the yard he arose from his sick bed at the sound of the salute being fired in his honor, dressed himself in full uniform, and went [306] on deck. Looking up with a sad smile at his flag flying from the mast-head, he said: "It would be well if I died now, in harness." Shortly after his arrival, an old sailor who had charge of the sloop-of-war Dale, then lying dismantled at the wharf, met there the admiral, who had wandered on board. He looked about the ship and, as he left her to go ashore, said: "This is the last time I shall ever tread the deck of a man-of-war." This prediction proved true. He passed quietly away at the commandant's house, on the 14th of August, 1870, aged sixty-nine years; surrounded by his family and loving friends, including many of his old companions in arms. The body was laid temporarily in Portsmouth, the naval officers and citizens of the place uniting to pay every respect to his memory.

In September the Navy Department sent the steam frigate Guerrière to bring the admiral's body to New York. This ship running aground on Nantucket Shoal, the remains were transferred to another vessel and so conveyed to the city. The final and public funeral ceremonies were held on the 30th of September; the day being observed as one of general mourning, the city edifices draped, bells tolled, and minute guns fired. In the procession was General Grant, then President of the United States, with the members of his Cabinet, many military and naval officers, ten thousand soldiers, and a large number of societies. By these the coffin of the admiral was escorted to the railroad station, whence it was transported to Woodlawn Cemetery, in Westchester County, where the body now lies.

To his memory the United States Government has erected a colossal bronze statue in the national [307] capital, in Farragut Square, the work of Miss Vinnie Ream. A committee of New York citizens have placed a similar memorial, by Mr. St. Gauden, at the northwest corner of Madison Square in that city. There is also a mural tablet, with a likeness of the admiral, in the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Incarnation; of which he was a communicant after taking up his residence in New York.




The brilliant and victorious career which has secured for Farragut a leading place among the successful naval commanders of all time was of brief duration, and began at an age when men generally are thinking rather of relaxing their efforts than of undertaking new and extraordinary labors. The two great leaders of the United States armies during the civil war--Grant and Sherman--were not over forty-five when the return of peace released them from their cares; while Nelson and Napoleon were but a year older than these when Trafalgar and Waterloo terminated their long careers. Farragut was nearly sixty-one at the time of passing the Mississippi forts, and his command of the Western Gulf Squadron lasted for quite three years, or rather less than the ordinary duration of a naval cruise in times of peace. Though not unprecedented, the display of activity and of sustained energy made by him at such an advanced period of life is unusual; and the severity of the strain upon the mental and physical powers at that age is evidenced by the prostration of Farragut himself, a man of exceptional vigor of body and of a mental tone which did not increase his burdens by an imaginative exaggeration of difficulties. [309] He never committed the error, against which Napoleon cautioned his generals, "de se faire un tableau." On the other hand, the study of his operations shows that, while always sanguine and ready to take great risks for the sake of accomplishing a great result, he had a clear appreciation of the conditions necessary to success and did not confound the impracticable with the merely hazardous. Of this, his reluctance to ascend the Mississippi in 1862, and his insistence in 1864 upon the necessity of ironclads, despite his instinctive dislike to that class of vessel, before undertaking the entrance to Mobile Bay, are conspicuous illustrations; and must be carefully kept in view by any one desirous of adequately appreciating his military character.

As in the case of Nelson, there is a disposition to attribute Farragut's successes simply to dash--to going straight at the enemy regardless of method and of consequences. In the case of the great British admiral the tendency of this view, which has been reproduced in successive biographies down to the latest, is to sink one of the first of naval commanders beneath the level of the pugilist, who in his fighting does not disdain science, to that of the game-cock; and it is doubtless to be attributed to the emphasis he himself laid upon that direct, rapid and vigorous action without which no military operations, however wisely planned, can succeed. In the want of this, rather than of great professional acquirements, will be most frequently found the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful general; and consequently Nelson, who had seen so much of failure arising from slowness and over-caution, placed, and rightly placed, more stress [310] upon vigor and rapidity, in which most are found deficient, than upon the methods which many understand, however ill they may apply them. Like the distinguished Frenchman, Suffren, who is said to have stigmatized tactics as "the veil of timidity," yet illustrated in his headlong dashes the leading principles of all sound tactics, Nelson carefully planned the chief outlines of operations, in the execution of which he manifested the extremes of daring and of unyielding firmness. There was in him no failure to comprehend that right direction, as well as vigor and weight, is necessary to a blow that would tell; but experience had taught him that the average man wants to be much too sure of success before venturing to move, and hence the insistence upon that one among the features of his military character which to the superficial observer has gradually obscured all others. Vigor even to desperateness of action both Nelson and Farragut on occasion showed--recklessness never. Neither fought as one who beateth the air; and while for neither can be claimed an entire exemption from mistakes, the great outlines of their action can safely challenge hostile criticism.

While, however, both in their respective spheres illustrated the great leading principles of war, the circumstances under which they were called to practice them were too diverse to permit any close comparison, or parallel, to be instituted between their actions. Nelson, for the most part, shone upon the battle-field--by his tactical combinations, by the rapidity and boldness with which he carried out plans preciously laid, or, on occasion, by the astonishing coup d'oeil and daring with which, in unforeseen [311] crises, he snatched and secured escaping victory. Farragut in actual battle showed that careful adaptation of means to ends which has a just claim to be considered tactical science; but his great merit was in the clearness with which he recognized the decisive point of a campaign, or of a particular operation, and threw upon it the force under his direction. Nelson acted chiefly against ships, against forces of a type essentially the same as his own, and accessible in all parts to his attack, because belonging to the same element; he might therefore hope to overcome them by the superior quality of his crews or by his better tactical dispositions. Farragut contended with fortifications, whose military powers, offensive and defensive, were essentially different from those of a fleet. Their endurance so greatly exceeded that of his ships as to exclude any hope of reducing them by direct attack; and their advantages of position, deliberately chosen and difficult of approach, could not be outweighed by any tactical arrangement open to him to adopt. He was therefore compelled to seek their fall by indirect means, by turning and isolating them, by acting against their communications--a conception not tactical, but strategic.

It is not meant to imply that the military talents of either admiral were confined to the particular field ascribed to him, but simply that in general they were led by circumstances to illustrate that chiefly. Nelson in his fine campaign in the Baltic evinced his profound intuitions in the science of strategy; and Farragut, as has been said, showed no mean tactical ability in the provisions made for his several battles. The dispositions to be adopted were with him the subject of very careful consideration; and before Mobile he [312] spent hours with his flag lieutenant studying, by the aid of little wooden models, the different positions in which the ships might be placed. Afterward he had the squadron get under way several times to practice keeping close order, and changing formation and course.

Like all men who have achieved eminence, the secret of Admiral Farragut's success is to be found in natural aptitudes carefully improved, and in a corresponding opportunity for action. How much he was indebted to the latter, is evident from the fact that he had passed his sixtieth year before his great qualities were manifested to the world. He was fortunate also, as was Nelson, in the conditions which he was called to meet. Great as were the difficulties confronting each, and brilliantly as they rose to the demand made upon their energies, it may safely be said that more perfect preparation upon the part of their enemies would either have detracted from the completeness of their victories; or else, by imposing greater deliberation and more methodical execution, would have robbed their exploits of that thunderbolt character which imparts such dramatic brilliancy to the Nile and Trafalgar, to New Orleans and Mobile Bay. A modern torpedo line would not leave the gap by which Farragut first meant to profit, nor would it be crossed with the impunity he found; nor could Nelson in his day, without courting destruction, have used against a thoroughly efficient enemy the tactics that admirably suited the conditions in Aboukir Bay and off Cape Trafalgar. But these considerations do not diminish the credit of either admiral, though they help to explain the fullness of their success, [313] and justify proceedings which under different circumstances would be unjustifiable. Rather, it may be said that, in the adaptation of their measures to the conditions opposed to them, what would otherwise invite condemnation as rashness, demands recognition as genius.

For Farragut had a natural genius for war, to which scarcely any opening had been offered before the unexpected calamity of the great civil strife burst upon the country. In estimating his military character and rightly apportioning the credit due to his great achievements, much stress must be laid upon the constant effort for professional improvement made by him from his early life. "Without the opportunity and the environment which enabled him to develop himself," writes one who knew him for over forty years, "Farragut might have gone to his rest comparatively unknown; yet among his comrades and contemporaries in the navy he would have been recognized as no ordinary man, no merely routine naval officer, who kept his watch and passed through life as easily as he could." "He told me," writes another, who first met him after his flag was flying, "that there are comparatively few men from whom one could not learn something, and that a naval officer should always be adding to his knowledge; it might enable him to be more useful some day; that it was hard to say what a naval officer might not have to do." Even after the war, when his reputation was at its height, in visiting European ports he never for a moment lost sight of this duty of professional acquirement. Not a harbor was visited that he did not observe critically its chances for defense by sea or land. " Who knows," said he, [314] "but that my services may be needed here some day?" "Ah, Mr. Tucker," said Earl St. Vincent to his secretary when planning an attack upon Brest, had Captain Jervis(26) surveyed Brest when he visited it in 1774, in 1800 Lord St. Vincent would not have been in want of his information."

It was not merely in the acquisition of knowledge, commonly so called, that this practice contributed to prepare Farragut for his great mission as a naval commander-in-chief, but also in the discipline of character and in the development of natural capacities admirably suited for that position. It should not be overlooked that before the war, and now again in our own day, the idea of professional improvement in the United States Navy has fastened for its fitting subject upon the development of the material of war, to the comparative exclusion of the study of naval warfare. This naturally results from the national policy, which does not propose to put afloat a fleet in the proper sense of the word; and whose ideal is a number, more or less small, of cruisers neither fitted nor intended for combined action. Under these circumstances, the details of the internal economy of the single ship usurp in the professional mind an undue proportion of the attention which, in a rightly constituted navy, might far better be applied to the study of naval tactics, in the higher sense of that word, and of naval campaigns. Farragut could not but feel the influence of this tendency, so strongly marked in the service to which he belonged; the more so, as it is a thoroughly good [315] tendency when not pushed to an exclusive extent. But here the habit of study, and stretching in every direction his interest in matters professional, stood him in good stead, and prepared him unconsciously for destinies that could not have been foreseen. The custom of reading had made him familiar with the biography and history of his profession, the school to which the great Napoleon recommended all who would fit themselves for high military command; and of which a recent distinguished authority has said that it may be questioned whether a formulated art of war can be said to exist, except as the embodiment of the practice of great captains illustrated in their campaigns.

From these, with his great natural aptitudes for war, Farragut quickly assimilated its leading principles, which he afterward so signally illustrated in act and embodied in maxims of his own that have already been quoted. He did not employ the terminology of the art, which, though possibly pedantic in sound, is invaluable for purposes of discussion; but he expressed its leading principles in pithy, homely phrases of his own, which showed how accurate his grasp of it was. "If once you get in a soldier's rear, he is gone," was probably in part a bit of good-natured chaff at the sister profession; but it sums up in a few words the significance and strategic importance of his course in passing the batteries of the river forts, of Port Hudson and of Mobile, and brings those brilliant actions into strict conformity with the soundest principles of war. The phrases, whose frequent repetition shows how deep a hold they had taken upon him--"The more you hurt the enemy the less he will hurt you "--"The best protection [316] against the enemy's fire is a well-directed fire from our own guns"--sum up one of the profoundest of all military truths, easily confessed but with difficulty lived up to, and which in these days of armor protection needs to be diligently recalled as a qualifying consideration. It is, in fact, a restatement of the oft-admitted, readily-forgotten maxim that offense is the best defense. "I believe in celerity," said he, when announcing his determination soon to pass the Mississippi forts; and good reason had he to congratulate himself that this faith showed itself in his works below New Orleans, and to lament before Mobile the failure of his Government to observe the maxim which all acknowledge. "Five minutes," said Nelson, "may make the difference between victory and defeat." "False (circuitous) routes and lost moments," wrote Napoleon, "are the determining elements of naval campaigns." All admit the value of time; but with what apathetic deliberation is often watched the flight of hours which are measuring the race between two enemies!

The personal character of Admiral Farragut afforded the firm natural foundation upon which alone a great military character can be built; for while no toleration should be shown to the absurd belief that military eminence leaps fully grown into the arena, like Minerva from the head of Jupiter--that, unlike every other kind of perfection, it grows wild and owes nothing to care, to arduous study, to constant preparation--it is still true that it can be developed only upon great natural aptitudes. The distinction conveyed by a phrase of Jomini, applied to Carnot, the great war minister of the French Revolution, is one that it is well for military and naval officers to bear [317] constantly in mind. "Carnot," he says, although a soldier by profession, "was rather a man with a natural genius for war than an accomplished (instruit) officer;" and to the lack of that studious preparation which marked Napoleon he attributes the mistakes which characterized some of Carnot's projects, although as a whole his career showed profound intuitions in the conduct of war. It is open to many able men to be accomplished and valuable officers; a few only--how few, the annals of the past show--receive the rare natural gifts which in their perfect combination make the great captain the highest manifestation of power attainable by human faculties.

The acquirements of the accomplished officer may enable him to see the right thing to be done under given conditions, and yet fail to lift him to the height of due performance. It is in the strength of purpose, in the power of rapid decision, of instant action, and, if need be, of strenuous endurance through a period of danger or of responsibility, when the terrifying alternatives of war are vibrating in the balance, that the power of a great captain mainly lies. It is in the courage to apply knowledge under conditions of exceptional danger; not merely to see the true direction for effort to take, but to dare to follow it, accepting all the risks and all the chances inseparable from war, facing all that defeat means in order thereby to secure victory if it may be had. It was upon these inborn moral qualities that reposed the conduct which led Farragut to fame. He had a clear eye for the true key of a military situation, a quick and accurate perception of the right thing to do at a critical moment, a firm grip upon [318] the leading principles of war; but he might have had all these and yet miserably failed. He was a man of most determined will and character, ready to tread down or fight through any obstacles which stood in the path he saw fit to follow. Of this a conspicuous instance was given in the firmness with which he withstood the secession clamor of Norfolk, his outspoken defense of the unpopular Government measures, and the promptitude with which he left the place, sundering so many associations at the call of duty; and to this exhibition of strength of purpose, through the impression made upon Mr. Fox, was largely due his selection for command in the Gulf.

One of the greatest of naval commanders, whose experience of men extended through an unusually long and varied career--Earl St. Vincent--has declared that the true test of a man's courage is his power to bear responsibility; and Farragut's fearlessness of responsibility in order to accomplish necessary ends, while yet captain of a single ship, was the subject of admiring comment among his subordinates, who are not usually prone to recognize that quality in their commanders. "I have as much pleasure in running into port in a gale of wind," he wrote, "as ever a boy did in a feat of skill." The same characteristic was markedly shown under the weight of far greater issues in his determination to pass the river forts in spite of remonstrances from his most able lieutenant, of cautious suggestions from other commanding officers, and with only the ambiguous instructions of the Navy Department to justify his action. It was not that the objections raised were trivial. They were of the most weighty and valid character, and in disregarding them Farragut showed not only the [319] admirable insight which fastened upon the true military solution, but also the courage which dared to accept on his sole responsibility the immense risks of disaster which had to be taken.

The same moral force showed itself again, in combination with the most rapid decision and strength of purpose, when his ship was nearly thrown on shore under the batteries of Port Hudson; and yet more in the highest degree at that supreme moment of his life when, headed off from the path he had himself laid down, he led his fleet across the torpedo line in Mobile Bay. To the same quality must also be attributed the resolution to take his ships above Port Hudson, without orders, at the critical period of the campaign of 1863; and it is to be regretted in the interest of his renown that the merit of that fine decision, both in its military correctness and in the responsibility assumed, has not been more adequately appreciated. For the power to take these momentous decisions, Farragut was indebted to nature. He indeed justified them and his general course of action by good and sufficient reasons, but the reasons carried instant conviction to him because they struck a kindred chord in his breast. Speaking on one occasion of his gallant and accomplished fleet captain, Percival Drayton, he said: "Drayton does not know fear, and would fight the devil himself, but he believes in acting as if the enemy can never be caught unprepared; whereas I believe in judging him by ourselves, and my motto in action," he continued, quoting the celebrated words of Danton, "is, 'L'audace, et encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace.'"

With all his fearlessness and determination, severity was not one of Admiral Farragut's characteristics. [320] He was easily approachable, entering readily into conversation with all; and added much to the labors of his position as commanding officer by his great patience in listening to matters to which a subordinate might have attended. "His kindness was what most impressed me," says one officer who was a very young man when first reporting to him for duty. Another, who as a midshipman saw much of him, writes: "He had a winning smile and a most charming manner, and was jovial and talkative. If any officer or man had not spontaneous enthusiasm, he certainly infused it into him." Captain Drayton, who had many opportunities of observing, once said of him: "I did not believe any man could be great if he did not know how to say 'No,' but I see he can; for certainly here is a great man, and he is too kind-hearted to say 'No' in some cases where it should be said."

In person, Admiral Farragut was not above the medium size--about five feet six and a half inches high, upright in carriage, well-proportioned, alert and graceful in his movements. In early and middle life he was rather slight than heavy in frame; and it was not until the war, with the prolonged physical inactivity entailed by the river and blockade service, that he took on flesh. Up to that time his weight was not over one hundred and fifty pounds. He was very expert in all physical exercises, and retained his activity to the verge of old age. Even after his fiftieth year it was no unusual thing for him to call up some of the crew of the ship under his command and have a bout with the single-sticks. He felt great confidence in his mastery of his sword, which he invariably wore ashore, and when returning to the [321] wharves at night, through low parts of a town where there was danger of molestation, he relied upon it to defend himself. "Any one wearing a sword," he used to say, "ought to be ashamed not to be proficient in its use."

For many years it was his habit on his birthday to go through certain physical exercises, or, as he worded it to a young officer of the fleet shortly before passing the river forts, to take a handspring; until he failed in doing this he should not, he said, feel that he was growing old. This practice he did not discontinue till after he was sixty. A junior officer of the Hartford writes: "When some of us youngsters were going through some gymnastic exercises (which he encouraged), he smilingly took hold of his left foot, by the toe of the shoe, with his right hand, and hopped his right foot through the bight without letting go." The lightness with which he clambered up the rigging of the flag-ship when entering Mobile Bay, and again over the side to see the extent of injury inflicted by the collision with the Lackawanna, sufficiently prove that up to the age of sixty-three he was capable of showing upon occasion the agility of a young man. This bodily vigor powerfully supported the energy of his mind, and carried him from daylight to dark, and from vessel to vessel of his fleet, in seasons of emergency, to see for himself that necessary work was being done without slackness; illustrating the saying attributed to Wellington, that a general was not too old when he could visit the outposts in person and on horseback.

The features of the admiral can best be realized from the admirable frontispiece. As a young man [322] he had the sallow, swarthy complexion usually associated with his Spanish blood. His hair at the same period was dark brown, becoming in middle life almost black. In his later years he was partially bald--a misfortune attributed by him to the sunstroke from which he suffered in Tunis, and which he to some extent concealed by the arrangement of the hair. The contour of the face was oval, the cheek-bones rather prominent, until the cheeks filled out as he became fleshier during the war; the eyes hazel, nose aquiline, lips small and compressed. At no time could he have been called handsome; but his face always possessed the attraction given by animation of expression and by the ready sympathy which vividly reflected his emotions, easily stirred by whatever excited his amusement, anger, or sorrow. To conceal his feelings was to him always difficult, and, when deeply moved, impossible. The old quartermaster who lashed him in the rigging at Mobile Bay told afterward how the admiral came on deck again as the poor fellows who had been killed were being laid out on the port side of the quarter-deck. It was the only time I ever saw the old gentleman cry," he said, "but the tears came in his eyes like a little child." A casual but close observer, who visited him on board the flag-ship in New Orleans, wrote thus: "His manners are mild and prepossessing, but there is nothing striking in his presence, and the most astute physiognomist would scarcely suspect the heroic qualities that lay concealed beneath so simple and unpretending an exterior; unless, indeed, one might chance to see him, as we did shortly afterward, just on receipt of the news from Galveston, or again on the eve of battle at Port Hudson. On such [323] occasions the flashing eye and passionate energy of his manner revealed the spirit of the ancient vikings."

Throughout his life, from the time that as a lad still in his teens he showed to Mr. Folsom his eagerness to learn, Farragut was ever diligent in the work of self-improvement, both professional and general. His eyes were weak from youth, but he to some extent remedied this disability by employing readers in the different ships on board which he sailed; and to the day of his death he always had some book on hand. Having an excellent memory, he thus accumulated a great deal of information besides that gained from observation and intercourse with the world. Hobart Pasha, a British officer in the Turkish Navy and an accomplished seaman, wrote: "Admiral Farragut, with whom I had many conversations, was one of the most intelligent naval officers of my acquaintance." He loved an argument, and, though always good-tempered in it, was tenacious of his own convictions when he thought the facts bore out his way of interpreting their significance. When told by a phrenologist that he had an unusual amount of self-esteem, he replied: "It is true, I have; I have full confidence in myself and in my judgment"--a trait of supreme importance to a man called to high command. But against the defects of this quality he was guarded by the openness of mind which results from the effort to improve and to keep abreast of the times in which one lives.

Farragut was naturally conservative, as seamen generally tend to be; but while averse to sudden changes, and prone to look with some distrust upon new and untried weapons of war, he did not refuse [324] them, nor did they find in him that prejudice which forbids a fair trial and rejects reasonable proof. Of ironclads and rifled guns, both which in his day were still in their infancy, he at times spoke disparagingly; but his objection appears to have arisen not from a doubt of their efficacy--the one for protection, the other for length of range--but from an opinion as to their effect upon the spirit of the service. In this there is an element of truth as well as of prejudice; for the natural tendency of the extreme effort for protection undoubtedly is to obscure the fundamental truth, which he constantly preached, that the best protection is to injure the enemy. Nor was his instinct more at fault in recognizing that the rage for material advance, though a good thing, carries with it the countervailing disposition to rely upon perfected material rather than upon accomplished warriors to decide the issue of battle. To express a fear such as Farragut's, that a particular development of the material of war would injure the tone of the service, sounds to some as the mere echo of Lever's commissary, who reasoned that the abolition of pig-tails would sap the military spirit of the nation--only that, and nothing more. It was, on the contrary, the accurate intuition of a born master of war, who feels, even without reasoning, that men are always prone to rely upon instruments rather than upon living agents--to think the armor greater than the man.

The self-confidence which Farragut exhibited in his military undertakings was not only a natural trait; it rested also upon a reasonable conviction of his mastery of his profession, resulting from long years of exclusive and sustained devotion. He did not carry the same feeling into other matters with which he had no familiarity; and he was jealously careful not to hazard the good name, which was the honor of his country as well as of himself, by attaching it to enterprises whose character he did not understand, or to duties for which he did not feel fitted. Accordingly, he refused a request made to him to allow his name to be used as director of a company, accompanied by an intimation that stock representing one hundred thousand dollars had been placed in his name on the books. "I have determined," he replied, "to decline entering into any business which I have neither the time nor perhaps the ability to attend to." In like manner he refused to allow his name to be proposed for nomination as a presidential candidate. "My entire life has been spent in the navy; by a steady perseverance and devotion to it I have been favored with success in my profession, and to risk that reputation by entering a new career at my advanced age, and that career one of which I have little or no knowledge, is more than any one has a right to expect of me."

Farragut was essentially and unaffectedly a religious man. The thoughtfulness and care with which he prepared for his greater undertakings, the courage and fixed determination to succeed with which he went into battle, were tempered and graced by a profound submission to the Almighty will. Though not obtruded on the public, his home letters evince how constantly the sense of this dependence was present to his thoughts; and he has left on record that, in the moment of greatest danger to his career, his spirit turned instinctively to God before gathering up its energies into that sublime impulse, [326] whose lustre, as the years go by, will more and more outshine his other deeds as the Crowning glory of them all--when the fiery admiral rallied his staggered column, and led it past the hostile guns and the lost Tecumseh into the harbor of Mobile.



Anecdotes of Admiral Farragut, 11, 12, 22, 26, 35, 45-49, 58, 92, 112, 124, 168-170, 267, 281, 286, 288, 292, 297, 306, 313, 318, 319, 321, 322, 323, 325; lashed in rigging at Mobile, 272; visit to Ciudadela, his father's birthplace, 300.

Arkansas, Confederate ironclad, description of, 189; dash through United States fleet at Vicksburg, 191; destruction of, 193.

Bailey, Captain Theodorus, U. S. N., leads the fleet at the passage of Mississippi forts, 149, 151-155; demands surrender of New Orleans, 168 et seq.

Banks, General Nathaniel P., relieves Butler in command in the Southwest, 201; movement in support of Farragut's passage of Port Hudson, 211; operations west of the Mississippi, 229, 232; Port Hudson surrenders to, 235.

Barnard, Major J. G., U. S. Engineers, opinion as to effect of passing Mississippi forts, 121.

Battles: Essex with Phoebe and Cherub, 38-44; passage of New Orleans forts, 149 et seq.; passage of batteries at Vicksburg, 187, 192; Port Hudson, 211 et seq.; Mobile Bay, 269 et seq.

Baudin, French admiral, sketch of, 77; attack on Vera Cruz by, 79-83.

Bell, Commodore Henry H., U. S. N., fleet captain to Farragut in 1862, 132, 140; breaking barrier below river forts, 132; extract from journal of, 140; hoists U. S. flag over New Orleans, 171; at Galveston, 202; at Rio Grande, 240.

Blair, Montgomery, account of interview with Farragut concerning New Orleans expedition, 124.

Boggs, Commander Charles S., U. S. N., commands Varuna at passage of Mississippi forts, 163, 164.

[328] Brooklyn, U. S. steamer, Farragut commands, 1858-'60, in Gulf, 103-105.

Buchanan, Franklin, Confederate admiral, at Mobile, 244, 279, 281-288.

Butler, General Benjamin F., commands New Orleans expedition, 164, 179, 291.

Caldwell, Lieut. C. H. B., U. S. N., commands Itasca in Mississippi River, 132, 162; daring action in breaking chain below forts, 133, 150; commands ironclad Essex at Port Hudson, 220.

Craven, Commander Tunis A. M., U. S. N., commands monitor Tecumseh at Mobile, 268; eagerness to engage Tennessee, and consequent error, 273, 274; goes down with his ship, 275.

Drayton, Captain Percival, U. S. N., Farragut's chief of staff at Mobile, 98, 250, 269, 270, 272, 278, 281, 282, 292, 319, 320.

Essex, U. S. frigate, building of, 14; armament, 15; history of, 16; cruise under Porter, 17-44; capture of, by Phoebe and Cherub, 44; fate of, 50.

Essex, U. S. ironclad, 192, 113, 211, 220, 232.

Essex Junior, prize to Essex, and equipped as a tender to her, 25; mentioned, 26, 27, 30, 32, 33, 34, 36; conveys to the United States the survivors of the action, 49, 50.

Farragut, Admiral David G.: family history, 1-6, 300; birth, 4; appointed midshipman, 8; joins frigate Essex, 11; cruise in Essex, 11-50; first battle, between Essex and two British ships, 38-44; returns to United States, 49; service in Mediterranean, 1815-'20, 53-62; returns to United States, 62; serves in Mosquito fleet in West Indies, 1823, 63-67; first marriage, 67; promoted to lieutenant, 71; Brazil station, 1828-'34, 71-74; witnesses French attack on Vera Cruz, 1838, 75-88; death of first wife, 88; promoted to commander, 89; Brazil station again, 1841, 90-94; second marriage, 94; Mexican war, 94-97; ordnance duties, 97-98; commandant Mare Island yard, 99-101; promoted to captain, 101; commands Brooklyn in Gulf, 1858-'60, 101-105; question of secession, 107-112; abandons his home in Norfolk and settles in New York, 112; chosen to command New Orleans expedition, 122-125; appointed to command West Gulf squadron, December, 1861, 125; assumes command [329] at Ship Island, 127; operations below Mississippi forts, 127-149; passage of the forts, 149-165; surrender of New Orleans, 166-176; operations above New Orleans, 1862, 177-195; promoted to rear-admiral, 197; blockade operations, 1862-'63, 196-204; operations above New Orleans, 1863, 203-235; passage of batteries at Port Hudson, 211-216; effect of this passage, 222-229; relinquishes to Porter command above New Orleans, 235; return North, Aug., 1863, 235; resumes command in Gulf, Jan., 1864, 243; blockade duties, 249-254; battle of Mobile Bay, 268-289; final return North, 293; enthusiastic reception in New York, 294; promoted to vice-admiral, 295; temporary service in James River, 296; promoted to admiral, 298; commands European station, 298-304; visit to his father's birthplace in Minorca, 299-304; return to United States, 304; declining health, 305; death and obsequies, 306; monuments of, 307; analysis of character, 308-326.

Military characteristics: Personal courage, 44-46, 61, 62, 161, 277, 317-319; moral courage in assuming responsibility, 26, 60, 124-126, 135, 137-140, 144, 147, 222, 223, 276-280, 318; hopefulness, 124, 252, 277; strategic insight, 137, 138, 141 et seq., 147, 172, 178-185, 200, 207, 208, 231, 238, 311, 315; tactical skill, 149, 150, 154, 217-220, 239, 260-263, 311; self-reliance, 323; comparison with Nelson, 309-312.

Personal characteristics: Appearance and bodily strength, 51, 60, 320-322; gratefulness, 5, 52, 60, 67; self-improvement, 51, 57-59, 69, 71, 87, 97, 313-315, 323; habits of observation, 57, 69, 75,83-88, 94, 98, 99, 124, 313, 314; thoughtfulness and decision, 54, 70, 106 et seq., 113, 123, 124, 139-141, 147, 208, 211, 216, 239, 260, 264, 277; family relations, 65, 74, 88, 107-109, 227, 265-268; kindness, 320, 322; religious feelings, 252, 266, 277, 292, 325. See also "Anecdotes."

Farragut, George, father of Admiral Farragut: birth, 1; history 2-5; death, 6.

Florida, Confederate ship of war (first called Oreto), runs blockade into Mobile, 197; escapes, 203; effect on Farragut, 204.

Folsom, Chaplain Charles, U. S. Navy, influence on Farragut's early life, 57-60.

Fox, Gustavus V., assistant secretary of the navy, 1861-'65, 118; relations to New Orleans [330] expedition, 118-124, 318; urges Farragut to ascend the Mississippi, 183.

Gaines, Fort, defense of Mobile Bay, 247, 259, 268; surrender of, 290.

Garibaldi, services in war between Argentine and Uruguay, 93.

Granger, United States General, commands at siege of Forts Gaines and Morgan, 268, 290, 291.

Grant, General Ulysses S., analogy between his turning the position of Vicksburg and Farragut's turning the Mississippi forts, 135-138 (and note, 137); anxieties of, in 1862, 198; connection between his command and Farragut's, 198, 199; takes the line of the Mississippi, 205; takes chief command at Vicksburg, 206; responsibility assumed in cutting loose from his base before Vicksburg, 223; opinion as to importance of Farragut's passage of Port Hudson, 224, 226; begins turning movement against Vicksburg, 229; views as to Red River expedition and Mobile, 1864, 245, 246; statesmanlike regard to political conditions in military operations, 137 (note), 251; present at Farragut's funeral, 306.

Harrison, Lieutenant N. B., commands Cayuga, leading fleet at passage of Mississippi forts, 159.

Hartford, U. S. steamer, Farragut's flag-ship, description of, 126.

Hillyar, James, British naval captain, commands Phoebe in battle with Essex, 38-44; disregard of neutral rights, 32, 39, 40; relations with Porter, etc., 33-37.

Incident: Farragut being lashed in rigging at Mobile, 272.

Indianola, U. S. iron-clad, capture of, and effect upon Farragut's movements, 209-211, 224.

Jackson, Fort, defense of New Orleans, mentioned, 65; description of, 119, 127, 258; surrender of, 171; causes of the fall of, 141-147.

Jenkins, Rear-Admiral Thornton A., chief of staff to Farragut, 1863, 203, 208, 211, 234; commands Richmond at battle of Mobile, 268, 269.

Jouett, Lieutenant-Commander James E. (now Rear-Admiral), commands Metacomet at battle of Mobile Bay, 271, 272, 278; captures Confederate gunboat Selma, 280.

Kennon, Beverley, Lieutenant, Confederate navy, commands Governor Moore at New Orleans [331] and sinks U. S. steamer Varuna, 158, 159, 163.

Kimberley, Lieutenant-Commander Lewis A. (now Rear-Admiral), executive officer of Farragut's flag-ship, 281.

Lovell, Mansfield, Confederate general, opinion as to cause of fall of Mississippi forts, 145.

Manassas, Confederate ram, description of, 156; part at battle of New Orleans, 157, 159.

Mare Island, Farragut's command of, 1854-'58, 99-101; visit to, 304.

Matamoras, Mexican port, importance to blockade-running, 207, 240.

McClellan, General George B., relations to New Orleans expedition, 120, 121.

Minorca, Island of, birthplace of George Farragut, 1; Farragut's visits to, 56, 57, 300; enthusiastic reception given to Admiral Farragut, 300-304.

Mississippi River, importance of, in civil war, 115-117, 199, 200, 207, 222, 223, 237, 238.

Mobile, Farragut's wish to attack, in 1862, 185; blockade of, 196, 197, 203, 204, 249, 250; importance of, 241, 242; description of approaches to, from the sea, and defenses of, 246-248, 258, 259, 260, 264, 265; battle of Mobile Bay, 269-289.

Monitors, description of, 255.

Morgan, Fort, defense of Mobile Bay, 247, 258, 259, 271, 290; surrender of, 290.

Mosquito fleet, origin and service of, 63-66.

Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, mentioned, 77, 136, 143, 308, 309, 315, 317.

Napoleon, Louis, Emperor of the French: Purpose to recognize Confederacy, 173; effect upon, of fall of New Orleans, 175, 176; Farragut dines with, 298.

Navy, United States, inadequate strength of, at different periods, 6, 13, 86, 101, 116, 117, 314; consequent bad results, 6-8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 19, 50, 102, 223, 242, 314; reasons for partial successes of 1812, and delayed action in 1861, 101, 102; character and importance of services, in civil war, 135-137, 142, 146, 171-176, 180-182, 199, 206, 207, 222-225, 231 (and note), 233-235, 238, 242, 244, 291.

Nelson, Horatio, British Admiral, mentioned, 70, 160, 240 (and note), 266, 308; military character contrasted with that of Farragut, 309-312.

[332] New Orleans, expedition against, 115-176; defenses of; 127-129, 131, 136, 145, 146, 165; scenes at surrender of, 166-172; effect of fall of, 172-176; Confederate demonstrations against, 1863, 233.

Oreto, see FLORIDA.

Pemberton, Confederate general, opinion as to effect of Farragut's passage by Port Hudson, 224, 225.

Pensacola, evacuated by Confederates, 196; importance to navy as base of operations, 196, 249, 268.

Perkins, Lieutenant-Commander George H., U. S. N., account of Cayuga at passage of Mississippi forts, 151-155, 159; accompanies Captain Bailey to demand surrender of New Orleans, 169; commands Chickasaw at Mobile, 276, 285, 287, 288.

Porter, Captain David, U. S. N., commands naval station at New Orleans, 4; adopts David Farragut, 5; commands frigate Essex, 11-44; professional character, 31, 55; battle with Phoebe and Cherub, 38-44; navy commissioner, 63; commands Mosquito fleet, 63-66; court-martialed, 66; leaves navy, 66; Minister to Constantinople, 67; death, 67.

Porter, Admiral David D., U. S. N., commanding mortar flotilla, 121-123, 130, 152, 17], 186, 188; opinion on passing the Mississippi forts, 138, 139; commanding Mississippi squadron, 206, 209, 210, 226, 229, 230, 231; opinion on Farragut's dash past Port Hudson, 223, 224; takes over from Farragut command of Mississippi above New Orleans, 235; Red River expedition, 254; harmonious cooperation with Grant, 206, 291.

Port Hudson, position of, 195; importance of, to Confederates, 199, 201, 207, 209, 222-225, 232, 233; armament of, 211; passage of, by Farragut, 211-216; surrender of, 235.

Queen of the West, U. S. ram, capture of, and effect on Farragut's movements, 209-211.

Red River expedition, purpose of, 253; militarily erroneous, 245, 246; disastrous termination, 254; consequences, 246.

River-defense fleet, Confederate, description of, 156, 158.

Rosas, Argentine Dictator, 72, 74, 91, 92.

St. Philip, Fort, defense of New Orleans, 119, 128, 148, 153, 258; surrender of, 171, causes of fall of, 141-147.

[333] San Juan de Ulloa, Mexican fort, description of, 79; French attack on, 80; Farragut's opinion as to attack on, by U. S. Navy in 1846, 95.

Sherman, General W. T., difference of opinion with Grant, 137 (and note); attack on Vicksburg, 205; raid upon Meridian, 253.

Smith, Martin L., Confederate general, opinion as to cause of fall of Mississippi forts, 145.

Szymanski, Confederate colonel, opinion as to effect of Farragut's passage of the Mississippi forts, 146.

Tecumseh, U. S. monitor, sunk at Mobile, 256, 268, 271, 273, 274, 275.

Tennessee, Confederate ironclad, description of, 248, 256-258; part taken by, in battle of Mobile Bay, 265, 273, 274, 275, 279-288.

Texas, importance of, to Confederacy, 207, 209, 237.

Varuna, U. S. steamer, sunk at passage of Mississippi forts, 163.

Vera Cruz, French attack on, 75-83; Farragut's report on, 83-88.

Vicksburg, Farragut's first advance against, 181, 182; his reluctance to a second advance, 182-184; second advance, 186; situation of, 186; Farragut passes batteries, 187; return below, 192; importance of Vicksburg to Confederacy, 180, 187, 194, 195, 233; Farragut's third advance to, 226; surrender of, 235.

Warley, A. F., Lieut., Confederate navy, commands Manassas at battle of New Orleans, 157, 158.

Watson, Lieut. John C., (now captain), U. S. N., Farragut's flag-lieutenant, 1862-'65, 161, 260, 272.

Welles, Gideon, Secretary of the Navy, 1861-'69, 117; connection with New Orleans expedition, 119, 120, 121, 125, 126; impressions of Farragut, 124; urges Farragut up the Mississippi, 177, 181; letter of, 222 (note).

Wolseley, Lord, views as to the cause of reduction of Mississippi forts criticised, 142-147.


1. Marshall's Naval Biography, article Hillyar, vol. iv, p. 861.

2. The writer remembers to have heard in his early days in the service a tradition of a ship commanded by Creighton, which he believes to have been the Washington, and which illustrates the methods by which this extreme smartness was obtained. In each boat at the booms was constantly a midshipman in full dress, cocked hat included, so that no time might be lost in dropping alongside when called away. The full crew was probably also kept in her.

3. Washington's Letters, October 1, 1781.

4. Montgomery Blair, in The United Service, January, 1881.

5. Gideon Welles, in the Galaxy, November, 1871.

6. Gideon Welles, in the Galaxy, November, 1871.

7. There were some guns bearing inland and some flanking howitzers, besides those already enumerated.

8. Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, vol. vi, p. 610.

9. The following is Grant's account of a matter which, but for Sherman's own zeal in proclaiming the merits of his commander-in-chief, would probably have always remained unknown. It would be difficult to find a closer parallel to the difference of judgment existing between Farragut and Porter at New Orleans: "When General Sherman first learned of the move I proposed to make, he called to see me about it. I was seated on the piazza, engaged in conversation with my staff, when he came up. After a few moments' conversation, he said he would like to see me alone. We passed into the house together and shut the door after us. Sherman then expressed his alarm at the move I had ordered, saying that I was putting myself voluntarily in a position which an enemy would be glad to manoeuvre a year--or a long time--to get me in. I was going into the enemy's country, with a large river behind me, and the enemy holding points strongly fortified above and below. He said that it was an axiom in war that when any great body of troops moved against an enemy they should do so from a base of supplies which they would guard as the apple of the eye, etc. He pointed out all the difficulties that might be encountered in the campaign proposed, and stated in turn what would be the true campaign to make. This was, in substance, to go back until high ground could be reached on the east bank of the river, fortify there and establish a depot of supplies, and move from there, being always prepared to fall back upon it in case of disaster. I said this would take us back to Memphis. Sherman then said that was the very place he should go to, and would move by railroad from Memphis to Grenada. To this I replied, the country is already disheartened over the lack of success on the part of our armies, ...and if we went back so far as Memphis, it would discourage the people so much that bases of supplies would be of no use; neither men to hold them nor supplies to put in them would be furnished. The problem was to move forward to a decisive victory, or our cause was lost.... Sherman wrote to my adjutant-general embodying his views of the campaign that should be made, and asking him to advise me at least to get the views of my generals upon the subject. Rawlins showed me the letter, but I did not see any reasons for changing my plans."--Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, vol. i, p.542 (note).

10. The paper being long, only those parts are quoted which convey the objections to running by.

11. Lord Wolseley in North American Review, vol. cxlix, pp. 32-34, 597. The italics are the author's.

12. Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Series I, vol. vi, p.583.

13. Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Series I, vol. vi, p. 566.

14. Ibid., p. 578.

15. Those three were: First, a direct naval attack upon the works; second, running by the works; third, a combined attack by army and navy.

16. Captain Bailey commanded the Colorado frigate, which drew too much water to cross the bar. Anxious to share in the fight, he obtained from the flag-officer the divisional appointment.

17. See page 62.

18. See Walpole's Life of Lord John Russell, vol. ii, pp. 349-351.

19. North American Review, vol. cxxix, p. 347.

20. Ibid., vol. cxxix, p. 348.

21. The full text of this order was as follows. It committed the department to nothing.

"NAVY DEPARTMENT, October 2, 1862.

"Sir: While the Mississippi River continues to be blockaded at Vicksburg, and until you learn from Commander D. D. Porter, who will be in command of the Mississippi squadron, that he has, in conjunction with the army, opened the river, it will be necessary for you to guard the lower part of that river, especially where it is joined by the Red River, the source of many of the supplies of the enemy. I am respectfully, etc.,


"Secretary of the Navy."

That five months elapsed between the date of this order and Farragut's action, without anything more definite, shows clearly that the department took no responsibility. On the other hand. it is right to say that it showed a generous appreciation of the effort, and did not complain about the losses.

22. Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, vol. i, p. 461.

23. "The campaign of the Baltic will always be in the eyes of seamen Nelson's fairest claim to glory. He alone was capable of displaying such boldness and such perseverance; he alone could face the immense difficulties of that enterprise and triumph over them."--Jurien de la Gravière, Guerres Maritimes.

24. The signal in the United States Navy for the engines to be driven at high speed.

25. Before the admiral's departure from New York he gave a grand reception on board the flag-ship, which was attended by the President and his Cabinet and by many of the most prominent people of the Metropolis, including several hundred ladies--EDITOR.

26. Captain Jervis and Earl St. Vincent were the same officer under different appellations.

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