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barrier of log rafts and other obstructions connected by powerful chains, half a mile below the forts; second, of an improvised fleet of sixteen rebel gunboats and a formidable floating battery. None of Farragut's ships were ironclad. He had, from the beginning of the undertaking, maintained the theory that a wooden fleet, properly handled, could successfully pass the batteries of the forts. "I would as soon have a paper ship as an ironclad; only give me men to fight her!" he said. He might not come back; but New Orleans would be won. In his hazardous undertaking his faith was based largely on the skill and courage of his subordinate commanders of ships, and this faith was fully sustained by their gallantry and devotion.

Porter's flotilla of nineteen schooners carrying two mortars each, anchored below the forts, maintained a heavy bombardment for five days, and then Farragut decided to try his ships. On the night of the twentieth the daring work of two gunboats cut an opening through the river barrier through which the vessels might pass; and at two o'clock on the morning of April 24, Farragut gave the signal to advance. The first division of his fleet, eight vessels, led by Captain Bailey, successfully passed the barrier. The second division of nine ships was not quite so fortunate. Three of them failed to pass the barrier, but the others, led by Farragut himself in his flag-ship, the Hartford, followed the advance.

The starlit night was quickly obscured by the smoke of the general cannonade from both ships and forts; but the heavy batteries of the latter had little effect on the passing fleet. Farragut's flag-ship was for a short while in great danger. At a moment when she slightly grounded a huge fire-raft, fully ablaze, was pushed against her by a rebel tug, and the flames caught in the



paint on her side, and mounted into her rigging. But this danger had also been provided against, and by heroic efforts the Hartford freed herself from her peril. Immediately above the forts, the fleet of rebel gunboats joined in the battle, which now resolved itself into a series of conflicts between single vessels or small groups. But the stronger and better-armed Union ships quickly destroyed the Confederate flotilla, with the single exception that two of the enemy's gunboats rammed the Varuna from opposite sides and sank her. Aside from this, the Union fleet sustained much miscellaneous damage, but no serious injury in the furious battle of an hour and a half.

With but a short halt at Quarantine, six miles above the forts, Farragut and his thirteen ships of war pushed on rapidly over the seventy-five miles, and on the forenoon of April 25 New Orleans lay helpless under the guns of the Union fleet. The city was

promptly evacuated by the Confederate General Lovell. Meanwhile, General Butler was busy moving his transports and troops around outside by sea to Quarantine; and, having occupied that point in force, Forts Jackson and St. Philip capitulated on April 28. This last obstruction removed, Butler, after having garrisoned the forts, brought the bulk of his army up to New Orleans, and on May 1 Farragut turned over to him the formal possession of the city, where Butler continued in command of the Department of the Gulf until the following December.

Farragut immediately despatched an advance section of his fleet up the Mississippi. None of the important cities on its banks below Vicksburg had yet been fortified, and, without serious opposition, they surrendered as the Union ships successively reached them. Farragut himself, following with the remainder of his fleet,

arrived at Vicksburg on May 20. This city, by reason of the high bluffs on which it stands, was the most defensible point on the whole length of the great river within the Southern States; but so confidently had the Confederates trusted to the strength of their works at Columbus, Island No. 10, Fort Pillow, and other points, that the fortifications of Vicksburg had thus far received comparatively little attention. The recent Union victories, however, both to the north and south, had awakened them to their danger; and when Lovell evacuated New Orleans, he shipped heavy guns and sent five Confederate regiments to Vicksburg; and during the eight days between their arrival on May 12 and the twentieth, on which day Farragut reached the city, six rebel batteries were put in readiness to fire on his ships.

General Halleck, while pushing his siege works toward Corinth, was notified as early as April 27 that Farragut was coming, and the logic of the situation ought to have induced him to send a coöperating force to Farragut's assistance, or, at the very least, to have matured plans for such coöperation. All the events would have favored an expedition of this kind. When Corinth, at the end of May, fell into Halleck's hands, Forts Pillow and Randolph on the Mississippi River were hastily evacuated by the enemy, and on June 6 the Union flotilla of river gunboats which had rendered such signal service at Henry, Donelson, and Island No. 10, reinforced by a hastily constructed flotilla of heavy river tugs converted into rams, gained another brilliant victory in a most dramatic naval battle at Memphis, during which an opposing Confederate flotilla of similar rams and gunboats was almost completely destroyed, and the immediate evacuation of Memphis by the Confederates thereby forced.



This left Vicksburg as the single barrier to the complete opening of the Mississippi, and that barrier was defended by only six batteries and a garrison of six Confederate regiments at the date of Farragut's arrival before it. But Farragut had with his expedition only two regiments of troops, and the rebel batteries were situated at such an elevation that the guns of the Union fleet could not be raised sufficiently to silence them. Neither help nor promise of help came from Halleck's army, and Farragut could therefore do nothing but turn his vessels down stream and return to New Orleans. There, about June 1, he received news from the Navy Department that the administration was exceedingly anxious to have the Mississippi opened; and this time, taking with him Porter's mortar flotilla and three thousand troops, he again proceeded up the river, and a second time reached Vicksburg on June 25.

The delay, however, had enabled the Confederates greatly to strengthen the fortifications and the garrison of the city. Neither a bombardment from Porter's mortar sloops, nor the running of Farragut's ships past the batteries, where they were joined by the Union gunboat flotilla from above, sufficed to bring the Confederates to a surrender. Farragut estimated that a coöperating land force of twelve to fifteen thousand would have enabled him to take the works; and Halleck, on June 28 and July 3, partially promised early assistance. But on July 14 he reported definitely that it would be impossible for him to render the expected aid. Under these circumstances, the Navy Department ordered Farragut back to New Orleans, lest his ships of deep draft should be detained in the river by the rapidly falling water. The capture of Vicksburg was postponed for a whole year, and the early transfer of Halleck to Washington changed the current of Western campaigns.


McClellan's Illness—Lincoln Consults McDowell and Franklin-President's Plan against Manassas-McClellan's Plan against Richmond-Cameron and Stanton -President's War Order No. 1-Lincoln's Questions to McClellan-News from the West-Death of Willie Lincoln-The Harper's Ferry Fiasco-President's War Order No. 3—The News from Hampton Roads—Manassas Evacuated-Movement to the Peninsula-Yorktown-The Peninsula Campaign-Seven Days' Battles -Retreat to Harrison's Landing

Wdent Lincoln in the early days of January, 1862,

E have seen how the express orders of Presi

stirred the Western commanders to the beginning of active movements that brought about an important series of victories during the first half of the year. The results of his determination to break a similar military stagnation in the East need now to be related.

The gloomy outlook at the beginning of the year has already been mentioned. Finding on January 10 that General McClellan was still ill and unable to see him, he called Generals McDowell and Franklin into conference with himself, Seward, Chase, and the Assistant Secretary of War; and, explaining to them his dissatisfaction and distress at existing conditions, said to them that "if something were not soon done, the bottom would be out of the whole affair; and if General McClellan did not want to use the army, he would like

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