ADMIRAL DAVID G. FARRAGUT - AUTOGRAPH ENDORSEMENT SIGNED 02/19/1863 - HFSID 156072
Sale Price $2,762.50
DAVID G. FARRAGUT
He prepares to attack Port Hudson.
Autograph Endorsement signed: "D.G. Farragut/Rear Admiral", 1p, 8x12½. U.S. Steamer Richmond, Baton Rouge, La., 1863 February 18. In full: "Appd for five thousand dollars". Paymaster Edwin Stewart had written: "There is required for disbursement on board of this vessel, under the head of appropriation of Pay for the navy the sum of Five thousand dollars." The request was approved by James Alden, Commanding, then forwarded to Farragut for his approval. Rear Admiral David G. Farragut (1801-1870), who served as Commander of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, approved this requisition one month before his victory at Port Hudson, Louisiana. A major offensive during the Civil War (1861-1865), this assault would result in the capture of the last major stronghold along the Mississippi River and thus prevent the Confederacy from accessing this primary shipping route. During the late evening hours of March 14, Farragut and his sloop of war, the USS Hartford, led his small fleet into battle. He was accompanied by the USS Richmond, which was commanded by James Alden (1810-1877), and the USS Monongahela. Although both the Richmond and the Monongahela were forced to turn back, a determined and eager Farragut was able to guide his ship past the batteries protecting Port Hudson in spite of the enemy's fire. For the next two months, he blockaded the Mississippi River and prevented supplies from reaching the city. In May, he left the Hartford at its strategic location and returned to New Orleans where he encouraged Army General Nathaniel P. Banks (1816-1894) to attack Port Hudson. The ensuing six-week siege (May 21-July 8) ended when malnourished Confederates relinquished the city. The capitulation of Port Hudson followed only days after the Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3) and the surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi (July 4); these events marked the turning point of the War and gave the Union complete control of the Mississippi River. Farragut had been a Rear Admiral for only seven months when he approved this requisition. The first naval officer to earn this honor, he had been promoted in recognition of his heroic capture of New Orleans, Louisiana (April 25, 1862). One year after securing Port Hudson, Farragut would command Union forces during the Battle of Mobile Bay (August 5, 1864), one of the fiercest conflicts of the Civil War. He led 18 vessels, including the Richmond, into Mobile Bay amid assaults from three forts on Mobile's shores. During the attack, Alden was commanding the USS Brooklyn, the lead ship. Fearing torpedoes ahead, Alden ordered his ship to stop; whereby, Farragut uttered his famous line, "Damn the torpedoes!" In a heroic move, he ordered the Hartford to take over the lead and personally guided his ships through the minefield. Ultimately, the Union fleet defeated the Confederate ships and forced the forts to surrender a few days later. In 1866, when admiral was established as the highest naval rank, Farragut became the first officer to hold that honor as well. Heavily stained touching some of the text. Shaded left margin touches text. Folds, lightly creased. Framed in Gallery of History style: 37x24½.
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