Army of Northern Virginia: February to September 1862

Battle For New Orleans

How much damage was done by the bombardment?

Each day, Farragut demanded a report from his foster brother, Porter, and each day the answer was the same: just a little more time would result in complete success. Farragut was both skeptical and impatient, however: he believed that the Confederates, given time, would make their defenses even stronger. Farragut, therefore, convened a council of war, at which he heard largely negative opinions. The current was too strong, the Confederates had the advantage; it would be better to let the mortar boats do their work.

Farragut was well within his rights to overrule the council of war and order the attack. In so doing, he took two major risks, however. There was always the chance that the forts had not been badly damaged in the bombardment and that his men would suffer the consequences. Then, too, his own career would be finished if he failed. Farragut was an intrepid person, however. He had seen too many years of peacetime and slow advancement. This was his opportunity, and he would make the most of it.


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