Army of Northern Virginia: February to September 1862

Battle For New Orleans

Where did Farragut go next?

He could have spent his time reducing the two Confederate forts, but Farragut was concerned that the defenders upstream would use the time to accomplish something else. He, therefore, steamed straight for New Orleans on April 24 and came close the next morning.

Only one last set of defenses remained: a handful of Confederate guns ashore, located rather close to where the Battle of New Orleans had been fought forty-seven years earlier. Not only did the federal guns reduce this battery in short order, an entire Confederate regiment yielded when it found no exit and shells breaking over the men’s heads. If not the absolute first, it was certainly one of the first times that troops ashore ever yielded to a fleet on a river. With these last obstructions removed, Farragut steamed straight into the port at New Orleans, where he and his sailors beheld something like an inferno. Knowing that Farragut was on his way, the Confederates set 30,000 bales of cotton afire and pushed them onto rafts drifting south. Equally destructive were the hands that set fire to practically all the shipping of the port.


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