In this week 150 years ago in the war, U.S. Navy Flag Officer David Farragut takes his Union fleet and runs it past two heavily armed Confederate forts on the lower Mississippi River near the Gulf of Mexico.
The daring move leads Farragut onward to capture New Orleans on April 25, 1862, forcing a sullen Southern city to surrender.
Farragut’s daring provides the Union a key victory in its thrust to seize the main inland waterway and divide the Confederacy. New Orleans is one of the busiest Southern ports and a supply lifeline for the secessionist states.
All told, 13 of Farragut’s ships would make it upriver beyond the two forts and continue on to New Orleans. There are more than 1,000 casualties on both sides. And Confederates still holding the forts downriver surrender on April 28, 1862, when they realize their garrisons are cut off and isolated.