Fearless Farragut


Battle of Port Hudson March 14, 1863

From History.net by Lawrence Lee Hewitt:

Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, and David Glasgow Farragut followed a remarkably similar path to Civil War glory. All three were little more than fringe players in the Union military in the early stages of the war: Grant merely the captain of a company of volunteers in his hometown of Galena, Ill.; Sherman the head of a streetcar company in St. Louis; and until December 1861 Farragut had to settle for being only a member of the Naval Retirement Board in New York. Within a year, all three had become household names across the North. By 1865 all three had attained military immortality.

Of the trio, Farragut’s accomplishments were in some ways the most unfathomable and yet singularly spectacular. Nearly 60, he was in the twilight of his career when the war began, having already spent 50 years in the U.S. Navy. Though a Southerner by birth and a longtime resident of Norfolk, Va., with a Southern wife, he chose the Union over the Confederacy. On April 18, 1861, the day after Virginia formally seceded, he departed Norfolk with his family and settled in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. It was by no means an easy decision. Farragut made no secret he believed secession was treason, but he also feared he’d be ordered to defend Norfolk’s Naval Yard against his relatives, friends, and neighbors if he stayed there.

Read the rest of the article at History.net

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