David Glasgow Farragut

William Swain1838

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Born Campbell's Station, Tennessee

President Abraham Lincoln considered the appointment of David Glasgow Farragut as commander of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron the best one he made during the Civil War. Sailing in the flagship USS Hartford on April 24, 1862, Farragut led his fleet of seventeen vessels in a successful run by the Confederate defenses, engaged and defeated the enemy flotilla, and captured New Orleans.

Rear Admiral Farragut spent the next two years blockading the Gulf Coast and maintaining Union control over the lower Mississippi before preparing for the capture of the Mobile Bay defenses in August 1864. By month's end, Farragut's fleet had forced the Confederate surrender. This, the major victory of Farragut's naval career, earned him the rank of vice admiral. Two years later, in declining health, he was commissioned admiral.

This portrait was painted early in Farragut's naval career, when he was a lieutenant.

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