Confederate Big Easy Defenseless

Today in History, April 25, 1862:

Have you ever walked along the levee in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana? If you have, it’s difficult not to be awed when you look UP at the top of the levee and see a ship floating across the water…well above you.

The view makes it very obvious how incredibly vulnerable the city is to the Mighty Mississippi and the massive ships sailing her channel.

On this date in 1862 Union Admiral David Farragut had already led his fleet of US Navy ships past Ft. Jackson and Ft. St. Phillips below the Crescent City, he and his crews blew past nascent the Confederate “Navy” and placed their heavy guns off of New Orleans.

The New Orleans military, government and citizens were told…it was obvious…if they didn’t surrender, the US Navy would fire DOWN into the wooden structures of the Quarter….they may, if necessary, blast a hole in the levee and simply let nature flood out the defenders.

Confederate General Mansfield Lovell told Major Moore what would happen if resisted. So they stalled while Lovell shipped his troops and equipment north by rail to Vicksburg.

Finally on April 29 the residents folded. By May 2 the Confederates relinquished the largest, most industrial, cosmopolitan city in the Confederacy. Remember the rivers were the thoroughfares in the 1800’s.

The Union now had control of NOLA’S resources, and now the Union could ship supplies north from the Gulf as far as Vicksburg and north to south.

The War had seen a major change. And the citizens of New Orleans would find peace with General Butler worse than war with Farragut. But thats a different story.

Chasing Magellan…Submerged

Today in History, April 25: 1960 – The first circumnavigation of the Earth – Submerged. The nuclear submarine USS Triton, SSRN 586, commanded by Capt. Edward L. Beach, began and ended the trip at the St. Peter and Paul Rocks in the mid-Atlantic and completed the trek in 60 days, entirely submerged. Beach had taken part in the Battle of Midway and commanded several submarine patrols during WWII, an experience he used to become a best-selling author, including “Run Silent, Run Deep” in 1958 which was turned into a Clark Gable movie. Operation Sandblast generally followed the route that Ferdinand Magellan had taken between 1519 and 1522 in the first circumnavigation of the Earth.