JANUARY 9, 1862: Orders from the Navy Department appointed Flag Officer Farragut to command the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron, flagship USS Hartford, then at Philadelphia. The bounds of the command extended from West Florida to the Rio Grande, but a far larger purpose than even the important function of the blockade lay in Farragut's appointment.
Late in 1861 the administration had made a decision that would have fateful results in the war. The full list of senior officers in the Navy was reviewed for a commander for an enterprise of the first importance -- the capture of New Orleans, the South's "richest and most populous city," and the beginning of the drive of sea-based power up the Father of Waters (Mississippi River) to meet General Grant who would soon begin moving southward behind the spearhead of armored gunboats.
And, David Glasgow Farragut was that man.