FEBRUARY 21ST, 1862: Flag Officer Farragut formally relieved Flag Officer McKean as Commander of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. As his other ships arrived, he assembled them at the Southeast Pass and sent those whose draft permitted over the bar to conduct the blockade "in the river."
Secretary of Navy Welles had sent Farragut supplementary confidential instructions, spelling out what had been discussed in conference: "When the Hartford is in all respects ready for sea, you will proceed to the Gulf of Mexico with all possible dispatch....
"There will be attached to your squadron a fleet of bomb-vessels and armed steamers, enough to manage them," under Commander D.D. Porter.