Admiral David Farragut’s deeds of bravery were not only those he performed when he ran his fleet by the fortifications below New Orleans, or ordered his flagship through the torpedo-mined channel into Mobile Bay. He did an almost equally fearless act on April 18, 1861, the day after Virginia’s secession, when he, a born Southerner, defied the most hostile public sentiment and left Norfolk, his home for the preceding forty years, to go north to offer his services to the Union cause. It is often as difficult to reach a decision requiring moral courage as to perform an act involving physical prowess; but to Farragut both courses came naturally. Moreover, Farragut’s conduct on this occasion was the chief turning point in his life, and eventually became of most vital consequence to the nation. For it was because he left Norfolk under the circumstances he did that he was chosen by the Secretary of the Navy to lead the New Orleans expedition; and it was his success in this, as well as at Mobile, that hastened, if not actually brought about, the end of the war.
Farragut At The Crossroads
By Albert Mordell