Battles & Leaders of the Civil War
THE LASHING OF ADMIRAL. FARRAGUT IN THE RIGGING.
COMMANDER J. D. JOHNSTON, C. S. N.
with him before turning us over to the officer commanding Fort Warren, which was to be our abode until we were exchanged. We were all delighted at the prospect of this pleasing respite from prison life, and expressed our gratitude to the kind-hearted capte awakened early on the following morning by the announcement from the distressed captain, who had had a second interview with the admiral, that we u=ere all to be placed in irons and conveyed to Boston by rail. We remonstrated gently against this unprecedented mode of treating prisoners of war, but to no purpose.
When we reached the wharf at Fort Warren, the commanding officer, Major A. A. Gibson, inquired the cause of our being in irons, and upon being informed that they were placed upon us by order of Admiral Paulding, he made the further inquiry whether or not we had been guilty of any rebellious conduct as prisoners of war; this being answered in the negative, he replied that he had never heard of such treatment, and that we could not be landed on the island until the irons were removed.
Soon after becoming settled in my new quarters I addressed a communication to the Secretary of the: Navy, inquiring whether or not he had authorized the action of Admiral Paulding, which was answered by Assistant-Secretary Fox, who disavowed the act, but excused it on the ground of repeated attempts of prisoners to escape.
An order for the exchange of all the prisoners in the fort had reached the commanding officer previous to our arrival, and after ten days we left for City Point on the steamer Asssyrian. We naturally supposed that on our arrival at City Point w e. would be immediately forwarded to the landing on James River, at which exchanges were usually made. But when General B. F. Butler, whose lines were between us and that point, was advised of our presence he refused to allow us to pass through them, on account of President Davis's proclamation declaring him an outlaw. The Commissioner of Exchange informed General Grant of the fact and he came alongside the Assyrian b with his steamer, and informed us that we should be forwarded to Richmond on the following day.
True to his promise. he had us landed near Dutch Gap the next morning, whence we were conveyed in ambulances to Varina Landing, where we found a Confederate steamer awaiting us with the Federal prisoners on board. We soon exchanged places to the tune of " Dixie." After a delightful visit of five days at the house of Mrs. Stephen R. Mallory, the charming wife of the Secretary of the Confederate Navy, I was ordered to return to Mobile and report for duty under Commodore Ebenezer Farrand , who had succeeded Admiral Buchanan in command of that station.
THE LASHING OF ADMIRAL, FARRAGUT IN THE RIGGING.
AT the commencement of the action [in Mobile Bay] Admiral Farragut was standing in the port main-rigging, which position enabled him to overlook the other vessels of the fleet while at the same time it gave him perfect command of both his ow n flag-ship and the Metacomet, the latter vessel being lashed on that side of the Hartford for the purpose of carrying the flag-ship inside the bay in case of the disabling of her own machinery. A slight wind was blowing the smoke from our guns on to Fort Morgan. As the wind fell lighter (which it frequently does during heavy firing), the smoke gradually obscured the admiral's view, and he almost unconsciously climbed the rigging, ratline by ratline, in order to see over it , until finally he found himself in the futtock-shrouds , some little distance below the maintop. Here he could lean either backward or forward in a comfortable position, having the free use of both hands for his spy-glass, or any other purpose. Captain Drayton, commanding the Hartford, and also chief-of-staff to the admiral, becoming solicitous lest wen a slight wound, a blow from a splinter, or the cutting away of a portion of the rigging, might throw the admiral to the deck sent the signal-quartermaster aloft with a small rope, to secure him to the rigging. The admiral at first declined to allow the quartermaster to do this, but quickly admiof the precaution, and himself passed two or three turns of the rope around his body, and secured one end while the quartermaster (Knowles) fastened the other. The admiral remained aloft until after we had passed Fort Morgan.
(1) From "The Century Magazine" (old series), ,June, 1881.