On Saturday, March 14, 1863, utilizing the dark of night, Union Admiral David Farragut in his flagship Hartford led his squadron past the Confederate batteries at Port Hudson, Louisiana.
While the Hartford and Albatross succeeded in getting through without significant damage, the Monongahela and Richmond were badly damaged and forced to withdraw. The Mississippi, under severe fire, was run aground, set ablaze, and ultimately abandoned; she soon exploded in the river.
Confederate batteries were so deadly accurate that, for a time, the entire Federal flotilla was threatened. Yet, successfully running past Port Hudson’s guns now brought Farragut’s ships that much closer to Vicksburg. While the Federal fleet moved past Port Hudson, Union General Nathaniel Banks’ forces also carried out demonstrations on the land side of Port Hudson.