David Farragut became the most celebrated and feared naval officer of the Civil War after his Union fleet in April 1862 ran past Confederate fortifications at the mouth of the Mississippi River and captured New Orleans, Louisiana. Congress in July 1862 created the rank of rear admiral to honor Farragut’s achievements at New Orleans, Vicksburg, and Port Hudson.
In the South, Farragut was feared, with no Southern port believed safe. On Saturday, January 9, 1863 Jefferson Davis warned his commanders throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia of pending rumors that Farragut was preparing to attack and bypass the Confederate fortifications guarding Mobile Bay, Alabama, as he had done at New Orleans.
The rumor was false; however, Farragut would attack and conquer Mobile Bay some eight months later in August 1864.