1862_header.gif (113114 bytes)


Farragut & Our Naval Commanders

By J. T. Headley
Comprising the early life and public services of the prominent naval commanders who, with Grant and Sherman and their generals, brought to a triumphant close the great rebellion of 1861-1865. (First edition 1867)

(Return to table of contents of this book)





It is seldom that a man is given the command of a ship who had seen so little sea-service as Cushing did before one was entrusted to him.

William B. Cushing was born in Wisconsin, in the year 1842, and entered the Naval Academy in 1857, where he remained four years. He received his appointment from New York State though he claims Pennsylvania as his residence. In March, 1861, he resigned, under circumstances that did not promise much for his naval fame.

But the breaking out of the war opened to him a field of distinction, and he applied for service, promising the Secretary of the Navy that he would prove worthy the confidence reposed in him. From that time, the Secretary took a personal interest in him, seeming to regard him as his protégé. Attached to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, he soon exhibited that daring spirit and love of perilous adventure which marked his career throughout the war.

In October of this year, Acting Rear-Admiral Lee put him in command of the gunboat Ellis, in the expedition against Franklin, Virginia, and for his bravery and skill he was recommended by him to the Department. The next month he entered the New River Inlet, for the purpose of capturing vessels, with the town of Jacksonville, and destroying salt-works, &c. lie was completely successful, capturing the place and three vessels; but on his return he got aground, just after he had driven the enemy from two pieces of artillery with which they had opened on him at close range. After trying in vain to get the steamer afloat, and knowing that the enemy would soon be on him, in overwhelming force, he took every thing out of her but her pivot-gun and coal and ammunition, and, sending it aboard one of his prize schooners, told the crew to follow. He then called for six volunteers to remain with him and fight that single gun to the last. They at once stepped forward, though they knew that certain death awaited them. He then ordered the schooner to drop down the river, and, if she saw he was overpowered, to proceed on her way back.

Early next morning, the enemy opened on him from four different points, exposing him to a terrible cross-fire which cut him up fearfully. It was an heroic spectacle to see that little band of half a dozen stand in that fiery tempest, and work that single gun which had to be turned in every direction. Cushing soon saw it was a hopeless fight, and he must decide on one of two alternatives—surrender, or pull in an open boat for a mile and a half under the hostile fire. Scorning to do the first, he resolved on the second-and training his gun on the enemy to go off when the flames reached it, and firing the steamer in five places, he left her with her battle-flag still flying, and started down the river. The brave fellows bent to their oars with a will, and he succeeded in reaching the schooner in safety, and made sail for the sea. It was low water on the bar, over which the surf was rolling with a deafening sound, and the schooner struck bottom several times; but the wind forced her over, and in four hours she reached Beaufort in safety.

He was again commended to the Department for "his courage, coolness, and gallantry."

Early next January, Acting Rear-Admiral Lee allowed him to undertake an enterprise that he himself had planned-which was the capture of Wilmington pilots. He failed in the attempt, owing, as he said, to his schooner getting becalmed three times in shore, at the points where he desired to act. He, however, determined not to return without accomplishing something, and, learning that there was a pilot station thirty miles below Fort Caswell, made sail for it, reaching it on the 5th. At eight o’clock that night, he took three cutters and twenty-five men, and crossing the bar kept on quietly up the river in hopes of capturing pilots, and also some schooners which he heard were there. But he had proceeded but a half mile, when he was observed from shore, and a volley of musketry poured into his boats. He immediately ordered the prows turned to the beach, and landing his men formed them about two hundred yards from the point from which the fire came, and shouted: "Forward, double-quick, charge!" He did, not know on what he was charging in the darkness, but he pressed forward with his brave two dozen, till he cleared a piece of wood in front, when he suddenly came upon a fort, with camp fires blazing brightly through the gloom. Nothing daunted at this unexpected sight, he still shouted, "Forward, charge!" The enemy thinking that at least a regiment was upon them, turned and fled—escaping over one side of the fort, as Cushing entered the other. He never fired a shot. He found he had captured an earthwork, surrounded by a ditch ten feet broad, and five feet deep-with a blockhouse in the centre, pierced for musketry. It was held by a company of infantry, who fled in such haste, that they left all their stores, clothing, ammunition, and part of their arms. Destroying what he could not bring off, he then proceeded up the river, where he had another skirmish, when, getting out of ammunition, he returned.

In the spring, General Peck, stationed at Norfolk, heard of the advance against him of Longstreet with a heavy force, and telegraphed to Lee to send him some gunboats. These were immediately forwarded, under the command of Lieutenants Lamson and Cushing. Here, on the 14th of April, the latter had a severe engagement with a rebel battery, which he at last silenced, though with the loss of ten of his crew. He received eight raking shots in this fierce contest, but fortunately his engine was not injured, and he reported: "I can assure you, that the Barney and her crew are still in good fighting trim, and will beat the enemy, or sink at our post." He and Lamson did Peck good service and prevented the enemy from crossing the river.

Hearing on the 21st that a boat from the Stepping Stones had been decoyed on shore by a white handkerchief and then fired into, he determined to avenge the treacherous act. Organizing a boat expedition, composed of seven boats, and manned with ninety sailors, he in the afternoon put off, and, under cover of the fire of the vessels, landed with one 12-pound howitzer. Leaving a part of his force to guard the boats, he boldly marched inland, and, setting on fire three houses with their adjoining barns, moved towards Chuckatuck Village, three miles distant, where four hundred cavalry were posted. Driving in their pickets, he secured a mule cart, and, "toggling the trail-rope of the, howitzer to the rear," started the animals on a trot and shouted "Forward, double-quick! "Driving everything before him, he at half past four entered the town. Suddenly he saw a body of cavalry coming down the street at a sabre charge, and shouting like madmen. Quickly unlimbering his howitzer, he poured in a round of grape, while at the same time his little band gave a volley of musketry. This frightened the mules, which rushed, cart and all, directly into the rebel ranks, taking all the ammunition with them. Giving them the charge already in the howitzer, Cushing again cried, “Forward!" and with a cheer the sailors drove down the street, clearing it with a bound, and recovering the cart and ammunition. Remaining master of the town the rest of the day, he towards evening returned leisurely to his boats, having lost but one man.

For his services here, in the Nansemond, he received a congratulatory letter from the Secretary of the Navy, in which the latter said: "Your conduct adds luster to the character you had already established for valor in the face of the enemy." Lamson also gave him high commendation.

Many anecdotes are told of him while in service here, illustrative of his daring, energetic spirit. Uneasy at General Peck’s quietness, he urged him to make some decided move. The latter replied that he could not, for lack of information. Cushing replied that he would furnish him with some; and organizing a party he surprised and captured a small force of the enemy, and forwarded the prisoners to Peck with his compliments, saying, that he sent him some information.

At another time, he, with Lamson and the quartermaster, were out reconnoitering, when they came upon three cavalry men, whom they captured. Mounting the horses, they kept on and soon came in sight of the main force. The commander of it, thinking them to be the advance of a large body of cavalry, ordered the bugle to sound the recall. Lamson and Cushing at once halted, but the horse of the quartermaster, hearing the bugle-call, immediately started off towards the rebel line. Being no horseman, the sailor could not manage him, and, finding that he was taking him straight to the enemy in spite of all his efforts, drew a pistol from the holster, and, placing the muzzle to the animal’s head, shot him dead. He then took off the bridle and saddle, and shouldering them moved back to Lamson and Cushing. The latter laughingly asked him what was the matter. The quartermaster replied, with a sailor’s usual emphatic language, that he never again would have anything to do with a craft that he could neither steer, turn about, nor stop.

The cavalry men Crushing sent to Peck, saying that he forwarded more information. He was afterwards placed in command of the United States steamer Shokokon. In August, a few miles from Fort Fisher, he saw the Anglo-rebel steamer Hebe ashore, and the Niphon near by, making preparations to board her. But it was blowing a gale from the northeast, so that the Niphon’s boats were swamped, and their crew drowned or taken prisoners. He at once sent a boat in, and rescued two of the men. He then lay off, and, under a tremendous fire from the rebel artillery, continued to throw shells into the steamer, until he set her on fire, and left her a wreck. He also destroyed another blockade runner about the same time, and exhibited a vigilance and energy that brought the highest commendations from his superiors.

But the achievement that has won for him the greatest renown, both for the skill with which it was planned, the consummate daring and coolness with which it was carried out, and the great results accomplished by it—entitling him to a place among those so much above him in rank-was the destruction of the rebel ram Albemarle.

This powerful iron-clad had, in the spring, come out of the Roanoke River, and boldly attacked our naval force near Plymouth, sinking the Southfield, disabling the Miami, and killing the gallant commander Flusser. One hundred-pound rifle shot had no effect on her mailed sides, and she threatened to get control of the waters of the Albemarle Sound. At all events, her presence there required a large naval force on our part. Melancthon Smith had an engagement with her in May, and an attempt was made to destroy her with torpedoes, but she bade defiance to all our efforts, and was a constant menace to our fleet in the Sound. It was, therefore, of the utmost importance she should in some way be disposed of. Nothing, however, was effected, and in the summer Lieutenant Cushing was sent to New York to Admiral Gregory, to have a torpedo boat constructed, with which he proposed to put an end to this apparently invulnerable monster. He found one contrived by Boggs, who was under Gregory in the port of New York, which, with such alterations as he suggested, he thought would answer the purpose. Having completed it to his satisfaction, he took it to Albemarle Sound, and, on the 27th of October, prepared for his desperate undertaking. The ram, at this time, was lying at Plymouth, and, after dark, he with thirteen officers and men, part of them volunteers, started in a steam-launch for that place. The distance from the mouth of the river to where the ram lay, was about eight miles. The stream was only about a rifle-shot across, and lined with pickets, which rendered his chance of reaching the ram undiscovered very improbable. He took with him a cutter, so that in case he was not observed he could land at the wharf, board the ram, and, cutting loose her fastenings, bring her safe out of the river.

The night was dark and rainy, just fitted for his purpose, and he put off with strong hopes of success. He proceeded cautiously on his way, passed the pickets without giving any alarm and arrived within a mile of the place without being discovered, when he came upon the wreck of the Southfield, sunk the spring previous by the Albemarle. This was surrounded by schooners, and he knew it was very doubtful if he would be able to pass them unseen. If he did not, he ordered the cutter to cast off and board the wreck, which he understood was mounted with a gun that commanded the bend of the river. But, by an extraordinary piece of good fortune, he passed unnoticed, though he steamed so near he could have thrown a biscuit aboard. All seemed locked in sleep, for a dead silence reigned.

Fate thus far had smiled on his desperate undertaking, and, keeping cautiously on, he soon saw, by the light of a large fire on shore, the dark form of the rain tied up to the wharf, and surrounded by a pen of logs thirty feet broad, placed there on purpose to keep any daring craft from running into her while at her moorings. He now steered straight for her, but, as his boat came within the circle of light from the fire on shore, it was seen, and immediately the guard hailed, "What boat is that?" Cushing returning an evasive answer, they sprung their rattles, and, rushing to the rope of the alarm-bell, startled every sleeper with its clang, It was now about three o’clock, and dark as Erebus. Cushing immediately ordered the cutter to cast loose and drop below. In the mean time the guard poured a volley of musketry into the shadowy object that was moving so swiftly and in such mysterious silence towards them. The next moment the dark waters gleamed in the sudden blaze of a cannon, and a shower of grape whistled over the heads of the gallant little crew. Every minute now was fraught with destiny. The crew of the ram were already at their quarters, and Cushing knew that he had not a minute to waste. The air was alive with shot, and shouts, and cries of alarm; but, as he approached the black mass, towering high above him in the gloom, he saw by the course he was going that he would not strike her fair, and perhaps not reach her, over the intervening logs-so he gave the quiet order to steam past. As he stood in his little launch, amid that wild uproar, his men saw by the flash of the enemy’s guns that his face, though set like iron, was calm and tranquil. Paymaster Swan fell by his side, three bullets pierced his clothes, but not a movement of haste or alarm was seen in him. The scene, the hour, the issues at stake, and the deadly peril awaiting them, made that boat, with its gallant commander and crew, an object at once fearful and sublime.

Steaming swiftly past the huge structure, after giving the crew one charge of canister, Cushing, though he knew it gave the enemy time to prepare to receive him, shot up the river till he could make a complete circuit, then wheeling, came down with all steam full on the ram. As the launch struck the logs it forced them half way back to the ram by the severity of the blow, and running up, on them, rested there. In an instant, the torpedo boom was lowered, and Cushing, by a vigorous pull, succeeded "in diving it under the overhang," and at the same time exploded it. At the same moment a heavy gun, which had been depressed so as to bear on him, was fired, and the huge shot crashed through his boat, while the water flung up by the torpedo came rushing like a cataract into it, filling and completely disabling it.

The rebels, now only fifteen feet off, poured a terrible fire into the little crew, and a hoarse voice shouted out, "Do you surrender?" "No!" thundered back Cushing, and the firing went on, dropping the men on every side, yet, strange to say, missing Cushing. Again came the call to surrender, and again Cushing with a shout of defiance refused. Finding the launch useless, and seeing that to remain in it longer was madness, he told the men to save themselves the best way they could. Then, coolly taking off his coat and shoes, he sprang overboard into the water, and swam with others for the middle of the river, while the shot fell like hailstones around him. He now struck boldly down stream, and was soon out of the reach of the fire. When about half a mile below the town, he came upon Acting-Master’s Mate Woodman, also swimming, but much exhausted. Cushing cheered him up, and with his fast-failing strength strove to get him ashore. But the poor fellow at length gave entirely out, and, bidding his commander "good-by," sank to the bottom. Cushing at length reached the shore, but so completely exhausted that he was unable to drag himself out of the water, and rested with his head on the beach till daylight. He then crept into a swamp near the fort, and lay down, wet and weary, to recover his wasted strength. A path ran a few feet from where he lay, but the autumnal foliage hid him from view. While reclining there, he heard voices approaching, and soon two officers from the Albemarle passed him, and he judged, by their conversation, that he had destroyed the vessel. This somewhat revived him, and he soon arose and started on, still keeping the swamp, and travelled for several hours, till well below the town, when he came out. Meeting a Negro, he questioned him, and, finding he could trust him, sent him back to Plymouth to find out the truth about the ram.

One would think that he might have waited a few hours for the news, and made use of the negro to aid him to escape, or furnish him with food to strengthen him. He was beset with foes,—a rebel prison, and perhaps death, awaited him; but these he could not think of until he had heard whether his desperate enterprise had succeeded. Nothing shows the indomitable character of the man more than this. Death alone can conquer such an iron will. Right there on the edge of the swamp he lay, until that Negro returned and told him the ram was at the bottom of the river. He then got his direction, and, taking to another swamp to avoid capture, kept on down the river until he came to a creek, where he found a skiff belonging to a picket of the enemy. Loosing this, he shoved off, and, keeping the stream, finally came out into the bay.

Footsore and weary he had toiled on, and now, as night approached, pulled slowly towards the ships. It was a long row, and he did not reach the Valley City till eleven o’clock at night. His appearance on board, all alone, created the greatest astonishment. He was the bearer of his own dispatches, and reported the Albemarle destroyed.

Only one man escaped besides himself, and he in another direction. The rest were all killed, drowned, or taken prisoners. When it is considered that Cushing at this time was only twenty-one years of age, one is astonished at the coolness, nerve, and desperate daring of the man. The act would have been the sublimest heroism in a veteran; but in this youth it was almost miraculous.

The Secretary of the Navy wrote him the following complimentary letter:



November 9, 1864.


SIR: Your report of October 30th has been received, announcing the destruction of the rebel iron-clad steamer Albemarle, on the night of the 27th ultimo, at Plymouth, North Carolina.

When, last summer, the Department selected you for this important and perilous undertaking, and sent you to Rear-Admiral Gregory, at New York, to make the necessary preparations, it left the details to yourself to perfect. To you and your brave comrades, therefore, belongs the exclusive credit which attaches to this daring achievement. The destruction of so formidable a vessel, which had resisted the combined attack of a number of our steamers, is an important event touching our future naval and military operations. The judgment, as well as the daring courage displayed, would do honor to any officer, and redounds to the credit of one of twenty-one years of age.

On four previous occasions, the Department has had the gratification of expressing its approbation of your conduct, in the face of the enemy, and in each instance there was manifested by you the same heroic daring and innate love of perilous adventure; a mind determined to succeed, and not to be deterred by any apprehensions of defeat.

The Department has presented your name to the President for a vote of thanks, that you may be promoted one grade, and your comrades, also, shall receive recognition.

It gives me pleasure to recall the assurance you gave me at the commencement of your active, professional career, that you would prove yourself worthy of the confidence reposed in you and of the service to which you were appointed. I trust you may be preserved through further trials; and it is for yourself to determine, whether, after entering upon so auspicious a career, you shall, by careful study and self-discipline, be prepared for a wider sphere of usefulness, on the call of your country.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Secretary of the Navy.

Lieutenant W. B. CUSHING, U. S. N.,



The phrase, "The Department has presented your name for a vote of thanks, that you may be promoted one grade," seems cold, in view of the service he had performed. Still, he was very young to hold the rank he did, but such a man is older than mere years can make him. He who could accomplish what he did, and in the manner he did, might be entrusted with a frigate in a broadside engagement with any vessel of equal size that ever floated. He had actually achieved more than many a squadron in a year’s service. His name was now heard in every man’s mouth, coupled with the warmest eulogies on his gallantry and heroism. Cushing’s success in destroying this formidable ram, naturally caused him to be selected to perform a similar undertaking the following summer. Another rebel iron-clad, the Raleigh, was known to have been built, and, though there were rumors that she had been wrecked, it was not certain that they were true, and Cushing proposed to settle the matter by actual experiment. One thing was certain, if she were not destroyed, he would ascertain the fact, and in all human probability end her existence before he finished his investigations. We will allow him to give in his own words the results of this expedition. He says in his dispatch to the Secretary of the Navy:

SIR: In consequence of permission received from you to attempt the destruction of the iron-clad ram Raleigh, I proceeded to the blockade at that point, with the intention of doing so, judging it prudent to make a thorough reconnoissance first, to determine her position.

I left this ship on the night of the 23d, in the first cutter, with two officers (Acting Ensign J. D. Jones, and Acting Master’s Mate William Howorth,) and fifteen men, and started in for the west bar. I succeeded in passing the forts, and also the town and batteries of Smithville, and pulled swiftly up the river. As we neared the Zeke Island batteries, we narrowly escaped being run down by a steamer, and soon after came near detection from the guard boat; evading them all, we continued our course. As we came abreast of the Old Brunswick batteries, some fifteen miles from the starting point, the moon came out brightly and discovered us to the sentinels on the banks, who hailed at once, and soon commenced firing muskets, and raising an alarm by noises and signal lights. We pulled at once for the other shore, obliquing so as to give them to understand that we were going down; but, as soon as I found that we were out of the moon’s rays, we continued our course straight up, thereby baffling the enemy and gaining safety. When within seven miles from Wilmington, a good place was selected on the shore; the boat hauled up, and into a marsh, and the men stowed along the bank. It was now nearly day, and I had determined to watch the river, and, if possible, to capture some one from whom information could be gained. Steamers soon began to ply up and down, the flagship of Commodore Lynch, the Gadkin, passing within two hundred yards. She is a wooden propeller steamer of about three hundred tons, no masts, one smokestack, clear deck, English built, with awning spread fore and aft, and mounting only two guns; did not seem to have many men. Nine steamers passed in all, three of them being fine, large blockade runners. Just after dark, as we were preparing to move, two boats rounded the point, and the men, thinking it an attack, behaved in the coolest manner. Both boats were captured, but proved to contain a fishing party returning to Wilmington. From them I obtained all the information that I desired, and made them act as my guides in my further explorations of the river.

Three miles below the city I found a row of obstructions, consisting of iron-pointed spikes, driven in at an angle, and only to be passed by going into the channel left open, about two hundred yards from a heavy battery that is on the left bank.

A short distance nearer the city is a ten-gun navy battery, and another line of obstructions, consisting of diamond-shaped crates, filled and supported in position by two rows of spikes; the channel, in this instance, being within fifty yards of the guns. A third row of obstructions and another battery, complete the upper defenses of the city. The river is also obstructed by spikes at Old Brunswick, and there is a very heavy earthwork there. Discovering a creek in the cypress swamp, we pulled, or rather poled up it for some time, and at length came to a road, which, upon being explored, proved to connect with the main road from Fort Fisher and the Sounds to Wilmington. Dividing my party, I left half to hold the cross-road and creek, while I marched the remainder, some two miles, to the main road and stowed away. About 11.30 A. M., a mounted soldier appeared with a mail-bag, and seemed much astonished when he was invited to dismount; but, as I assured him that I would be responsible for any delay that might take place, he kindly consented to shorten his journey. About two hundred letters were captured, and I gained such information as I desired of the fortifications and enemy’s force. An expedition was contemplated against Fisher by our army about this time, and the information was of much value. There are thirteen hundred men in the fort; and the unprotected rear that our troops were to storm, is commanded by four light batteries. I enclose rebel requisitions, and report of provisions on hand.

I now waited for the courier from the other direction, in order that we might get the papers that were issued at 1 P. M. in Wilmington; but, just as he hove in sight, a blue jacket exposed himself, and the fellow took to instant flight. My pursuit on the captured horse was rendered useless, from the lack of speed, and the fellow escaped after a race of some two miles.

In the mean time, we captured more prisoners, and discovered that a store was located about two miles distant, and, being sadly in need of some grub, Mr. Howorth, dressed in the courier’s coat and hat, and mounted upon his horse, proceeded to market. He returned with milk, chickens, and eggs, having passed every one, in and out of service, without suspicion, though conversing with many. At 6 P.M., after destroying a portion of the telegraph wire, we rejoined the party at the creek, and proceeded down, reaching the river at dark. In trying to land our prisoners upon an island, a steamer passed so close that we had to jump overboard, and hold our heads below the boat to prevent being seen. As we had more prisoners than we could look out for, I determined to put a portion of them in small boats, and set them adrift without oars or sails, so that they could not get ashore in time to injure us. This was done, and we proceeded down the river, keeping a bright lookout for vessels, in order to burn them, if possible. None were found, but I found a pilot to take me to where the ram Raleigh was said to be wrecked. She is indeed destroyed, and nothing now remains of her above water. The iron-clad North Carolina, Captain Muse commanding, is in commission, and at anchor off the city. She is but little relied upon, and would not stand long against a monitor. Both torpedo boats were destroyed in the great cotton fire some time since. One was very near completion. As I neared the forts at the east bar, a boat was detected, making its way rapidly to the shore, and captured after a short chase. It contained six persons, four of whom were soldiers. Taking them all into one boat, I cut theirs adrift, but soon found that twenty-six persons were more than a load. By questions, I discovered that at least one guard boat was afloat, containing seventy-five musketeers, and situated in the narrow passage between Federal Point and Zeke Island. As I had to pass them, I determined to engage the enemy at once, and capture the boat if possible.

The moon was now bright, and as we came nearer the entrance, I saw what we supposed to be one large boat just off the battery; but as we prepared to sail into her, and while about twenty yards distant, three more boats suddenly shot out from that side, and five more from the other, completely blocking up the sole avenue of escape. I immediately put the helm down, but found a large sail-boat filled with soldiers to windward, and keeping us right in the glimmer of the moon’s rays. In this trying position, both officers and men acted with true coolness and bravery.

Not the stroke of an oar was out of time; there was no thought of surrender, but we determined to outwit the enemy, or fight it out. Suddenly turning the boat’s head, we dashed off as if for the west bar, and, by throwing the dark side of the boat towards them, were soon lost to view. The bait was eagerly seized, and their whole line dashed off at once to intercept us. Then again turning, by the extraordinary pulling of my sailors I gained the passage of the island, and, before the enemy could prevent, put the boat into the breakers on Caroline Shoals. The rebels dared not follow, and we were lost to view, before the guns of the forts, trained on the channel, could be brought to bear upon our unexpected position. Deeply loaded as we were, the boat carried us through in fine style, and we reached the Cherokee just as day was breaking, and after an absence from the squadron of two days and three nights.

I am now posted in regard to the city, land, and water defenses, and everything that it will interest the Department to know.

In the operations against Fort Fisher the next winter, he commanded the Monticello. In the first attack, he was sent to buoy out the channel, and afterwards took part in the bombardment. In the second attack, after guarding and assisting the troops in landing, he joined in the shelling of the fort until the final assault, when, at the head of forty men, he landed, and, with Lieutenant Porter commanding another force, led the storming party. When Lieutenant Porter fell, Cushing became the senior officer, and at once rallied as many men as could be gathered in the confusion, and placed them in the trenches, thus relieving regiments that were needed in the front.

He was afterwards sent by Admiral Porter to receive the capitulation of Fort Caswell, but found it deserted. Hoisting the national flag upon it, he proceeded to Little River, North Carolina, and surprised and captured some rebel soldiers.

But all naval operations north, of any importance, ending with the fall of Fort Fisher, Cushing’s active career was ended. The collapse of the rebellion soon after left him, like so many other naval officers, in the rank and position they were to occupy in time of peace.

Promoted to commander, he was attached to the Pacific Squadron, and is now on duty in the Pacific Ocean. Still a young man, he has a, bright future before him, and if he lives will doubtless reach the highest rank in the navy. Bold, daring, and self-collected under the most trying circumstances—equal to any emergency—never unbalanced by an unexpected contingency, he possesses those great qualities always found in a successful commander. No man in our navy, at his age, has ever won so brilliant a reputation, and it will be his own fault if it is not increased until he has no superior.

Chapter XVII

Return to table of contents