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David Farragut was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on 5th July, 1801. As a child he was adopted by Commodore David Porter of the US Navy. Farragut entered the navy as a Midshipman in 1810 and during the 1812 War served under Porter on the frigate Essex. Porter captured several British whaling vessels and at the age of twelve Farragut was given command of one of these prize ships.
Farragut was sent to school for a while but by 1821 was an officer in the navy. He served in the West Indies under Porter and in 1824 was given his first independent command. He also saw action during the Mexican War (1846-48).
During the secession crisis Farragut moved his wife and son from Norfolk, Virginia, and moved to the North. On the outbreak of the American Civil War Farragut was given command of the West Blockading Squadron. He led the New Orleans expedition in December, 1861. Farragut and his foster brother, David Porter, captured the forts guarding the port in April, 1862 and troops led by General Benjamin F. Butler occupied the city soon afterwards.
Promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in July, 1862, Farragut he successfully opened up the Mississippi to Vicksburg. He was also involved in the campaign against Port Hudson and the assault on Mobile Bay (August to December, 1864).
Farragut became America's first Vice Admiral on 23rd December, 1864. He was made a full admiral in 1866 and given command of the European Squadron. David Farragut died in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on 14th August, 1870.