The North did not fare so well in the early stages of the Civil War. One year after the fall of Fort Sumter, however, Admiral David Glasgow Farragut provided a significant victory by seizing the vital Southern city of New Orleans. Chester G. Hearn blames the Confederacy's political leadership for the catastrophe, but also points to Farragut's bravado. Jefferson Davis was shocked to learn of the event, even though the Union specifically targeted the city and devoted substantial resources to its capture. With more than 40 maps and illustrations, The Capture of New Orleans, 1862
describes an underappreciated factor in the North's eventual triumph.
Hearn's tightly written history of the fall of New Orleans to the Union fleet under Admiral Farragut in April 1862--the most important Union naval victory and the most serious Confederate defeat of the Civil War's first two years--indicates that the reasons for the outcome were deepseated and arose mostly from Confederate unwillingness to believe that New Orleans could be in danger and failure to defend it properly when that danger became apparent. Ships and men were continually reassigned elsewhere, bureaucracies squabbled, resources were wasted on useless ships, and command was divided, subdivided, diced, and minced. Meanwhile, Farragut prepared a good part of the Union navy to run the gauntlet of river forts and take the city. He deserved to win, and the Confederates also met the fate they deserved. Roland Green