NAVY DEPARTMENT, Washington,
SIR – Capt. Bailey your second in command has brought to the department the official dispatches from your squadron with the trophies forwarded to the national capital. Our navy, fruitful with victories, presents no more signal achievement than this, nor is there an exploit surpassing it recorded in the annals of naval warfare. In passing and eventually overcoming forts Jackson and St. Phillip, the batteries above and below New Orleans, destroying the barriers of chains, steam rams, fire rafts, iron-clad vessels, and other obstructions, capturing from the rebel forces the great southern metropolis, and obtaining possession and control of the Lower Mississippi, yourself, your officers, and your brave sailors and marines, whose courage and daring bear historic renown, have now a nation’s gratitude and applause. I congratulate you and your command on your great success in having contributed so largely toward destroying the unity of the rebellion and in restoring again to the protection of the national flag the important city of the Mississippi valley, and so large a portion of its immediate dependencies. Your example and its successful results, though attended with some sacrifice of life and of ships inculcate the fact that the first duty of a commander in war is to take great risks for the accomplishment of great ends. One and all, officers and men, deserve well of their country. I am respectfully, your obedient servant,
To Flag-Officer D. G. Farragut, commanding Gulf Blockading Squadron, New Orleans.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly-Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, May 17, 1862, p. 2