Sunday, August 5, 2007

Rear Admiral David Farragut

Today we feature a portrait of Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut. It was on this day (August 5th) in the year 1864, at 6:00 in the morning, that Farragut's fleet began moving into Mobile Bay, to attack the confederate forces and the Rebel Fleet at Fort Morgan. Mobile was the last major Rebel Port open to the Gulf of Mexico, and a key Rebel stronghold. The USS Tecumseh was in the lead, but she hit a mine and sunk (at the time, mines were called torpedoes or infernal machines). The captain of the Tecumseh went down with the ship, and 90 of the 114 on board were lost. At the time Farragut was on his flagship, the Hartford. As the Tecumseh went down, Farragut could see the progress of his fleet stall, and some ships began to pull back. When Farragut, who had lashed himself to the rigging of the Hartford, inquired as to why the progress had stalled, he was told that the bay was salted with torpedoes, and the waters were not safe. To this Farragut yelled the immortal words, "Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead". The Hartford sailed past the faltering ships and on into the Bay. By 10 a.m. the last Confederate ship, the Tennessee, surrendered. By nightfall Ft. Morgan was abandoned and blown up.

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