The Civil War, Day by Day

Sheridan's Men (detail)


Campaign to Capture Mobile Begins

Canby showed himself to be a master military tactician, assembling some 45,000 men to attack the 10,000 Confederate soldiers manning the forts. He devised an ingenious approach from two directions: one column was to move in from Pensacola, Florida while another advanced from Mobile Point up the east side of Mobile Bay.

Mobile had nearly been captured the previous August, when Admiral David Farragut had sailed into Mobile Bay with his Navy squadron and reputedly shouted, “Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!” However, a battle at sea prevented Farragut from reaching the mainland. Canby and his men would succeed where Farragut had failed - taking the city and its two forts at the cost of 1,578 lives.

General Ulysses S. Grant was to later remark that the possession of Mobile “was of no importance,” because the war was nearing its end. Nonetheless, the capture of Mobile was important to the Union cause, hastening the unity and peace which occurred by the end of the 1860s.





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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.