The Civil War, Day by Day

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut

Battle of Mobile Bay

Guarding the approach to the bay were a Southern ironclad warship, the C.S.S. Tennessee, and three nearby Confederate forts: Morgan, Gaines, and Powell. The rebels defended with gunfire and underwater mines - then known as "torpedoes." One such mine sunk the Tecumseh, one of Farragut's ironclads. At that moment, the irascible, 63-year-old Farragut reputedly shouted his famous line: "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"

Farragut's warship, the Hartford, then advanced into the battle zone. Signal Officer J.C. Kinney remembered the camaraderie aboard the vessel despite the number of fatal casualties inflicted upon the men on deck. "There was no skulking. . . they stood to their work, white and black, side by side. There was no thought of social differences then, and whenever a shot was believed to have been well placed, the cheers of the men rang out above the roars of the guns."

The Union Navy had reason to cheer. They shelled the Tennessee until its crew surrendered. All other Confederate ships were either sunk or captured. The Union at last held Mobile Bay, a strategic Southern port, and would capture its three forts by the end of that fateful August.

August's Archived Features:

Monday August 1, 2022
Tuesday August 2, 2022
Wednesday August 3, 2022
Thursday August 4, 2022
Friday August 5, 2022
Saturday August 6, 2022
Sunday August 7, 2022
Monday August 8, 2022
Tuesday August 9, 2022
Wednesday August 10, 2022
Thursday August 11, 2022
Friday August 12, 2022
Saturday August 13, 2022
Sunday August 14, 2022
Monday August 15, 2022



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.