Join us on Friday, April 3 at 2 p.m. for a YouTube Live with author and historian John V. Quarstein! Live from his home in Hampton, Virginia, John will give a 15-minute presentation about the Battle of Mobile Bay. Viewers are welcome to send him any comments or questions during the presentation, and John will answer them following his talk.
In the early morning hours of August 5, 1864, in Mobile Bay, Alabama, Union admiral David Glasgow Farragut’s 18-ship fleet’s mission was to attack Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines at the entrance to Mobile Bay. At 6:47 a.m., the monitor USS Tecumseh fired the battle’s first shot as Farragut’s fleet entered the narrow channel in a two-column formation. Federal vessels then came under devastating fire from the Confederate forts. Tecumseh hit a torpedo and dramatically sank at 7:30 a.m. After a pause, Farragut shouted, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” He then moved his ship to the lead, passed through the torpedo field, and past Fort Morgan. Union warships then entered the bay. There, Admiral Franklin Buchanan, with his 6-gun ironclad ram CSS Tennessee, attacked Farragut’s entire fleet. Pounded and rammed by several warships, the badly battered Tennessee surrendered at 10:00 a.m. Farragut had now closed the last Confederate major port in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. This Union victory, coupled with the capture of Atlanta, helped to ensure Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 re-election.