Mobile Bay, Battle of

(Aug. 5, 1864) Naval engagement in the American Civil War.

The Union fleet under David Farragut sailed into Mobile Bay, Ala., breaching the protective string of mines (torpedoes) and engaging the Confederate ironclad Tennessee. After a two-hour battle, the Union fleet won control of the bay. With the surrender of nearby Fort Morgan, the former Confederate port of Mobile was sealed off from Confederate blockade runners.

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▪ United States history
      (August 1864), in U.S. history, triumph of Admiral David Farragut (Farragut, David) in sealing off the port of Mobile from Confederate blockade runners.

      By 1864 Mobile Bay in Alabama was the most important Confederate port left on the Gulf of Mexico. It was protected by Fort Morgan, the ironclad Tennessee, and a string of mines (called torpedoes) in the narrow entrance passage to the bay.

      Farragut's fleet sailed into Mobile Bay on the morning of Aug. 5, 1864. The Union ship Tecumseh hit a mine and sank. Farragut then climbed into the rigging of his flagship Hartford and cried out, “Damn the torpedoes: Full speed ahead!”

      With the Hartford in the lead, the fleet sailed on into Mobile Bay, where for two hours it fought the Tennessee while coming under shelling from the guns at Fort Morgan. With the surrender of the Tennessee, Mobile Bay was in Union hands. On August 23 Fort Morgan surrendered, thereby sealing the Gulf coast from further blockade running.

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Universalium. 2010.

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