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Admiral David Farragut
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Rank of Vice~Admiral
Farragut, DAVID GLASGOW, naval officer; born near Knoxville, Tenn., July 5, 1801; son of George Farragut, who was a native of Minorca; came to America in 1776; entered the Continental army; was a bugler, it is supposed, at the age of seventeen, in the battle of the Cowpens; attained the rank of major; settled in Tennessee; and was master in the United States navy, serving under Patterson in the defense of New Orleans. David entered the navy as midshipman when between nine and ten years of age, first serving under Porter, and was with him in the terrible fight at Valparaiso. He was promoted to commander in 1841, having served faithfully up to that time. Still persevering in duty, he was placed in very responsible positions afloat and
ashore, and when the Civil War broke out he was in command of the Brooklyn, steam sloop-of-war. He commanded the naval expedition against New Orleans in the spring of 1862, having the Hartford as his flagship. Organizing the West Gulf blockading squadron, on his arrival in the Gulf of Mexico, by boldness and skill, with admirable assistants, he went up to New Orleans triumphantly. He operated with great vigor on the Mississippi River, afterwards, between New Orleans and Vicksburg; and on July 16, 1862, was placed first on the list of pro-posed admirals. In 1863 he co-operated in the capture of Port Hudson, and in August, 1864, defeated the Confederate forces in Mobile Bay.
His exploits in the Gulf region gave him great fame, and in December, 1864, he received the thanks of Congress, and the rank of vice-admiral was created expressly for him. In July, 1866, he was promoted to admiral. He visited Europe in 1867 %u2014 68, and was received with the highest honors. He died in Portsmouth, N. H., Aug. 14, 1870.
Buried: Woodlawn Cemetery
New York, USA
Plot: Section 14, Aurora Hill Plot, Lot 1429-44
Additional Information: Civil War Union Navy Admiral. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War, and for being the first United States Navy officer to be promoted to the rank of Admiral. Born at Campbell's Station, near Knoxville, Tennessee, following the customary practice of the day, he entered the Navy while still a boy, as a nine year old midshipman on December 17, 1810. While only 12 years old, he was given command of a captured British whaling ship taken by his ship, the frigate U.S.S. Essex during the War of 1812, and brought her safely to port. He made a great contribution to the Union victory in the Civil War and was to write a famous page in the history of the United States Navy. In command of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, with his flagship the U.S.S. Hartford he disproved the theory that forts ashore held superiority over naval forces, when on April 29,1862 he ran past Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip and the Chalmette, Louisiana batteries to take the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. His country honored its great sailor by creating for him the rank of rear admiral on July 16, 1862, a rank never before used in the U.S. Navy. On August 5, 1864 Farragut won a great victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay. At that point in the war, Mobile, Alabama was the Confederacy's last major port open on the Gulf of Mexico. The bay was heavily mined (tethered naval mines were known as %u2018torpedoes' at the time). Farragut ordered his fleet to enter the bay. When one ship struck a mine the others began to pull back, but Farragut rose to the occasion and shouted out the order, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" The fleet succeded in entering the bay, and the heroic quote became famous. Farragut then subdued the heavy shore batteries at Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines and defeated the confederate squadron of Admiral Franklin Buchanan to complete the Union victory. Farragut became America's first Vice Admiral on December 23, 1864. He was made a full admiral in 1866 and given command of the European Squadron, which was to be his last active service. David Glasgow Farragut died at the age of 69 on August 14, 1870 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Numerous destroyers have since been named U.S.S. Farragut in his honor, and he has been depicted on U.S. postage stamps twice; first on the $1 stamp of 1903, and then on a 32 cent stamp in 1995. There is also a state park in Idaho named after him. During World War II it was used as a naval base for basic training. (bio by: Edward Parsons)
David Farragut Quotes
"Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead"
Of many memorable and inspirational lines to come out of the Civil War, this is perhaps the most famous, and most quoted. It serves as an inspirational line today, just as it did when it was first made. The quote is attributed to Admiral David Farragut during the Civil War at the Battle of Mobile Bay. As his fleet was entering the Bay, he was warned that the waters had been salted with deadly rebel torpedoes, or infernal machines. As those around him encouraged him to slow down, Farragut remained steadfastly focused on his duty, and he ordered what has now become the famous line . . . "Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead."