Aug. 12, 1864
Union forces advanced on Mobile Bay, one of the South’s most well-defended ports, on Aug. 5 as Confederate guns fired from Fort Morgan on the fleet of Admiral David Farragut. The ironclad USS Tecumseh hit a mine and sank to the bottom of the bay with 94 men. Legend has it that Farragut tied himself to the rigging of the USS Hartford and exclaimed “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” By 10 a.m., the Union ships had captured the Confederate’s major threat, the USS Tennessee and her 190-man crew. Fort Gaines and its soldiers continued to battle before being captured Aug. 8. Fort Morgan’s larger artillery batteries held fast for two weeks before a steady bombardment Aug. 22 led to surrender. On April 12, 1865, the city of Mobile surrendered, exactly four years after the start of war.
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