Admiral David Farragut eyed a potentially lethal minefield guarding the entrance to Mobile Bay, Alabama, as his attack column of ironclad monitors rushed forward, opening the assault against the Confederate citadels on shore. One vessel, the U.S.S. Tecumseh, looked every inch an invincible monster. As the sleek, turreted warship drew close to its Rebel enemies, a geyser of water shot up on its starboard side followed by a muffled rumble. The ship heeled over and sank in seconds, carried to its watery doom by its own war-speed and momentum. Crewmen aboard the rest of the Union ships looked on in horror. "Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!" Admiral David Farragut shouted from the bridge of the U.S.S. Hartford as he sensed the growing panic among his sailors. As the vessel churned forward the primer caps of primitive but deadly naval "torpedoes"--dubbed "infernal machines" by the men who faced them--snapped and popped beneath the Yankee ships but failed to explode. Despite the threat of instant and violent death, the Hartford pressed on, inspiring the fleet and leading toward ultimate victory. Farragut's words, some of the most famous in American history, were written in fire and blood that August day as the United States Navy came of age. Award-winning author Jack Waugh takes a fresh look at the stirring land and sea battles surrounding the capture of one of the Confederacy's most important cities, Mobile, Alabama.
JOHN C. WAUGH is no stranger to readers of history. His two books, "The Class of 1846: ""From"" West Point to Appomattox" and "Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle for the 1864 Presidency," have received numerous awards and much critical acclaim. Waugh, a distinguished journalist and editor, has an impressive list of publications to his credit. Waugh retired to Arlington, Texas, after a long and noteworthy career as bureau chief and staff correspondent for the "Christian Science Monitor." His writings have appeared in the "New York Times," the "Los Angeles Times," the "Boston Globe," "American Heritage," and "Civil War Times Illustrated." He is also the author of "20 Good Reasons to Study the Civil War" and "Sam Bell Maxey and the Confederate Indians," other McWhiney Foundation Press titles.
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