The Battle of Mobile Bay
YOU MAY HAVE HEARD THE BATTLE CRY, “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead!” But do you know who said it, why, where, and when?
The who is Admiral David Farragut. The where is Mobile Bay. The why is more complicated, but it has to do with one of the most significant confrontations in the
American Civil War. Farragut was the naval officer who in 1864 bravely led his union fleet
through a barrage of cannon fire blasting from the two forts guarding the entrance to the bay. But torpedoes in 1864? It turns out that in those days, the word torpedo referred to an underwater, explosive mine. The Confederates planted mines across the entrance to Mobile Bay to block a Union invasion. Damn those mines then.
On Tuesdays in February, a Civil War historian will guide visitors around the five-sided
Fort Morgan. The subject of the tour and tutorial on February 20th is the “ Battle of Mobile
Bay.” The topic on Tuesday, February 27th is the “Siege of Fort Morgan.”
By car, Fort Morgan is 23 miles west of Gulf Shores on State Highway 180, but from Dauphin Island, it’s just a short hop across the bay (and no mines this time) on your boat or the Mobile Bay Ferry. Boaters have a convenient marina close by, Gulf Shores Yacht Club and Marina.
By Bill AuCoin, Southern Boating February 2018
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