Admiral David Glasgow Farragut
Birthplace - Campbell Station in Knox County, Tennessee
* James Glasgow Farragut was born on 5 July 1801 in a log cabin at Stony Point just four miles southeast of the location referred to in 1801 as Campbell's Station.
* His father, George Farragut served in the Revolutionary War Navy. He moved to Knoxville in 1792 and established a ferry across the Holston River (now Fort Loudoun Lake/Tennessee River) in 1797.
* In 1807, George moved to New Orleans to accept an appointment as a Sailing Master in the U.S. Navy. The family followed that same year, leaving forever the shores of the Holston River and the State of Tennessee.
* Farragut's mother, Elizabeth, died in 1808 shortly after arriving in New Orleans. Captain David Porter, a family friend and Commander of the Naval Station at New Orleans, adopted James Glasgow Farragut. James later changed his name to David in honor of Captain Porter.
* Farragut followed Porter to Washington, D.C. in 1810 and, at the age of nine, was appointed midshipman in the U.S. Navy. He served on the USS Independence in the summer of 1815.
Farragut's Achievements During the Civil War
Early years 1862-1863
* During the months preceding the Civil War, Farragut had a difficult decision to make. He was southern - born in Tennessee, moved to Louisiana and lived in Virginia - but his Union sympathies caused him to remain with the Union. He soon moved his family to New York.
* In January of 1862, Captain Farragut was given command of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron with instruction to enter the Mississippi River and capture New Orleans.
* While in command of his flagship, the USS Hartford, Farragut succeeded in capturing New Orleans on 24 April 1862, thus opening the Mississippi to Vicksburg and disrupting the Confederacy's vital supply lines.
* He was commissioned Rear Admiral on 16 July 1862, becoming the first in our nation to attain that rank.
Battle of Mobile Bay
Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead!
* In 1864, two years after the capture of New Orleans, Farragut anchored his place in Naval History at Mobile Bay.
* Farragut's Fleet of wooden ships, along with four small ironclad monitors, began the attack on Mobile Bay early in the morning of 5 August 1864.
* When the smoke of the battle became so thick he could no longer see, Farragut climbed the rigging of the USS Hartford and was lashed near the top of the mainmast to get a better view. It wasn't long before the USS Tecumseh, one of the monitors leading the attack, struck a torpedo (mine) and sank in a matter of minutes.
* In a state of confusion, the fleet came to a halt in front of the powerful guns of Fort Morgan. Realizing the fleet was reluctant to move forward due to the torpedoes, Rear Admiral Farragut rallied his men to victory shouting "Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead" with Farragut's ship leading the way. They successfully moved through the mines and past the fortifications, soon leading to the surrender of the harbor to the Union forces.
Admiral Farragut's Career
Moving Through the Ranks of the U.S. Navy
· Midshipman — December 1810
· Lieutenant — January 1825
· Commander — September 1841
· Captain — September 1855
· Rear Admiral* — July 1862
· Vice Admiral* — December 1864
· Admiral* — July 1866
*Farragut was the first person in our nation's history to hold these ranks in the U.S. Navy. He died a national hero on 14 August 1870 and is buried in Woodland Cemetery in Bronx, New York.