Admiral David Farragut had urged an assault on Mobile Bay since the fall of Port Hudson in July 1863, but it was not until the following summer that troops were provided for an amphibious operation. The soldiers under General Gordon Granger were landed at Dauphin Island, training a gun on Fort Gaines. On the morning of 5 August, the main fleet, consisting of four ironclads and 14 wooden vessels headed for Fort Morgan with covering fire from Granger. At the mouth of the bay, the leading vessel, the ironclad Tecumseh was struck by a torpedo and sank. Lashed to the rigging of the Hartford, Farragut cried, ‘Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead’, and the Union fleet managed to brave the bombardment from Fort Morgan and outpace the ponderous Confederate ironclad Tennessee. After the Tennessee was disabled and surrendered, Fort Powell was abandoned. By 23 August, Forts Morgan and Gaines also fell to Farragut.
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