David G. Farragut (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: The first admiral in the United States Navy, Farragut is most noted for his victory over Confederate forces in the Battle of Mobile Bay.
The son of George Farragut and the former Elizabeth Shine, David Glasgow Farragut was born James Glasgow Farragut at the site of Campbell’s Station, near Knoxville, Tennessee, on July 5, 1801. His mother was a native of Dobbs County, North Carolina, while his father was an immigrant of Spanish ancestry from the British (later French) island of Minorca. George Farragut served as both an army and then a naval officer during the American Revolution, then moved his family to Tennessee and again westward.
In Louisiana after 1807, George Farragut was a sailing master in the navy who, the following year, suffered the loss of his wife to yellow fever at their home on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Since he did not expect to remarry and thought that he could no longer give proper care and attention to his children, the elder Farragut arranged for his son’s adoption by his friend, Commander David Porter. Porter was the commandant of the naval station at New Orleans.
Porter took his adopted son with him to Washington in 1809, and there and at his later home in Chester, Pennsylvania, he gave him better schooling than he had hitherto known. He also introduced him to Paul Hamilton, Secretary of the Navy, who promised him a commission as a...
(The entire section is 2286 words.)
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David G. Farragut (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: In several key American Civil War battles, Farragut demonstrated that aggressively handled naval forces could defeat entrenched enemy shore batteries, opening the way for decisive land action.
Born into a naval family, David Glasgow Farragut began his naval career during the War of 1812 (1812-1815) and Mexican-American War (1846-1848). In the American Civil War (1861-1865), Farragut, commanding the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, led his ships past the forts defending New Orleans in April, 1862, giving the Union its first major victory. Farragut’s biggest victory occurred in August, 1864, when he repeated his triumph at New Orleans by steaming his fleet past the guns of Fort Morgan and seizing Mobile Bay, one of the few remaining Confederate blockade-running ports. When his fleet was stalled by the destruction of the monitor USS Tecumseh by a Confederate mine (or “torpedo,” as they were known), Farragut issued his famous order of “Damn the torpedoes. Full steam ahead,” stormed his fleet past the forts, captured the Confederate ironclad CSS Tennessee, and seized control of the bay. As a reward, a grateful Congress named Farragut the U.S. Navy’s first vice admiral (1864) and full admiral (1866).
(The entire section is 251 words.)