Battle of Mobile Bay Facts

Battle of Mobile Bay Facts
The battle of Mobile Bay was an important naval battle in 1864. The Union victory allowed it to seal off the port of Mobile Bay, where Confederates had been receiving supplies shipped in from Cuba. When the Confederates lost the port, it made the Union blockade of the coast virtually complete. The victory helped propel Abraham Lincoln to victory in his bid for re-election later that year.
Interesting Battle of Mobile Bay Facts:
The battle occurred on August 5, 1864.
This was a naval battle that took place in Mobile Bay near Mobile, Alabama.
The Union was under the command of Admiral David Farragut, who entered the Navy at the incredible age of 9 years old. He served as a midshipman on the frigate Essex.
The Confederate Navy was led by its only full admiral, Franklin Buchanan. He had served in the U.S. Navy for 45 years but resigned because he mistakenly expected his home state of Maryland to secede.
The Union won the battle, which helped boost the morale of the American public, as well as President Abraham Lincoln's hopes for re-election.
Taking control of the port at Mobile Bay was a top priority for Ulysses S. Grant when he took command of the U.S. Army in 1864. It was a major port for the Confederates, who received shipments of supplies from Cuba there.
The Union had much stronger firepower going into the battle. Its navy had 18 warships and the Confederates only had four, although one of those was the powerful ironclad ship, the CSS Tennessee.
The Union Navy overwhelmed the Confederate Navy, but not before the Confederates sank one of the Union's ironclads, the USS Tecumseh. Legend has it that after the Tecumseh sunk, Farragut said the famous quote to his troops, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!"
For his own safety, Admiral Farragut was tied to the mast of the USS Hartford. He climbed up the mast for a better view of the action. Had the ship sunk, he likely would have gone down with it.
The battle ended when the CSS Tennessee, which put up a strong fight, eventually surrendered.
The Union was then able to capture Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines at the mouth of the bay, although not the city of Mobile. It did keep blockade runners out of the port at Mobile Bay, though.
The Union had over 300 casualties.
The Confederates had only 35 men killed or wounded but had over 1,500 men taken prisoner.
Admiral Buchanan was among those wounded in the battle and then taken prisoner. He was not released until February 1865.
The presence of the Union troops in Mobile after the victory kept Confederate troops occupied. This assisted Union General William T. Sherman's famous "March to the Sea" and the destruction of much of the South.

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