Wednesday, March 9, 2011

USS Farragut Honor Civil War Dead on the USS Tecumseh

From the March 4th Mobile (Al) Press-Register.

The event was greeted with rough weather, lots of wind and 6-8 foot seas, but US Naval re-enactors Paul Leonard and Judson Locke rode aboard a launch out to the guided missile destroyer USS Farragut in the Gulf of Mexico off Dixey Bar, to lay a wreath over the wreck of the monitor USS Tecumseh which hit a torpedo (mine) at the Battle of Mobile Bay August 5, 1864. It sank quickly, taking 93 men to their deaths. They still remain in the ship.

The USS Farragut, named for the Union Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, who commanded at the battle, was on its way to dock at Mobile for the Mardi Gras celebration (Mobile is where the first Mardi Gras in the US was held).

This is the fifth ship in the US Navy to carry the name Farragut. The first four were commissioned in 1898, 1920, 1944 and 1965.

The 1898 ship was a torpedo boat. All the others were destroyers. The newest USS Farragut was commissioned in 2006.

For the ceremony, the crew manned the starboard side facing Fort Morgan while the two re-enactors three the wreath in the water off the aft deck. The Farragut then sounded a long blast on the whistle and a lone cannon boomed out from the fort.

David G. Farragut was famous for his quote "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" at the Battle of Mobile Bay. The Union fleet slowed down when it came to the Confederate mine field and Farragut ordered it to steam ahead regardless. The USS Tecumseh then hit a torpedo (mine) and sank. The battle ended with a Union victory.

The new USS Farragut calls itself "Full Speed" and is 590 feet long, 55 feet wide and has a crew of 265.

An Honor Well-Deserved. --Old B-R'er

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