Latinx Hero at the Battle of Mobile Bay, 1864

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”  This signature American phrase originated on August 5, 1864, during the Battle of Mobile Bay, with Latino Admiral David Farragut.  Farragut was the son of a Spanish immigrant who fought for the US in the American Revolutionary War.   The Battle of Mobile Bay was a crucial Union victory in the Civil War.  The port of Mobile on the coast of Alabama was the Confederacy’s last major port open on the Gulf of Mexico.  The bay was dangerously mined with tethered explosives which were then called torpedoes.  Farragut was tied to the mast of his ship, to keep him steady while conducting the battle.  When the mines were spotted, Farragut ordered his men to continue their charge into the bay and ultimately into victory. (For the record, Farragut’s precise quote was, “Damn the torpedoes!  Four bells. Captain Drayton, go ahead! Jouett, full speed!”)

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