David Glasgow Farragut

David Glasgow Farragut

Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, USA
Death 14 Aug 1870 (aged 69)
Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Plot Section 14, Aurora Hill Plot, Lot 1429-44
Memorial ID 327 · View Source
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Civil War Union Navy Admiral. The Union's most renowned naval figure, he was the first United States Navy officer to be promoted to the rank of Admiral. Born at Campbell's Station, near Knoxville, Tennessee, after his parents died he was adopted by United States Navy officer David Porter (and thus became step brother to future Union Navy Admiral David Dixon Porter). Following the customary practice of the day, he entered the Navy while a nine year old midshipman on December 17, 1810. While only 12 years old, he was given command of a captured British whaling ship taken by his ship, the frigate "USS Essex" during the War of 1812, and brought her safely to port. He made a great contribution to the Union victory in the Civil War and was to write a famous page in the history of the United States Navy. In command of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, with his flagship the "USS Hartford" he disproved the theory that forts ashore held superiority over naval forces, when on April 29, 1862 he ran past Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip and the Chalmette, Louisiana batteries to take the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. His country honored him by creating for him the rank of Rear Admiral on July 16, 1862, a rank never before used in the Navy. On August 5, 1864 Farragut won a great victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay. At that point in the war, Mobile, Alabama was the Confederacy's last major port open on the Gulf of Mexico. The bay was heavily mined (tethered naval mines were known as ‘torpedoes' at the time). Farragut ordered his fleet to enter the bay. When one ship struck a mine the others began to pull back, but Farragut rose to the occasion and allegedly shouted out the order, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" The fleet succeeded in entering the bay, and the heroic quote became famous. David Farragut then subdued the heavy shore batteries at Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines and defeated the confederate squadron of Confederate Admiral Franklin Buchanan to complete the Union victory. Farragut became America's first Vice Admiral on December 23, 1864. He was made a full-rank Admiral in 1866 and given command of the European Squadron, which was to be his last active service. He died at the age of 69 in 1870 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Numerous destroyers have since been named "USS Farragut" in his honor, and he has been depicted on United States postage stamps twice; first on the $1 stamp of 1903, and then on a 32 cent stamp in 1995. There is also a state park in Idaho named after him. During World War II it was used as a naval base for basic training.

Bio by: Edward Parsons


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 327
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for David Glasgow Farragut (5 Jul 1801–14 Aug 1870), Find a Grave Memorial no. 327, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .