Link To This PageContact Us

The Battle of Mobile Bay

August 2-23, 1864 in Mobile, Alabama
Mobile Bay Campaign

Union Forces Commanded by:
Adm. David G. Farragut and Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- 300 k&w - -

Confederate Forces Commanded by:
Adm. Franklin Buchanan and Brig. Gen. Richard L. Page
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- 1,400 k&w - -

**Missing and Captured
Conclusion: Union Victory


A combined Union force initiated operations to close Mobile Bay to blockade running. Some Union forces landed on Dauphin Island and laid siege to Fort Gaines.
On August 5, Farragut's Union fleet of 18 ships entered Mobile Bay and received a devastating fire from Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan and other points.  After passing the forts, Farragut forced the Confederate naval forces, under Adm. Franklin Buchanan, to surrender, which effectively closed Mobile Bay.
In addition to shutting down one of the two remaining Confederate ports, this Union victory at the Battle of Mobile Bay was a significant boost for President Abraham Lincoln's bid for reelection.
Commanding the Union forces was Adm. David Farragut, while Adm. Franklin Buchanan led the Confederate fleet. The battle took place off the coast of Alabama, at the mouth of Mobile Bay, which was defended by two Confederate forts, Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, and by a torpedo field that created a single narrow channel for blockade runners to enter and exit the bay.
The biggest challenge for Farragut was entering the bay. With 18 vessels, he commanded far greater firepower than the Confederate fleet of four. The Union fleet suffered the first major loss when the USS Tecumseh was critically damaged by an exploding torpedo after it wandered into the field. Within 3 minutes, the vessel was completely submerged with 94 men going down with the ship. Under fire from both the Confederate fleet and Fort Morgan, Farragut had to choose between retreating or risking the minefield. He then issued his famous order, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!"
Farragut took his flagship through the minefield safely, followed by the rest of the fleet. When they reach the bay, they defeated the flotilla led by the giant ironclad CSS Tennessee. Buchanan surrendered to Farragut aboard the USS Hartford.
Over the next 3 weeks, a combined operation by the Union Navy and one Union army division captured the forts defending the bay. By August 23, Fort Morgan, the last big holdout, fell, shutting down the port. Although the city of Mobile remained in Confederate hands, the last blockade-running port on the Gulf Coast, east of the Mississippi, was shut down.

Site Map | Copyright © 2012,