“Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”

Admiral FarragutAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

“Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” yelled Admiral David Farragut, who had lashed himself atop the mainsail to see above the smoke.

His fleet of wooden ships with hulls wrapped in chains, and his four iron clad monitors, were attacking Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864.

When one of his ships, the TECUMSEH, sank after hitting an underwater mine, called a torpedo, his fleet faltered in confusion.

Farragut rallied and drove them on to capture the last Confederate stronghold in the Gulf of Mexico.

Earlier, APRIL 29, 1862, Farragut captured New Orleans, the Confederacy’s largest city. Sailing the Mississippi River at night, his ships were hard to hit, as he tied tree branches to the riggings and covered the hulls with mud.

The first U.S. Navy Admiral, Farragut declined offers to run for President.

There is a statue and subway stop, Farragut Square, in his honor in Washington, D.C., as well as a statue in New York City, and a city in Tennessee.

Early in his naval career, 1817-1818, David Farragut served aboard the USS Washington, patrolling the Mediterranean Barbary Muslim Coast.

He spent nine months in Tunis as an aid to Navy chaplain and U.S. Consul, Charles Folsom, till a plague forced his departure.

His son, Loyall Farragut, wrote in a book titled The Life and Letters of Admiral David Glasgow Farragut:

“He never felt so near his Master as he did when in a storm, knowing that on his skill depended the safety of so many lives.”

During his last illness, David Farragut asked for a clergyman to pray to the Lord, saying:

“He must be my pilot now!”

Matthew Fontaine Maury was a contemporary of Farrugut. Not only that but Farrugut and MFM served on a ship together (I think it was the Falmouth or the Vincennes).

Maury, Matthew Fontaine (January 14, 1806-February 1, 1873), was a scientist and pioneer hydrographer. He was known as the “Pathfinder of the Seas” for having charted the sea and wind currents while serving in the U.S. Navy. Considered the founder of modern hydrography and oceanography, he was Professor of Meteorology at Virginia Military Institute. In his book Physical Geography of the Sea, 1855, Matthew Maury wrote:

As our knowledge of nature and her laws has increased, so has our knowledge of many passages of the Bible improved.
The Bible called the earth “the round world,” yet for ages it was the most damnable heresy for Christian men to say that the world is round; and, finally, sailors circumnavigated the globe, and proved the Bible to be right, and saved Christian men of science from the stake.
And as for the general system of circulation which I have been so long endeavoring to describe, the Bible tells it all in a single sentence: “The wind goeth toward the South and returneth again to his circuits.”> 1806MM001

Engraved on his tombstone at the U.S. Naval Academy is the verse from Psalm 8 which had inspired him all his life:


The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

Still time to order Bill Federer’s latest book: Prayers & Presidents – Inspiring Faith from Leaders of the Past Invite Bill Federer to speak: 1-888-USA-WORD [email protected] www.AmericanMinute.com

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