The Civil War Campaigns of David Farragut
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 An admirably researched history of the long, successful career of America's first admiral and a popular hero of the Civil War, who is best remembered for his famous order in the heat of the battle at Mobile Bay, ``Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!'' To complement (and correct) the mainly army perspective found in most Civil War histories, Duffy (Target Hitler, not reviewed, etc.) presents a record of the frequently overlooked naval aspects of that conflict, as reflected in the career of David Farragut. Born in the South, Farragut went to sea as a midshipman when he was nine. While Duffy offers a summary of Farragut's life before the war, he is primarily interested in Farragut's Civil War years. He explains in some detail the often highly unorthodox strategies Farragut used to shut down Southern ports. And he explores Farragut's unwavering determination to overcome any obstacle in his way, including suspicions about his loyalty expressed by some fellow officers, aroused by the presence of a Southerner in the Federal navy; jealousies stirred by his early successes, which delayed promotion; and the opposition of bureaucrats in Washington, who attempted to reverse some of his naval strategies. Farragut, who held an unshakable belief in the necessity of preserving the Union (and who, having largely grown up at sea, had little sympathy for the South), always persevered. His brilliant campaigns on the Mississippi and his capture of New Orleans electrified the North. His blockade actions captured over 1,500 vessels. And his great victory at Mobile Bay against determined resistance, and under daunting circumstances, closed another Southern lifeline and diverted Confederate forces away from the defense of Atlanta. Duffy argues that Farragut's actions had more to do with the downfall of the Confederacy than some of the more celebrated land battles. A highly readable chronicle of a remarkable man, and an exciting account of decisive incidents in naval history. (25 photos, 6 maps, not seen)

Pub Date: March 14th, 1997
ISBN: 0-471-04208-0
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Wiley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1997


NonfictionCOMMANDER WILL CUSHING by Jamie Malanowski
by Jamie Malanowski