We are honoring the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5th & the sinking of the USS Tecumseh. A Confederate soldier remembering the sight wrote, “She careens, her bottom appears! Down, down, down she goes to the bottom of the channel, carrying 150 of her crew, confined within her ribs, to a watery grave.”
Ordered to keep the CSS Tennessee away from the US wooden vessels, ironclad USS Tecumseh steers directly towards her. Ten minutes later the Tecumseh hits a torpedo (mine) and sinks within 30 seconds. Commander Craven and the pilot, John Collins, arrived at the foot of the ladder leading to the main deck simultaneously with water up to their waists. Craven stepped back, saying "After you, pilot", but was unable to follow him to safety before the monitor capsized. Including Craven, 94 of the crew went down with the ship.
Seen here is an image of Admiral David Farragut. During this Battle, Farragut declares, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" The strategy of having 18 ships run a gauntlet of mines may seem rash. However, all but one ship made it through the channel into the Bay. Then again, the crew of the USS Tecumseh, leading the attack may not agree.
Eventually, Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan fell into the hands of the Union Navy. The port was closed to Confederate blockade runners, but the port city of Mobile was never taken.