"damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"
(1801-1870) He entered the navy as Midshipman in 1810 after having been virtually adopted by Commodore David Porter. The friendship between the two families began when Porter's father was buried on the same day as Farragut's mother in New Orleans. He fought in the Mexican War and was awaiting orders at his Norfolk, Va. home when the Civil War broke out. Told that a person with Union sentiments could not live in Virginia, he packed up his family and Virginian wife and moved north. He was given command of the New Orleans expedition in December 1861, and helped capture the city in the spring of 1862. Promoted Rear Admiral in July 1862 for his success in opening up the Mississippi River to Vicksburg, he spent the next year in operations against Port Hudson, La., and returned to NYC in August 1863 to a hero's welcome. He returned to the Gulf in January 1864 to prepare for the assault on Mobile Bay, taking the port on August 5th. It was during this attack that Farragut was to have coined the famous expression, "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead." He again returned to NYC, this time in failing health. The city gave him a public reception and $50,000 to purchase a home there, and on Dec. 23, 1864, he was promoted to Vice Admiral, the rank just having been established. He was one of the first to enter Richmond after it's capture. On July 25, 1866, he was promoted to full Admiral, the first in the U. S. Navy to ever hold that rank!
Wet plate, albumen cabinet card photograph, mounted to 4 1/4 x 6 1/2 card. Standing view wearing his United States naval uniform, naval cap, 2 piece belt plate, with sword attached to belt. Backmark: Sarony & Co., Photographers, 680 Broadway, N.Y. Napoleon Sarony. Alfred S. Campbell. Light age toning and edge wear with a tiny thumbtack hole in the extreme upper border edge. Very desirable Union naval hero.