On 5 August 1864 during the American Civil War, a Union squadron commanded by Rear Admiral David G. Farragut was victorious at the Battle of Mobile Bay, sealing off the last Confederate port on the Gulf Coast. This is the battle in which Farragut uttered his famous quote, “Damn the Torpedoes, Full speed ahead!” This oil painting by by Xanthus Smith (circa 1890) depicts the surrender of CSS Tennessee to the Union squadron. Identifiable U.S. Navy ships present include: Winnebago (monitor in the left distance), Chickasaw (monitor in the foreground) and Hartford (Farragut’s flagship, in the right center, painted light gray). NHHC image KN-843.

On 19 June 1864 USS Kearsarge sank Confederate raider CSS Alabama off France. This painting by Xanthus Smith, 1922, depicts Alabama sinking, at left, after her fight with Kearsarge (seen at right). NHHC Photo K-29827. Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.

Visit Your Local Battleship!

Are you planning to see the new “Battleship” movie? We just wanted to remind you that there are numerous battleships open to the public around the country. Here’s a selection of photos of them in action and on display as museum ships. Get out to visit them, and if you have the time, sign up to be a volunteer - they are always looking for help!

Visit the Historic Naval Ships Association website to learn more.

Photos shown (from top to bottom, moving left to right):

ex-USS Texas (photo by Dave Colamaria)

USS Alabama (NHHC photo 80-G-K-9410)

USS Arizona Memorial and ex-USS Missouri (Navy photo 110301-N-WP746-494)

USS Massachusetts (NHHC photo NH 97255)

USS Missouri (NHHC photo 80-G-K-4575)

USS North Carolina (NHHC photo 80-G-301356)

USS New Jersey (NHHC photo NH 90639)

USS Wisconsin (NHHC photo NH 97207-KN)