16.07.

1862: David Farragut Becomes the First Admiral in U.S. History

1862: David Farragut Becomes the First Admiral in U.S. History
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 16 July 1862
  • It is interesting that he was born in a place hundreds of kilometers away from the sea, which is actually quite common with admirals. In fact, a considerable number of famous world admirals were born in regions far away from the sea.

On this day in 1862, an admiral’s rank was awarded for the first time in the history of the United States. It was created for famous David Farragut, a hero of the U.S.

Navy. Note that, until then, the rank of an admiral was never used in the U.S., in order to avoid the traditions of the European navies. The term “flag officer” was used for the rank above captain. David Farragut thus became the first admiral in the history of the U.S. Navy.

Farragut was born in the American South, in Tennessee. It is interesting that he was born in a place hundreds of kilometers away from the sea, which is actually quite common with admirals. In fact, a considerable number of famous world admirals were born in regions far away from the sea.

As a young sailor, Farragut even served on U.S. ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Eventually, he became a captain in the U.S. Navy.

When the Civil War broke out in the U.S., Farragut was invited to join the Union (North). This he did, and he faithfully served, although some were suspicious of him because of his southern origin. After one decisive event in the war, he gained such merit in the North that Congress appointed him admiral.

A little later, because of his brave performance in the Battle of Mobile Bay, Admiral Farragut became an American legend. When warned by his comrades in the naval battle that enemy torpedoes are on their path, he said roughly: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” This statement of his was later used in American propaganda for patriotic purposes.

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