James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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  that an earnest effort be made for peace. The nomination evoked a momentary burst of enthusiasm from the Democrats which corresponded to momentary disquietude among Republicans. Lincoln’s yearning for military success betrayed itself in his vernacular of the prairie. “Hold on with a bull dog grip,” he telegraphed to Grant, “and chew and choke.” 1 His ardent desire was fulfilled. Better than any stump-speakers were two of his commanders on sea and on land.  20   On August 5, Farragut fought the battle of Mobile Bay. In making his entrance into the bay he must pass through a channel said to be mined with torpedoes, must run by the powerful Fort Morgan and then fight the iron-clad Tennessee. As his fleet advanced, a torpedo exploded under one of his monitors. She disappeared “almost instantaneously beneath the waves carrying with her her gallant commander and nearly all her crew.” “A terrible disaster,” Farragut called it. 2 Ahead were torpedoes, behind was retreat. “O God,” he prayed, “who created man and gave him reason, direct me what to do. Shall I go on?” “And it seemed,” he said, “as if in answer a voice commanded, ‘Go on!’” 3 On he went, steering clear of the torpedoes, past Fort Morgan. The Tennessee attacked his fleet and, after a “desperate battle,” was beaten. She struck her flag and surrendered. “One of the hardest earned victories” of his life, as Farragut termed it, “the crowing achievement of his naval career,” as Mahan wrote, made him master of Mobile Bay. The surrender of Forts Gaines and Morgan (August 8–23) followed. 4  21   Mobile, now the most important port in the Gulf of Mexico
Note 1. Lincoln, C. W., II, 563. [back]
Note 2. O. R. N., XXI, 415, 417. [back]
Note 3. Mahan’s Farragut, 277. [back]
Note 4. O. R. N., XXI, 397 et seq.; Mahan’s Farragut, Chap. X. [back]