A "Rebel Raiders" Homage to Admiral David Glasgow “Damn the Torpedoes” Farragut!
On this day in 1870 David Glasgow Farragut passed away. The admiral appears in Rebel Raiders on the High Seas not only as a Leader counter but on TWO
Union cards (USN Card 1 – “Damn the Torpedoes…Full Speed
Ahead!” and USN Card 33 – The Grand
Fleet). The first card gives Union
ships extra dice when firing on Rebel batteries – but only after they take a
round of fire from the Confederates, thus mimicking the Navy tactic of
directing fire at Rebel gun positions that have exposed themselves, and the
second allows the Union to amass a larger stack of ships (10 vice the normal 6
allowed in the rules) when making an attack – which represents Farragut’s
accumulation of a massive force to hit Mobile Bay.
Farragut was one of the first admirals in the U.S. Navy – attaining the rank of rear admiral as a reward for taking
Orleans in 1862.
Nine such rear admirals were authorized by act of Congress in 1862 (among these were Samuel Francis DuPont – USN Card 54,
John Dahlgren – USN Card 31, David Dixon Porter – USN Card 2 and Andrew Hull Foote, who appears as a
Leader in the game). Farragut later
became the nation’s first vice admiral – promoted by Lincoln for his storming
of Mobile Bay, and its first full admiral (four star rank), an honor he was
given a year after the war in July 1866.
Farragut, though born in
and married to a Southern belle, stayed loyal to the Union
– so much so that he told his wife that he was going North even if she and the
family stayed South. He and Confederate
Admiral Franklin “Old Buck” Buchanan (a Confederate leader in the game) were
among the senior officers in the Navy, and just as Buchanan felt Farragut had
betrayed the South by coming North, so did Farragut believe “Buck” had betrayed
his oath to the Union by going South. The two men quite literally fought eye-to-eye
at Mobile Bay, Farragut supposedly
uttering his famous “damn” not so much because of the torpedoes, but because
from his perch on the rigging of the USS Hartford (USN Card 37) he could
see Buchanan looking up at him from the pilot house of the ram CSS
Tennessee (CSN Card 86), as depicted in the famous painting of that
action by William Heysham Overrend (see below).