Skip to main content

Damn the Torpedoes


"DAMN THE TORPEDOES," a reply by Union Adm. David Glasgow Farragut to a warning of the dangerous proximity of submerged torpedoes (now called mines) at the critical juncture of the Battle of Mobile Bay (5 August 1864). As the Union fleet approached the harbor entrance, which was known to be nearly closed by mines, the monitor Tecumseh struck a mine and immediately sank. The following ships closed into a disordered group while heavy cross fire from the Confederate fleet and forts threatened them with early defeat. Farragut, in the flagship Hartford, took the lead, signaling the fleet to follow, and steamed safely through the mine fields into the harbor.


Knox, Dudley W. A History of the United States Navy. New York: Putnam, 1948.

Dudley W.Knox/c. w.

See alsoArmored Ships ; Ironclad Warships ; Mobile Bay, Battle of .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Damn the Torpedoes." Dictionary of American History. . 21 Jul. 2019 <>.

"Damn the Torpedoes." Dictionary of American History. . (July 21, 2019).

"Damn the Torpedoes." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved July 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.