1995 32¢ David Farragut
Issue Date: June 29, 1995
City: Gettysburg, PA
Quantity: 15,000,000 panes of 20
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
The release of the 20 Civil War stamps marked the most extensive effort in the history of the U.S. Postal Service to review and verify the historical accuracy of stamp subjects. Each of the 16 individuals and four battles featured were chosen from a master list of 50 subjects, which included Presidents, generals, major battles, rank-and-file soldiers, women, African and Native Americans, and abolitionists. The goal of the U.S.P.S. was to show the wide variety of people who participated in the Civil War.
Born in Tennessee and orphaned at an early age, David Farragut began his naval career as a midshipman on board the U.S.S. Essex. After fighting in the War of 1812, he served on various ships, mostly in the Mediterranean. In 1823 he sailed to the Caribbean to help fight pirates, and during the Mexican War he saw duty on both sea and shore.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Farragut showed his loyalty to the Union when he gave up his home in Norfolk, Virginia to fight on the northern side. Placed in command of the campaign to capture New Orleans and gain control of the Mississippi, he was able to capture the city in April 1862. For two years he blockaded the Gulf Coast and controlled river traffic.
In 1864 he was ordered to capture Mobile Bay. When his iron-clad Tecumseh was sunk by a torpedo, Farragut was warned that Fort Morgan’s guns, as well as those from the Confederate Tennessee, were directed at his fleet. “Damn the torpedoes,” he replied, “Full speed ahead!” In a sweeping victory, the Tennessee was defeated and Fort Morgan surrendered, further demoralizing the South. When Richmond fell, he was one of the first Northern officers to enter the city. In 1866, Congress created the rank of admiral especially for him.