2014 49¢ Mobile Bay
Civil War: 1864
The Battle of Mobile Bay stamp is part of a series that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The stamp pictures Admiral David G. Farragut’s fleet at the Battle of Mobile Bay on Aug. 5, 1684.
The Union’s ironclad ship Tecumseh took only two minutes to sink after striking a naval mine on August 5, 1864. Mobile Bay was littered with mines, leaving only a narrow channel into the bay. Despite the minefield that lay dead ahead, Rear Admiral David Farragut would not stop his fleet now. “Damn the torpedoes!” he stated as his flagship Hartford took the lead and steamed ahead.
Watching the enemy approach, Admiral Franklin Buchanan readied his flagship, the ironclad CSS Tennessee. Mobile Bay was the last Confederate-controlled port east of the Mississippi. Buchanan had to defend it.
Buchanan faced off with Farragut. A direct collision would sink both ships, but the Hartford veered at the last second. The two ships passed so close that the men shouted insults, and a Union sailor was speared by a Confederate bayonet. Once past the Hartford, the fearless Tennessee was surrounded by the Union fleet and pressed to surrender.
Although the battle lasted only three hours, the Union victory at Mobile Bay was significant. With the Union Army at her gates, the Confederacy dared not divert forces or weapons from Mobile, leaving other campaigns short-handed. Union victory in the war would follow within a year.
49¢ Civil War Sesquicentennial, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: July 30, 2014
City: Petersburg, VA, site of the Battle of Petersburg, which was also honored
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Lithographed in double-sided sheets of 72 with six panes of 12 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11