Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/53

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Battle of Mobile Bay.

The Battle of Mobile Bay. By Commodore Foxhall A. Parker, U. S. N. Boston : A. Williams & Co.


A Review by General D. H. Maury.


This book is an interesting and valuable addition to the history of the times to which it relates.

The narrative is admirably composed, so that the details, which are given with great accuracy, run smoothly along the course of the story, adding graphic effect to it.

The charm of the book is that having been written by a prominent Federal actor in the great battle, it accords full justice to the Confederates who opposed him with such desperate valor.

No such complete account of the famous ram Tennessee has ever yet been given to the public; and in perusing Commodore Parker's history of her we feel that but for the untoward accidents by which she lost so much propelling power and the control of her steering gear, she would alone and single-handed have driven Farragut and his whole fleet out of Mobile bay.

While this little book will be of deep and especial interest to naval men of the late Confederate and Federal services, it will please all intelligent readers.

It is gotten up in elegant style. The type and paper are good and the binding is elegant.

In the appendix are given several reports of commanders of both sides, which as they relate to the most remarkable conflict of this century, and one about which very little is known to most of our readers, we will reproduce at some early day.

There is something sublime in the devoted courage of our Old Admiral Buchanan, who having gallantly opposed the entrance of the fleet until all his little gunboats were sunk or captured, dashed like a lion at bay from his vantage ground under the guns of Fort Morgan to encounter with the Tennessee alone the whole of Farragut's formidable flotilla. The odds were fearful, yet the skill and daring of Buchanan made the issue hang doubtful for more than an hour. To attack and sink Farragut's ship was the constant purpose of Buchanan. Other captains encountered him on his way with ships as formidable as the Hartford, but Farragut was in the Hartford—to sink him was to win the battle—and so he drove all other comers from his path, and pressed relentlessly on to the grand object of attack. Farragut himself, after all was over, con-