“Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” So the Civil War’s most famous Hispanic, Rear Admiral and fleet commander David Farragut, shouted through a trumpet from his flagship after one of his ships struck a tethered naval mine, known as torpedoes, and sank during his greatest victory – the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864. The son of a Spanish father, a Minorcan immigrant from the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, and an American mother, Farragut, raised in Tennessee and New Orleans, began his naval career at the age of nine. He served in the War of 1812 and the Mexican War and was 60 when the Civil War erupted in April 1861. Though he lived in Virginia at the time, he remained loyal to the Union. Farragut won fame for commanding the successful naval expedition against New Orleans, which reestablished Union access to the Mississippi River Valley. The U.S. Navy rewarded Farragut with the newly established rank of vice admiral. His success in taking Mobile Bay, the Confederacy’s last major port open on the Gulf of Mexico, led to his being promoted to full admiral on July 25, 1866, a rank the Navy again created especially for this national hero.