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The most difficult thing about planning against the Americans, is that they do not read their own doctrine, and they would feel no particular obligtion to follow it if they did.

-- Admiral Sergei I. Gorshkov

USS Tecumseh (1864-1864)

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USS Tecumseh, a 2100-ton Canonicus class monitor built at Jersey City, New Jersey, was commissioned in April 1864. She served on the James River, Virginia, during May-July 1864, supporting the operations of the Union army. While so occupied on 21 June, she took part in a gunfire action with Confederate fortifications and warships at Howlett's Farm.

Tecumseh was sent to join Rear Admiral Farragut's West Gulf Blockading Squadron in July 1864, in order to participate in an attack on Mobile Bay, Alabama. In the morning of 5 August, she steamed slowly past Fort Morgan, at the mouth of Mobile Bay, leading a line of four monitors that were to cover the advance of the rest of the attacking squadron. While maneuvering to engage the Confederate ironclad ram Tennessee, Tecumseh struck an enemy mine, quickly rolled over and sank, with the loss of 92 of her crew.

During the mid-1960s, plans were made to raise the sunken monitor and place her on exhibit. Though Tecumseh's hull was partially explored and many small objects were recovered from her interior technical, legal and financial difficulties prevented full salvage. Upside down in relatively shallow water, she remains the best-preserved Civil War ironclad that is available to serve as an artifact of that great American conflict.

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This Day in History
1814: A British squadron captures U.S. gunboats in the Battle of Lake Borgne.

1863: Confederate General James Longstreet attacks Union troops at Beans Station, Tenn.

1906: The first U1 submarine is brought into service in Germany.

1939: The League of Nations, the international peacekeeping organization formed at the end of World War I, expels the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in response to the Soviets invasion of Finland on October 30.

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1944: The Rank of Fleet Admiral, U.S. Navy (five star admiral) is established.

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