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To seduce the enemy?s soldiers from their allegiance and encourage them to surrender is of special service, for an adversary is more hurt by desertion than by slaughter.

-- Flavius Vegetius Renatus

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
1601: The Treaty of Lyons ends a short war between France and Savoy.

1865: General William T. Shermans army is rained in at Savannah, Georgia, as it waits to begin marching into the Carolinas.

1944: Operation Panther, the Allied invasion of Cassino, in central Italy, is launched.

1945: Soviet troops liberate the Polish capital from German occupation. Warsaw had surrendered to the Germans on September 27, 1939.



1951: Eighth Army re-entered Suwon. This was the most favorable entry in Eighth Armys journal since the Chinese intervention in the war in late November 1950.

1961: In his farewell address to the nation, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warns the American people to keep a careful eye on what he calls the "military-industrial complex" that has developed in the post-World War II years. A fiscal conservative, Eisenhower had been concerned about the growing size and cost of the American defense establishment since he became president in 1953.

1966: A B-52 bomber collides with KC-135 jet tanker over Spains Mediterranean coast, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and one in the sea. None of the bombs were armed, but explosive material in two of the bombs that fell to earth exploded upon impact, forming craters and scattering radioactive plutonium over the fields of Palomares.

1971: Led by South Vietnamese Lt. Gen. Do Cao Tri, and with U.S. air support and advisers, some 300 paratroopers raid a communist prisoner of war camp near the town of Mimot in Cambodia on information that 20 U.S. prisoners were being held there. They found the camp empty, but captured 30 enemy soldiers and sustained no casualties.

1991: The Persian Gulf War begins as Coalition planes strike targets in Iraq and Kuwait.