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No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

-- General George Patton Jr

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
1805: Napoleon Bonaparte celebrates the first anniversary of his coronation with a victory at Austerlitz over a Russian and Austrian army.

1863: General Braxton Bragg turns over command of the Army of Tennessee to General William Hardee at Dalton, Ga.

1864: Major General Grenville M. Dodge is named to replace General William Rosecrans as Commander of the Department of Missouri.

1864: Confederate General Archibald Gracie, Jr., is killed in the trenches at Petersburg, Virginia, when an artillery shell explodes near him.

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1946: The United States and Great Britain merge their German occupation zones.