"Damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead!"
Admiral David Farragut
The back story...
On August 5, 1864, Farragut won a great victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay. Mobile was then the Confederacy's last major port open on the Gulf of Mexico
. The bay was heavily mined (tethered naval mines were known as torpedoes at the time). Farragut ordered his fleet to charge the bay. When the monitor
USS Tecumseh struck a mine and sank, the others began to pull back.
Farragut could see the ships pulling back from his high perch, where he was lashed to the rigging
of his flagship, the USS Hartford. "What's the trouble?", he shouted through a trumpet from the flagship to the USS Brooklyn
. "Torpedoes!" was shouted back. "Damn the torpedoes!" said Farragut, "Four bells. Captain
Drayton, go ahead! Jouett, full speed!"