National Geographic : 1968 Mar
CULVERPICTURES,INC. (TOP); PAINTINGCOURTESYWADSWORTH ATHENEUM,HARTFORD,CONNECTICUT Americans, as a rule, recall that Civil War naval engagement in terms of Farragut's fa mous command: "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" In fact, no one knows whether Farragut actually spoke the words, for they were not attributed to him until many years after the battle. His intention, however, was clear, and concerned naval mines-the "torpedoes" of Civil War days-not underwater projectiles. 380 The mines themselves have figured in a bitter century-old argument recently settled by the Smithsonian Institution. Last spring the Smithsonian began the del icate task of salvaging Tecumseh, as part of a plan to establish an Armed Forces museum and park on the Potomac River just south of the Nation's Capital. With Lt. Col. Robert Calland, a Smithsonian military adviser, I joined the initial search.