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Civil War marker installation planned

The town of Farragut plans to match funds to install a Civil War Trail marker off Northshore Drive near Admiral James David Glasgow Farragut’s birthplace, in conjunction with Knox County.

“The marker is going to go inside Admiral Farragut Park,” Doug Bataille, Knox County Parks and Recreation, said.

The Civil War Trail Marker would cost $1,100 and the cost would be split between the Town and Knox County.

The Farragut birthplace, on private property adjacent to Adm. Farragut Park, has been the source of some controversy in recent years. The property owner, Lylan Fitzgerald, is developing the property at Lowe’s Ferry as a subdivision.

The land is the site of Farragut’s birth and houses a marker from 1900 that was installed and dedicated by Bonny Kate Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution.

“This has really come out of Margot Kline, and she has been very involved in the whole concept of bringing about the work there at the birthplace. This is something their little group had looked at — the state Civil War markers,” Bataille said.

Civil War Trail markers are placed on state lists so tourists can follow them. The Town has a Civil War Trail marker near its recently completed Adm. Farragut pavilion adjacent to Town Hall.

Farragut Parks and Leisure Services director Sue Stuhl said the Town could point travelers from one Adm. Farragut marker to another.

“The museum committee had approved putting a sign down at Adm. Farragut Park talking about his birthplace across the way, because we would like to give out maps when people come here so they can go see it,” she said.

“You can see it [the DAR marker] at Admiral Farragut Park because there’s a great vantage point there,” she added.

The annual maintenance costs of the Civil War Trail marker will be borne by Hola Hora Latina in celebration of Adm. Farragut’s Hispanic heritage. His father, Jorge, was a Spanish immigrant who was granted a license by Knox County to operate Lowe’s Ferry in 1797.

County Commission approval of the Civil War Trail marker — expected this month — will only be the first step in a lengthy approval process; all Civil War Trail markers also have to be approved and designed by the state.

Kline submitted possible wording for the marker, which the state will have final say on:

“David Glasgow Farragut led the naval battle of Mobile Bay, which was one of the great turning points of the Civil War. In recognition of his role in history he was named the first Admiral of the United States.

“On July 5, 1801, the future admiral was born in the family home, which was on the promontory just across the cove from where you are standing. ... Farragut was commissioned a midshipman in the U.S. Navy on Dec. 17, 1810, at the age of 9 1/2 and was involved in his first battle at sea during the War of 1812. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1822, commander in 1844 and captain in 1855.

“He was 63 years old at the Battle of Mobile Bay, where he spoke the famous words, ‘Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.’ He was promoted to full admiral on July 25, 1866, at the age of 65.”

While Admiral Farragut Park is not in Farragut town limits, Farragut Folklife Museum coordinator Julia Jones said the FFM committee considered the funds a worthwhile expenditure.

“We’re interested in the Farragut birth site, and it’s not in Farragut, but we are concerned with the preservation of the site and just wanted to help out and help in putting a sign there,” Jones said.

“We thought it would be a worthy cause and a worthy cost, and a good thing to do for the site,” she added.


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