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Admiral Buchanan was now in command of the small Confederate flotilla at Mobile.
Launched before her machinery and guns were in place, Tennessee was towed down to Mobile Bay for completion.
Tennessee had been built on the Alabama River near the town of Selma.
Her guns were prepared under the direction of Commander Catesby ap Roger Jones, who had commanded CSS Virginia (ex-USS Merrimack) in her famous duel with USS Monitor on March 9, 1862, the second day of the Battle of Hampton Roads.
Across the entrance, the line of the peninsula is continued in a series of barrier islands, beginning with Dauphin Among the most embarrassing episodes of the war for the U. Navy was the passage of the raider CSS Florida through the blockade into Mobile Bay on September 4, 1862; this was followed by her later escape through the same blockade on January 15, 1863. Farragut when he was assigned to command of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron had included instructions to capture Mobile as well as New Orleans, the early diversion of the squadron into the campaign for the lower Mississippi meant that the city and its harbor would not receive full attention until after the fall of Vicksburg in July 1863.
Rains, contributed a passive weapon to the defense.
Tennessee did not then retire, but engaged the entire Northern fleet.