The official quarters of the Naval Academy’s superintendent are being renamed to honor the Navy’s first flag officer, the military’s latest step in removing the names of Confederate troops from bases and facilities.
Going forward, the superintendent’s residence will be known as Farragut House, after Adm. David Glasgow Farragut, a Civil War hero who became the first naval officer appointed rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral in the 1800s, according to the Navy.
Born the son of a Spanish immigrant in 1801, Farragut was appointed a midshipman at the tender age of 9 and later coined the iconic phrase, “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
He chose the Union during the Civil War, leaving his home in Norfolk, and led the fleet during the Battle of Mobile Bay, where he captured two confederate ships, according to the Navy.
“Admiral Farragut was a true American hero,” Del Toro said in a statement. “He had a choice during the Civil War and he chose loyalty to the Union, which required moral courage.”
Before the name change, the superintendent’s house had been named after Franklin Buchanan, the academy’s first superintendent who joined the Confederacy and later commanded several naval battles that killed hundreds of U.S. sailors.
The 34-room residence was named after Buchanan in 1976, according to the Navy.
The renaming comes as the result of a Defense Department Naming Commission that has in recent years outlined a host of military assets across the branches that required renaming due to their Confederate ties.
The Navy has already renamed two ships and another academy building who had Confederate namesakes, and street names across Navy and Marine Corps installations will be changed by the end of this fiscal year, according to the sea service.
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