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It Began with Danny Ammen

When Grant was a little boy, he almost drowned. His best friend, Danny Ammen, saved his life. In a very real sense, then, we have Danny Ammen to thank for the preservation of the Union, the destruction of slavery, and the accomplishments of a president. (Or, as Grant joked in a letter to Ammen fifty years after being rescued, “You are responsible for the many trials and difficulties I have passed through in the last half century.  But I am of a forgiving nature and I do forgive you.”) Who was Daniel Ammen? What became of him? Like the boy he saved, Daniel grew up to be a military man. He served in the U.S. Navy. By the time the Civil War erupted, Daniel had seen the world. From the Artic to the Mediterranean and around Cape Horn to Polynesia, Japan and China, Daniel had become a young Old Salt. During the war, Daniel would be noted for conspicuous gallantry in the Battle of Port Royal.  Commanding an ironclad, he’d get into an artillery duel with rebel-held Fort Sumter and, although his vessel was hit 47 times, it wasn’t knocked out of action. In 1864, he would put down a mutiny of thugs drafted into the Yankee Navy. And then there was the conversation with Jefferson Davis that changed the direction of Daniel’s life. Tour guide Steve Trimm invites you to hear the epic tale of Admiral Ammen.