Mobile Bay Area

Fort Alabama | Fort Alexandria | Fort Alexis | Fort Blakeley | Fort Bowyer | Fort Bragg
Battery Buchanan | Camel Battery | Canal Battery | Fort Carlotta | Cedar Point Battery
Fort Charlotte | Chugee Point Battery | Camp Clark | Fort Condé | Camp Coppinger
Fort Dauphin | Dauphin Island Forts | Fort Gaines | Camp Garnett
Battery Gladden | Fort Grant | Grant's Island Battery | Fort Huger | Camp Joseph Johnston
Fort Sidney Johnston (2) | Post at Kennedy's Mills | Fort Louis | Fort Louis de la Louisiane
Fort Louis de la Mobile | Fort (Battery) McDermott | Battery McIntosh | Battery Missouri
Fort la Mobile | Camp Mobile | Fort Mobile | Mobile Arsenal | Camp Moore | Fort Morgan
Mound Battery | Fort Mouton | Tower at Pass aux Herons | Fort Philip | Fort Powell | Red Fort
Fort St. Phillips | Fort Serof | Old Spanish Fort | Camp Spring Hill | Fort J.E.B. Stuart
Sughee Point Battery | Battery Tilghman | Fort Tombigbee (2) | Fort (Battery) Tracey
Volante Battery

Southern Alabama - page 1 | Northern Alabama - page 3

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ALABAMA - HISTORY

Last Update: 01/FEBRUARY/2020
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2020 American Forts Network

Fort Serof
(1559 - 1560), Mobile Point
A Spanish outpost built by an exploratory group from the Luna colony at Santa María de Ochuse (Pensacola, FL). Site believed to be located near Fort Morgan.

Fort Bowyer
(1806 - unknown, 1813 - 1816), Mobile Point
The Spanish originally had a battery and small garrison posted here in 1806. The Americans later built a 17-gun sand-walled fort here in 1813 (April or May), using the guns from Fort Charlotte (Condé) in Mobile. The British unsuccessfully attacked the fort in September 1814. It was then later briefly captured by the British in February 1815 just days after their defeat at New Orleans. Fort Morgan (see below) was built in the near vicinity beginning in 1818, the presumed exact site of Fort Bowyer is now washed away and underwater just to the north (or northwest) of Fort Morgan's ramparts.

Dauphin Island Forts
(Archive of Dauphin Island History)
(1699 - 1815, intermittent), Dauphin Island
The island was the site of several early colonial forts. The French originally named the island "Massacre Island", due to the large amount of exposed skeletons from an eroded Indian burial mound. The first known fort, Fort Dauphin (1699 - 1719), was built by the French. The British later took control from the French (1763 - 1780), and the Spanish took control from the British (1780 - 1813). The Spanish may have been here briefly in 1762 before the British took formal control. The Spanish sandwork Volante Battery was built here in 1780, using guns from a Spanish frigate/privateer of that name (El Volante) that had recently run aground after a storm. The Spanish built a wooden fort/blockhouse here in 1783, and this was later captured by the Americans in 1813. The British returned in February 1815 after the Battle of New Orleans to establish a base of operations against Mobile and American-held Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point. See also Archaeology of Port Dauphin from the University of South Alabama


¤ COAST DEFENSES of MOBILE BAY
Coastal Fortifications on the Gulf of Mexico by Andy Bennett
Harbor Defense of Mobile Bay - FORT WIKI

¤ Fort Gaines (State Historic Site)
(1819/1854 - 1926/1946), Dauphin Island ¤National Archives MAP¤
Previously called Fort Tombigbee (2). Construction on Fort Morgan's twin was halted in 1821 after only limited work on the citadel was done. Construction was not resumed until 1854 after the plans were greatly altered (now a twin of Fort Clinch, FL), and was formally named. Fort Gaines was not fully completed in 1861 when the Confederates took over control in January. They finished construction in 1862. The Battle of Mobile Bay took place offshore in August 1864. The Union recaptured the fort shortly afterwards. Nearby Confederate defenses on Little Dauphin Island included a four-gun shore battery at Chugee (Sughee) Point, as well as a small field battery on the beach at the Chugee Point wharf. Landward defenses on Dauphin Island for Fort Gaines were never built during the war.

Endicott batteries here are Battery Stanton (1901 - 1928) inside the old fort, and Battery Terrett (1901 - 1923). There was an unnamed battery (two M1888 8-inch BL guns on modified 15-inch Rodman carriages) (1898 - 1899) but it was covered over by Battery Stanton. Two WWI rangefinder stations are also located on the fort. The fort was sold to the city of Mobile in 1926 and was also later used by the AL National Guard for training purposes until 1946. The property is currently used by the Coast Guard. The museum is inside Battery Stanton. Admission fee. Hurricane Elena damaged the fort in 1985. Hurricane Ivan caused heavy damage in 2004.

¤ Fort Morgan (State Historic Site)
(Friends of Fort Morgan)
(1818 - 1928, 1941 - 1946), Mobile Point ¤National Archives MAP¤
Previously named Fort Alabama until 1833. Built near the site of Fort Bowyer. The Confederates took control of the unoccupied pentagon-shaped fort in January 1861. East of the fort at the end of a rail spur the Confederates built the earthworks Eastern Battery and Fort Bragg for landward defense. The Battle of Mobile Bay took place offshore in August 1864. The Union recaptured the fort shortly afterwards. Union seige batteries on Mobile Point included Batteries Scott (four guns), Canby (two guns), Sisk, Farragut (four guns), Morton (four guns), Craven (four guns), Lincoln (six guns), Arnold (four guns), Bailey (10 guns), and several other unnamed batteries. Two exterior batteries (37 guns) were planned in the 1870's, but were never built. Only a small two-gun emplacement (Battery No. 1) (1876) was finished northwest of the fort on the old counterscarp battery. The magazine of this battery still exists, adjacent to the 1890's mine casemate behind Batteries Schenck and Thomas. The first lighthouse was built here in 1822. It was damaged in battle in 1864 and replaced with a temporary wooden tower on the southwest bastion. A cast-iron tower lighthouse was built in 1872, replacing the original brick tower. A modern steel-frame light tower was erected nearby in 1963. The old iron tower was removed in 1967, but returned in 1994 and relocated 500 yards northeast of its original location. The old tower was again removed in 2003 for restoration. See also Mobile Point Lighthouse from Lighthouse Friends.com

Endicott batteries here are Battery Dearborn (1901 - 1928, guns scrapped 1942), Battery Duportail (1899 - 1928, guns scrapped 1942) inside the old fort, Test Battery (1916 - 1918) mostly buried, Battery Bowyer (1898 - 1918), Battery Thomas (1899 - 1918), and Battery Schenck (1900 - 1923) originally two gun emplacements, third emplacement built 1904. The Peace Magazine was built in 1902. It was damaged by Hurricane Frederick in 1979. Admission fee. Hurricane Ivan caused heavy damage to the fort in 2004.

TEMPORARY HARBOR DEFENSES of MOBILE BAY
A two-gun 155mm battery (1942 - 1944) on Panama mounts was located on top of the parapet of Fort Morgan, one mount now remains partially covered. Two additional 155mm guns arrived in 1944, emplaced in field positions. A fire-control tower is still located nearby. Several of the Endicott batteries were used to support searchlight towers in 1942. A Harbor Defense Command Post (HDCP) was established in the casemates of Fort Morgan.


Fort Powell
(1861 - 1864), Grant's Island
A Confederate coastal defense (six-gun earthwork, no remains) located on a sandbar (Grant's Island) on the north side of Grant's Pass near Heron Island, built to close off the western entrance to Mobile Bay. Originally built in July 1861 as a three-gun battery known as Grant's Island Battery, or Fort Grant, abandoned in May 1862, rearmed in December 1862, renamed in October 1863, and rebuilt and enlarged in April 1864. The Confederates destroyed it before evacuating in August 1864, after failing to stop the Union Navy from forcing their way past Forts Morgan and Gaines during the Battle of Mobile Bay. Union troops occupied the island thereafter, but the fort was never rebuilt. A hurricane in 1906 demolished most of what was left of the island.

A Third System coastal defense, Tower at Pass aux Herons, a circular two-level 26-gun casemated Martello tower, was planned and designed for Tower Island on the south side of Grant's Pass after 1857, and money was finally appropriated by Congress in September 1860, but no work was ever begun due to the outbreak of the Civil War.

Camp Garnett
(1861), Bayou La Batre
A CSA camp of instruction.

Fort Condé
(1711 - 1819), Mobile FORT WIKI
This was the capital of the French colony of Louisiana until 1722. It was originally called Fort Louis de la Mobile (or simply Fort Louis) until 1717 or 1720 when it was largely rebuilt and enlarged and renamed Fort Condé de la Mobile. Sometimes the brick fort was referred to simply as Fort la Mobile. The Spanish briefly occupied the city in 1762 before the British formally took over West Florida in 1763. The British renamed it Fort Charlotte. The Spanish defeated the British here in March 1780 (Battle of Fort Charlotte), and renamed it Fort Carlotta. The Americans took over the fort in April 1813, who also called it Fort Charlotte, and later Fort Mobile. The old fort was deemed useless and demolished in 1819, the debris used for marsh infill. The present structure is a partial reduced-scale reconstruction (1976) on the original site and is now used as the Mobile Visitor Info Center, located at 150 South Royal Street. Interstate 10 runs underneath the fort. British outerworks from 1780 still exist.

Mobile CSA Arsenal and Ordnance Depot
(1860's), Mobile
A CSA Arsenal and/or Ordnance Depot was located in the city. Undetermined location.

Camp Moore
(1861), Mobile
A CSA camp of instruction for the First Alabama State Volunteers of the Mobile Fire Brigade. Located about one mile west of the city on the north side of the road to Spring Hill.

Civil War Defenses of Mobile
Civil War Trail - Battle of Mobile Bay
(1862 - 1865), Mobile ¤National Archives MAP¤
Confederate fortifications included:
Battery Buchanan, Mound (Water) Battery, and Battery Missouri were located at the south end of town on the shoreline of the Mobile River. On sandbars at the mouth of the Mobile River were Battery Gladden (12 guns), Battery Tilghman (1863), Camel Battery, Battery McIntosh (12 guns), and two Floating Batteries. In addition there was also one Floating Battery upriver north of town. A lighthouse was later built over the ruins of Battery Gladden.

The city was surrounded by three rings of earthworks to the west; an outer line of trenchworks and minor works (Maury's Line) in 1862, an inner line of 16 numbered square redoubts (Leadbetter's Line) in 1863, and an intermediate line of 13 lettered major redoubts and eight numbered minor redans (Von Sheliha's Line) in 1864. Of the third line, the three largest works were named Fort Mouton (Fort B), Fort J.E.B. Stuart (Fort K), and Fort Sidney Johnston (2) (Fort N) (13 guns) (remains unearthed in 2003 at former Monroe Park near Choctaw Point). The outer line also included several redoubts and batteries on the north side of Three Mile Creek covering the northern approaches to the city via the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and Telegraph Road.

On the western shore at the mouth of Mobile Bay was Cedar Point Battery (four guns), opposite Pass aux Huitres. Also listed in some sources for Mobile Bay defenses were Canal Battery and Fort Alexandria (locations undetermined).

Spanish-American War Camps of Mobile
(1898), Mobile
Camp Clark, a muster camp for state troops. Located at "Alba's Pasture", midway between Frascati and Monroe Park on the bay shore. Site now on or near the state docks.
Camp Joseph F. Johnston, a muster camp for state troops, located adjacent to or near Camp Clark.
Camp Coppinger, located in the Crichton area, bounded by Three Mile Creek to the north, Stein's Creek to the south, and Moffatt Road (US 98) to the west. Also known as Camp Mobile. Probably the same as Camp Spring Hill.
Mobile was a secondary Port of Embarkation after Tampa, FL in 1898.

Old Spanish Fort
(1780 - unknown, 1864 - 1865), Spanish Fort FORT WIKI
Built by the Spanish after retaking the area from the British. Attacked by the British in 1781. Rebuilt in 1799. A series of CSA works were later built here in 1864, the old Spanish work became Redoubt #1 (see below).

Civil War Defenses of Spanish Fort
(1864 - 1865), Spanish Fort
In the Blakeley River channel were Fort (Battery) Tracey, and Fort Huger (11 guns), an open work with four bastions and a bombproof, blown up by the CSA as they retreated. Fort Huger was located about 1000 yards from Fort Tracey. No remains.

Around town were Fort (Battery) McDermott (aka Redoubt #2), Redoubt Blair (aka Redoubt #3), Redoubt #4, Redoubt #5, Fort Alexis, Red Fort, and Old Spanish Fort (aka Redoubt #1). The Confederates abandoned them in the face of the Union advance, before the battle at Fort Blakeley. Remnants of Fort McDermott are located in a small park within the Spanish Fort Estates residential communtity. A small section of earthworks still remain nearby. Traces of earthworks still exist throughout town on private property, and there are several Civil War related interpretive markers. The community is now heavily developed. US Naval Battery marker from Civil War Album.com

Fort Blakeley (State Park)
(1864 - 1865), near Spanish Fort FORT WIKI
A major Confederate work, with 35 guns mounted in nine numbered lunettes, and with over five miles of earthworks and breastworks. Located at the old antebellum townsite of Blakeley. Between 6000 and 9000 black Union troops fought here in April 1865, making this battle the third largest fought with black troops during the Civil War. It was also the last major battle of the war east of the Mississippi River. Portions of the Union lines also are still extant. Admission fee. See also Explore Southern History.com

Fort St. Phillips ?
(unknown dates), Mobile County
Located on the west bank of the Mobile River at Twenty-One Mile Bluff, about where present-day I-65 crosses the river. Site (ruins) shown on some Civil War era maps as Fort Philip. Undetermined origin.

Fort Louis de la Louisiane
(Archaeology of Old Mobile)
(1702 - 1711), Le Mayne FORT WIKI
The first French capital of Louisiana after moving the temporary settlement from Fort Maurepas, MS. Located on the Mobile River at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff near Axis. The site regularly flooded, so the settlement was moved downriver to Mobile. (see Fort Condé listing above)

Post at Kennedy's Mills
(1813), near Stockton
A settlers' mill on the Tensas River just south of town, briefly occupied and fortified by American troops, it was evacuated by them and then burned by Creek Indians after the Fort Mims Massacre (August 1813).


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