Alabama Civil War
Mobile & Area
At the outbreak of the war, Mobile was a prosperous cosmopolitan city, the hub of deep water, river and rail transportation and communication. After the fall of New Orleans in 1862, Mobile became the main Gulf port remaining open to blockade runners and a vital east-west rail link for Confederate troop movements.
The port was closed following the dramatic Battle of Mobile Bay Aug. 5. 1864, when Union Adm. David Farragut ran his fleet past the defending forts, through a Confederate mine field and defeated the small Southern flotilla in the bay. Farragut made his famous “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead” speech during the battle. The Confederate forts guarding the bay, now cut off from support, fell a few weeks later.
Although the port was closed, the city remained in Confederate hands until April 12, 1865. It was given up following the Battle at Fort Blakely.
Battle of Mobile Bay Civil War Trail
For a free copy, call 800-745-7263 or 800-566-2453 or download a copy from the website.
State Historic Site
51 Highway 180 West, Gulf Shores AL 36542
(22 miles west of Gulf Shores at the end of the highway)
Also accessible from Dauphin Island via the Mobile Bay auto ferry
This 1834 fort was one of the protectors of Mobile Bay (with Fort Gaines) playing a key role during the battle August 5, 1864, finally falling after a two-week siege. The fort and grounds have been heavily modified since the Civil War but the museum details the history, including its role in the Civil War. Open daily 8 am-5 pm. Museum open daily 9 am-4:30 pm. $7/adult.
Fort Gaines Historical Site
51 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island AL 36528
Constructed in fits and starts from the 1820s, this fort was the eastern key for the Confederate defense of Mobile Bay. Union troops landed near here to lay siege to the fort two days prior to Adm. David Farragut’s Aug. 5, 1864, “Damn the Torpedoes” attack against Mobile Bay. Its defenders surrendered Aug 8. Its companion, Fort Morgan, was given up 15 days later, effectively closing the port. Grounds open 9 am–5 pm. $5/adult.
Historic Blakeley State Park
34745 State Highway 225, PO Box 7279, Spanish Fort AL 36577
Located east of Mobile, 5 miles north of I-10 on State Highway 225
Nearly 20,000 soldiers (16,000 of them Federals) fought here hours after Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, April 9, 1865. The fall of Fort Blakeley led to the evacuation of Mobile April 12. Remains of the Civil War era fortifications are still evident from miles of trails in the 3,800-acre park. Open daily 8 am–dusk. $4/adult.
Museum of Mobile
111 S Royal St, Mobile AL 36602
Galleries here include all of Mobile’s history including the Civil War period. Special exhibit highlights Mobile native Confederate Adm. Raphael Semmes and the raider CSS Alabama. Also featured is an interactive model of Mobile-built submarine CSS Hunley.
Open Tuesday–Saturday 9 am–5 pm, Sunday 1–5 pm. $5/adult.
Websites of Alabama Civil War places: Alabama Links