Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Fort Morgan

We visited the Fort Morgan State Historic Site this morning. Fort Bowyer had been built in the area after the Spanish vacated in 1813 and the British attacked the rudimentary fort twice during the War of 1812, the second attack (which also happened to be the last battle of the War of 1812) resulting in a British victory in 1815. Fort Morgan was built on the site of Fort Boywer between 1819 and 1834.

Fort Morgan was captured by the Confederates just before the start of the Civil War and was used to provide protective fire for blockade runners. During the Battle of Mobile Bay, the Union captured two Confederate ships and destroyed another. Union forces also captured Fort Gaines which freed up additional Union land forces to attack Fort Morgan. After a two week siege, the fort was surrendered.

The fort was renovated in the 1870s but soon fell into disrepair. President Cleveland allowed for the further renovation of the fort between 1895 and 1900 adding several concrete batteries. During World War I, the Army established a radio transmitting and receiving station at Fort Morgan as a part of a nationwide Morse-code communication network. In April 1942, the Army constructed an airfield. Initially, the Coast Artillery brought five Model 1918 155mm (6.1-inch) guns to equip the fort to defend against German U-Boat attacks. The Army placed two of the guns on top of Fort Morgan on mounts that permitted 360 degrees traverse. The remaining three guns stood on the fort's parade ground. The War Department turned Fort Morgan over to the State of Alabama in 1946. Fort Morgan was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

Fort Morgan Parade Ground
The Parade Ground At Fort Morgan

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