Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Fort Fell Before Alabama Seceded

Fort Morgan a masonry star fort in Mobile Bay, Alabama was captured by southern forces on January 3rd 1861, eight days before Alabama seceded.

Fort Morgan is a masonry star fort built at the mouth of Mobile Bay, Alabama, and named for Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan.  It was built on the site of the former stockade fort known as Fort Bowyer, which was used during the last land battle of the War of 1812.  After several other tries it was completed by Untied States Army Corps of Engineers using slave labor in March 1834.  The first command in the Fort was Company B of the 2nd United States Artillery under Captain F S Belton.

Just eight days before Alabama seceded from the Union, in the early morning hours of January 3rd 1861, Colonel John Todd with four companies of volunteers captured the Fort.  Fort Morgan protected the only approach to Mobile Bay that was deep enough for large ships to pass.  The Confederates worked hard to strengthen Fort Morgan’s defenses and those of Mobile Bay.  The Fort’s heavy guns were moved to cover the channel, redoubts and trenches were built to prevent land attack, and a flotilla under Confederate Franklin Buchanan patrolled the Bay.

The Fort would fall back into Union hands on August 23rd 1864 after two weeks of siege, having been bombed from the land and sea.

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