Union Major General Gordon Granger landed a force on Dauphin Island on August 3rd 1864. The 3,300 men moved against Fort Gaines located on the western side of Mobile Bay. The Fort was of pentagonal design and was built in the mid 1800’s. It was held by about 820 Confederate soldiers under the command of Colonel Charles A Anderson. Anderson’s commander Confederate Brigadier General Richard Lucian Page gave him orders not to surrender the Fort.
On August 5th 1864 Admiral David G Farragut’s Union Navy fleet of 18 ships, ran past Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan; the other fort defending the Bay, defeating the Confederate ships in Mobile Bay. Seeing this Anderson decided he couldn’t hold the Fort if attacked by both Granger’s force and the Union Navy. He surrendered the Fort August 8th 1864.