Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, AL
Fort Morgan is a historic masonry star fort at the mouth of Mobile Bay, Alabama, United States. Some scholars regard it as “one of the finest examples of military architecture in the New World.” The post was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan. Construction was completed in 1834 and it received its first garrison in March of the same year. Eight days before Alabama seceded from the Union, Col. John B. Todd took four companies of Alabama volunteers and captured the fort before dawn on 3 January 1861. The Confederates then proceeded to strengthen the defenses of Mobile Bay. The key point was the Main Ship Channel opposite Fort Morgan as this was the only approach where the water was deep enough to permit major warships to pass. During the war, Fort Morgan provided protective fire for blockade runners. All 17 vessels that ran out of the Bay eluded capture, as did 19 of the 21 that attempted to enter.
During the Battle of Mobile Bay, Union naval forces under Admiral David G. Farragut were able to get past Fort Morgan and enter the Bay. They captured Tennessee and Selma, sank Gaines, and captured Fort Gaines. This freed the Union land forces under Gordon Granger to besiege Fort Morgan. During the siege, the wooden roof of the Citadel, a ten-sided barracks located in the center of the fort used to house the enlisted men, caught fire and the structure was badly damaged. (Rather than restore it, post-War crews demolished the building.) After two weeks of bombardment from sea and land, General Richard L. Page, commander of the fort, felt compelled to surrender. He did so on August 23, 1864, after first spiking the fort’s guns.
Once the Fort was in Union hands, the Union used it as a base for reconnaissance raids, and then as a staging area for the Battle of Spanish Fort and the Battle of Fort Blakely, which occurred days before General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox.
Steen Cannons is furnishing the fort with 4 new cannons, 2 Napoleons and 2 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.