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Ft. Morgan - Ft. Morgan, AL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member hummerstation
N 30° 13.717 W 088° 01.372
16R E 401571 N 3344560
Quick Description: Fort Morgan is a historic masonry star fort at the mouth of Mobile Bay, Alabama.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 3/3/2014 5:55:14 PM
Waymark Code: WMK9B0
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member briansnat
Views: 4

Long Description:
Named for General Daniel Morgan, a Revolutionary War hero, the fort was completed in 1834 and first occupied in March of that year. The date above the Sally Port is 1833, the year the fort was named.

After the War of 1812, the U.S. embarked on a program to strengthen its seacoast defenses. As part of this program, in 1818 the U.S. contracted with Benjamin Hopkins of Vermont to build a large masonry fort on Mobile Point after a design by Simon Bernard, who had been a military engineer for Napoleon. However, Hopkins died a year later in a yellow fever epidemic, having accomplished little. The next contractor, Samuel Hawkins of New York, died in 1821, before accomplishing anything on the project. The Army turned the task over to the Corps of Engineers under Capt. R.E. DeRussey. Using slave labor, DeRussey was able to make some progress before he took ill in 1825 and turned the work over to his deputy, Lieut. Cornelius Ogden. Ogden completed the work in March 1834 and turned the fort over to Capt. F.S. Belton, commander of Company B, 2nd US Artillery. This unit remained at the fort for about a year and a half before its transfer to Florida to assist in the Second Seminole Indian War.

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. To defend this area, the Confederates placed 18 of the fort's heaviest guns (including two 7" Brooke rifles and two British-made 8" Blakely rifles). They complemented the land defenses with a small flotilla consisting of the ram Tennessee, and three gunboats, Morgan, Gaines and Selma, all under the command of Admiral Franklin Buchanan.

During the Battle of Mobile Bay, in August 1864, 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.

During a renovation project in the 1870s, the fort received 12 200-pounder Parrott rifled cannon. Eventually, however, the US Government abandoned the fort, letting it fall into disrepair. Then under the presidency of Grover Cleveland, Secretary of War William Endicott chaired the Endicott Board, which led to a program of building new, concrete batteries. Between 1895 and 1900, Fort Morgan received five concrete batteries (Battery Bowyer, Battery Dearborn, Battery Duportail, Battery Thomas and Battery Schenk) supported by the latest in fire control, electricity, and communications.

In April 1942, the Army re-occupied the fort and constructed an adjacent airfield. Initially, the Coast Artillery brought five Model 1918 155mm guns to equip the fort. The Army placed two on top of Fort Morgan on mounts that permitted 360 degrees traverse. The remaining three guns stood on the Fort's parade ground.

Most of the above is from Wikipedia.
The year the "Fort" was constructed or started.: 1818

Name of "Country" or "Nation" that constructed this "Fort": USA

Was this "Fort" involved in any armed conflicts?: Yes it was

What was the primary purpose of this "Historic Fort"?: For protecting a travel or shipping route

Current condition: The fort is in good condition considering that it is a 180-year old brick fort on an ocean coast.

This site is administered by ----: State of Alabama

If admission is charged -: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Open to the public?: Open or unrestricted access.

Official or advertised web-page: [Web Link]

Link to web-site that best describes this "Historic Fort": [Web Link]

Link if this "Fort" is registered on your Countries/ State "Registry of Historical Sites or Buildi: Not listed

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