The Mobile-Tensaw Delta
The silent earthworks at
Blakeley stand guard over the
scenic Mobile-Tensaw Delta.
The "Hanging Tree"
Legend holds that this
massive old oak at  Blakeley
was used for executions.
The Battle of Fort Blakeley - Spanish Fort, Alabama
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - The Battle of Fort Blakeley, Alabama
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - The Battle of Fort Blakeley, Alabama
Earthworks from the Battle of Blakeley
Historic Blakeley State Park is the site of the 1865
Battle of Blakeley, Alabama, one of the last major
encounters of the Civil War.
The Campaign for Mobile
Two of the last major battles of the Civil War
took place within sight of the modern skyline
of
Mobile, Alabama.

Union forces launched simultaneous attacks
on the Confederate strongholds of
Spanish
Fort and Blakeley, Alabama, in a desperate
attempt to force their way into Mobile itself.
Federal troops took Spanish Fort after a
prolonged siege on April 9, 1865, but the
garrison at Blakeley still hung tenaciously to
their works.

Once the site of a thriving town, Blakeley was
a ghost town by the time of the Civil War.
Fever had destroyed the city that once rivaled
Mobile, but the strategic point overlooking the
Mobile-Tensaw Delta was quickly recognized
by Confederate engineers as they planned a
system of defenses to protect Mobile.

The site of old Blakeley was ringed with
impressive fortifications that included
breastworks, forts and batteries. It came to
be known as
Fort Blakeley (sometimes
misspelled as Fort Blakely) and the battle
there as the
Battle of Fort Blakeley.

After nearby
Spanish Fort fell on the night of
April 8, 1865, the Federal troops already
laying siege to Blakeley were reinforced by
men from that battle. The main assaults
were launched at 5:25 p.m. on the afternoon
of April 9, 1865.

A hammering series of assaults were
launched from left to right along the Southern
defenses. The breakthrough came when a
Union brigade, led by the 83rd Ohio Infantry,
stormed over the walls of Redoubt #4. The
Confederate lines collapsed and Union
troops poured into the coveted position.

The site of the battle is now preserved at
Historic Blakeley State Park, where visitors
can explore 3,800 acres of earthen forts, rifle
pits, artillery batteries and breastworks. It is
the largest National Register of Historic
Places site east of the Mississippi River.

In addition to the scene of critical fighting
during the Battle of Blakeley, the park also
preserves the site of the
"lost town" of
Blakeley, Alabama. Chartered in 1814, the
community was once a thriving river town that
rivaled nearby Mobile. It was wiped out by
yellow fever epidemics that drove early
settlers from the lowlands. The old cemetery
of the town can still be seen, as can a few
ruins and a massive live oak that legend
says was the city's "hanging tree."
Union Artillery Battery
This earthwork protected the
15th Massachusetts Battery
during the Battle of Blakeley.
Historic Blakeley State Park also preserves a
portion of the beautiful setting of the Mobile-
Tensaw Delta, one of the true environmental
treasures of the South. The park offers
guided water tours of the delta aboard to tour
boat
Delta Explorer.

The next scheduled boat tours are set for
June 25th and July 30th at 9 a.m., with an
additional water tour of the Alabama State
Docks aboard the
Delta Explorer set for July
13th at 9:30 a.m.

Located at 34745 State Highway 225 just
north of Spanish Fort, Alabama, Historic
Blakeley State Parkis open seven days a
week and is an easy drive from Mobile and
the East Shore of Mobile Bay. Admission is
$3 for adults and $2 for kids 6-12.

Click here to visit the park's official website
for more information.
Union Artillery Battery
This earthwork protected the
15th Massachusetts Battery
during the Battle of Blakeley.
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
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