Civil War on Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay was a major port
during the Civil War and was
the focus of heavy fighting in
Battleship U.S.S. Alabama
The World War II battleship is
now the focal point of a park
dedicated to the veterans of
the state of Alabama.
Mobile, Alabama Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Historic Sites & Points of Interest
The rising skyline of Mobile can be seen from the
decks of the Battleship U.S.S. Alabama.
French Colony to Modern City
The beautiful and historic city of Mobile is a
growing and progressive metropolitan with a
rich past. The major gateway to the Alabama
Gulf Coast, Mobile is a popular destination
for heritage and eco-tourism.
Founded in 1702 by the French, the city was
once the capital of French Louisiana. The
original site, up the Mobile River from the
modern city, proved ill-suited due to disease
and flooding, so Mobile was relocated to its
present site in 1711.
Mobile is home to the oldest Mardi Gras
celebration in the United States. The city held
its first Carnival in 1703 just one year after its
founding. The annual event is observed with
parades, balls and a variety of other activities.
Learn more by visiting the Mobile Carnival
Museum or check out the city's official Mardi
Although the capitol of French Louisiana was
relocated to Biloxi in 1720, Mobile remained
an important port and settlement. To better
protect the city, the French built Fort Conde
on the Mobile waterfront in 1723.
The fort protected the city for nearly 100 years
and over its history was occupied by French,
British, Spanish and eventually American
troops. Turned over to the British at the end of
the French and Indian War in 1763, Fort
Conde (now renamed Fort Charlotte) was a
key battleground of the American Revolution.
Commanded by Spanish General Bernardo
de Galvez, an Allied army laid siege to Mobile
in the Battle of Fort Charlotte. The British
surrendered and the city once again became
a Spanish possession.
Mobile changed hands again in 1813, when
the United States arrived in the form of
General James Winchester. U.S. troops
occupied the city during the War of 1812 and
a British effort to capture it was turned back at
Fort Bowyer (now Fort Morgan) at the mouth
of Mobile Bay. It was from Mobile that Andrew
Jackson marched before the Battle of New
Orleans in 1814.
By the time of the Civil War, Mobile had
become a major coastal port. The commerce
of much of Alabama's large plantation belt
came downstream to Mobile for export to
ports on both the Atlantic Seaboard and
Confederate forces quickly moved to occupy
and defend the city in 1861. Mobile remained
an important port for Southern blockade
runners until August 5, 1864, when the fleet
of Admiral David Farragut steamed between
Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines and opened the
Battle of Mobile Bay.
The battle is remembered today for Admiral
Farragut's famed command of "Damn the
torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" It closed
Mobile Bay as a Confederate port but it would
take a major land campaign and battles at
Fort Blakeley and Spanish Fort before the city
itself finally fell to Union troops.
Monuments to the forces that fought in the
Battle of Mobile Bay and the Battle of Fort
Blakeley can be seen at Mobile National
Cemetery, which contains the graves of
thousands of Americans who served in
conflicts from the War of 1812 to the modern
era. Others buried there include Chappo, a
son of the famed Apache chief Geronimo.
The cemetery also preserves a section of the
original Confederate fortifications that
defended Mobile during the War Between the
Adjoining the National Cemetery is Mobile's
historic Magnolia Cemetery. Established in
1836, it contains more than 80,000 burials.
Among those interred in the cemetery's
Confederate Rest section are 1,100
Southern soldiers. General Braxton Bragg, a
noted Confederate commander and U.S.
hero of the Mexican-American War, rests
there alongside his wife.
Mobile grew rapidly in the years after the Civil
War and remains a major port city today. It
played a key role in supporting American
forces during World War II and its citizens
contributed heavily to the effort to save the
World War II battleship USS Alabama.
Now the centerpiece of a beautiful memorial
park on the shores of Mobile Bay, the
Alabama has been visited by more than 13
million people over the years. Visitors to the
ship can also explore aircraft displays and
the submarine USS Drum.
Mobile today is a major Alabama industrial
center, but also retains the charm of its 300
year history. Historic homes and structures
dot the landscape and the city is the major
gateway to Alabama's beautiful white sand
Heritage and nature are major parts of the
area's tourism industry. Historic forts and
battlefields line the bay, while eco-tourists
enjoy parks and spectacular natural settings.
Bellingrath Gardens, just south of the city, is
a popular year-round destination.
Please click here to learn more about Mobile
and the Mobile Bay area.
This partially reconstructed
French fort serves as the
official Welcome Center for
the city of Mobile, Alabama.
Sunset over Mobile Bay
The beautiful waters of Mobile
Bay are among the natural
wonders of the greater Mobile
Gateway to the Gulf
Mobile is a major gateway to
the spectacular and historic
white sand beaches of the
Alabama Gulf Coast.
|Copyright 2011 & 2014 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Last Updated: May 13, 2014
Alabama Points of Interest