150th Anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay

Step back in time 150 years to August of 1864. The Union fleet of 18 ships is closing in on Mobile Bay. The purpose is to close Mobile Bay to blockade running and to occupy the last major port not taken by Union forces: Mobile. But first, they must get past Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan at the mouth of the bay.

The fleet was commanded by Rear Admiral David Farragut, best known for his reported battle cry, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” An intense battle commenced with one of the first casualties, the lead ironclad Tecumseh, striking a torpedo and sinking. A Confederate soldier remembering the sight wrote, “She careens, her bottom appears! Down, down, down she goes to the bottom of the channel, carrying 150 of her crew, confined within her ribs, to a watery grave.”Eventually, Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan fell into the hands of the Union Navy. The port was closed to Confederate blockade runners, but the port city of Mobile was never taken.

This year, you can witness a re-enactment of the historic battle August 1-3 at historic Fort Morgan.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary, re-enactors from across the nation will gather at Fort Morgan, complete with authentic music, tall ships and artillery fire.

Fort Morgan opens to the public at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The entire family will enjoy seeing the period costumes and authentic camps. During all three days, unique living history demonstrations will show how soldiers and civilians lived during the Civil War. Period musicians will be performing during the day. Included in the commemoration is a special Naval exhibit in the museum, featuring rarely exhibited artifacts from the USS Tecumseh, USS Philippi and CSS Gaines.


Artillery firing starts at 6:30 p.m. followed by Civil War-era music performed by Bobby Horton, a Birmingham, Alabama native. He is known for his authentic Civil War recordings performed with instruments from that era.


Morning events depict the attack by the Union Navy as they attempt to steam past the fort and into the bay. After sailing past the fort’s defenses, the famous naval Battle of Mobile Bay will be reenacted just off the shore; the heroic fight of the CSS Tennessee against the entire Union Fleet will be depicted. Later, in the afternoon, witness the Union artillery and infantry seal the fate of the Confederate garrison by occupying the siege lines across the peninsula. In the evening, the bombardment intensifies with artillery blazing away, concluding with a grand night barrage over the fort. The artillery and aerial pyrotechnic explosions will be the largest reenactment event ever performed at the fort.


During the morning, guns open fire on the fort again and continue until the fort finally surrenders to Union forces. A surrender ceremony with a salute to the colors ends the event.

Expect loud noises and flashes of light. Please restrict open flames to designated areas.

Souvenir T-shirts and other items will be available for purchase at different locations in the park. Local food vendors will also be on site.

Admission to the park during the weekend of the event – August 1-3, 2014 – will be as follows: Friday after 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday:
$10- Single day ticket, ages 6 and older
$20- Three day pass, ages 6 and older
$30- Single day, family of four
$65- Three day pass, family of four

Fort Morgan State Historic Site’s gates will open promptly at 8 a.m. each day and will remain open for the duration of each day’s activities. Shuttles to the event are provided by BRATS. Parking will not be open from Fort Morgan Road. Everyone must take a shuttle from Pelican Place or Faulkner State College, Wade Ward Campus both on Hwy 59 in Gulf Shores. Parking in Pelican Place is near the Cobb Movie Theaters, where signs for the shuttle will be posted (see map below). Onsite parking will only be available for vehicles exiting the Mobile Bay Ferry. The charge for the shuttle is $4 per person each way.

Parking Map

Join your brothers in arms at Fort Morgan for the once in a lifetime 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay and Siege of Fort Morgan, August 1-3! Troops to receive bounties, food, powder, and much more! Register today!

Tickets May Be Purchased at the Event.
Note: Fort Morgan will be closed all day on Thursday, July 31. The fort will re-open Friday, August 1 at noon.
Schedule of Events:
Click for an event map and printable schedule
6:30 p.m. Artillery Firing at Water Battery
7 p.m. Period music performed by Bobby Horton
9 a.m. Commemorative Ceremony and Military Salute
10 a.m. Naval Battle
Noon to 4 p.m. Siege of Fort Morgan Infantry Battle, including sortie and artillery
8-9 p.m. Grand Bombardment with Artillery and aerial pyrotechnic explosions
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Siege of Fort Morgan Infantry Battle, including artillery
1-2 p.m. Surrender ceremony with a special salute to the colors

Museum Exhibits

All three days – Special Naval Exhibit at Fort Morgan Museum featuring rarely exhibited artifacts from USS Tecumseh, USS Philippi and CSS Gaines, three of the ships that fought during the Battle of Mobile Bay.

Living History and Period Music

All three days – Unique living history demonstrations giving a hands-on experience of life during the Civil War. Period musicians will perform throughout the day.

Food and Fun

All three days – Special 150th anniversary commemorative items will be on sale, including the latest Fort Morgan print by Fairhope artist Dean Mosher. Local food vendors will also be on site.

51 Alabama Highway 180
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
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