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
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
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
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.
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.
Click for an event map and printable schedule
||Artillery Firing at Water Battery
||Period music performed by Bobby Horton
||Commemorative Ceremony and Military Salute
|Noon to 4 p.m.
||Siege of Fort Morgan Infantry Battle, including sortie and artillery
||Grand Bombardment with Artillery and aerial pyrotechnic explosions
|10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
||Siege of Fort Morgan Infantry Battle, including artillery
||Surrender ceremony with a special salute to the colors
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