Photo Friday: Fort Morgan, Alabama

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After the War of 1812, the United States started a program to strengthen its seacoast defenses, and in 1818 Benjamin Hopkins was contracted to build a large masonry fort on Mobile Point.  Less than a year later Mr. Hopkins died of yellow fever.  Samuel Hawkins was the next contractor, but he too died before accomplishing anything.  Next up was Captain R.E. DeRussey.  Captain DeRussey was able to make a little progress before he too became ill and turned the work over to Lieut. Cornelius Odgen.  Lieut. Odgen completed the work in 1834 and turned the fort over to Captain. F.S. Belton, commander of Company B, 2nd US Artillery.

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During the Civil War, Fort Morgan and all her sister forts were proven to be out of date.  Rifled cannon and steam-powered warships repeatedly defeated the old brick forts.  On August 5, 1864 Union Admiral D.G. Farragut led his fleet past the guns of the fort and into the bay with the loss of only one of his ships from his fleet.

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These 21 steps were at least  12" tall each.

These 21 steps were at least 12″ tall each.

My glasses are for comparison.

My glasses are for comparison.

 

In April 1917, after the United States declared war on Germany, the fort took on the task of training Coast Artillerymen in modern weapons.  In 1924 the Army abandoned the fort and the base deteriorated quickly.

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During an excavation in 2008, a 90-pound live Union naval shell was uncovered.  The shell was from a Parrott rifle on a U.S. Navy warship and was fired at the fort in the summer of 1864.

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9 Responses

  1. Traci L. Sommerville

    Awesome photos! Love the history here – Ghost Hunters did an episode here!

    • Thanks Traci! What is Ghost Hunters? And when was that?

  2. How can I get a copy of one of these photos? I have to have one for my formal living room. We have vacationed at Ft. Morgan (The Beach Club) for 8 years in a row. Sweet memories.
    There is one particular one I really want.

    • Hi Jill! Which one would you like, I’d be happy to sell you one.

  3. I’m not sure how to tell you which one I want. It’s at the top of this page. The only way I know how to describe it is that it is a corridor. I can take a pic of it with my iphone and email it to you so you know exactly which one I’m wanting. Or you can let me know if you know which one I’m referring to above.

    Thanks,
    Jill

    • Camera on the ground, several archways?

      • same corridor but camera not on ground. It has a lot of burnt orange and some green. Is there a way I can upload a pic of it? It’s at the very top of this page

  4. do you mind communicating via my email address? jillgoen@gmail.com

    thanks!

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