One of the things at the top of my list in visiting the Gulf Shore was a visit to Fort Morgan. As a military history nut, this is a visit that was an utter thrill. The fort drips with history. It was the most prominent focal point of the Battle of Mobile Bay. It was the scene for the great battle of the ironclads as well as Admiral David Farragut’s famed command of “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” Though perhaps incorrectly chronicled, the battle was every bit as exciting and worthy as legend.
The fort, originally named Fort Bowyer, was one of the most expensive military constructions of its time.(In the construction in 1833, the costs reached $1,026,777.41). It is also hands down one of my favorite American forts. It was later renamed after the Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan (one of my favorite American military leaders).
Built on Mobile Point, it has a lethal position to cover any ships trying to enter or leave the bay. Col. John Bowyer supervised its construction in 1813. With its sloping sides of the Glacis and tunnels, it was virtually impossible to destroy with ship artillery. It had massive guns that would lower upon recoil (taking them out of sight during reloading and protecting them from counter attacks).
The site was under the control of various governments from France to Spain to the CSA to the United States. The flags in front of the museum speak to that history. The museum is a small structure with some great artifacts. The only complaint that I would make is that it is missing a good film and displays on the Battle of Mobile Bay. The written signage on the self-tour are great but it would be fantastic to offer a more developed display at the museum like we have at Civil War battlefield sites like Bull Run.