Fort Morgan has been standing sentry at the mouth of Mobile bay for 180 years. Built after the war of 1812, the fort was designed to protect the shipping channels of Mobile Bay and the port of Mobile. It was 30 years before the fort had to defend the mouth of the bay.
August 5, 1864, U.S. Navy Admiral David Farragut’s fleet, lead by four ironclad monitors, approached the mouth of the bay and the lead Ironclad, the U.S.S. Tecumseh struck a torpedo and sunk. The fleet was at a standstill and the guns of Fort Morgan were battering them. That is when Farragut was said to have uttered his famous words, “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!”
The fleet made its way through the torpedoes and was confronted with the Confederate ironclad CSS Tennessee. The single warship fought gallantly against the Union Navy but finally surrendered. Fort Morgan held out, but eventually fell during a siege from Union troops.
The 150th Commemoration of the Battle of Mobile Bay was on August 1-3, 2014. It took you through the battles with tall ships and artillery fire and a reenactment of the siege of Fort Morgan. The event concluded with a surrender ceremony and salute to the colors. Souvenirs from the grand event are still available in our museum gift shop.