On August 1-3, 2014 re-enactors from across the nation will commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Mobile Bay and Siege of Fort Morgan.
Friday’s events include artillery firing at 6:30 pm followed by Civil War era music performed by Bobby Horton, a Birmingham, Alabama, native is known for his authentic Civil War recordings performed with instruments from that era.
Saturday morning’s events will depict the attack by the Union Navy upon the fort as they attempt to steam past the fort and into the bay. The afternoon witnesses the opening of the siege guns upon the fort. Union artillery and infantry will seal the fate of the Confederate garrison by occupying the siege lines across the peninsula and commencing the bombardment. Saturday evening, the bombardment intensifies with artillery blazing away at the fort and concluding for the day with a grand fireworks display over the fort. This will be the largest nighttime bombardment reenactment event ever at the fort featuring artillery and aerial pyrotechnic explosions.
Sunday morning the guns open fire again upon the fort and continue throughout the day until the fort finally surrenders to Union forces that will include a surrender ceremony with a salute to the colors.
The Battle of Mobile Bay is one of the iconic confrontations of the American Civil War at sea.
During the three-day event, the fort’s museum will feature rarely exhibited artifacts from three of the fleet of ships engaged during the battle; the USS Tecumseh, USS Philippi, and the CSS Gaines.
The USS Tecumseh, an ironclad ship widely thought to be unsinkable, sank during the Battle of Mobile Bay when she struck a mine called torpedoes during the war. The ship capsized and rests upside down northwest of Fort Morgan.
Union Admiral David Farragut, lashed to the rigging of his ship, saw his fleet pulling back after Tecumseh went under. That’s when Farragut yelled out his now famous order, paraphrased as, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
The USS Philippi was set afire by Confederate artillery and destroyed while following Admiral David Farragut’s fleet into Mobile Bay. The CSS Gaines was heavily damaged during the Battle of Mobile Bay and as she took on water became grounded within 500 yards of Fort Morgan.
Announced schedule for the events:
Saturday, August 2, 10am
Friday, August 1, 6:30pm, Water Battery
Saturday, August 2, Noon-4p, Siege
Sunday, August 3, 10am-1pm, Siege
Civil War Music
Friday, August 1, 7pm, Bobby Horton Performs after Artillery Firing
Siege of Fort Morgan
Saturday, August 2, Noon-4pm, with Infantry and Artillery Firing
Sunday, August 3, 10am-1pm, with Infantry and Artillery Firing
Saturday, August 2, during the siege
Saturday, August 2, 8-9pm, Nighttime event with artillery and aerial pyrotechnic explosions
Sunday, August 3, 1-2pm, Ceremony to include Salute to the Colors
During 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.