Best Civil War Sites
Mobile Bay, AL
A Confederate admiral hailing from the North faces a navy led by a Union admiral born in Tennessee and raised in New Orleans. This unlikely scenario played out in Mobile Bay, the only Gulf Coast port still controlled by the Confederates, which provided southern troops with supplies, via railroad from Mobile. Admiral Farragut used four new ironclad ships to lead his attack through the straits between fortresses on Dauphin Island and Mobile Point—and followed with 14 wooden ships, lashed in pairs so that if one got hit, it would not be lost. You can stand at the preserved ruins of Fort Morgan for views of the bay and take the 40-minute scenic ferry trip across to tour the Dauphin Island’s Fort Gaines. Another Confederate defense, the fort has self-guided tours, a blacksmith demonstration several days a week (in season), and a rather astounding 10-man latrine.
Don’t Miss: Dauphin Island Sea Lab/Estuarium, a marine research lab, seemingly offers tours as an afterthought, but the information about the ecology of these barrier islands is fascinating and worth the short hop from Fort Gaines.