Saving History Saturday: New Preservation at Fort Blakely Battlefield

At the end of March 1865, several Confederate strong-holds and forts remained around Mobile Bay, Alabama. The Federal XVI and XIII Corps, commanded by General Edward R.S. Canby marched toward Spanish Fort. On April 8, an attack pierced the Confederate earthworks and resulted in the capture of the fortification. Confederate-held Fort Blakely was attacked on April 9. The battle at Fort Blakely went on record as the final combined-force battle of the war, and approximately 5,000 African American soldiers charged in the Union lines in the successful capture. Usually overshadowed by the events at Appomattox in Virginia, the battles at Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely were important parts in the ending days of the Civil War.

Today, pieces of these battlefields and earthworks have been preserved at both fort sites. Fort Blakely rests within Historic Blakely State Park in Baldwin County while the remians of Spanish Fort stand within Fort McDermott Confederate Memorial Park. And there’s new developments for Fort Blakely battlefield—the good kind—preservation happenings!

Battle of Fort Blakely

A $293,000 grant through the National Park Service will allow an additional 60 acres to be preserved, adding to the already 40% of the saved battlefield. American Battlefields Trust, The Conservation Fund, and the University of Southern Alabama shared the update in December 2020.

More details in this local news article:

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5 Responses to Saving History Saturday: New Preservation at Fort Blakely Battlefield

  1. William T. Anderson says:

    Thanks for publishing. My great-great-grandfather in 21st AL was at Spanish Fort and was one of the last CSA soldiers to leave. I’ll support it for sure.

  2. John Pryor says:

    My ancestor in the 2d Arkansas Mtd Rifles, who had survived Franklin and Nashville and went south to Mobile, got his parole from Canby.

  3. The earthworks at Fort Blakely are amazing! I was stunned driving through there for the first time. Mike Bunn, the director at the park, has done a phenomenal job and gives great boat tours.
    And I got to bore my parents over the holidays when they said, “We tried to find Spanish Fort, but it wasn’t there.” I responded, “Well, let me tell ya what happened!” I could tell they stopped listening after a few minutes, but it was worth it to ramble.

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  5. bfswartz says:

    Be careful hiking at Fort Blakeley. My last venture through there got interrupted by a water moccasin!

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