The folks at Historic Fort Blakeley State Park in Mobile, Alabama have been hard at work clearing paths and producing interpretive signage for a new addition to their park that tells the fuller story of what happened on the evening of April 9, 1865. The current trails at Fort Blakeley cover miles of both Confederate and Union earthworks, encompassing several redoubts, one of which is built up and restored as it would have looked during the final assault. (See HERE for a blog post about the Battle at Fort Blakeley and a little about the park itself) But there’s been a crucial missing piece of the puzzle. A large concentration of USCT soldiers were part of the assault force, charging Redoubts 1 and 2 on the far right of the Union line. These redoubts have all but disappeared, reclaimed by nature and destroyed by suburban development. Beginning November 12, 2022, visitors will have the chance to walk the ground where USCT soldier fought during the Battle at Fort Blakeley.
From the flyer for the Grand Opening:
Historic Blakeley State Park and the Historic Blakeley Foundation invite you to the grand opening of our new USCT Heritage Trail!
What: USCT Heritage Trail Opening
When: 10:00-11:30 AM, Saturday, November 12, 2022
Where: Parking available at East Pointe Baptist Church, across from the entrance to Historic Blakeley State Park on Hwy. 225 (34742 AL-225, Spanish Fort, AL 36527). Baldwin County Transportation will provide buses to the event site, 1.5 miles north on Cloverleaf Landing Road.
This new cultural heritage resource features nearly two miles of trails which will help visitors learn about the role of African American troops in the Battle of Fort Blakeley. Offering access to original Civil War earthworks dug under fire by one of the largest contingents of African-American soldiers to fight in any Civil War battle, the trail is a new and nationally-significant educational and heritage tourism product. It is made possible by the generous support of Impact 100 of Baldwin County. Dr. John David Smith, a renowned scholar of the role of black troops as a part of “United States Colored Troops” (USCT) units in the Civil War and the Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, will deliver a short address about the significance of the USCT as part of our grand opening ceremonies.
RSVP to Gina Hall, Historic Blakeley State Park office manager (firstname.lastname@example.org, 251-626-0798)
This event sponsored in part by the Alabama Tourism Department, the Pensacola Civil War Roundtable, and the Mobile Area Civil War Roundtable