Civil War in Alabama
Take a step into history at any of Alabama’s Civil War historical sites. You can stand on the spot where Jefferson Davis received the oath of office for president of the Confederate States of America or tour the First White House of the Confederacy. East of Clanton, the 103-acre Confederate Memorial Park began as the only home for Confederate veterans. Today, you can see uniforms, weapons and graves, and learn about the old soldiers who spent their lives there. Some 18 reenactments take place annually across the state. The Alabama Civil War Trail has listings for dozens of museums, cemeteries and battlefield sites.
Historic Fort Gaines
Fort Gaines was a pivotal site for the South during the civil war, playing an important part in the Battle of Mobile Bay. Located at Dauphin Island along Mobile Bay, its well-preserved ramparts have protected the entrance to Mobile Bay for well over a century. Today, the site stands as a commemoration of the war, with original cannons on display, a blacksmith shop, a museum, and tunnels. Group guided tours are highly recommended, and need to be booked weeks in advance of your visit, led by a uniformed 'soldier' and including a cannon firing demo and blacksmithing.
Civil War in Montgomery, Alabama
In 1861 gallant Southern politicians gathered at the State Capitol in Montgomery and formed the Confederate States of America. The telegram starting the American Civil War was sent from Montgomery.
The Executive residence of President Jefferson Davis and family while the capitol of the Confederacy was in Montgomery. Furnished with original period pieces, the First White House of the Confederacy is located at 644 Washington Ave and is open for tours.
Civil War in Mobile, Alabama
Mobile at Alabama’s Southern tip is also rich in American Civil War history. The Mobile Civil War Trail stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to north Mobile County, a distance of 90 miles and documents the Battle of the Bay (August 1864). The Fort Gaines Historic Site was the site of the actual Battle of the Bay ("Damn the Torpedoes: Full Speed Ahead") and shows the battlements and soldiers' living quarters which were used from the 1800's to 1946.
The Historic Blakeley State Park a few miles north of Mobile is a two thousand acre park and the site of the last major battle of the Civil War. With both a nature and history theme, the park has a Nature Center where tours into the river delta on the Delta Explorer, weekend camping and group functions take place.
This guided tour will visit Castle Morgan, the Prisoner of War camp at Old Cahawba and explore the plight of these unfortunate soldiers as well as the hardships of the town’s Confederate residents who suffered while their husbands, fathers and sons were off to war, many never to return.
Gainesville Civil War Re-enactment
The Town of Gainesville, which was once among the largest towns in the State of Alabama, is home to several historical homes, churches, cemeteries and monuments. Its history and heritage are still celebrated today through annual Civil War re-enactments, which are held the second weekend of March each year. During this weekend, visitors have the opportunity to step back in time to the 1860s as they smell the smoke and feel the thunder of the cannons while watching the cavalry duel as Civil War re-enactors from across the country gather to recreate historical clashes of the American Civil War. In honor of the brave soldiers that served during the great conflict, and indeed all American troops who have served our nation, two special memorial services are held. The first of these services is held on second Saturday of March at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Gainesville at the Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument. The second memorial service is held on the second Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in the Gainesville City Cemetery. It is the final resting place to over 120 Confederate soldiers from the Southeast who perished at or from wounds received during the April 1862 Battle of Shiloh in southwestern Tennessee.
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