Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fort Gaines



     I recently traveled with my family and friends to lovely Dauphin Island, Alabama for a relaxing vacation.  


      Dauphin Island is a beautiful beach community which is not overly commercialized; a few eating establishments, a bakery, great seafood, the Dauphin Island Sea lab and museum plus miles and miles of beach.  So let's recap: beach, great food, cool museum and the bonus of an American Civil War fort.  Sweet.









     Located in Mobile Bay, Dauphin Island had been home to the Native Americans and was first settled by the French in 1699.  Fort Gaines is on the eastern tip of the island and was built between 1821 and 1848. It was occupied by Confederate forces in 1861, and captured by Federal troops during the Battle of Mobile Bay.The phrase, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead," was spoken by U. S. Admiral David Farragut just a few hundred yards from Dauphin Island's shore.  Exhibits include the huge anchor from the USS Hartford Admiral Farragut's flagship during the battle.  

USS Hartford
The fort also has the original cannons used in the battle, five pre-Civil War brick buildings in the interior courtyard, operational blacksmith shop and kitchens, tunnel systems to the fortified corner bastions, and similar features.  A self-guided tour is available which took us approximately 1 hour to complete.