Spanish Fort (1)
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Spanish Fort (1) (1780-178?, 1864-1865) - A Spanish colonial post first established in 1780 by Bernardo de Galvez in the present day town of Spanish Fort, Baldwin County, Alabama. Abandoned sometime in the 1780s. Later part of Complex of Confederate fortifications established in 1864 during the U.S. Civil War. Captured by Union forces and abandoned in 1865. Also known as Old Spanish Fort (2).
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
A Spanish colonial post first established in 1780 by Bernardo de Galvez on the east bank of the present day Blakeley River at the town of Spanish Fort, Baldwin County, Alabama. British and Hessian troops from Fort George (9) at Pensacola with their Indian Allies attempted to take the fort 3 Jan 1781. The Spanish garrison turned away the attackers with heavy losses to both sides. Galvez then mounted a counter attack on Pensacola, laying siege to the city from 27 Apr 1781 to 9 May 1781. Galvez bombarding the British Fort George (9) from his newly constructed Fort San Bernardo on higher ground. The British surrendered after Spanish cannons blew up a powder magazine in one of the outlying redoubts, killing most of the defenders. The fall of Pensacola left the British without a major harbor on the gulf coast greatly aiding the American revolutionary war cause. Abandoned sometime in the 1780s.
U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)
The old Spanish fort was part of a complex of fortifications created in 1864-65 during the U.S. Civil War in the defense of Mobile against Union forces. Spanish fort was also the name of the complex as well as the old Spanish fortification and the town. Other fortifications in the complex were Red Fort and Fort McDermott connected by earthworks and gun batteries.
A Union attack on the fortifications began on 27 Mar 1865 and lasted for 13 days. The Union troops numbered about 30,000 against some 2,500 Confederate troops. The fortifications were abandoned by the confederate defenders on the night of 8-9 Apr 1865. Most of the Confederate troops fled across the river and toward Fort Blakeley and when Union troops stormed the fortifications on the 9th they found empty positions and spiked guns. The U.S. Civil War effectively ended on that same day with General Robert E. Lee surrendering at Appomattox Court House around 4 pm. The battle at Spanish Fort shifted to the Battle at Fort Blakeley later that day.
Destroyed, site on private properties in the town of Spanish Fort, Baldwin County, Alabama. Map point is approximate.
Location: Private Property in the town of Spanish Fort, Baldwin County, Alabama.
Maps & Images
Lat: 30.6753648 Long: -87.9174256
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 15
- North American Forts - Spanish Fort
- Galvez' diary of the siege of Pensacola: Primary source, translated into English; La. Hist. Q., Vol. I No. 1, pp45‑84; includes the Articles of Capitulation.
Visited: 4 Jan 2012, 28 Dec 2011
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