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Fort Gaines (Alabama)

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Title: Fort Gaines (Alabama)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Dauphin Island, Alabama, National Register of Historic Places listings in Mobile County, Alabama, USS Hartford (1858), Fort Gaines, Forts in Alabama
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Fort Gaines (Alabama)

Fort Gaines
Northern (entrance) facade of Fort Gaines in 2008
Location Dauphin Island, Alabama, USA
Nearest city Mobile, Alabama
Built 1821
Architect Totten, Joseph G.
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 76000348[1]
Added to NRHP December 12, 1976

Fort Gaines is an historic fort on Dauphin Island, Alabama, United States. It was named for Edmund Pendleton Gaines. Established in 1821, it is best known for its role in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the American Civil War.

Exhibits include the huge anchor from the USS Hartford, Admiral David Farragut's flagship on which he gave his world famous command, "Damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead!" 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 museum details the history of this period, as well as the French colonial presence beginning in the late 17th century. The fort was partially modernized for the Spanish–American War. It is a tourist destination with tours and historical reenactment events. The site is considered to be one of the nation's best-preserved Civil War era masonry forts and has been nominated for listing as a National Historic Landmark.

Significant masonry damages have been sustained during hurricanes and tropical storms in the past decade. Though these damages have been largely repaired, the fort continues to be under threat from erosion. The fort sits on east end of Dauphin Island, only meters from the Gulf of Mexico. Ongoing erosional losses of sand dunes and beach total up to 10 feet per year. For these reasons, the Civil War Preservation Trust placed Fort Gaines on its History Under Siege listing on March 18, 2009. The listing identifies the ten most endangered Civil War battlefields in the United States.[2] Additionally it was placed on the list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2011.[3]


  • Civil War 1
  • See also 2
  • Popular culture 3
  • Images 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Civil War

See also

Popular culture

Fort Gaines was the setting for one episode of MTV's Fear.[4]


Images of Fort Gaines
Inside the fort 
Looking to the north at the south side of the fort in 2010 
Looking to the southwest over the fort in 2008 
Fort Gaines, April 2002 
Anchor from the USS Hartford, located in the center of the fort, June 2012 

See also


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ "Fort Gaines". History Under Siege: Most Endangered Battlefields 2009.  
  3. ^ "Fort Gaines". Most endangered historic places named.  
  4. ^ MTV's Fear Season 1 Episode 9

External links

  • Official website
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