Historic Blakeley State Park preserves the location of the ghost town of Blakeley along with the remains of a Confederate fortification and the Union positions built to support their attack. The battle here raged on from 2 to 9 April 1865. The battle resulted in a Union victory. Ironically the battle ended 6 hours after the war ended with Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. There were a total of 4475 casualties in the battle with 3529 of them occuring on 9 April.
The Park is open for day use visitors from 9 AM to dusk daily seven days a week. Admission is $3 for adults; $2 for children 6 to 12; and children under 6 get in free.
Another weapon used during the battle here were "subterra" or what evolved into land mines. These were canonshells that had pressure switches. Theye were used by the Union Army and were placed before the battle. They ended up between the main trench for the Union Army and their rifle pits so their soldiers had to "step lightly".
People lived on this land well before the Civil War, however. Prehistoric Indians settled here 4000 years ago. The Spanish, French and British also explored the area. The town of Blakeley was chartered on 4v January 1814 by Josiah Blakeley. The town quickly grew to 4000 inhabitants; but in 1828 the town declined quickly due to rampant land speculation and a yellow fever epidemic. The Civil War finally killed the town. Today there is a large picnic area with a gazebo where he town used to be.
The Confederate Army built a series of breastworks (a temporary fortification usually made of earth that is breast high to protect soldiers who fire over them) and redoubts (a fort or fort system usually consisting of an enclosed defensive emplacement outside a larger fort) along with battery emplacements and other positions throughout the western part of the battle area.
Blakeley's location on the northern portion of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta made it a prime location for a town and a strategic spot during the Civil War. Today it is home to an interesting array of animals and plants. Historic Blakeley State Park has a Nature Center showing the wildlife of the area.
There is an oak tree on site that was hollowed out by nature. More than one soldier was found hiding in the hollowed out portion, earning the tree its nickname.
The Union Army also dug a series of trenches allowing them to move around the battlefield and resupply their positions safely.
There is also an old cemetery in the park that holds the bodies of a number of the old settlers that died of yellow fever.
A short walk from the Nature Center is a very interesting display set up showing area animals and plants.