Fort Gaines Travel Guide

  • Cannon on the fort wall
    Cannon on the fort wall
    by grandmaR
  • Walls with a gun from the road
    Walls with a gun from the road
    by grandmaR
  • Fort Gaines
    Fort Gaines
    by Basaic

Fort Gaines Things to Do

  • Guard Daschund

    This fort was established in 1821 for the defense of Mobile and that it was named for General Gaines who, as commandant of Ft. Stoddard, captured Aaron Burr fourteen years previously. (It wasn't actually completed and named until 1853 after the death of General Gaines.)The entrance fee was only $5. The attendant gave us an excellent pamphlet which...

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  • USS Hartford Anchor

    Another display inside the fort is the anchor from the USS Hartford, Admiral Farragut's flagship. It was from here he uttered the famous words "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!".

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  • Museum

    Fort Gaines has a very nice museum inside the fort with several displays about the fort, life in the United States during the Civil War, and the history of Dauphin Island.

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  • Enlisted Barracks

    Here is a recreation of the Enlisted Barracks. The original barracks was outside the walls of the fort and was destroyed during the battle.

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  • 25 Guardhouse

    The gift shop is in the old guardhouse where they would keep prisoners and where the guards would sleep when not on shift. They did not try to lock me up, even though I did not buy anything.

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  • 24 Restrooms and Orderly Room

    This is where the restrooms are currently located. It used to be the Orderly Room where the commander and the senior NCO would work. Are they implying the commander was full of . . .(well never mind)?

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  • 22 Kitchen and Courtyard

    Here you see the kitchen and the courtyard where the soldier's meals were prepared and where they sometimes ate the meals.

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  • 21 Officer's Quarters

    This brick building housed the officers of the fort's garrison. The building was originally three stories high but the two upper floors were destroyed during the battle.

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  • 17 Battery Stanton

    This is Battery Stanton, which was added to the fort as an upgrade between 1898 and 1903. This position was built of concrete and had 3 6 inch disappearing guns.

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  • 15 Latrine

    This latrine was accessible from the gun positions by tunnel so the soldiers were not subjected to open fire.

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  • 13 Northwest Bastion and Powder...

    Here you see some of the parts of the northwest bastion that enabled the soldiers to use it. There is a brick tunnel leading from the ammunition room to the canon. Notice the fine brickwork on the tunnel. Photos 2 and 3 show the ammunition room. There would have been a smaller wooden room inside to insulate the ammunition from the shock of rounds...

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  • 10 Northeast Bastion

    This is the Northeast Bastion with a canon mounted on the platform. Photo 2 shows a view from the bastion of the location of Fort Powell. Fort Powell was a smaller fortification that also engaged the Union Fleet during the Battle of Mobile Bay. It engaged six Union ships until it's guns were disabled. To keep the fort from falling into Union hands...

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  • 7 Range Finder

    This is a protected position built for the soldiers spotting the placement of the fire and determining the range and any adjustments needed to the fire.

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  • 5 Southeast Bastion

    The southeast bastion provides a better view of the anchorage of Admiral Farragut's fleet. Here the Union supply ship "Phillippi" was sunk as the battle began. In the late 1890s or early 1900s this area was redesigned to support the so-called "disappearing guns". They were called disappearing because they could be lowered down below the line of the...

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  • 4 Pelican Harbor

    This is the view of Pelican Harbor from the South Flank Firing Positions. There used to be two islands in Pelican Harbor: Sand Island and Pelican Island. The harbor was the primary anchorage starting in the 18th Century when Dauphin Island was the capitol of the French territory of Louisiana. This is also where Admiral Farragut's fleet anchored...

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  • 3 South Flank Firing Positions

    These positions were used to mount 32 pound canons. They are well preserved and show how the guns were placed and aimed. The chimney on the far left of the photo is from the kitchen.

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  • 2 Gun Mounts

    This is an example of the granite gun mounts along the walls of the fort. The guns were rotated on the metal bands to change their field of fire. Note the brick walls built to protect the guns and the crew.

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  • 1 South Gun Ramp

    This is the South Gun Ramp. It allows access to the terreplein or the gun platforms, and is how ammunition was brought to the guns in the early days of the fort.

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  • Sally Port

    The entrance into the interior of the fort is gained through a doorway called a Sally Port. Sally Ports frequently have intricate designs that set them apart from the utilitarian design of the fort itself. The date the fort is commissioned is usually placed over the Sally Port. This is actually a pretty plain Sally Port.

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  • Canons

    There are a variety of canons on display representing the different types located here during different time periods. It is interesting to note how they changed as the technology of ships, and canons, changed.

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  • Inside the Fort

    Walking around inside the fort you can almost feel the soldiers running beside you manning their posts. The different sites are numbered and there is a nice brochure to go along with them.

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