Fort Blakeley (Fort Blakely*)

Fort Blakeley (Fort Blakely*) (HM2FGB)

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N 30° 44.964', W 87° 54.667'

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Fort Blakeley, named for the town which it surrounded, was one of two major Confederate defensive positions protecting eastern approaches to Mobile during the Civil War. The fort consisted of a nearly three mile long series of entrenchments anchored by nine earthen redoubts, or reinforced independent positions. Within this line of defenses were a series of trenches, artillery emplacements, and assorted other earthen defensive structures. A series of rifle pits, in which teams of skirmishers could be deployed, lay a short distance in front of the main line.

Confederate troops and impressed African-American laborers had been engaged in the construction of Fort Blakeley for many months prior to the battle here in April of 1865. These men had cleared fields of fire in front of the main line up to a distance of about 800 yards. They had also built two lines of obstructions using tangles of fallen trees, and even had strung telegraph wire between stumps as barriers to approach. To further slow potential attackers, in places defenders had buried dozens of land mines, commonly referred to at the time as "torpedoes.

*Blakeley was frequently misspelled in wartime records and on period maps as "Blakely," and the fort and battle are still often referred to as Blakely in historical literature as well as in many official records

of the war.

Brigadier General St. John R. Liddell commanded the approximately 3,500 men that comprised the garrison at Blakeley at the time of the battle. Included in his command were veteran brigades under Brigadier General Francis M. Cockrell and raw regiments of conscripts under Brigadier General Bryan Thomas.

Photo captions:
Top left: Map of Fort Blakeley showing Union siege lines
Center portraits: Brig. Gen. St. John R. Liddell (top), Brig. Gen. Francis M. Cockrell (middle), Brig. Gen. Bryan Thomas (bottom)
Map on right: A few miles to the south of Fort Blakeley lay Spanish Fort, which consisted of three linked earthen forts overlooking a series of bluffs along the riverfront. Nearby on islands were two large batteries, named Huger and Tracy.
Placed ByHistoric Blakeley State Park, Auburn University College of Liberal Arts, the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, and the Delaware Valley Civil War Roundtable
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, April 8th, 2019 at 8:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16R E 412790 N 3402184
Decimal Degrees30.74940000, -87.91111667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 44.964', W 87° 54.667'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 44' 57.84" N, 87° 54' 40.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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