Throughout the 19th century, soldiers traversed the dark chambers and steep stairways throughout Fort Morgan at all hours of the day, protecting Mobile Bay during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Later, in the 20th century, the fort was used as a training base during World War I and guarded valuable U.S. territory during World War II. Although no military members traverse these grounds any longer, you have a chance to see the fort through their eyes when you visit Fort Morgan.
Conveniently located near Fort Morgan beach houses, the actual "Guardian on the Bay" has an active living history program, which puts on a number of events throughout the year, including an annual reenactment of the fort's famous Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. In the evenings during June and July, families can enjoy Candlelight Tours of the fort.
Explore Fort Morgan the way the troops did
These one-hour tours begin on the grounds at 7 p.m. each Tuesday for the months of June and July, and give visitors a glimpse into what evenings were like for Confederate and U.S. troops over the centuries. Re-enactors dressed in period wear guide you through the fort, either speaking directly to you about the events that occurred there, or talking to each other as though it were 1861, allowing you to "eavesdrop" into a Confederate soldier's life to learn more about the time period.
Bring modern-day assistance
Although the point of the tour is to immerse yourself in history, you will want to bring some modern-day items to make the tour a bit more enjoyable. Your guides will be using candles to provide an accurate portrayal of the time, but visitors are encouraged to bring flashlights to help with the trek back to cars once the tour is over. You may also want to bring or wear insect repellent. In the fort's early days, soldiers had to deal with these pesky bugs just as much as we do now, but today's luxury of bug spray is one you will appreciate while you're learning about the region's rich history.
Stop by Fort Morgan another time
The weekly Candlelight Tours are a fantastic feature at this historical site, but you may also want to stop by during the day sometime to explore the entire place, especially when you are staying so close in Fort Morgan condos and houses. Pick up a pamphlet before you park and take yourself on a self-guided tour of the fort. There are a number of posts with numbers on them throughout the property, and the numbers correspond with a description in the pamphlet. When you see these posts, open up your literature and learn about the fort's powder magazines, cisterns, bastions and many batteries.
Once you've explored the fort, you may also want to enjoy a picnic or a stroll on the beach that borders the fort. From here, you can look across and almost see the Alabama mainland. The ferry terminal to Dauphin Island is also nearby if you'd like to extend the day's adventure even further.