Fort Morgan, a stunning masonry star fort, is located in Alabama and is famous for its breathtaking beaches. However, this shoreline has a dark and ominous history. The fort was built in 1819 and played a crucial role in various military conflicts, making it an important military installation.
Fort Morgan is widely known in Alabama for its reputation as one of the most haunted places in the state. Over the years, there have been numerous reports of eerie sightings and ghostly sounds related to the soldiers, prisoners, and civilians who lost their lives within the walls of this historic site.
The History of Fort Morgan
Fort Morgan, named after Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan, was built to protect the entrance to Mobile Bay, a crucial area for trade and defense. The fort was designed by Simon Bernard, a French engineer, and made of brick, stone, and mortar. Its pentagonal layout included bastions at every corner and could accommodate up to 600 soldiers and 125 cannons.
Fort Morgan has a rich history, having played a crucial role in various conflicts like the Civil War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, and both World Wars. It has witnessed many fierce battles, sieges, bombardments, fires, and explosions, leading to numerous casualties. The fort’s historical significance is undeniable, with many notable events having taken place within its walls.
The Battle of Mobile Bay (1864): A Historic Naval EncounterThe Yellow Fever Outbreak of 1864:The Tragic Incident of the USS Tecumseh (1864):
- In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Admiral David Farragut led his fleet past Confederate defenses in the Battle of Mobile Bay, famously declaring “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” This secured Mobile Bay as a crucial supply base for the remainder of the war.
- Following the Battle of Mobile Bay, a devastating yellow fever outbreak afflicted over 200 Union soldiers stationed at Fort Morgan in 1864. The outbreak resulted in the tragic loss of these soldiers, who were interred in mass graves near the fort.
- In 1864, the USS Tecumseh, a Union ironclad monitor, met its demise after striking a Confederate torpedo (mine) near Fort Morgan. The explosion claimed the lives of 93 of the 114 crew members aboard, with some of their remains never recovered. The wreck now rests on the seabed of Mobile Bay, serving as a war grave and protected site.
- In 1906, William O. Smith, a soldier stationed at Fort Morgan during the Spanish-American War, faced charges of murdering his wife and two children in Pensacola, Florida. Smith was returned to Fort Morgan for trial, found guilty, and executed by hanging on January 5, 1906, near the fort’s entrance. His execution marked the last hanging at Fort Morgan.
Exploring the Ghostly Legends of Fort Morgan
Fort Morgan has a history full of tragic events, which has made it a well-known hub for supernatural activity. The location has been a witness to several paranormal phenomena, with some of the most commonly reported incidents being:
The Mysterious Sightings of Soldiers:The Ghosts of Incarcerated Souls:The Lingering Presence of Civilian Ghosts:
- Visitors have reported many ghostly figures dressed in various military uniforms from different eras strolling around the fort or appearing as sentinels at the bastions, with audible experiences ranging from phantom gunshots, cannon fire, and marching footsteps to spectral voices issuing orders. Some visitors have even felt sudden drops in temperature, mysterious touches, or inexplicable tugs on their clothing in the presence of these apparitions of soldiers.
- During the Civil War, Fort Morgan served as a grim prison for Confederate soldiers captured by the Union. These unfortunate prisoners endured disease, starvation, and mistreatment while confined in dark, damp casemates beneath the fort. Some visitors have attested to hearing haunting moans, screams, or the eerie sound of chains rattling emanating from these casemates. Shadows and luminous orbs have also been glimpsed in these grim quarters, giving witness to the spirits of prisoners.
- The civilian population of Fort Morgan, living in houses and barracks near the fort, experienced a multitude of tragedies, be it through accidents, fires, or enemy attacks. Reports tell of apparitions, particularly women and children donned in period clothing, wandering within the fort’s confines or frolicking along the nearby beach. Within this eerie atmosphere, ghostly laughter, music, and disembodied voices resonating from deserted structures have sent shivers down the spines of those who have ventured into the ghostly residue of civilians.
Fort Morgan is a captivating destination that attracts history enthusiasts and avid ghost hunters alike. It offers a glimpse into Alabama’s rich past and its significant impact on the country’s story. If you’re looking for a thrilling beachfront getaway in Alabama, Fort Morgan should be at the top of your list. However, brace yourself for the inexplicable sights and sounds that may greet you during your visit to this haunted beachside fortress.