On this day in Alabama history: Seizure of federal installations ordered

On this day in Alabama history: Seizure of federal installations ordered
Fort Gaines, named for General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, was constructed in 1853. (The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

January 3, 1861

Gov. A.B. Moore ordered Alabama troops to seize three federal installations in the state — the arsenal at Mount Vernon, and Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines — in preparation for secession. The order came eight days before the Alabama Secession Convention passed an Ordinance of Secession, and Moore was both praised and condemned for taking control of federal property while Alabama was still technically in the Union. The order was one of many Moore gave to prepare the state for conflict in the months before the Civil War, including asking banks to hold reserves, sending representatives to other Southern states to consult on secession, and dispatching agents to the North to purchase arms and ammunition.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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