On this day in Alabama history: Union troops headed to Spanish Fort

On this day in Alabama history: Union troops headed to Spanish Fort
Fort Gaines at Dauphin Island, 2010. (The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

March 17, 1865

Union major general Edward R. S. Canby and 32,000 troops began moving from Fort Gaines to Spanish Fort in preparation for the Battle of Spanish Fort. Located on a high hill with steep sides, Spanish Fort was one of several fortifications constructed during the Civil War to protect Mobile from invasion. After encircling the fort and digging protective trenches, Canby assaulted the fort on April 8 with about three times the manpower and gunpower of the defenders, forcing them to evacuate. With only 4,500 men remaining in Mobile, the Confederates surrendered the city without a fight on April 12, three days after Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army in Virginia.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

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

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