Deep South Tour:  Mobile Bay
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Monday
June 3rd


Fort Gaines,
Fort Morgan
& USS Alabama
We entered Alabama along the Gulf Coast, heading for the mouth of Mobile Bay. This was the site of an important Civil War naval battle on August 5th, 1864. First we visited Fort Gaines, on the western side of the bay:
Fort Gaines

These cannons used to point at Union ships, but now they only menace some oil rigs. The Battle of Mobile Bay was one of several that demonstrated that modern firepower, in the form of rifled cannon that could strike with greatly increased accuracy, had rendered obsolete these massive old forts. Fort Gaines had brick walls several feet thick and was aided by two other nearby forts. Still, the Union fleet handily defeated them.
Boom

This is the anchor from the USS Hartford, Admiral Farragut's flagship. The Rebs had laced the entrance to the bay with mines (then called "torpedoes"), one of which sank the USS Tecumseh as the Union fleet entered. Rather than falter, Farragut announced, "Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead!"
Rebel Site, Union Relic

From Fort Gaines we set out across Mobile Bay on a ferry, whence we captured another shot for our Photo Tour of Southern Industry. The ferry took us to Fort Morgan. We'd show some pictures of that, but it's too similar to Fort Gaines, and not much of the Civil War-era structure is left.

Next stop: Mobile. We visited the USS Alabama, which is famous for escaping nine World War II battles unscathed. The Princess joined us for an inspection:
Lucky Ship

During our tour Chris was possessed by the ghost of Cuba Gooding, Jr.:
I Know Cuba's Not Dead, But That's His Ghost!

There's lovely Mobile off in the distance:
Mobile

Before taking off we visited the rest of the site's collection of war machines including a predecessor to the SR-71 Blackbird, several other jets, some UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, but not the Predator), and a submarine. But none of them had as many guns as the Alabama:
Fire!

After trying and failing to secure some barbecue at The Brick Pit in Mobile, we headed to Montgomery where we spent the night.

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