Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fort Conde - A Short History Lesson

The Alabama gulf coast was originally part of French Louisiana. In 1723, work was begun on permanent fortifications to secure Mobile's position as a focal point of French settlement and colonial exploration. A large, bastioned structure built of brick on a stone foundation, surrounded by a dry moat, it was named after the Prince of Conde.  The fort's cannon controlled the point where the Mobile River flowed into Mobile Bay.

In 1763 the fort was turned over to the British, along with the rest of Alabama, due to an agreement that ended the French and Indian War. At that time the fort was renamed Fort Charlotte. The British even maintained a garrison at the fort during the Revolutionary War.

In 1780 the Battle of Fort Charlotte was begun. It was led by General Bernardo de Galvez of Spain, who commanded a force of Spanish troops and American volunteers in an uprising against the British. The British surrendered, and the fort remained under Spanish control until 1813. At that time it was occupied by U.S. troops under General James Wilkinson. In 1820 Congress authorized the dismantling of the original site.

However, during the 1970's approximately one-third of the original fort was reconstructed at an 80% scale. Fort Conde is the official welcome center for the City of Mobile.

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