About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Fort Morgan" (with photographs), and other sources. It was made possible by the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program. The lesson written by Blanton Blankenship, Historic Site Director, Fort Morgan and Bill Rambo, Historic Site Director, Confederate Memorial Park. The lesson was edited by the Teaching with Historic Places staff. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used in American history units on the Civil War or science and technology.
Time period: 1860s
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To determine why a major seaport like Mobile, Alabama was vital to the Confederacy and why a blockade or the removal of its defenses was critical to the Union.
2) To evaluate the effect of technology on the Battle of Mobile Bay.
3) To describe some of the technological advances that appeared during the Civil War and evaluate their impact on soldiers.
4) To discover if fortifications ever existed in their own community, to describe those fortifications, and to explain how changes in technology affected them.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-quality version.
1) two maps of the blockaded coastline of the Confederate States of America and of Mobile Harbor;
2) three readings of firsthand accounts of the Battle of Mobile Bay and the developing maritime technology pertaining to the Civil War battles fought at sea;
3) one drawing and one painting of a monitor warship;
4) one drawing and one illustration of the battle scene and the routes of both the Confederate and Union fleets that participated in the Battle of Mobile Bay;
5) two photos
of the damage to Fort Morgan after the battle.
Visiting the site
Fort Morgan is a State Historic Site located 22 miles west of Gulf Shores, Alabama, at the end of State Highway 180. Museum exhibits tell the story of the fort's history. It is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except for New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information, write the Superintendent, Fort Morgan Historic Site, 51 Highway 180 West, Gulf Shores, Alabama, 36542.