EARLY FORTS OF ALABAMA
Camp Albert G. Forse
Spanish American War Fort, Huntsville, Alabama
Named after Major Albert G. Forse, 1st U.S. Cavalry, who was KIA at San Juan Hill, July 1, 1898. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
As of November 10, 1898 there were 3 regiments of cavalry regulars and 4 regiments of infantry regulars at the camp. By December 29, 1898, only 1 regiment of cavalry and 2 of infantry remained. Two of the infantry regiments had been moved to Cuba. The February 11, 1899 Army and Navy Journalreported the camp was “rapidly dwindling” because of the troop departures. The camp was abandoned March 7, 1899 according to the March 8, 1899Huntsville Weekly Mercury.
A caption on a photo in the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library states: “Regular army soldiers camped on Monte Sano, 1898.” Monte Sano Mountain is on the east side of Huntsville.
According to Record, A Dream Come True, 1978, published by James Record, page 95: “The war ultimately brought about 14,000 soldiers to Huntsville, AL, mostly from the Tampa, Florida area. . . . The main body of soldiers arrived in August, 1898. During the stay of the soldiers, the ante bellum Robinson homestead on Meridian Pike, Oaklawn, along with the Sullivan Home on Greene and Randolph were turned into military facilities. Soldiers were stationed all over the city. The Fifth Ohio Cavalry was at Brahan Spring; the Sixty-Ninth New York nearby; the Tenth and Second Cavalry was at West Huntsville; and the Second Georgia was on the William Moore place. . . .
The Eighth Cavalry, Third Pennsylvania, Seventh Cavalry and Sixteenth Infantry were located on the Chapman Farm, while the Fifth Maryland Engineers and the First Florida were on the Steele place, where main headquarters were located, and the Second Brigade Hospital was located in Moore’s Grove. Others were in the College Grove near Randolph Street, and Calhoun Grove, as well as McCalley Grove. The Medical Supply House headquarters was on Holmes Street. Generals S. Coppinger and Joe Wheeler were successive commanders of the post, Camp Wheeler. When Wheeler assumed command, he changed the name to Camp Albert G. Forse.” The name change occurred by October 31, 1898.
The Brahan Spring camp was primarily a cavalry camp. Brahan Spring Park is currently located in south Huntsville.
General Coppinger’s headquarters was at the Steele home in east Huntsville. This house is located at 808 Maysville Road and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Robinson home mentioned above is also on the National Register and is located at 2709 Meridian.
Demobilization camp for 69th N.Y. Vol. Inf. Described in Empire State pages 144-151. The 69th’s camp was “about a mile west of the town in a beautiful farming valley.”
A Confederate camp and supply base.
Spanish American War Camp Camp Clark was named after Brigadier General Louis L. Clark, Alabama National Guard.
• Source (12) indicates that both the 1st and 2nd Ala. Vol. Inf. assembled at Camp Clark. Newspaper articles, however, indicate there were two camps, Clark and Johnston. Camp Clark was the camp of the 1st Ala. and Camp Johnston was the camp of the 2nd Ala. Camp Clark was established about May 1, 1898. Camp Johnston was first referred to in newspaper articles about May 10, 1898.
• “The Alabama volunteers are rendezvousing here rapidly, and by tomorrows’ sunset it is more than likely that the old brigade grounds on Alba’s pasture will present an appearance similar to the brigade encampments of the state guards formerly held there.” Mobile Daily Register, May 2, 1898 (extra edition), page 4. According to the May 2, 1898 Montgomery Advertiser, “Their camp has been located on the bay shore, where the usual brigade encampments of the Alabama National Guards have been held. It is situated in what is known as Albas pasture, about midway between Frascati and Monroe Park, two bayside resorts.” This site is currently industrial land in or near the Alabama State Docks. The camps were adjacent to each other southwest of the vicinity of intersection of Bay and Yeend Streets. The camp was close to the bay shore.
• The 3rd Ala. Vol. Inf., an all Black regiment also was organized and mustered in at Mobile, at the same campsite, after the 1st and 2nd Ala. left for Camp Coppinger. The May 25, 1898 Nashville Banner reported that the “white volunteers object to having the battalion of Negro troops encamped near them at Camp Clark, and the Negroes will not be sent to Mobile until the white troops move out to the brigade to which they have been assigned.” The May 30, 1898 New Orleans Daily Picayune indicates the 3rd Ala. was at the “Bay Shore Camp,” the same description of the camp site of the 1st and 2nd Ala. The September 6, 1898 New Orleans Times-Democrat identified the 3rd’s camp as Camp Johnston.
Spanish American War Camp, Mobile, Alabama.
•The camp was informally named after Major General John J. Coppinger, initial commanding officer of the Fourth Corps. Some newspaper articles refer to the camp as “Camp Mobile” in the early days after it was established.•The Fourth Corps initially assembled at Mobile before going to Tampa. There were seven regiments of regular infantry camped in Mobile in early May, 1898, according to the May 7, 1898 Army and Navy Journal. Camp Coppinger was abandoned when the last regiment left about June 27, 1898.•The Spring Hill camp where the regulars mobilized was in the area between the Crichton and Spring Hill suburbs of Mobile, closer to Crichton. According to the Mobile Daily Register, April 20, 1898, page 5, “[t]he camp ground is bound on the north and east by Three-Mile creek, on the south by Stein’s creek and on the west by the Moffatt Road [U.S. Highway 98].”•A May 3, 1898 article in the San Francisco Chronicle refers to the 20th Inf. being at the “Spring Hill Camp” in Mobile.•The Alabama volunteers at Camps Clark and Johnson in Mobile moved to this camp beginning in late May, 1898.
A Spanish-American War muster-out camp for state troops. Located in the East Lake area.
Camp Hilary A. Herbert
Spanish American War Camp, Montgomery, Alabama
Named for a former Secretary of the Navy. Herbert was an officer in the 8th Alabama Infantry during the Civil War.
Camp Herbert was the muster out camp for the 2nd Ala. Vol. Inf. from September 17 to October 31, 1898. The regiment was on furlough during most of the period.
The camp was at Riverside Park in the north part of the city. The camp was likely in the southeast part of the park. This was a very popular park around the turn of the century but no longer exists. It was on the east bank of the Alabama River west of the L&N Railroad tracks with the north boundary being approximately where 4th Street would be located if it extended west across the tracks and the south boundary being approximately where Fowler would be located if it extended west across the tracks.
Spanish American War Camp, Mobile, Alabama
Probably named after Joseph F. Johnston, who was governor of Alabama during Spanish American War. The other possibility is Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston.
This was the muster in camp “near” Mobile for the 2nd Ala. Vol. Inf. Abandoned about June 24, 1898. Muster in and recruiting camp established in the Mobile suburbs in May, 1898 according to source (8). This camp was adjacent to Camp Clark, the camp of the lst Ala. Vol. Inf.
The June 17, 1898 New Orleans Times-Democrat refers to Camp Johnston as the “beautiful camp on the side of Mobile Bay” and that the location is “near Monroe Park.”
United States Army Camp, located 5 miles north of Anniston which was founded in 1917. Upon the agreement of the citizens of Anniston to furnish land, water mains, electric lights, etc., the government of the United States agreed to locate a military camp at that point, where soldiers were to be trained for participation in World War I.
The 29th Division consisting of the headquarters troop; the military police; two brigades of infantry; three regiments of artillery; sanitary trains; French motor battery; field signal battalion; engineer regiment; engineer trains; ammunition and supply trains were trained at Camp McClellan before embarking in May for France.
A remount station, No. 309, was maintained, and a base hospital was constructed with a capacity of 1,256 beds. The Southern and Louisville and Nashville railways had sidings which led into the camp.
The Red Cross, Knights of Columbus, Salvation Army, War Camp Community service and Hostess Houses gave places for amusement and entertainment.
The American Library Association maintained a library known as Camp McClellan Library.
Camp McClellan was renamed to Fort McClellan in 1929 and was the training ground for half a million soldiers during World War II.
References. – Manuscripts in the files of Alabama Department of Archives and History.
Spanish American War Camp, Anniston, Alabama
Named for Lt. William E. Shipp of the 10th Cavalry who was KIA on July 1, 1898 near Santiago, Cuba. He is buried at Lincolnton, North Carolina.
The camp was established after the war on September 3, 1898 and existed through January, 1899. The 2nd Infantry was there until mid-March, 1899. There were five regiments of state volunteers there throughout much of the winter. A February 28, 1899 report published in the March 11, 1899 Army and Navy Journal stated “Camp Shipp is fast disintegrating” because of all the departures of troops.
From a photograph description of Camp Shipp in the Alabama Room collection of the Anniston Public Library: “Encampment formed at Blue Mountain after the Spanish American War. [Blue Mountain is in the north part of Anniston.] … At the end of the Spanish-American War in August, 1898, and with a final peace settlement still in the future, the U.S. Army deemed it unwise to muster out troops and needed a suitable site to quarter a large reserve force. Anniston was chosen. … Camp Shipp was located in the vicinity of Union Foundry in West Anniston.”
From Gates, The Model City of the New South, Strode Publishers, Inc., 1978, pages 140-143: “The well-drained hill just west of the American Pipe and Foundry Company was designated as the location for General Royal T. Frank’s headquarters and the first regiment. … As additional troops from the Third Tennessee and Fourteenth New York arrived, the camp spread to the hills north and east of the Hercules Pipe Company. Parades were held on the grounds of the old Anniston Inn, which was a college. … Noble Street was dotted with hastily erected tents used as restaurants for the thriving business of Camp Shipp soldiers. [Noble Street runs north and south almost through the entire city on present day maps.] … The medical facilities were the pride of the camp. In the first two months in Anniston, 636 patients were treated, with only 20 deaths reported. The hospital had been moved from Chickamauga, where an outbreak of illness was attributed to infected wells, flies, and unskilled nurses. A War Investigating Committee thoroughly inspected the hospital in October and noted considerable improvement since removal to Anniston. … By late October, several changes were made for the coming of winter. Each soldier was issued two blankets and a heavy overcoat. Every three tents were consolidated with added wooden floors and boxed sides. Wooden kitchens, mess halls, and a new division hospital were built. … Annistonians hoped that Camp Shipp would be permanent. By the end of January, however, troops began to move out. Some were discharged, some regiments were sent on to Cuba, and the 300 camp mules were ordered to Manila. … The last patient was discharged and the hospital closed in March. Even the building was removed.”
The Alabama winter was not pleasant. A February 14, 1899 report in the February 25, 1899 Army and Navy Journal indicates temperatures had reached 14 degrees below zero and that “life in tents is not what one might call comfortable.”
Spanish American War Camp, Huntsville, Alabama
The camp was established in August 1898 and named after Major General Joseph Wheeler by Major General J.J. Coppinger on August 15, 1898. Wheeler was the second commanding general of the Fourth Corps.
It was renamed Camp Albert G. Forse when General Wheeler assumed command of the camp.
Confederate Camp, Shelby, Alabama
(1862 – 1865), near Shelby
A CSA training camp was established at the Shelby Springs Hotel and Spa (1839). The hotel itself was taken over as a military hospital in 1865. The resort reopened in 1869, but was closed in 1915. The site is now a cattle ranch off of AL 25.
1813, Near Oxford
An old Creek Indian defense in Calhoun County. There is a difference of opinion as to its exact location. Drake states that in 1813 a friendly Creek chief named Chinnaby had a kind of fort at Ten Islands on the Coosa River, and to which his name was given. The map accompanying the Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, however, places it at a point on the north side of Choccolocco Creek, and near the influx of the Wolfskull Creek.
References. – Gatschet, in Alabama History Commission, Report (1901), vol. 1, p. 395; Drake, Book of Indians (1848), p. 55; Bureau of American Ethnology, Eighteenth Annual Report (1899); pt. 2, map 1; Handbook of American Indians (1907), vol. 1, p. 272.
(1814), near Cedar Bluff
A temporary Federal post built during the First Creek War, probably located on what is now Williamson Island in Weiss Lake (Coosa River). Garrisoned mostly by Cherokee Indians.
According to local tradition, this site was used by the British as a supply base during the American Revolution.
Fort Bowyer was a short-lived earthen and stockade fortification that the United States Army erected in 1813 on Mobile Point, near the mouth of Mobile Bay in what is now Baldwin County, Alabama, but then was part of the Mississippi Territory. The British twice attacked the fort during the War of 1812. The first, unsuccessful attack, took place in September 1814 and led to the British changing their strategy and attacking New Orleans. The second attack, following their defeat at the Battle of New Orleans, was successful. However, it took place in February 1815, after the Treaty of Ghent had been signed but before the news had reached that part of America. Between 1819 and 1834 the United States built a new masonry fortification, Fort Morgan, on the site of Fort Bowyer.
Fort Hampton (1809-1817) – A U.S Army fort established by Colonel Reuben J. Meigs in 1809, west of Athens in Limestone County, Alabama. Named Fort Hampton after Brigadier General Wade Hampton. Abandoned in 1817. Established to protect Chickasaw Indian lands from settler encroachment. Two companies of soldiers were garrisoned there until the Indian lands were ceded to the U.S. Government 1816.
Lat: 34.8083333 Long: -87.2125
Fort Harker, located near Stevenson, Alabama, was a military fortification built by the Union Army during the American Civil War. Constructed in the summer of 1862 by soldiers and freed slaves of the Army of the Cumberland, the fort helped secure strategic railroad lines to ensure the free movement of Union troops and supplies in southeastern Tennessee and northeastern Alabama. Union General William Rosecrans established his headquarters at Fort Harker in July, 1863, from where he directed a successful campaign against the position of Confederate General Braxton Bragg in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The fort would be abandoned after the war and fall into disrepair. After restoration, the site became a city park in 1985.
A Creek War fort was built here in 1812 around the home of John Landrum. It was also the site of the first meeting of the county court which met in 1813 while Clarke County was still a part of the Mississippi Territory.
Turn off Co. Rd. 3 at the Winn Fire Station. Marker will be on le next to Berry’s Chapel A.M. Zion Church.
Fort Leslie (1813-1814) – A Creek Indian War Fort established in 1813 near Talladega, Talladega County, Alabama. Named Fort Leslie after Alexander Leslie Jr.. Abandoned as a fortification in 1814. Also known as Leslie’s Station, Leslie’s Post, Fort Lashley, and Lashley’s Fort.
Established in the fall of 1813 by Alexander Leslie, Jr., a half blood Creek Indian, who built the fort around his home. The site was located about a mile from Talladega’s present day Court Square, on a knoll about 400 feet east of Fort Lashley Avenue, Hwy 21.
In November 1813, a number of non-hostile Creeks sought refuge in Fort Lashley, which then was surrounded by some 1,000 hostile Red Sticks Creeks, who demanded their surrender. When General Andrew Jackson was informed of the situation he assembled an army of 1,200 infantry and 800 cavalry who surrounded the hostiles on 9 Nov 1813. The Battle of Talladega casualties were 15 militiamen killed and about 299 Red Sticks killed.
(1838), Barry Springs
A Federal circular log stockade in “Brown’s Lower Valley” (Broomtown Valley) used for the Cherokee Removals on the “Trail of Tears”. Located near the springs on Mill Creek. No remains. The nearby Richard Barry log house (1838) was destroyed by fire in 1970. The Cherokee County Historical Society erected a marker here in the mid 1970s. Actual site is private property.
Ft Louis de la Mobile
(1838), near Cedar Bluff
A Federal log stockade near “Turkey Town“, used for the Cherokee Removals on the “Trail of Tears”. Probably located on what is now Williamson Island in Weiss Lake (Coosa River). No remains.
(1835 – 1836, 1838, 1864), Fort Payne
A Federal stockade used for the Cherokee Removals on the “Trail of Tears”. Located at the Willstown Mission (built 1823) for the Cherokee. The ruins of the original log house (torn down in 1946) that was within the stockade remain on private property at the end of 4th Street SE off of Gault Ave.. A marker is located in City Park.
The CSA later built a small fort here to guard saltpeter works.
Hwy 84 E on Fort Sinquefield Road is the site of an attack on settlers by Creek warriors during the Creek War. Made famous by Isaac Hayden who saved many settlers by leading a charge outside the fort with a pack of barking dogs.
Fort St Stephens
(1813 – 1814), near Ohatchee
General Andrew Jackson’s base of operations during the First Creek War. Located four miles west of town on the Coosa River opposite Charchee Creek. The palisaded fort was 100 yards square enclosing eight hospital huts, a supply house, and 25 tents, as well as a large hog pen. Built after the Battle of Tallassahatchee, and before the Battle of Talladega. A stone marker (1913) was erected by the D.A.R..
Fort established during the Creek War (War of 1812) and commanded by Cpt. Sam Dale and Evan Austill. Choctaw chieftan Pushmataha often visited here.
Head east on Co. Rd. 35. Marker is on east side of road approx. 4 miles south of where the pavement ends.
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