Southern Mississippi and Alabama
showing the approaches to Mobile.
Alabama's oldest city is Mobile, which was founded in 1702 by French colonists. Alabama became a state in 1819. The early economy of the region centered around shipbuilding in the navigable port regions and agriculture in its inner regions.
Cotton was grown abundantly throughout much of Alabama and Mississippi in the early 1800's.
This map was published the year of the "Siege of Vicksburg" and the subsequent surrender of Vicksburg by Confederate General John C. Pemberton on July 4th, 1863. This event, combined with General Robert E. Lee's defeat at Gettysburg the preceding day, is widely thought to mark the turning point in the American Civil War.
Mobile was heavily fortified during the civil war. Although Union navy forces held a blockade to prevent ships from entering the harbor, Confederates devised a fleet of fast-operating camouflaged boats that managed to slip in and out of the harbor supplying the town.
The 40 foot H.L. Hunley submarine was built in Mobile and transported to Charleston, South Carolina where it sank numerous times during 1863 before finally sinking its first enemy boat, the USS Housatonic.
The Battle of Mobile Bay was fought in August of 1864. During that conflict Union Admiral David Farragut was heard to command “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”, as the USS Tecumseh engaged a Confederate mine, sinking the ship immediately.
As the war ended, Mobile surrendered to the Union army.
Weeks after the surrender a Mobile ammunition storehouse, which had been operated by the Confederacy, exploded; killing nearly 300 people and leveling much of the city.
Alabama began to regain its industrial interests in the 1870's. This instigated much talk about extending railroads into the rich iron ore regions of Red Mountain.
This map was published in 1863 from a United States Coast Survey. It shows drainage, cities, towns, stations, roads, and railroads.
Included are portions of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.