Remarkably, many remnants of this story are found in the soil itself. Archaeologists have been able to study trenches, gun emplacements and other marks of battle at the Blakeley Bluff property. This land is key to learning more about the USCT and recognizing their significant contributions to the war efforts and our country. In addition to its historical importance, the Blakeley Bluff property has significant conservation value with unique ecology and a diversity of plant species, including hibiscus, orchids and the rare Alabama dahoon holly.

Our Role

When concerns arose that this historic landscape might be developed, we purchased the 60-acre battle site with help from our partners. This move ensures future opportunities for education, archaeological discoveries and ecological research. One of our partners, the University of South Alabama, holds a conservation easement on the land, which means it will remain a piece of history we can all experience.

Why this project matters

The Battle of Fort Blakeley is one of the most important Civil War stories you’ve likely never heard. Not only was it among the last major fights of the war, but it ended in the resounding defeat of Confederate forces by one of the heaviest concentrations of USCT in any one battle. More than 200,000 Black soldiers fought for the United States between the Revolution and the end of the Civil War before receiving citizenship. Preserving the land where these soldiers fought honors their role in ending the war, while also expanding historical research opportunities and safeguarding one of Alabama’s most significantly endangered ecosystems.

Fort Blakeley in Alabama quote copy

"The Battle of Fort Blakeley is an important testament to the role African Americans played in obtaining their own freedom and affords a diverse view of history that inspires and empowers inclusive communities."

― Dawn Chitty, Director of Education, African American Civil War Museum


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*The historical term used for this troop of soldiers during the Civil War.