Sunday, August 21, 2011

Baldwin, FL to Jacksonville Beach, FL - 82 miles

From top, left to right: Jacksonville Beach Pier, Casa Marina Hotel, Freebird Live, condos, statue in front of City Hall, Lynch's Irish Pub, Sea Walk Pavilion, Jacksonville Beach City Hall

Today was the last day of the ride. The riders were anxious and sad all at the same time. It has been a long, hard ride, but you can see the pride of accomplishment on their faces.

The triumphant arrival at Jacksonville Beach was captured with cameras, loved ones and balloons. Then it was down to the ocean's edge for a celebratory glass of Moet and more pictures. Soon after all riders and guests assembled at Joe's Crab Shack for a final group dinner before final hugs and handshakes and all going their own way. Many had to pack their bicycles for shipping back home and others brought their trusty steads to a local bike shop to handle that chore. And then some just put their bike in the back of their car and headed home. It was a wonderful trip but now it is time to move on to bigger and better events.
Like most of northeast Florida, the Jacksonville Beach area was originally inhabited by the Timucua peoples. Though the Jacksonville Beaches region was one of the first parts of what is now the continential U.S. to see settlement during the period of European colonziation, the area of Jacksonville Beach itself was not settled until the 19th century.

In the late 19th century, developers began to see the potential in Duval County's oceanfront as a resort. In 1883 a group of investors formed the Jacksonville and Atlantic Railroad with the intention of developing a resort community that would be connected to Jacksonville by rail. In 1884 the first residents of what would become Jacksonville Beach moved in, and a railway station, post office, and small tent community was formed. The community was named Ruby, after the daughter of one of the first residents. The name was changed to Pablo Beach in 1886, and the first hotel was constructed. It was incorporated as a town in 1907. The name was changed to Jacksonville Beach in 1921, emphasizing the connection with Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Beach's Role in WWII
SS Gulfamerica Sinking

Backlit from lights from Jacksonville, a German U-boat [U-123] as part of Operation Drumbeat, was able to target and sink the SS Gulfamerica on April 10, 1942, early in WWII. It was several months before the federal government understood the necessity for blacking out coastal cities at night.

The Second Happy Time (codenamed Operation Paukenschlag or Operation Drumbeat), also known among German submarine commanders as the "American shooting season" was the informal name for a phase in the Second Battle of the Atlantic during which Axis submarines attacked merchant shipping along the east coast of North America. The first "Happy time" was in 1940/41.
It lasted from January 1942 to about August of that year. German submariners named it the happy time or the golden time as defense measures were weak and disorganized, and the U-boats were able to inflict massive damage with little risk. During the second happy time, Axis submarines sank 609 ships totaling 3.1 million tons for the loss of only 22 U-boats. This was roughly one quarter of all shipping sunk by U-boats during the entire Second World War.

We are staying at the Best Western Oceanfront.

Tomorrow most everyone heads home. Our ride adventure is done!

Bring on Route 66!

Friday, August 19, 2011

White Springs, FL to Baldwin, FL - 62 miles

Today was a relatively short day that ended with only 405 feet of climbing...most likely the bridge over the intercostal waterway. :-)

Today's ride took the riders past Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park.

Olustee Battlefield Monument
Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park commemorates Florida's largest Civil War battle, which took place February 20, 1864. More than 10,000 cavalry, infantry and artillery troops fought a five-hour battle in a pine forest near Olustee. Three U.S. Colored Troops took part in the battle, including the now famous 54th Massachusetts. The battle ended with 2,807 casualties and the retreat of Union troops to Jacksonville until the war's end just 14 months later. In 1912, when many living Civil War veterans still attended reunions, the battlefield became the state's first historic site. Olustee Battlefield has a visitor center with historical information and artifacts. A reenactment is held every February and a Civil War Expo takes place in late summer. Scenes for Civil War movies, including the 1989 movie Glory, have been filmed during the reenactments. 

The town of Baldwin, FL was first settled under the name of Thigpen in 1846. The name was changed to Baldwin in honor of Dr. Abel Seymour Baldwin, the president of the Florida Atlantic and Gulf Central Railroad, a railroad that ran from Lake City, FL to Jacksonville, FL. In 1967 Baldwin became the first Duval County School to be integrated.

Baldwin was the site of a civil war skirmish and until recently, dirt revetments could be found in one part of the town where defenses by Confederate forces were erected against the advance of the Union forces. Rifle balls and other evidence of the battle could be found by those who wished to look.

We are staying at the Best Western.

Tomorrow we are off to Jacksonville Beach, FL our last stop on this tour.

Monticello, FL to White Springs, FL - 72 miles

We travelled from Monticello, FL to White Springs, FL. It was a beautiful ride. I crossed over the Suwannee River  which was once the boundary between the Timucuan tribe to the east and Apalachee tribe to the west. When Spanish explorers visited the area in the 1530s, it was inhabited by the former, who believed its springs possessed healing powers. The first purchases of land date from 1835, when Bryant and Elizabeth Sheffield bought tracts for a cotton plantation. Mr. Sheffield became an advocate of sampling the waters, proclaiming their curative benefit for such ailments as rheumatism, kidney trouble and nervousness.

Consequently, White Sulphur Springs in the 19th century became Florida's first tourist destination. Crowds of health seekers arrived, first by  stagecoach and then railroad, and hotels were built near the springs to accommodate them. With additional wealth derived from cotton and  lumber, the town grew and was incorporated in 1885. Today, many of the original Victorian buildings survive, particularly the White Springs Historic District, established in 1997.

During the Civil War, White Springs, FL was a refuge for displaced southerners fleeing the ravages of war along Florida's coasts. After the war, White Sulphur Springs continued to attract visitors seeking to restore their health "by swimming in the healing water".  

Stephen Collins Foster

The songwriter Stephen Collins Foster [July 4, 1826 0- January  13, 1864] is remembered at the Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State Park. Known as the "father of American music",  Foster was the pre-eminent songwriter in the U.S. of the 19th century. His songs — such as "Oh! Susanna", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River"), "Hard Times Come Again No More", "My Old Kentucky Home", "Old Black Joe", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", and "Beautiful Dreamer" — remain popular over 150 years after their composition.

Historic Telford Inn

We are staying at America's Best Value Inn.

Tomorrow we are off to Baldwin, FL.

Tallahassee, FL to Monticello, FL - 48 miles

Unlike Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia, the city in Florida is pronounced "mont-i-SEL-o," not "mont-i-CHEL-o".

Jefferson County Courthouse, Monticello, FL.

Hanging Tree, Monticello, FL. Intersection of Highway 90 and 19. Like many southern towns, Monticello has what is known as a Hanging Tree located near it’s courthouse. The local shopkeepers would close up shop each Thursday afternoon so they could witness the hangings in the city square. To this day, store owners still close their shops early on Thursdays.

Monticello is a beautiful small town in Northwest Florida with loads of southern charm by day... and ghostly spirits by night. Designated the South's Most Haunted Town in October 2003 by ABC News, the haunted hype still surrounds the town — from the hanging tree in the middle of the square to the 1872 John Denham House Bed and Breakfast. In fact, the Denham House has been named one of the top places to get in bed with a ghost by USA Today.

Perkins Opera House, Monticello, FL.

Monticello, FL has a historic 19th century opera house that still features regular musical performances, as well as theater productions and musicals. The first floor ballroom also holds receptions on a regular basis.

We are staying at the 1872 John Denham House [haunted].

Tomorrow we are off to White Springs, FL.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Marianna, FL to Tallahassee, FL - miles

Today we travelled to Tallahassee, FL via Grand Ridge, Sneads, and Chattahoochie.
Florida State Hospital - Amos Building
Florida State Hospital, the hospital involved in the famous 1975 U.S. Supreme Court decision,O'Connor v. Donaldson [A state cannot constitutionally confine a non-dangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by themselves or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends], is next to Chattahoochee. The former arsenal and current Administration Building of Florida State Hospital is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hospital was featured in a 1989 movie, Chattahoochee, starring Gary Oldman and Dennis Hopper, in which a war hero, Chris Calhoun, is involuntarily committed to Florida State Hospital where he sees doctors at the hospital humiliating patients and experiences filth and abuse.
Then it was through Gretna and Quincy, FL.
There are several locations in Quincy which have been included in the National Register of Historic Places, most of which are within the Quincy Historic District.
They are:
E.B. Shelfer House
E.C. Love House
John Lee McFarland House
Old Philadelphia Presbyterian Church
Judge P.W. White House
Willoughby Gregory House
Quincy Academy Library
Quincy Woman's Club
Stockton Curry House
Established in 1828, Quincy, is the county seat of Gadsden County. Quincy lies in the rolling hills of North Florida. Part of the woodlands run along the banks of the Ocholocknee River and Little River.

Coca-Cola Quincy investors were largely responsible for the development of its local Coca-Cola company into a world wide conglomerate. Quincy was once rumored to be the home to many millionaires due to the Coca-Cola boom. Mr. Pat Munroe, a banker, father of 18 children from 2 wives, and W.C. Bradley were among the stockholders of three of the banks that released 500,000 shares of new Coca-Cola common stock. They urged widows and farmers to invest for $40 each and several did. Eventually that stock split, and made as many as 67 accounted for investors and Gadsden county residents rich. To give you an idea of the stock's value, a single share of Coca-Cola stock bought in 1919 for $40 would be worth $6.4 million today, if all dividends had been reinvested.

Notable current and former residents of Quincy include: 
The Lady Chablis, transgendered entertainer best known for her appearance in the book and subsequent movie adaptation of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Billy Dean, Country Music Singer 

Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world.

After Quincy we traveled through Midway, FL before reaching Tallahassee, FL.

On the way I stopped at Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park, in northern Tallahassee, FL, which is one of the most important archaeological sites in Flordia. A former chiefdom and ceremonial center of the Fort Walton Culture (1100-1550), the complex originally included six earthwork mounds, a constructed public plaza and numerous individual village residence.
Mound 2
Mound 4

We are staying at the Residence Inn.

Tomorrow we are off to Monticello, FL.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DeFuniak Springs, FL to Marianna, FL - 63 miles

Today we began using our final section of maps! It is now extemely obvious that we are at the end of the trip. We travelled from DeFuniak Springs, FL to Marianna, FL along State Route 90. The ride was pretty much straight and but surprizingly not flat - it was rolly. Did about 1250 feet of climbing!

We travelled through several interesting towns on the way including Argyle, and Ponce De Leon before we rode through Westville, FL.
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder

American author Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder (February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957) [who wrote the Little House series of books based on her childhood in a pioneer family] along with husband Almanzo and her daughter Rose lived in Westville, FL for a short time in 1891. Laura's cousin Peter lived here as well. Peter married and stayed in the region, but the Wilders quickly determined the move had been a mistake for them, and left the area after about a year, eventually settling in Mansfield, MO.

Then it was on to Caryville, Bonifay, Chipley, Cottondale and finally Marianna, FL.

Marianna, FL was founded in 1828 and named the county seat in 1829, supplanting the earlier settlement of Webbville, which soon dissolved and no longer exists.
John Milton - 5th Governor of Florida
Marianna, FL is the final resting place of the Confederate governor of Florida, Governor John Milton, and the scene of a minor Civil War battle between a small home guard of about 150 boys, old men, and wounded soldiers, and a contingent of approximately 900 Federal troops.
Governor Milton, who owned the Milton Plantation and hundreds of slaves, was the Governor of Florida during the Civil War years. Governor Milton was vehemently against the Confederate States of America reuniting with the United States of America. He vowed that he would rather die than see the Confederates reunite with America.
In late spring 1865, as Federal Troops were preparing to take control of Tallahassee, Governor Milton received word the Civil War had ended and that Florida would now be part of the United States again. Upon this news, the Governor died of a gunshot wound. Historians tell it that Milton committed suicide because he could not stand the thought of slavery ending and becoming a part of America again.
Marianna, FL was also the site of the 1934 lynching of Claude Neal, an African American man accused of rape and murder. The national publicity generated by the lynching and resulting riot played a significant role in American history by helping to inspire national anti-lynching laws.
We are staying at the Microtel Inn and Suites.

Tomorrow we are off to Tallahassee, FL.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fort Walton Beach, FL to DeFuniak Springs, FL - 54 miles

The end is near. Today we traveled from Fort Walton Beach, FL to DeFuniak Springs, FL. We turned inland and said goodbye to the gulf waters and sandy beaches for the next couple of days.


The town DeFuniak Springs, FL was founded by the officers of the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad, a subsidiary of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The P and A was organized to connect the terminus of the L and N at Pensacola to the western terminus of a predecessor of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad at River Junction—now Chattahoochee—in the 1880s. It was named after Frederick R. DeFuniak, a vice-president of the L and N. Like much of  Northwest Florida, DeFuniak Springs was settled mainly by Scots from Virginia and the Carolinas.
DeFuniak Springs was established as a final-destination resort, and the developers enlisted the cooperation and aid of the Chautauqua Movement.

Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood

 The Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, an auditorium seating 4,000, was constructed on Lake DeFuniak in the center of town. The auditorium of the building was severely damaged by Hurricane Eloise in 1975 and razed. However, a charitable foundation, The Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood Foundation, Inc., has undertaken a capital campaign for the historic restoration of the building. The westerly portion of the building facing Circle Drive is still in use.
 Historic Home
 Another view of train station
Lake DeFuniak
The town also contains various other historically significant landmarks. Near the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood building is the Walton County Library on Circle Drive, the oldest extant library in the state of Florida. The library contains an interesting assortment of antiquities, including an impressive medieval weapon collection and many first-edition books. Also situated on Circle Drive are the Walton County Heritage Museum, housed in the former L and N Railroad Depot, and St. Agathas's Episcopal Church, built in 1895-1896.
We are staying at the Super 8.

Tomorrow we off to Mariana, FL.

Orange Beach, AL to Fort Walton Beach, FL - 68 miles

We are definitely near the end of this epic ride.
 We rode into our fifthteen state today [Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida] 
The route is almost completely flat except for the bridges. Today we traveled along the gulf coast from Orange Beach, AL to Fort Walton Beach, FL riding through several interesting towns...Pensacola and Gulf Breeze, FL. 

 1st Lighthouse built on Florida Coast
Gulf Breeze became famous in 1987 as the site of several UFO sightings. The Gulf Breeze UFO incident is a famous series of UFO sightings which occurred beginning on November 11, 1987. News of high-quality UFO photos spread rapidly and worldwide and became the subject of newspaper and magazine articles, television talk shows and feature programs.
The "Gulf Breeze UFO Incident" most definitive evidence is a series of photographs and contact claims made by Ed Walters that began, for him, on November 11, 1987. Walters reported and documented a series of UFO sightings over a period of three weeks. The photographs of the craft were unusually clear and initially Walters' claims generated great excitement. Research byJerry Black in the early 1990s revealed a trail of suspicious money leading to Walters, giving the initial indications that the case was a hoax. Over subsequent years, new evidence including the discovery of a model in a house once owned by Walters, similar to the UFOs in his photographs, shifted majority opinion to believe that Walters' photos of the 1987 sightings were faked.
Although Ed Walters was the nexus of the Gulf Breeze sightings, he was not the only person to claim a sighting. According to, an estimated 200+ others came forward with sightings, videos and/or photographs during a three-year period. On December 2, 2010, the SyFy series Fact or Faked investigated another UFO video shot in 2009 where the object in the video is similar to the one Ed Walters caught on camera.

Gulf Breeze also received media attention for instituting a program to allow volunteers to drive police cars within the city and report traffic violations to police. Volunteers receive training in radio use and first aid but are not empowered to make arrests or traffic stops.

Flyby with troops

Museum front

Fort Walton Beach
In 1861, Camp Walton was a confederate military camp made up of the 1st Florida Regiment, which consisted of men from the Walton County Militia. At this time, Okaloosa County did not yet exist.
Walton County received its name from Col. George Walton, who served as an aide under Andrew Jackson and whose father, George Walton Sr., was the 56th signatory of the Declaration of Independence. As a result of Col. Walton's influence in the politics of north-west Florida, his name was honored by establishing Walton County.
The 1st Florida regiment's camp was located in front of the Indian Temple Mound, now known as the Heritage Park and Cultural Center, and its mission was to protect the "Narrows" from Union ships. Although the 1st Florida Regiment did not see much action, they did keep busy by digging up prehistoric Indian remains buried in the Indian Temple Mound and displaying them at camp.
Fort Walton was incorporated by a State Senate bill effective June 16, 1941.
The community's name was officially changed from Fort Walton to Fort Walton Beach on June 15, 1953, by agreement with the state legislature in Tallahassee, and incorporated a portion of Santa Rosa Island formerly known as Tower Beach. Tower Beach had been an amusement area in the 1930s with a board walk, casino, restaurant, dance pavilion, and concession stands which was largely destroyed by fire on Saturday, March 7, 1942. Wartime supply restrictions prevented a reconstruction.

We are staying at the Marina Bay Resort.
 A Courtyard View
On the Sound
Tomorrow we are off to DeFuniak Springs, FL.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mobile, AL to Orange Beach, AL - 64 miles

Today we rode to our last rest day location...Orange Beach, AL. I can't believe that there are only 8 riding days left. This trip has just flown by. It took so long for it to start...I remember staring at the map of the U.S. [with the route highlighted with red and black dots] in my cubicle for 364 days, thinking about this trip and now it is just about over. My, how time flies. But on the upside, even though this trip is just about done, I still don't have to go back to work in the puzzle palace. I will be off on another adventure...Route 66, the Pony Express, the Chisholm Trail, the Katy Trail, the Natchez Trace...just to name a few...there are so many places to see and experience...I am excited!

Today one of the places I saw was Ft Gaines, AL which played a significant role in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War.
Fort Gaines, AL
A view from inside Fort Gaines, AL

Edward Pendleton Gaines

Fort Gaines is a historic fort on Dauphin Island, AL. It was named for Edmund Pendleton Gaines (March 20, 1777 – June 6, 1849), a U.S. army officer who served with distinction during the War of 1812, the Seminole Wars and the Black Hawk War. Established in 1821, Fort Gaines is best known for its role in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War.
There is a huge anchor from the USS Hartford, Admiral David Farragut's flagship on which it is said he he gave his world famous command, "Damn the torpedoes -- full speed ahead!" The most popular accounts of how Farragut came to say these words have been deemed as unlikely by historians. It is doubted that any such verbal communication could be heard above the din of the guns; however it is told that when the Brooklyn slowed when the Tecumseh crossed her path, Farragut asked why she was not moving ahead. When the reply came back that torpedoes were in her path, he is said to have said, "Damn the torpedoes." Some forms of the story are highly unlikely; the most widespread is that he shouted to Brooklyn, "Damn the torpedoes! Go ahead!" More likely, if it happened, is that he said to the captain of Hartford, "Damn the torpedoes. Four bells, Captain Drayton." Then he shouted to the commander of Metacomet, lashed to Hartford's side, "Go ahead,Jouett, full speed." The words have been altered in time to the more familiar, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"
 The fort also has the original cannons used in the battle, five pre-Civil War brick buildings in the interior courtyard, operational blacksmith shop and kitchens, tunnel systems to the fortified corner bastions, and similar features. The fort was partially modernized for the Spanish-American War. The site is considered to be one of the nation's best-preserved Civil War era masonry forts.

The Battle of Mobile Bay of August 5, 1864, was an engagement of the Civil War in which a Federal fleet commanded by Rear Admiral David G. Farragut, assisted by a contingent of soldiers, attacked a smaller Confederate fleet led by Admiral Franklin Buchanan and three forts that guarded the entrance to Mobile Bay.

The battle was marked by Farragut's seemingly rash but successful run through a minefield that had just claimed one of his ironclad monitors, enabling his fleet to get beyond the range of the shore-based guns. This was followed by a reduction of the Confederate fleet to a single vessel, ironclad CSS Tennessee. Tennessee did not then retire, but engaged the entire Northern fleet. The armor on Tennessee gave her an advantage that enabled her to inflict more injury than she received, but she could not overcome the imbalance in numbers.

She was eventually reduced to a motionless hulk, unable either to move or to reply to the guns of the Union fleet. Her captain then surrendered, ending the battle. With no Navy to support them, the three forts within days also surrendered. Complete control of the lower Mobile Bay thus passed to the Union forces.

Mobile had been the last important port on the Gulf of Mexico east of the Mississippi River remaining in Confederate possession, so its closure was the final step in completing the blockade in that region.
This Union victory, together with the capture of Atlanta, was extensively covered by Union newspapers and was a significant boost forAbraham Lincoln's bid for re-election three months after the battle.
Other Names: Passing of Forts Morgan and Gaines
Location: Mobile County and Baldwin County
Campaign: Operations in Mobile Bay (1864)
Date(s): August 2-23, 1864
Principal Commanders: Adm. David G. Farragut and Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger [US]; Adm. Franklin Buchanan and Brig. Gen. Richard L. Page [CS]
Forces Engaged: Farragut’s Fleet (14 wooden ships and 4 monitors) and U.S. army forces near Mobile [US]; Buchanan’s Flotilla (3 gunboats and an ironclad), Fort Morgan Garrison, Fort Gaines Garrison, and Fort Powell Garrison [CS]
Estimated Casualties: 1,822 (US 322; CS 1,500)
Description: A combined Union force initiated operations to close Mobile Bay to blockade running. Some Union forces landed on Dauphin Island and laid siege to Fort Gaines. On August 5, Farragut’s Union fleet of eighteen ships entered Mobile Bay and received a devastating fire from Forts Gaines and Morgan and other points. After passing the forts, Farragut forced the Confederate naval forces, under Adm. Franklin Buchanan, to surrender, which effectively closed Mobile Bay. By August 23, Fort Morgan, the last big holdout, fell, shutting down the port. The city, however, remained uncaptured.
Results: Union victory

Fort Morgan Original Plans 1817

Fort Morgan is a historic masonry star fort at the mouth of Mobile Bay, AL. Some scholars regard it as "one of the finest examples of military architecture in the New World."The post was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan. Construction was completed in 1834 and it received its first garrison in March of the same year.

 Daniel Morgan - Revolutionary War Hero
Daniel Morgan Statue Virginia. Awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for Valor
Congressional Gold Medal voted for General Daniel Morgan by Congress after the Battle of Cowpens, 1781.

A Congressional Gold Medal is an award bestowed by the U.S. Congress and is, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the U.S. The decoration is awarded to an individual who performs an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the U.S. American citizenship is not a requirement.

The Congressional medal presented to General Morgan (1736-1802) was for his extraordinary leadership and tactics he employed at the Battle of Cowpens. The victory he attained in that engagement was the precursor of the final battle, Yorktown. The inscription reads: "Daniel Morgan. Duce Exercitus Comitia Americana — The American Congress to General Daniel Morgan". On the reverse side the inscription reads: "Victoria Libertatis Vindex —Victory, the protector of Liberty". On the bottom: "Fugatis, Caper Aut Caesis Ad Cowpens, Hostibus, 17th January 1781 — The foe put to flight, taken or slain, at Cowpens, January 17th, 1781".
Fort Morgan is at the tip of Mobile Point at the western terminus of Alabama State Route 180. It and Dauphin Island, on which Fort Gaines is situated, enclose Mobile Bay. 

General Gordon Granger

The Siege of Fort Morgan was part of the Battle of Mobile Bay. Union ground forces led by General Gordon Granger conducted a short siege of the Confederate garrison at the mouth of Mobile Bay under the command of General Richard L. Page. The Confederate surrender helped shut down Mobile as an effective Confederate port city.
Richard L. Page

Fort Morgan
Fort Morgan State Historic Site
Fort Morgan Cannon
Farragut lashed to the rigging

An anecdote of the battle of Mobile Bay, that is interesting is it is said that Farragut was lashed to the mast during the passage of Fort Morgan. The image it brings to mind is of absolute resolve: if his ship were to be sunk in the battle, he would go down with her. The truth is more prosaic; while he was indeed lashed to the rigging of the mainmast, it was a precautionary move rather than an act of defiance. It came about after the battle had opened and smoke from the guns had clouded the air. In order to get a better view of the action, Farragut climbed into Hartford's rigging, and soon was high enough that a fall would certainly incapacitate him and could have killed him. Seeing this, Captain Drayton sent a seaman aloft with a piece of line to secure the admiral. He demurred, saying, "Never mind, I am all right," but the sailor obeyed his captain's orders, tying one end of the line to a forward shroud, then around the admiral and to the after shroud.
Later, when CSS Tennessee made her unsupported attack on the Federal fleet, Farragut climbed into the mizzen rigging. Still concerned for his safety, Captain Drayton had Flag-Lieutenant J. Crittenden Watson
tie him to the rigging again. Thus, the admiral had been tied to the rigging twice in the course of the battle
We are staying at the Hilton Garden Inn.
An exterior view
The beautiful gulf coast
Tomorrow is a rest day and then we are off to Fort Walton Beach, FL.