Fort Conde (Alabama)

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Fort Conde remained in the hands of its French builders until 1763, when it was turned over to the British along with the rest of Alabama as part of the agreement that ended the French and Indian War.

The British renamed the post Fort Charlotte in honor of King George III’s wife and maintained a garrison here throughout the American Revolution. An original cannon from the British era can be seen across the walk from the old French gun at the Conde-Charlotte House.

During this time Mobile prospered as a commercial center, but also became a target of Spain after that country allied itself with the United States during the American Revolution.

On February 10, 1780, General Bernardo de Galvez landed a force of Spanish troops and American volunteers to begin the Battle of Fort Charlotte, one of two significant battles of the American Revolution fought in Alabama.

The allied troops laid siege to the fort and for four weeks battled Fort Charlotte’s British garrison for control not only of the fortress, but all of Mobile Bay.

The British surrendered on March 14, 1780, ending forever England’s claim to present-day Alabama.

Under Spanish rule, the fort was renamed Fort Carlota. In addition to placing a garrison in Mobile, Galvez ordered the construction of a new fort on the bluffs across the bay at the site of today’s community of Spanish Fort.

This work withstood a later British attack and gave the community the name that it bears today. The Spanish went on to hold the fort until 1813 when it was occupied by United States Troops.

Under U.S. control, the fort was renamed Fort Charlotte. In 1820, the U.S. Congress authorized the sale and removal of the fort because it was no longer needed for defense.

Later, city funds paid for the demolition to allow new streets built eastward towards the river and southward. By late 1823, most of the above-ground traces of Mobile’s fort were gone, leaving only underground structures.

In the 1970s, about 1/3 of the fort was reconstructed at an 80% scale. The new Fort Conde was opened on July 4, 1976, as part of Mobile’s celebration of the United States bicentennial.

Today, the reconstructed fort serves as the official Welcome Center for the City of Mobile. It is located at 150 South Royal Street and is free to visit.