Historic Markers Across Alabama

Battery Thomas (1898-1917)

Marker ID:  
Location: on the grounds of Fort Morgan State Historic Park, 51 Highway 180 West, Gulf Shores, AL
County: Baldwin
Coordinates: N 30° 13.74    W 088° 1.407
  30.229    -88.02345
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


The first of two rapid fire gun batteries, Battery Thomas was named in honor of Captain Evan Thomas, 4th U.S. Artillery, who was killed in action with the Modoc Indians at Lava Beds, California in 1873.

In March 1898, as the nation moved towards war with Spain, the Army rushed this battery into service. The concrete platforms were completed on April 26th and two 4.7” Rapid Fire Guns were installed on May 9, 1898. Capable of firing a 45 pound projectile six miles, these guns protected a minefield laid across the entrance of Mobile Bay from minesweepers.

A 1915 study warned that the battery, located on its high Mounds, was extremely vulnerable to enemy fire. The Army deactivated the battery in October 1917 and removed the guns. In 1919, one of the gun emplacements was converted into a Range Finding Station for Battery Schenck.

End of Battery Thomas (1898-1917)