Whitworths at Spanish Fort

Nathan Stuart

Apr 14, 2020
I read somewhere that whitworth sharpshooters were part of the Mobile defenses at the battle of Spanish Fort, Alabama, during late March/early April, 1865. There are recorded accounts of whitworth rounds being found by relic hunters in the vicinity of Spanish Fort. Indeed, spent whitworth bullets, reportedly dug at Spanish Fort, have also been viewed for sale on the internet.

Whitworth sharpshooters from the Army of Tennessee (A of T) could have been involved in the Confederate defense at Spanish Fort around this time. After Hood's disastrous 1864 Franklin/Nashville campaign, the A of T was largely destroyed (nearly two thirds casualties) as an effective fighting force. By the end of 1864, remaining fragments of the A of T retreated from Tennessee into northern Alabama and reorganized. Some units were subsequently directed east; others sent south, some to Mobile. It is reasonable to conclude that surviving whitworth riflemen rejoined and accompanied their decimated original units during this period. From the list of known A of T whitworth riflemen, two belonged to the 3 MO and 18 AL. Both these units were transferred to the defenses of Mobile. There could possibly have been at least two whitworth marksmen present at Spanish Fort. (3 MO surrendered on April 9 at Mobile; 18 AL on May 4 at Meridian, Mississippi).