The site of the Confederate battery at Alum Bluff is within the Nature Conservancy's Apalachicola Ravines and Bluffs Preserve south of Bristol on the east side of the Apalachicola River. Due to aggressive erosion on this bend of the river, only a few sections of trench remain at the site of this once important part of the Confederate defenses of the river.
The Apalachicola River was of major strategic importance during the Civil War. This is a very large river that served a rich agricultural region as well as the important manufacturing interersts at Columbus, Georgia. In 1862, after growing success of the U.S. blockade of the Gulf coast led to the U.S. occupation of the town of Apalachicola, an elaborate system of fortifications and obstructions was erected by the Confederacy on the river.
This system of river defences included construction in 1862 of a seven-gun batttery at Alum Bluff, and the placement of obstructions in the river below the battery. This battery is said to have included seven guns mounted en barbette in emplacements connected by trenches. The trenches visible at Alum Bluff today may be parts of these connecting trenches or other trenches or gun pits constructed for the defense of the battery by infantry troops stationed there.
A well preserved example of a Confederate Apalachicola River battery that is probably very similar in construction to the Alum Bluff battery can be seen at Torreya State Park.
The Florida Public Archaeology Network is dedicated to the protection of cultural resources, both on land and underwater, and to involving the public in the study of their past.
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