The Castles of the US

There are more ways between two places than one route. And this is most certainly true in the South of the US, where vast stretches of highway connect state to state and city to city. The best option is like life down there, the slow option, passing by swampy forests, full of willows, cedar, and oak, where the Spanish moss reaches from tall branches down to the ground below. The air is thick and wet, old men watch your car pass from huge covered front porches.

We already took the fast highway route. I wanted a different route. I wanted the slow route.

Fort Morgan entrance

Fort Morgan being invaded by Federalists

I’ve seen dozens and dozens of European castles, and only add to that number every time I leave Prague. So, I thought it was high time I saw an American castle, and by castle here I mean fortress.

Around Perdido Key, there are four old fortresses open for touring, Fort McRee (which you can’t go inside), Fort Pickens, Fort Morgan, and Fort Gaines.

Fort Morgan

Defending the Fort

These are quite different than the traditional medieval European castles one’s used to thinking about though, as they were built in quite a different age. As you might see in towns like Dubrovnik, the medieval days saw the walls on fortifications get higher and higher, with towers and keeps soaring into the sky. This was because the main siege weapons were catapults and trebuchets, which were more often than not, used to send rocks flying through the air over the walls and decimating the garrison from above. But with the advent of cannon warfare, and gunpowder stockpiles blowing up famous sites (see also: the Parthenon), fortifications began to change.