Historical Compilations - Brief History

The occupation of Baldwin County's rich Delta can be traced back approximately 10,000 years. Pre-Mississippian Native American cultures often referred to as “mound-builders,” flourished in the area. To this day, a variety of burial, ceremonial and residential mounds along with an occasional artifact can be found along Baldwin County's many waterways.

The Spanish arrived in the area in 1519 when Alonzo Alvarez De Pineda sailed into Mobile Bay and named it Espiritu Santo. In 1540 Hernando Desoto is known to have traveled through a portion of Baldwin County. The town of Spanish Fort is known to have been the indefinite site for Spanish occupation. In time, the French and English would occupy Baldwin County offering a variety of contributions to its rich history and heritage.  Baldwin County is also distinguished as being a place where many battles were fought. Andrew Jackson, who later became the seventh (7th) President of the United States, and his Volunteers fought the Indians in Alabama during one of the fiercest attacks occurring in Baldwin County in August, 1813, at Fort Mims (located in Northern Baldwin County). Andrew Jackson crossed Baldwin County to affect the surrender of the Spanish commandant at Pensacola (located in Northwest Florida).

During the War of 1812, at Fort Bowyer (now called Fort Morgan), the British attacked the fort prior to the ill fated Battle of New Orleans. This attack was repulsed with a number of British casualties and the loss of the HMS Hermes. The fort was attacked again after the British defeat at New Orleans, and was lost to the British on February 12, 1815, but after the Treaty of Ghent was signed the British were forced to relinquish it. Four years later the fourteenth (14th) British Colony, Alabama, at last joined the original thirteen (13) American Colonies which fought the American Revolution or the War of Independence, and Baldwin County became part of the United States of America by inclusion in an American Territory.

During the Civil War or War Between the States (1861-1865), Fort Morgan was again the site of a fierce battle in August, 1864, when Federal Union Admiral Farragut entered Baldwin / Mobile Bay to seal off Confederate shipping from Baldwin /Mobile Harbor. The Tecumseh, a Federal Ironclad, struck a mine and sank during the fighting in a narrow inlet where it still lies with its entombed crew near Fort Morgan. In the final days of the American Civil War or War Between the States, Baldwin County would see its portion of land engagements as Union General Canby attempted to break through the formidable Mobile Defenses. Numerous skirmishes occurred in the northern portion of the county. The Spanish Fort region went under siege, with Fort McDermott receiving approximately 48 hours of constant bombardment. On April 9, 1865, Union Forces mounted a final assault on an area known as Fort Blakely. This abandoned village turned earthwork fortress would see tragic heavy fighting in the final hours of America's Bloodiest conflict. It is estimated that a total of 4,475 soldiers were killed or wounded in this final engagement.

However, Baldwin County was not only a place where battles were fought, but a place where futures were built along the tenants of diversity and a neighborly helping hand. France, Greece, Germany, Yugoslavia, Russia, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Africa, and dozens of other sources have contributed to the richness of Baldwin County's history. This melting pot of fine peoples built Baldwin County's agricultural, commercial, manufacturing, tourism & fishing industries to make Baldwin County prosper and persevere during times of severe challenges and economic depression.

Today, Baldwin County remains one of the fastest growing counties in Alabama.  In 1990, 98,290 citizens resided in delineated Baldwin County, Alabama, in 2000 the county's population was 140,415, and the 2010 Census counted 182,265 citizens.  Baldwin County's rich history and diverse cultures have created a place welcome to all, for its strength is not only found among the plethora of abundant natural resources, healthy economy or beautiful beaches, but with the people who have carved out a place to live, prosper & continuously grow.