top of page

Battle of Selma


April 2, 1865--On the day Richmond fell General Nathan Bedford Forrest, his men, home guards and civilians manned earthworks about this city. They were overwhelmed by veterans of General James H. Wilson who burned Confederate facilities and many homes. After a week of destruction Wilson raided on to Montgomery. 
[Before 1965]


VII in. Brooke Rifle
# S-5


Cast Aug 24, 1863 in Selma at the Confederate Naval Gun Foundry under direction of Commander Catesby ap R. Jones. Was first gun shipped from the Selma Foundry. Served as stern pivot gun on the Selma-built ironclad ram CSS Tennessee. During the Battle of Mobile Bay the wounding of Admiral Franklin Buchanan and the deaths of both men killed aboard the Tennessee occurred at this gun. This is the only surviving naval gun from the Battle of Mobile Bay located in what was the Confederate States of America.




VII in. Brooke Rifle
# S-5


Designed by Lt. John M. Brooke CSN "to be used against Iron-Clads."
Weight: 15,300 lbs
Length: 12 feet, 3 ½ inches
Range: 7900 yards (4 ½ miles)
Brooke Rifles were reported accurate enough to "hit a barrel at a mile every pop."
Captured by the Federal Navy August 5, 1864 and taken to US Navy Yard in Washington, DC. Returned on loan in 1981 to the Selma-Dallas County Museum of History and Archives from the Naval Historical Center.
[2008: Broad St., City Hall]




Site of Alabama's first permanent capital 1820-26. County seat Dallas County, 1820-1866. Confederate Prison during War Between States 1863-65. Located 5 1/2 miles south on Alabama and Cahawba Rivers. 
[Beore 1965: Ala. Hwy 22]


Childers Chapel


Established circa 1819 as Childers Meeting House on land given by George Childers. Patent for the land was issued to George Childers March 16, 1819. This Methodist Church was later known as Childers Chapel. Church burned in 1842. Congregation rebuilt church in Valley Creek (Summerfield), construction beginning October 25, 1845. This site has continued as the burying ground for the Summerfield Methodist Church congregation and the early families of the Summerfield Community. The Church was originally a part of the Cahawba Circuit and was placed in the Montgomery District in 1837/38.


Edmund Winston Pettus--House Site


Edmund Winston Pettus, lawyer, general C.S.A., U.S. Senator, was born Limestone County, Alabama, 1821. Admitted to bar, 1842. Moved to Cahaba, 1858. Major, C.S.A., 1861. Brigadier General, 1863. U.S. Senator, 1897-1907. Resided here from 1866 until death, 1907. When in Senate, with John T. Morgan, Selma was home of both U.S. Senators from Alabama.


George Washington Carver Homes Projects

In 1952, the City of Selma accepted federal funds to build the George Washington Carver Homes Projects. The residences became “The Face of the Civil Rights Movement” to many in the 1960s because Dr. King, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and other organizers would dine and live with those families while fighting to secure the right to vote for African Americans. Many families who lived here were active participants in the Civil Rights Movement.
[2015: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street, Selma]


Live Oak Cemetery


East portion reserved for graveyard, 1829; west part purchased by City of Selma, 1877. 
Here are buried: 
William Rufus King, 1786-1853, Vice President of U.S. 1853. 
John Tyler Morgan, 1824-1907, U.S. Senator, Brig. Gen. C.S.A. 
Edmund Winston Pettus, 1821-1907, U.S. Senator, Brig. Gen. C.S.A. 
Nathaniel H.R. Dawson, 1829-1895, U.S. Commissioner of Education. 
William J. Hardee, 1815-1873, Lt. Gen. C.S.A., author "Hardee's Tactics."


Mount Carmel Church


A Cumberland Presbyterian church named Mt. Pleasant was organized here about 1821 by Rev. William James Moor, a missionary from the Elk Presbytery of Tennessee. Renamed Mount Carmel in 1827, this church provided early leadership for the Ala. Presbytery of the C.P. Church. The present structure was built in 1852. Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church, PCUS, was formed in 1873 and shared this building with Mount Carmel, which was defunct by 1900. Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church, defunct by 1935, was dissolved in 1963. A Pleasant Hill Cemetery Assoc. was formed in 1972 to care for the churchyard. 
[2004: Co. Rd. 12]


Prosperity Cemetery


Prosperity Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church Cemetery is the resting place of many members of the church from 1846 until 1961. The Church was organized in 1822 by Isaac Grier. A church building stood on this site from 1844 until 1891, constructed on five acres of land donated by William Johnston. The cemetery includes the graves of two early pastors, Rev. James M. Young (1844-67) and Dr. James A. Lowry (1867-98). Dr. Lowry previously served as a Confederate chaplain. His is one of several veterans' graves in the cemetery, which also includes that of James Chisolm, who died June 16, 1864, as a result of wounds received at the Battle of Atlanta. 


Selma Historic and Civic Building


Central Alabama Masonic Institute of Alabama acquired property, 1847, and erected building. Used as female academy. Confederate hospital during Civil War. Dallas County Courthouse on removal of county seat from Cahaba, 1866-1901. Presbyterian high school for boys early 1900's. Acquired by Vaughan Estate, 1904. Vaughan Memorial Hospital, in memory of Samuel Watkins Vaughan, MD, 1911-1960. 1969, under Mayor Joseph T. Smitherman, City of Selma purchased property. Dallas County and City restored original structure.


Summerfield Methodist Church


Organized before 1837, first under charge of Charles McLeod and next, Asbury H. Shanks. Contract for present building was let October 23, 1844; dedicated October 5, 1845. Greenberry Garrett was Presiding Elder of Summerfield District. Original building committee composed of Greenberry Garrett, A. H. Mitchell, T. B. Goldsby, John Paulling, George A. B. Walker. Original trustees were George Childers, Noel Pitts, John Paulling, David Mims. 

Here worshipped Bishop J. O. Andrew and other prominent Methodist leaders and educators. This church absorbed the congregation at Childers Chapel, south of this site, where a Medthodist congregation existed as early as 1824.


Sturdivant Hall


One of the finest examples of neo-classic architecture in the South; designed by Thomas Helm Lee for Edward T. Watts. Completed in 1853. Sold in 1864 to John M. Parkman, 1870 to Emile Gillman. Purchased in 1957 through a bequest from Robert Daniel Sturdivant and operated by the Sturdivant Museum Association.


Valley Creek Presbyterian Church


One of the state's first Presbyterian churches. Established in 1816 by eight families from Rocky River Presbyterian Church in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. In 1859 this two-story brick building replaced original wooden structure. Sanctuary and former slave gallery are on second floor. In nearby cemetery lie heroes of Alabama's wars since 1776. 
[Before 1965: Ala. Hwy 22, 3 miles north of Selma]


William Rufus De Vane King 1786-1853


Native Sampson County, North Carolina. Admitted to bar, 1806. North Carolina House of Commons 1807-1809. U.S. Congressman 1811-1816. Secretary U.S. Legation Naples and St. Petersburg 1816-1818. Moved to Dallas County, Alabama, 1818. A founder of Selma; named city. Delegate Alabama Constitutional Convention 1819. U.S. Senator 1819-1844, 1848-1853. U.S. Minister to France 1844-1846. President pro tempore U.S. Senate 1836-1840, 1850-1852. Vice President of United States 1853.

bottom of page