This week marks one hundred and fifty years since the Battle of Mobile Bay. For the past week, the Alabama Public Radio newsroom has been looking back on the battle and at Alabama’s role in the war in 1864. Union forces wanted Mobile Bay because it was a sea port. They wanted the city of Decatur for a similar reason. It may not seem like it today, but 150 years ago Decatur, Alabama was a significant crossroads for commerce in the south. In the days before the Tennessee Valley Authority tamed the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals was an impassable series of rapids.