Dale County is a county of the state of Alabama. Based on the 2010 census, the
population was 50,251. Dale County was created
on December 22, 1824 and was formed from Covington County and Henry
County. The county seat and largest city is
Ozark. The county is named in honor of General Samuel Dale.
Dale County comprises the Ozark, AL Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark, AL Combined Statistical Area.
The vast majority of Fort Rucker, the US Army Aviation Center for Excellence, is located in Dale County.
It was named for Gen. Sam Dale, pioneer and Indian fighter.
County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts
The area now known as Dale County was originally inhabited by members of the Creek Indian nation, who occupied all of southeastern Alabama during this period. Between the years of 1764 and 1783 this region fell under the jurisdiction of the colony of British West Florida. The county, together with the surrounding area, was ceded to the United States in the 1814 Treaty of Fort Jackson, ending the Creek Indian Wars. A blockhouse had been constructed during the conflict on the northwestern side of the Choctawhatchee River, and the first non-Indian residents of Dale County would be veterans who began to settle in the area around 1820.
Dale county was formed by the Alabama legislature on December 22, 1824. The county was named for General Sam Dale, pioneer and Indian fighter. Dale County is located in the southeastern part of the state, wholly within the coastal plain. It is bordered by Pike, Barbour, Henry, Houston, Geneva, and Coffee counties. It currently encompasses 561 square miles. Originally, the county seat was located at Dale Court House, which later became Daleville. An election in 1870 resulted in the removal of the county seat to Ozark. The courthouses suffered damage by fire in 1869 and 1884. Other towns and communities include Ariton, Newton, Midland City, and the US Army Base at Fort Rucker.
Portions of the 15th Regiment of Alabama Infantry, which served with great distinction throughout the US Civil War, were recruited in
Dale County, with all of Co. "E" and part of Co. "H" being composed of Dale County residents. This unit is most famous for being the regiment
that confronted the 20th Maine on the Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. Despite several ferocious assaults,
the 15th was ultimately unable to dislodge the Union troops, and was ultimately forced to retreat after a desperate bayonet charge led by the
20th Maine's commander, Colonal Joshua L. Chamberlain. This assault was vividly recreated in Ronald F. Maxwell's 1993 film Gettysburg. The 15th
would continue to serve until the final capitulation of Lee's army at Appomattox Court House in 1865.
Another regiment recruited largely from Dale County was the 33rd Alabama; Companies B, G and I were recruited in the county, with Co. G coming from Daleville; Co. B from Newton, Skipperville, Clopton, Echo and Barnes Cross Roads; and Co. I from Newton, Haw Ridge, Rocky Head, Westville and Ozark. This regiment fought with great distinction in the Army of Tennessee, mostly under famed General Patrick Cleburne, once winning the Thanks of the Confederate Congress for its action at Ringgold Gap. The regiment was largely annihilated during the battles of Perryville and Franklin, but a few men survived and returned to Dale County after the war.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 563 square miles (1,460 km2), of which 561 square miles (1,450 km2) is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) (0.3%) is water. It is the fifth-smallest county in Alabama by land area and third-smallest by total area.
The Choctawhatchee River runs along the Dale county's southern
border, and several of its tributaries, including Little Choctawhatchee
River and Claybank and Little Judy creeks, traverse the area.
Bordering counties are as follows: