Fort Pulaski National MonumentSavannah, Georgia
When completed in 1847 with its 25 million bricks and walls 7.5 feet thick, Fort Pulaski was the ultimate defense system of its day. Part of a series of forts which protected major seaports from foreign attack, the stronghold would not be tested until the Civil War. Seized by Georgia state troops early in the war, the fort was beseiged by Federal forces. Here on April 11, 1862, defense strategy changed worldwide when Union rifled cannon, firing from more than a mile away on Tybee Island, first overcame a masonry fortification.
The effectiveness of rifled artillery, which fired a bullet-shaped projectile with great accuracy at long range, was clearly demonstrated. After only 30 hours of bombardment, the walls were breached and the Confederates surrendered. The fall of Fort Pulaski tightened the Union blockade of southern ports and kept Savannah from exporting cotton and importing military supplies and civilian goods so vital to the Confederacy. But more importantly, the success of the new weapon marked the end of the era of masonry fortifications.
The Monument offers an introductory video about this remarkably well-preserved example of 19th century military architecture, exhibits and a bookstore. Audiostations within the fort provide brief explanations of the history and significance of the area. Park Rangers are on duty to answer your questions.
The Monument also provides other recreational opportunities. Located at the mouth of the Savannah River, Fort Pulaski provides views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as scenic salt marshes which cover much of the Monument's 5,600 acres. Nature trails, a picnic area and a boat launching ramp are available.
LOCATION: Tybee Rd (PO Box 30757), Savannah 31410. Phone 912-786-5787.
HOURS: Daily 8:30 AM to 5 PM.
DIRECTIONS: Follow US 80 15 miles east of Savannah. Turn right onto Tybee Rd. Turn left just before Tybee Island.
Recommended BooksLandmark Homes of Georgia 1733-1983
National Geographic's Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways