Fort Pulaski, Protecting the Savannah River

Constructed as part of the coastal defenses by the U. S. Military prior the Civil War, Fort Pulaski had walls made of brick that were seven feet thick and 35 feet tall.  It was surrounded by a moat that was 25 feet wide and the walls enclosed an area of approximately five acres.  On January 3rd, 1861, Georgia Militia troops occupied the fort and raised the state flag.  Federal forces occupied Fort walker on Tybee Island about one mile away from Fort Pulaski.  On April 10th of 1862, Federal forces initiated an artillery bombardment that lasted for 34 hours and launched over 5,000 rounds at Fort Pulaski.  On April 11, 1862, the Confederates surrendered Fort Pulaski to the Federals.  It would remain in the possession of Federal troops for the remainder of the war and would become a safe haven to freed slaves from the area.  Many of the freed slaves would volunteer for the Union Army and form the 1st and 3rd South Carolina Colored Volunteers.

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The Moat and earthworks at Fort Pulaski.
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 The moat and one of the fort walls.
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Impact points from Union Artillery are still visible in the brick walls today.
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The brick wall of Fort Pulaski pockmarked from the Federal artillery bombardment.
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Moon over Fort Pulaski
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With a commanding view over the Savannah River, it is easy to see how Fort Pulaski could protect the Port of Savannah.
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Spiral stone stairs inside Fort Pulaski
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Artillery demonstrations occur often at Fort Pulaski.
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Some of the offices, and housing for the Fort.
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Old Fort Jackson

Fort Jackson is Georgia’s oldest brick fortification.  It served as the Headquarters for the Confederate Coastal Defensive fortifications that protected the Savannah River.  The Union Navy was never able to capture the fort and it was not until General Sherman occupied the City of Savannah, that the fort changed hands.

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The brick walls surrounded by a marshy moat.
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Gun ports from the outside wall.
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Gun ports from the inside wall.
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Looking downstream on the Savannah River towards the ocean.
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Looking upstream on the Savannah River towards the Port of Savannah.
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It is easy to see so commanding of a view that Fort Jackson has of the Savannah River.
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Train tracks that connected Savannah and the Fort so that supplies could be maintained.

December 13th, 1864

Dec. 13th, Federal forces overwhelm the garrison at Fort McAllister after a spirited fight the fort is captured.  Sherman watched the assault from a rice mill across the river.  With the Ogeechee River open, supplies begin to flow in to the army.  Sherman has a 1000′ long wharf built at King’s Bridge on the Ogeechee River.  This area is now a park with a boat ramp where the Hwy. 17 crosses the Ogeechee River.

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Fort. McAllister protected the Ogeechee River with these heavy guns.  General Sherman needed supplies and in order for the Union Navy to reach Sherman, the Fort had to be captured.
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Earthworks and artillery protecting the side of the fort vulnerable to attack by land.
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The structures in the fort were primarily earthen mounds that housed a variety of things, like this hotshot furnace.
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One of the earthen mounds was the powder magazine and storage area, others served as bunk rooms.
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Looking west and across the Ogeechee River.  General Sherman watched the assault from the tower of a rice mill just across the river.
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Looking downstream, east, from the site of King’s Bridge toward Fort McAllister.
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A modern bridge stands where the original bridge was on U.S. 17 at the Ogeechee River.  It was here that Sherman had his engineers build a 1000′ foot long wharf in order to bring in supplies from the Union Navy.  A community park and boat ramp are now at the site.
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In 2014 I was fortunate enough to be able to photograph the reenactment of the assault on Fort McAllister.  It took place at the original location on the actual anniversary.  Here, a Confederate cannon fires on the approaching Federals.
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More Confederate cannon fire.
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Federal forces outnumbered the Confederates and were quick to overrun the fort.
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A Confederate reenactor takes a break between skirmishes.
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Federal reenactors helping the wounded during the battle.
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Confederate reenactor keeps watch for approaching Federal troops.
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Confederate soldier smokes his pipe between firefights.

Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, 24 Gun Battery

During the attack on Kennesaw Mountain the Federals set an artillery battery containing 24 guns in total.  It was located on a low rise near the base of Big Kennesaw Mountain.  These images are from the 24 gun battery which is protected by the National Park.

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Just in side the tree line of this low rise near the base of Kennesaw Mountain is the Federal 24 gun battery.
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Remnants of one of the parapet walls at the 24 gun battery.
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The gun notch is still slightly visible in the remnants of this parapet wall.
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A view looking down the line of earthworks for the 24 gun battery.  Four separate emplacements are visible along this line.
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Looking from the rear of the emplacement in the direction the gun would have faced.

June 19th, 1864

June 19th, 1864

The Confederates are entrenched on the Kennesaw Mountain line and have multiple artillery pieces to the top of Little Kennesaw and Big Kennesaw.  It took 100 soldiers to move each cannon up the mountain.  Skirmishing continues all along the line, Federal and Confederate Artillery Batteries begin dueling back and forth.  General Sherman has ordered General Schofield’s Army of The Ohio to move from Lost Mountain, via the Sandtown Road, thus swinging the Federal right over Mud Creek and toward the south western portion of Kennesaw Mountain.  On the evening of the 19th, Schofield reaches Nose’s Creek, about half way between Mud Creek and Kennesaw Mountain.

Video:  Artillery Demonstration at the top of Big Kennesaw Mountain during the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.

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A cannon now sitting silently atop Big Kennesaw Mountain in the original earthworks.  The park service has protected the artillery pieces and earthworks here with a split rail fence.
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Remnant of the period road that soldiers used to drag the cannons up to the top of Kennesaw Mountain.  It took 100 soldiers to drag each cannon to the top.
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An artillery piece sits atop Little Kennesaw Mountain in what is called “Fort McBride”.
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Earthworks and cannon at Fort McBride, Little Kennesaw Mountain.
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Looking down the barrel of a big gun.  Ft. McBride, Little Kennesaw Mountain.
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Part of Kennesaw Mountains extensive trail system snake behind the parapets and cannons where Confederate soldiers once fought bitterly against the attacking Union Army.

Resaca Reenactment 2015 Artillery Video

Here is a link to a short video of some of the cannons firing at the 151st Battle of Resaca Reenactment.  This is the Federal Battery during Saturdays Battle. 

Resaca cannons firing

 

Here is another link to the images from the event.

Resaca 2015 images